2017 (old posts, page 5)

Mercantile 1.0.0

Mercantile, the module of web mercator XYZ tile utilities that I started at Mapbox, is complete. Version 1.0.0 is on the Python Package Index today and can be obtained using pip: pip install -U mercantile, no --pre option necessary. The latest and greatest documentation is at http://mercantile.readthedocs.io/en/latest/. I expect to be making improvements to the docs over the next few weeks. Please don't be shy about pointing out what the docs lack.

I'm super grateful for the help from Matthew Perry, Patrick M. Young, Amit Kapadia, Damon Burgett, Stefano Costa, Jacob Wasserman, and Brendan Ward. Sam Matthews doesn't appear in the git log, but helped me with the Sphinx layout.

I'm fortunate to be able to work on open source projects at my job and proud of Mapbox's continuing commitment to open source. Virtual confetti is being tossed in Mapbox's main Slack channel this morning and I'm feeling good.

New cert for the site

Earlier today my old certificate from gandi.net expired while my new one was pending, leaving my blog twisting in the wind. I had such a positive experience two weeks ago with certbot on my local trails web app, that I did the same for my main site this evening. I hope you weren't inconvenienced by a couple hours of security warnings.

Minutemen at The Stone 1985

Youtube is many things good and bad. On the good side, it's a trove of live footage of bands from the golden age of punk. This set of songs will rock your socks off.

According to user N Hoey at https://archive.org/details/minutemen1985-05-13.flacf, Minutemen were opening for James Blood Ulmer at The Stone on 412 Broadway in San Francisco, CA. I think I ran right by that address on my way to the Coit Tower the last time I was in SF for work.

For me, the highlight is "I felt like a Gringo" at 46:47.


Last Wednesday night my family and I flew to Boise, Idaho, to spend Thanksgiving with my mom and stepfather. The six of us spent the holiday cooking, eating, walking around the neighborhood, playing cards, and assembling a jigsaw puzzle. We agreed not to discuss politics, not because any of us are Trump supporters, but because the state of the U.S. is too depressing and frustrating. My family is a lot like Boise itself, an amiable liberal island in a sea of retrograde white resentment.

I forget how big Boise is now. It's the Pacific Northwest's number 3 metro, after Seattle and Portland. The cities of Boise, Nampa, Meridian, Garden City, and Eagle together count almost 700,000 people. My folks live in a bland 30 year-old suburb in the southwest part of the city. We mostly stuck around their neighborhood but did make a trip to the the west end of State St and the Boise River to skip rocks and look for birds.


The Boise River

Boise is on the same latitude, 43°37′N, as Montpellier, France, where we spent our previous Thanksgiving weekend. It's a funny coincidence that I didn't see until this morning. I remember remarking to Ruth that the bright yellow lichen on trees by the river reminded me of the chestnut groves in the foothills of the Pyrénées.

On the way home we flew over the northeast corner of Utah, Cache Valley, and my former hometown of Logan. I'll never tire of this aerial view of backcountry places I've driven and walked so many times. And when the sky is clear the approach to Denver from the west never disappoints.


Longs Peak on the descent to DEN

November 4, 2016: Domaine de Restinclières

I'm going to post photos and stories from my back log of memories from my family's trip to France this fall. It was such an adventure for a homebody like me and I was mostly too overwhelmed at the time to blog about my experiences.

On November 4, my family and I went on a hike at the Domaine de Restinclières. The Domaine de Restinclières is a château and 200 hectares of gardens and forest around the source of the Lez and Lirou rivers north of Montpellier maintained by the Hérault Départment since 1992. It is brambly and leafy and semi-wild and has kilometers of trails to wander around on.

Ruth took this photo of our band on a crumbly limestone slope above the Lez.


Firefox Quantum

I've been using Firefox 57.0, aka "Quantum", since the end of last week and have been loving it. It feels as fast as advertised and I haven't noticed any deterioration in rendering of pages.

I've tended to use Chrome as my work browser and Firefox as my personal browser over the past 4+ years. My personal browser just got a big upgrade. The Mozilla Servo and Rust Language teams must be feeling pretty pleased and they deserve it. Congratulations!

Mercantile 1.0a1


801 Main Street, Louisville, Colorado. Photo By Jeffrey Beall (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Python module of web mercator tile utilities that I named mercantile seems to be complete and so over the next few weeks I will shepherd a few 1.0 pre-releases and then a final 1.0.0. Any mercantile user who wants to help the cause can do this

pip install -U --pre mercantile

to get the new 1.0a1 release from PyPI and try it in new or existing projects. I was tempted by attrs yesterday, but resisted, and so the 1.0a1 release is just as stable and tested as 0.10 or 0.11, versions that my team uses the hell out of at work.

I've come late to the Read the Docs party, but am pretty much all in now. Continuous documentation (as the RTD team puts it) seems to encourage users of my projects to contribute to documentation more than ever. Mercantile's docs are here: http://mercantile.readthedocs.io/en/latest/. They're rather basic and boring, though there is one ASCII diagram at http://mercantile.readthedocs.io/en/latest/quickstart.html that makes my colleague Damon Burgett happy. Damon is the author of Supermercado, which takes web mercator tile manipulation to the next level, and a ASCII graphics wizard.

The mercantile project is a workhorse, but has also been one where I experimented and learned how to use tox, pytest, and how to publish wheels to PyPI from Travis-CI. It's uncomplicated by C extensions or industry standards and has been pretty fun to work on over the past few years.