Posts in December, 2009

I recently administered a programming test to a number of applicants for a Python developer job at Since we now have a new developer (hi Gustavo!), I figured I would post the test and see what kind of response I get to them.

There are two parts to the test, neither are hugely difficult, but there is enough scope in the solutions to understand how the candidate approaches a problem.

In the first part of the test I asked the candidate to look at the following code and implement the thousands_with_commas function, which should take an integer and return a string representation of that integer with commas separating groups of three digits: continue reading…

I implemented a theme system for and thought it only fitting that the first theme I made was one for Django.

I present you with the Django themed Loci Desktop!

Here it is, in embedded form – although you really need to click the above link to fully appreciate it.

Since I've been hacking away with Javascript lately, I thought I'd share a few snippets that I have found invaluable.

Some of these snippets use JQuery, but could easily be modified to use plain JS or another toolkit.

Some of these snippets are likely available in other libraries and plugins, but I prefer not to introduce too many dependencies when working with Javascript. Better to keep the code lean – if possible!

Building strings with Javascript can be a pain if it consists of a number of parts, and it isn't too flexible if you want to modify later. Here's a snippet that adds simple template substitution to strings.

It adds a method, f, which takes an object and replaces parts of the string between double braces with values from that object, similar to Django templates. Here's an example: continue reading…

I have been busy working on lately. One popular feature request from the beta testing was to use website favicons, so that links become more readily identifiable – which I have implemented after several late nights, and abusing my quad core.

A few of the 3D Favicons used in

I built a pipeline that downloads favicons, extracts PNGs which are then processed in to a 3D scene and rendered for missing resolutions (.ICO files can contain multiple resolutions). I've tweaked the way that the 3D icons are produced, and they are significantly better than my first attempt – although some do come out better than others. continue reading…