Written words that are often helpful

A quick note about Phoenix Framework Channels

Posted by chathaway on Aug. 19, 2017, 11:54 p.m.

Just a quick note which frustrated me quite a bit on Thursday; intercepting messages (which should call handle_out) in Phoenix Framework's channels does not cause the handler to get called if you are using "send" instead of broadcast.

I suppose this actually makes sense, since you wouldn't want to stuck in an infinite loop (filtering a send, which sends something), but it wasn't obvious why Phoenix was ignoring my handle_out function. Almost like it wasn't detecting the itnercept() parameters.

A solution may be to add documentation about handle_out to the callbacks section of the Channels module ...


Research progress, week of 2017-05-03

Posted by chathaway on May 10, 2017, 6:23 p.m.

This past week:

  • Grading. Final exam grading Monday-Wednesday morning
  • Setup server to store list of projects to be indexed
  • Continued work on code; considering investigating Luigi

Next week:

  • If internet is setup, provide link to list of projects
  • Continue working on fetching data (long overdue)


  • Last Friday was "first" day at FIS; starting this Friday, my schedule is: M, W, F = FIS, T, Th = RPI
  • Internet troubles; I can't host things until they get resolved
  • Working on migrating from RPI email to personal email (not sure how long I will continue to have RPI email)


Research progress, week of 2017-04-26

Posted by chathaway on May 3, 2017, 5:46 p.m.

This past week:

  • Continued working on code; encountered issues getting project versions (API didn't respond how I expected, internet suggests pulling all issues (which we need anyway) and scanning them for unique tags)
  • Worked on making the list of projects easy to access
    • Still need to put it somewhere public with all current projects
  • Tried to talk with Barb on Slack; some response, then nothing

Next week:

  • Work on code
  • Put project list in public place


  • Next week I will be grading finals Monday-Wednesday
  • This past week moved some stuff down to PA; arranged for "office space" to ...


Docker Compose Hint

Posted by chathaway on May 2, 2017, 2:04 p.m.

If you are having trouble installing the correct version of docker-compose on Ubuntu, here's my hint: do not run "apt install docker-compose". Instead, follow the directions on their site (

Yes, I know it's super lame and stops you from getting automatic updates. But I mean, at least it works.


Research progress, week of 2017-04-19

Posted by chathaway on April 26, 2017, 6 p.m.

This past week:

  • Paperwork
  • Worked on pulling data from Jira APIs; hit issue with rate limits

Next week:

  • Revamp code to be more robust
    • Start manually identifying Maven projects


What does it mean to make something?

Posted by chathaway on April 21, 2017, 6:48 p.m.

At what point can I say "Yeah, I made that thing" and claim ownership over something I did? It seems like a simple problem, but I keep getting caught in a (metaphorical) recursion loop whenever I try to answer it; if I take a video from youtube and play it fast, did I make it? What if I take a hundred videos, and play them faster then stickem together? What if I take the source material (3d models, Flash files, etc), and re-render them? What if I modify the source files by changing a color?

And so on and so ...


Research progress, week of 2017-04-12

Posted by chathaway on April 19, 2017, 5:57 p.m.

This past week:

  • Looked at Maven repos to find a way of extracting bug tracking information; no luck
  • Continued work on scripts to pull in and analyze Maven repositories for interactive complexity; progress, but work is unfinished due to grading

Next week:

  • Finish scripts to analyze Maven repos
  • Test scripts
  • Last attempt at finding pattern to Maven repos; if that fails, search by hand


  • Conversation with James and Ryan about making the CSDT development community more friendly
  • Work with Bill on getting static pages
  • Grading. All the grading.


Circling an Object in Blender

Posted by chathaway on April 10, 2017, 6:46 p.m.

  1. Create a curve with your object at the center; scale it to size
  2. Create an empty at the center of the curve
  3. (in object mode) select camera, shift-select curve, ctrl+p, and "Follow curve"

Of course, the camera will just kinda stare in some direction. You need to add a "Track-to" modifier, which behaves weirdly.

  1. Select the camera
  2. Constraints -> Add Object Constraint -> Track To
  3. Select the target
  4. Adjust "To" to be -Y, and Up to by Y


Blender file:

Cube being circled by camera


The Secret Santa App

Posted by chathaway on Nov. 25, 2016, 3:39 p.m.

This is a fun one; my stepmother walks in and says "I have a great idea! Why don't you make a little app that randomly assigns people for secret santa!"

I think she was just trying to be nice; include my hobby in the a family tradition. She thought it sounded easy enough, and it shouldn't take me more than 5 minutes. But let's take a minute, and explore another case of "That should be easy, right?"

The Problem

For this who don't know, Secret Santa is basically a game in which each person is assigned ...


The RTS Struggle

Posted by chathaway on Nov. 1, 2016, 1:20 a.m.

During all my free time, which as a graduate student, which I totally have a ton of (no, sarcasm, of course), I've been searching for a good RTS game to play. If you know if one, please leave it in the comments! This blog post documents my attempts at playing various games; I will record what impressions of the game were, how it compared to the "gold standard", and whether or not I returned the game before Steam's grace period was up.

Note that I try these games for a maximum of 2 hours, then make a snap ...


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