Tyler Hallada - Blog

26 Apr 2018

This is a blog post that I originally wrote for the edX engineering blog.

At the core of edX is the edx-platform, a monolithic Django code-base 2.7 times the size of Django itself.

15 Nov 2017

I’ve been meaning to add a commenting system to this blog for a while, but I couldn’t think of a good way to do it. I implemented my own commenting system on my old Django personal site. While I enjoyed working on it at the time, it was a lot of work, especially to fight the spam. Now that my blog is hosted statically on Github’s servers, I have no way to host something dynamic like comments.

30 Aug 2017

When my beloved Google Reader was discontinued in 2013, I stopped regularly checking RSS feeds. Apparently, I am not alone. It seems like there’s a new article every month arguing either that RSS is dead or RSS is not dead yet. Maybe RSS will stick around to serve as a cross-site communication backbone, but I don’t think anyone will refute that RSS feeds are declining in consumer use. Facebook, Twitter, and other aggregators are where people really go. However, I noticed that I still follow some small infrequent blogs through mailing lists that they offer. I’m really happy to see an email sign up on blogs I like, because it means I’ll know when they post new content in the future. I check my email regularly unlike my RSS feeds.

07 Aug 2017

I’ve been messing around with a library called PixiJS which allows you to create WebGL animations which will fall back to HTML5 canvas if WebGL is not available in the browser. I mostly like it because the API is similar to HTML5 canvas which I was already familiar with. I can’t say that I like the PixiJS API and documentation that much, though. For this project, I mostly just used a small portion of it to create WebGL (GPU accelerated) primitive shapes (lines and circles).

11 Jul 2017

In this post, I will demonstrate how to generate random text using a few lines of standard python and then progressively refine the output until it looks poem-like.

If you would like to follow along with this post and run the code snippets yourself, you can clone my NLP repository and run the Jupyter notebook.

You might not realize it, but you probably use an app everyday that can generate random text that sounds like you: your phone keyboard.

20 Jun 2017

I found the tensorflow documentation rather lacking for installation instructions, especially in regards to getting GPU support. I’m going to write down my notes from wrangling with the installation here for future reference and hopefully this helps someone else too.

06 Jan 2016

I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with neural-style the last month. I think I’ve discovered a few exciting applications of the technique that I haven’t seen anyone else do yet. The true power of this algorithm really shines when you can see concrete examples.

03 Jun 2015

I tend to use Linux (Ubuntu) on my desktop late at night in a dark room. To protect my eyes from the blinding light of my monitors I’ve tooled my desktop environment over the course of a few months to be as dark as possible. It has gotten complex enough that I thought it would be worth sharing now.

30 Jul 2014

My old website was a nice demonstration of my knowledge of Django, but I decided recently that my web development knowledge had exceeded what it was showing off. The main thing that annoyed me about my last website was that I was hosting what essentially was a static website on a web framework meant for dynamic websites. It was time for a update.

03 Oct 2013

I like to think that if only I find The Perfect Text Editor I will somehow write better and more often. Obviously this is only a tactic I use to delay actually writing anything, but I did come across something that might actually help. Draft is a writing app being developed by one guy, Nate Kontny, that has a ton of nifty features, one of its best being a version control system that allows you to send a draft to other people and accept or reject any changes they suggest. It also has a minamilistic iA Writer type interface, which focuses on the actual writing and nothing more.