My Favourite Album
In response to Rachel's post
on last night's show:
I didn't have a problem with its sound, maybe there is a problem with your TV?
Most of the "joke" segments fell very, very flat, the exceptions being
the Radiohead and Chilli Peppers bits, and the "comedians" were
awful--no interest in music and their scripted banter was just irritating. But I
liked Dicko's and Kram's (I've had drinks with Kram because I know someone who
knows someone who's going out with him!) opinions.
The results, though, were unbelievably good. Far from what record stores,
movies, TV shows and in particular, Australian Idol, would have us believe, the
unanimous voice of Australians prefer intelligent rock music to manufactured pop.
Well, ABC viewers. Music made by bands instead of pitch-correction software.
The record companies could be cleaning up (just look at the chart figures for
those top 10 albums) by sponsoring original, interesting music and taking dives
with unsuccessful bands once in a while.
Why shouldn't the list be dominated by concept albums (and I don't think it is:
only Dark Side and Sgt Pepper's, by my count)? Of course we're going to prefer
listening to an album that has a coherent structure and narrative over one which
is "the songs we recorded in the last year, in no particular order."
For you to assert that there is white male dominance in the results requires
that you provide some alternatives. OK, Michael Jackson should've been on the
list, who else? There are plenty of outstanding female and non-white performers,
but not that many popular ones. This is not an issue with the voters, but with
the producers (or the marketers, or just the music). The fact that some of these
incredibly intelligent musicians are dead now is tragic, but has no bearing on
the music. And in what way is Mozart's death at a young age, before he peaked,
in any way "good"?
Men prefer listening to male musicians? Don't make me laugh. Who listens to
Anthony Callea, Jeff Buckley, Van Morrison? I couldn't find a source on
demographics, but can you?
Creative, sort of.
Learning Wings3D, came up with a thing
One spot and one point light, 2x1024x1024 shadow map, 4x800x600 buffer, rendered
in Yafray in 6 minutes.
ReST + XSLT + LaTeX: attack of the mixed case
Have been writing some course material for next year's graphics subjects. I
think my content creation workflow is pretty nifty. Each document is a separate
ReST file (I prefer to work like that rather than on one large file). The
rst2html.py writer doesn't support combining files (for the purposes of
generating a ToC, for example), so I had to write my own XSLT stylesheet to
transform ReST XML into XHTML. This is also helpful because it's far easier to
customise this stylesheet than the docwriter.
The ToC is defined in a separate XML file giving names and URIs of each item,
and read in by the XSLT stylesheet using the document() function. xsltproc
doesn't support this yet, so I'm using saxon, which is kinda slow. The
stylesheet is able to do some clever working-out of where the current document is
in relation to the ToC, so only the ancestor and child sections are shown
I define a new interpreted role called "math-tex" which allows me to
embed LaTeX equations into the ReST document. The XSLT stylesheet writes these
equations to separate files (another 2.0 feature not supported by xsltproc), and
a separate Makefile takes care of converting these to PNGs for inclusion into the
* Running "make" can take up to a minute for thirty or so reasonably
short files, thanks to the complex XSLT involved.
* Backslashes in LaTeX equations need to be escaped, for example:
:math:tex:'1\\\\over 3'. Although you can specialise the "literal"
role, it seems you can't take advantage of its escape processing.
* Make requires two passes after a new equation is added, since it doesn't
know about the generated files until it expands wildcards again.
* Very little source upkeep: ReST is doing everything I need it to do now, and
the XSLT/XML contents takes care of maintaining links.
* Time to make coffee while compiling.
I often compose blog entries in my head while I'm away from the computer: while
cooking, showering, walking, etc. Yesterday I was on a dawdling
stopping-all-stations train to the city. Something I saw out the window got me
thinking about something very important to me, that was very witty, and I spent
most of the trip working out what to write. I even came up with a clever title.
Well, it's completely forgotten now.
Stupid REM sleep: faulty GC.
Pyglet now has some pretty decent image loading, using QuickTime on OS X, GDI+
on Windows XP and Gdk on Linux. There's also fallbacks for using PIL and a
Python PNG loader (which is slow but is always going to work).
The range of supported image types varies according to platform, the lowest
common denominator seems to include BMP, PNG, JPEG, TIF and GIF. QuickTime wins
on the format count, which includes PDF loading.
Still some niceties with errors to work out, and more testing of different file
types and their variants. I'll see how much support these libraries have for
saving images in addition to loading.