07 August 2010

Silverlight 4 with C# and Python (it's three!)

I recently felt like making a new Silverlight 4 app, but not just any app. I wanted it to have the following features:

  1. use an existing Python library
  2. be written in C#.
There is a way better way of using Python code - it is to write the app in Iron Python from the start. Picking C# to achieve that sounds like a bad decision.

However, I wanted to do something new and challenging, so I went for C#. Doing it on my own was hard, way harder than just following an "embedding Python in C#" tutorial. Finally, I found that working example and got something starting from there.

What I got is a three on a golden background:

Okay, maybe that's not the right angle to start with. What I did was used the numbthy Python library and used it's gcd function to compute the greatest common divisor of 15 and 3, and it's three!

Getting there was hard. Finding the right libraries to embed Python, importing them the right way were tough tasks for an inexperienced user - some error messages would be very cryptic. Then, the app would hang on the splash screen if something was wrong in the Python code, the debugger wouldn't show where the problem was, and the "problems" in the Python code were:
  1. the print statement
  2. a class inheriting from object.
Not obvious, and definitely not the kind of problems PyDev would warn you about. So I am afraid that importing bigger chunks of code could be hard - that is to be explored further.

05 August 2010

Yet another personal website

Thanks to my surgery, I recently had a bit of time to spend at home, so I built myself a new personal website. I spent a bit of time investigating the cool new features of HTML 5, CSS 3 and jQuery and ended up using a cool thing called jQuery Masonry, and here is the result:

This time, it's just a single page, because I can't really imagine what more I could share (besides the blog, of course). It's also only in English because... er... because.

Technically, I used some JavaScript not to do any copy-paste between the eight divs but ended up publishing a static html file with the end result.

Artistically, when I compare it to all the great designs featured on Smashing Magazine, I honestly think it sucks, but well, I'm more of a programmer than an artist. Plus, I put a lot of effort into editing it. Html is cheap and my mind has been to many many places, starting with Moroccan souks:


and texture factories:

All in all, I like it a lot, and I hope you do as well.

[Picture credit, credit, credit.]