Hazel

Further to the previous post. The talk on Hazel is fascinating.

I’ve been thinking for a while about the importance of being able to program “in your own order” ie. fill the blanks of your decision making about your program as and when you have that information available to you / or as you feel like tackling that problem. And leaving the undecideds and unknowns until later.

Holes in Hazel and other theorem provers offer that capacity in the small. And obviously tied to some advanced type theory which is a bit beyond me, but I think I grok the basic ideas. And, yes, having a formalization of the unknowns is a powerful idea.

Microsoft adds Python to Excel

Several years late, it seems M$ is considering making Python native to Excel.

I wrote a … you guessed it … Quora answer as to why this makes sense for Microsoft.

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Python has become massively popular with the data and machine learning communities in the last few years.

Tools like JuPyter are increasingly popular and serious interfaces for data-modellers who previously would have used Excel.

It absolutely makes sense for Microsoft try to embed Excel and itself into that emerging Python data ecosystem by making Python a first-class citizen (ie. default, guaranteed to be there) of Excel.

Not just a third-party add on for those who know about it and can make the effort to install it.

Not only does Python need to be standard within Excel, but access to pip and all the Python libraries needs to be there too. So that Excel becomes the equivalent of Anaconda

That’s the way that M$ can keep Excel relevant in the new data age.

This is not only a good idea for Microsoft. It’s the difference between Excel remaining a major player in data modelling and analysis tools, vs. declining into obscurity.

Gmail Snooze

Is GMail Snooze basically building Mind Traffic Control into your email client?

Well, it’s about time Google did something radical to improve GMail. There’s still so much untapped potential in the mail-box. And at least email is an open protocol that we should defend against moving to walled rivers like Facebook and Slack etc.