Useful gems, 2020 edition

Since the gem ecosystem keeps changing, and since I don’t write new programs very often, here’s a list of my favorite gems for developing command-line interface tools. Option parsing gem: slop. (Since micro-optparse looks moribund; see here.) But (looking at programs I’ve written) I also seem to like trollop, a/k/a optimist. But I also like […]

Odds ‘n’ Ends

MIT Tech Review: Your brain limits you to just five BFF’s. Dunbar’s number isn’t just one number. There’s a Zinc flash at the moment of conception. New State of Water Molecule Discovered. Quantum tunneling!!! NPR: 40 Years On, the Genius of 2112. ExJon: Shun the Crowd, Embrace the Remnant Acton: Bruce Wayne, Capitalist Superhero: […]

Tech Links – May 29

Three open-source Python shells. Don’t catch Exceptions. I must have known why I always do rescue => boom to catch exceptions. The reason is that Ruby makes that shorthand for rescue StandardError => boom. Nifty. libgrader: find quality gems for your next project. It knows about two of my favorites gems: pericope and titleize. (Unlike […]


In lieu of actually tending to this blog, perhaps offering a thought or two to the marketplace of ideas, I will fall back on the time-tested strategy of cat-blogging. Here is a picture of Kowalski (l) and Rico (r). As of this writing, Rico has fallen into the filled bathtub once and Kowalski never. Although […]