The Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever (In Python)

Fri 24 July 2020 by Moshe Zadka

The Labyrinth is a children’s movie. The main character is 16 years old, and solving a logic puzzle that will literally decide if she lives or dies. In fiction, characters are faced with realistic challenges: ones they can solve, even if they have to make an effort.

So, it …

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Hey, Back Off!

Sun 12 July 2020 by Moshe Zadka

The choice in parameters for back-off configuration is important. It can be the difference between a barely noticable blip in service quality and an hours-long site outage. In order to explore the consequences of the choice, I wrote a little fictional ditty about a fictional website.

I hope you enjoy …

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A Labyrinth of Lies

Fri 03 July 2020 by Moshe Zadka

In the 1986 movie Labyrinth, a young girl (played by Jennifer Connelly) is faced with a dilemma. The adorable Jim Henson puppets explain to her that one guard always lies, and one guard always tells the truth. She needs to figure out which door leads to the castle at the …

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Conditionally Logging Expensive Tasks

Sat 13 June 2020 by Moshe Zadka

(I have shown this technique in my mailing list. If this kind of thing seems interesting, why not subscribe?)

Imagine you want to log something that is, potentially, expensive to calculate. For example, in DEBUG mode, you would like to count the classes of the objects in gc.get_objects() and …

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My Little Pony -- DevOps is Magic

Sun 26 April 2020 by Moshe Zadka

(This article is based on the one I originally published on OpenSource.com.)

In 2010, the My Little Pony franchise was rebooted with the animated show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The combination of accessibility to children with the sophisticated themes the show tackled garnered a following that cut …

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Numbers in Python

Sun 26 April 2020 by Moshe Zadka

Numbers in Python come in all shapes and forms. The reason different kind of representations of numbers exist is because they all have different trade-offs. These trade-offs are often surprising!

Integers

The most surprising things about integers is how easily they stop being integers. Dividing two integers, for example, 4 …

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Goodbye, John H. Conway

Tue 21 April 2020 by Moshe Zadka

John H. Conway passed away ten days ago, and I think it's only now I can write a proper eulogy.

I was first introduced to his work, if not his name, when I was at the end of elementary school. I am sure everyone has heard about the Game of …

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Using Twisted to Massively Parallelize Web Clients

Mon 13 April 2020 by Moshe Zadka

The Twisted Requests (treq) package is an HTTP client built on the popular Twisted library that is used for web requests. Async libraries offer the ability to do large amounts of network requests in parallel with relatively little CPU impact. This can be useful in HTTP clients that need to …

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Comfort with Small Mistakes

Sat 04 April 2020 by Moshe Zadka

It has been a long time since I learned how to program, and it is easy to forget some of the hard-won lessons in the beginning. Easy until I try to teach people to program. There is a lot of accidental and inherent complexity in programming, but I am ready …

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Or else:

Thu 12 March 2020 by Moshe Zadka

This was originally sent to my newsletter. I send one e-mail, always about Python, every other Sunday. If this blog post interests you, consider subscribing.

The underappreciated else keyword in Python has three distinct uses.

if/else

On an if statement, else will contain code that runs if the condition …

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