Wednesday, October 31, 2012

CSS preprocessing with SASS

Don't write CSS directly.  It's just not worth it anymore.  Use SASS and precompile your CSS to avoid repetition, make changes easier, and to use the nesting features that should have been built into the spec in the first place.  The SASS website explains how to install and use it, but if you are clever enough to be using Linux you can just install it from the repositories.  Don't be put off by the Ruby connection if you are not a Ruby is written in Ruby but the CSS it generates is completely independent of any backend languages.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Good hype-free overview of using data

I came across Lessons for a Data Driven Business the other day and found it a nice, succinct overview of the things that are important for managing data at the enterprise level.  He breaks it down into five basic points:

  • defining and communicating a “single version of the truth”
  • creating an auditability chain from your metrics to your raw data
  • establishing specific, actionable KPIs
  • ensuring around-the-clock availability of data
  • accepting the limitations of your data

This is a good roundup, and he didn't even have to use buzzwords like "cloud" or "big data" even once!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Command Line Arguments in Python

Reading your command line arguments in Python is incredibly easy, but I have to look it up every time.  Also, there are a thousand different ways to do it as the language has evolved through the years.  This seems to be the latest (or one of the latest) ways of doing it:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Spitting out CSV data in Python

Something I do frequently in python is to spit out data into a CSV file. I do it so often, I created a simple function to copy/paste in my scripts.