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Looks like Egon updated his rrdf library (an RDF library for R) to 1.2, which now includes remote sparql queries and constructs. Pretty neat!  I’ve been meaning to get into R, and keep getting pulled away by other shiny things.  For example, my employer got me into a Cloudera class this week to get all MapReducey.  Lots of fun, but I really have to put my head down and learn that damned language, even with its lack of parentheses.

Speaking of MapReduce, I wonder if there’s a good SPARQL/RDF library out there to support MapReduce jobs.  I’d think you’d want code that was optimized for queries against graphs that take up either 64MB or 128MB (the two most common block sizes).  I’m guessing that a fact in an N-TRIPLES file takes 1/10KB, so the graphs would have either 640,000 or a bit over 1.2 million facts in them… that’s a pretty healthy volume of information, but we’re not talking DBpedia-sized here.

Finally, my search for mathematical podcasts is finally turning up fruit – looks like Sam Hansen at ACME Science has a slew of podcasts right up this alley.  Hell, his most recent podcast is an interview with John Cook (of The Endeavor fame).  In fact, he’s got a new one in the works that looks to be focused on stories in the world of mathematicians – if you’re curious, check out http://bit.ly/relprime.

More than finally, this is my first post on a linux box.  I took the plunge dipped my toes in the Linux waters by installing an Ubuntu partition on my laptop with Wubi.  There’s been a few hiccups so far with learning about file permissions and tar files, but I managed to run the seabass tests successfully, so I’m in a good place.

Ever since I started learning Clojure, it was clear that I would be using Emacs.   I was already most comfortable using a command line and text editor, I’d already set macros that mimicked some of the Emacs keystrokes (like CTRL-f),  and the editor’s written in Lisp.  It was inevitable.

Nevertheless, I resisted.  I had never been comfortable with switching buffers, and was very used to the traditional Windows keystrokes for saving, copying, cutting, and pasting.  And up to this afternoon, I had successfully resisted…until now.

What had done it?  A thousand small cuts, to be sure.  But two big ones:

  • I got access to a Linux server, but only had Putty handy.  This meant no graphical desktop was available – I only had the command line.
  • Github exaggerated the tabs of my source code files to a degree that I was starting to convert tabs to spaces for each file in Notepad++.  Once I noticed how beautiful Emacs indenting was (both when writing and when pushed onto Github), it was very hard to turn back.

So I downloaded Clojure Box for my home laptop, figured out enough of the new keystrokes/macros to do something useful, and ended my use of Notepad++ as an IDE.  It’s a great application for what it is, but I’m really liking Emacs.  On top of that, it looks like somebody’s written an N3/Turtle mode for writing RDF in Emacs – I’ll have to try that out over the weekend.

I use a Win7 machine at home, and do my Clojure work with Notepad++ and an open command prompt.  Most of the time I’m in the REPL, and I get to this via leiningen.  It’s not the most elegant way to do things (I believe that would involve Emacs), but it ain’t bad.

I was just now tapping at the REPL and wanted to go back a few characters while writing out a function call.  Absentmindedly, I used the Emacs keystroke CTRL-b, and bloody hell it worked.  So did CTRL-f and CTRL-e.

Wow.  Considering that I’m sitting on my couch with my laptop where it belongs (on top of my lap), I’m thrilled that I don’t have to get all uncomfortable finding the arrow keys when editing in-line.  Woo!