Recently

Watching

Reading

  • Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman - finally finished this one. It’s true that as the narrative continues you catch on to Feynman’s sexism and, as Gell-Man says, his propensity to get into silly situations just for the story. Occasionally it’ll touch upon ideas for education that are somewhat neat, and it’s interesting to read at least one view into the Manhattan Project.
  • What is Public? by Anil Dash takes the well-worn subject of privacy and finally considers it as more than a binary and something beyond a legal interpretation. In a way it’s like Schneier’s Liars and Outliers, a book that I never really enjoyed but becomes more interesting when you realize how often the social principles it explains are ignored.
  • Camp Lejeune and the U.S. Military’s Polluted Legacy - exactly as you’d expect, it has the amount of sadness and horror as any story that combines environmental destruction with the faceless military industrial complex. It also touches on, though briefly, the stress-bearing union of the way the government treats veterans versus the way they attract soldiers.
  • Thoughts on my first programming conference
  • Speaking up every. Fucking. Time
  • Mature Optimization

Listening

Untitled

Elsewhere

Untitled

I’ve been mostly working on a data system for Mapbox but have made a few things on the side. geobuf is a new contender for futuristic geodata storage, like Shapefiles, but modern and simple. geojson-random generates random GeoJSON files, as it says on the tin, and likewise with geojson-merge. geojson.io got a few new features. leaflet-terminator adds a solar terminator to maps to visualize day and night worldwide.

Teen Mom released a new song, played a show, and is playing a house show festival this weekend. The DC Code project was featured in Washington Lawyer and GovExec.

The Best Font for Programming: M+

The best monospace font for programmers is M+.

M+

I met M+ in a chance encounter, trying out the ill-fated kod editor. It’s an unusual font, but it clicked and has been my stable choice for more than three years.

Much has been written about fonts for programming, but this lovely face tends to miss the cut.

mplus

Retina screens make subtle strokes and thinner weights look better, and M+ does that: its thin is ethereal, almost a stick font. I only use retina screens: at lower resolutions, bitmap fonts like Terminus can shine.

Font Widths

It’s much narrower than average, so 80 characters per line can fit in less than half of my screen width - so I can use a vertical split in vim to edit two or more files at a time.

2014-07-08 at 5.59 PM

It covers Basic Latin, Latin-1 Supplement, Latin Extended-A, Kanji and Kana: beyond that, only a few monospace fonts like DejaVu have coverage.

Disambiguating Characters

It’s clear: 0 is slashed to differentiated it from O, and 1 is easy to tell apart from I, and l.

Give it a shot? M+ is totally free and open source, and installable on Debian & Ubuntu as fonts-mplus. You can download the font from its SourceForge page, but it’s Xz-compressed. So, here’s a .zip file version of M+ you can download in one click.

Recently

image

This month I went to Rehoboth Beach, recorded new songs with Teen Mom at Persona Non Grata, and celebrated the fifth anniversary of my house.

Watching

Reading

imageimage

Thinking

image

Bouncing between many thoughts and a touch of anxiety.

I want to support Mayday PAC for whatever it’s worth, but it doesn’t look like the $5M goal will be reached in time. Of course it’s fraught - whether corruption truly can be fixed with a crowd-funded PAC, and if its set of funders will be an honest sample of the American population. But apathy is not just fatigue, it’s fatiguing. And things that move the needle and change the world - these things increasingly tend to be impractical, unprofitable, and improbable. Serving both masters, like the TOM’s approach of grafting good onto a leaf of this infinitely messed up tree, creates and fixes problems at the same pace.

imageimage

I’ve been thinking about open source and copyleft again. Working in that fashion has been the default for my entire career, so it’s less a question of whether, but why, what it means, and what that should become.

Open source licenses like the GPL, were an interesting hack of the legal system: in place of control of property, they enforce the commons. By the time I was done working with Drupal, the world had switched to the BSD license that didn’t have this infectious property. Companies can use your work in their products, without sharing their own source. You get attribution, a friendly credit, but they profit.

Liberal licenses like the BSD enable the startup tempo increase: companies have a plethora of free parts they can recombine into a product and ship, fail, or exit. Fast-burn startups breathe open source code but never exhale.

image

I’ve been working on a side project. It’s a brutally simple, geographically limited, purely for-fun thing that I hope to finish in a week or two. A chance to learn a new facet of the real world, a different language, and work in private a little. I have a private repo or two, and gleefully curse in the commits.