Scraping the Flood (or another reason to code)

The River Thames has spilled into the flood plain (which is what flood plains are for) and the local footpaths now look like this:

Thames flooding between Benson and Wallingford

Being generally inquisitive, and also wondering when I’ll be next able to walk into Wallingford, it would be useful to know whether the river is rising or falling. Is there an easier way that walking down to the river every couple of hours with a depth gauge?

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To code with Python in 3 steps

There’s loads of resources on the net for learning to code with Python. These three are my recommendations.

  1. Codecademy Python track: sign up (free) with Codecademy and learn Python piece-by-piece.
  2. Learn Python The Hard Way: using the online HTML book (or spend $$ for extras).
  3. Project Euler: set yourself some of the challenges from Project Euler.

[Update: 06 Jan 2013]

Here’s #4: http://www.pythonforbeginners.com/

Express for Web

I’ve been using Aptana Studio for teaching webby development stuff because:

  1. It’s free
  2. It’s a real IDE with auto-complete, syntax highlighting etc.
  3. It supports HTML5, CSS, JavaScript
  4. It has an integrated debugger, which even works once you’ve teased Firefox and Firebug to cooperate

But it’s heavy. So heavy that for my own stuff and for demo’ing to students I’ve stuck with Notepad++

I’ve just spent 15 minutes playing with Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web (having been pointed that way by the news that Expression is dead) and, I think, we’ll be rapidly moving to that for future webby development.

  1. It’s free
  2. It’s a real IDE with auto-complete, syntax highlighting etc.
  3. It supports HTML5, CSS, JavaScript
  4. It has an integrated debugger which just works
  5. It supports a design view
  6. It’s not as heavy (not light, just not as heavy)

image

It might also be a decent replacement for the editor we use to teach basic web page design especially as the progression from visual editing to markup editing would be within one product.

All I need to do now is hope our managed service provider can cope with it…