Category: Software

  • Why should you learn SPARQL? Wikidata!

    Why learn SPARQL now? I think that SPARQL has something of a bad reputation in the open data community – my impression is that that came about because when organisations published data by making a SPARQL endpoint accessible, people had problems like: Many SPARQL endpoints not working reliably Writing queries that joined data between different […]

  • Dealing with awkward subtitle problems in Handbrake

    I know very little about Handbrake; this is just some notes on what I personally do to reduce my confusion about why subtitles aren’t being ripped properly and manually fixing that, but I almost certainly can’t answer any questions about issues you might be having! This is just here in the hope that it might […]

  • Migrating YourNextRepresentative from PopIt to django-popolo

    This post was originally intended for the mySociety blog, but because of its length and technical content people suggested to me it might be more suitable for my own blog. This about the development of the YourNextRepresentative project (GitHub link), and in particular why and how we migrated its storage system from using the PopIt web service to […]

  • Printing out GitHub issues for triage or estimation

    On one of the projects I’ve been working on at mySociety had a large number of open issues, most of which hadn’t been looked at for some time, and didn’t have estimates of difficulty. To address this we tried a variation of an exercise that’s suggested in “The Scrum Field Guide” in the chapter called […]

  • Making an encrypted partition on a USB drive

    On Ubuntu or Debian, it’s really simple to create an encrypted partition on a newly-purchased USB mass storage device.  In my case, I had bought a 1TB hard drive which had very mixed reviews, some people saying their drives had failed very early.  I wanted to be able to return the drive under warranty if […]

  • The Guardian on your Kindle

    Update: It is now possible to buy an official subscription to The Guardian and The Observer. The rest of this post is now largely of historical interest if you just want The Guardian on your Kindle, but I’ve left the rest of the content unchanged for people who are interested in how I generated my […]

  • Hashing Flickr Photos

    I used to host my photos with a simple set of CGI scripts that basically worked well enough for my simple requirements.  Such web applications are easy and fun to write, but in the end I decided that it wasn’t worth it because: Hosting large amounts of data on a generic shell account is typically […]

  • LyX Tips for Thesis Writing

    LyX is a lovely bit of software for preparing beautiful documents – you get the high quality output of LaTeX and the advantages of logical document description in a usable interface and without having to remember TeX syntax.  There are a few aspects of using LyX that puzzled me while writing a certain large document, […]