open.canada.ca

data.gc.ca

A site I’ve been working on for the past few months has just launched. data.gc.ca “2.0” (update: now open.canada.ca) is a completely rewritten version of the Open Data portal for the Government of Canada.

I worked on the CKAN portion of the site responsible for the data catalogue. CKAN is an open source Data Portal application written in Python. I built a fully bilingual schema with many additional fields for our datasets. I also optimized, fixed and improved many parts of CKAN itself.

Our team built templates based on the Web Experience Toolkit (WET). WET provides building blocks for creating accessible, mobile-friendly web sites. These templates include a map widget for our geospatial datasets and an interactive data table for previews of tabular data.

All of our work is available on the open-data github page and is released under a permissive license.

data.gc.ca might just be the largest, most fully bilingual and most accessible CKAN site anywhere. More to come!

Painting with Braille

Braille Python Logo

This is something I’ve been wanting to write for a while.

Unicode page U+2800 has all the combinations of a 2x4 grid of Braille dots. Braille dots that line up neatly with the ones on all sides in most fonts. We can paint with this!

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XTerm 256-Colour Chart 2.0

XTerm 256-Colour Chart (cows)

Announcing XTerm Colour Chart 2.0 “Old and busted: Colour Cubes. New hotness: Colour Cows” release.

The script has been completely rewritten. It now requires python 2.3 or later for the optparse command-line parsing module.

Many new features have been added to this version:

  • Five different charts available in 256 and 88-colour modes
  • Origin and rotation of colour cube is now configurable
  • Size of colour cells is now configurable
  • Colour palette now exactly matches xterm defaults
  • Resetting colour palette is now flicker-free
  • Source code is much nicer (and commented!)

xterm_colour_chart on github

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