Mon 07 February 2011

The Everlasting Fight To Expand My Metaphorical Sight (Part 2)

Well, time certainly flies by quickly. Since the last entry in this little mini-series, I've globe-trotted some more (London, New Jersey, New York City, DC, San Francisco, Seattle... San Francisco again...) and released some new projects that've been in the pipeline for some time. What's next?

On Traveling

London was a very, very interesting experience. I had the fun experience of being stuck there well past my intended departure date due to a massive snow storm that shut most of Europe down; London Heathrow, why you refused the help of the Army to clear away snow is simply beyond me. That said, the city of London itself is a nice place, one that I could see myself spending more time in. The surrounding area is equally cool and worth checking out! Yet again this was a country where public transportation is pretty slick. Notice a recurring theme here?

The rest of my travels have been pretty US-centric; nothing noteworthy, sans shooting up to Seattle for a week to visit with my younger brother. Now, enough of all this personal drivel, there's work to discuss.


I think kids should be taught programming at a young age, but with absolutely no initial focus on mathematics. People can fight it all they want, but math doesn't interest kids, and a direct approach to trying to make it interesting so more come into the subject field won't work. Programming, if taught with a creative and artistic edge, is well suited to fix this problem.

At least, that's my theory, and the entire line of reason behind my efforts with ProgProfessor. This'll be followed up soon with a few other new projects, stay tuned!


When I got back into San Francisco, I met up with my good friend Brandon Leonardo. Awhile back he had conceived of this pretty cool idea to distribute a "feedback bar" type widget, where any site could sign up, throw some code on, and get immediate feedback from users. It's an idea somewhat in the same realm as UserVoice or Get Satisfaction, but much more stripped down and to the point. I thought it was pretty cool, and we managed to hack it out in a night.

FeedBackBar is free and quick to implement. Check it out and let us know what you think!

pyGengo - Pythonic myGengo Translation API Library

The other notable release I've thrown out in the past month is pyGengo, a library that wraps the myGengo API. myGengo is a cool service that offers an easy, reliable way to get text translated into other languages by other humans. Machine translation alone can be notoriously incorrect, so having a human back it up is quite the awesome technique to have up your sleeve.

pyGengo is fully documented and has a test suite to boot. Issues can be filed on the Github Issue Tracker, give it a shot and let me know what you think!

So... What's Next?

I've got a few projects coming up that should be pretty significant releases, so at the moment I'm working towards those. You should follow me on Twitter to know when they're released!

Ryan around the Web