Posts with mood satisfied (3)

Windows 8 Metro: everything is fine re background tasks, nothing to see here
Mood: satisfied
Posted on 2012-05-14 21:17:00
Tags: windows essay windowsphone programming
Words: 137

After kvetching a bit about Windows 8 Metro background tasks, Jared Bienz set me straight.

The right way to do this is to either use push notifications to update the tile, or a TileUpdateManager to have it poll for tile updates. In both cases the difference is that you're not actually scheduling a background task - you're just providing a way to get a tile notification, which is a bit of XML that describes how to change the tile.

Now, this isn't ideal for me the programmer, since I need to set up an extra server, but it does scale better with lots of different apps and preserves battery life, etc. So it's all good, and hopefully lots of Win 8 apps will take advantage of one of these two ways to get power-efficient live tiles that update!


congressvotes moves forward
Mood: satisfied
Posted on 2007-04-16 14:23:00
Tags: congressvotes
Words: 335

So it's been a while since I've had a lot of time to work on congressvotes, but with the holidays being over and hitting level 70 in WoW (yay! flying mount!) I've been a little less busy.

The previous hangup I had was parsing the XML files and getting data out in Haskell - I figured out how to do it with HaXML, but the code I had took like half an hour to run and a ridiculous amount of memory just to get some basic data out. Maybe it's because my code was bad, but I couldn't figure it out and got frustrated and took some time away from the project.

So, I kinda gave up and wrote a script in Python to convert the XML into a simple colon-delimited format, and everything works much faster now.

While I had some time off I thought about what exactly I wanted it to do, since I had a bunch of related ideas. My current plan is this: the user selects a year, and then picks from a list of interest groups that had opinions on votes that year. You can then decide whether you care about the votes or not (and whether to vote for or against the interest group's position!) and then you get a list of all representatives in congress sorted by how many times they agreed with you. (in a neat Yahoo! UI DataTable) You can then sort by state to see how your legislator did, etc.

Last night I wrote the code that actually compares the votes, and I also spent a bit of time this weekend gathering congressional scorecards from interest groups. I also did some work on the webpage, so it looks like I just need some glue pieces to tie it all together. Hopefully that won't take too long!

(oh, and I have to make the page work in Internet Explorer which always frustrates the hell out of me. Maybe I can set up IE debugging on David's computer...)


iTunes and SQL
Mood: satisfied
Posted on 2005-05-08 15:11:00
Words: 167

So I'm a geek. My current project is to take my iTunes database (with all of my rated songs and whatnot) and use it to figure out which artists and such I like best. So I wrote a python script to read in the iTunes Music Library.xml that iTunes uses to store its data and put it in an SQL database. Then I did some neat SQL stuff (and learned a bit along the way) to find out which artists had the highest average rating, which genres had the highest rating, etc. The top few bands are Barenaked Ladies, Frou Frou, The Beatles, Linkin Park, Matchbox 20, Michael Jackson, Coldplay, Journey, etc.

So I have these scripts, so if anyone is interested I'd be happy to do the same analysis on their .xml file - just send it to me and I'll send you a text file with lots of interesting stuff. :-)

Anyway, it's been a fairly busy week, and I'll post a real update maybe tomorrow sometime...


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