I passed the Canadian Citizenship Test!

Posted by Jim DeLaHunt on 30 Nov 2015 | Tagged as: Canada, culture, government

Last week I passed the Canadian Citizenship Test. It was a simple 20-question multiple-choice test, on facts about Canada’s history, values, make-up, culture, etc. I scored 19/20, but unfortunately my spouse Ducky scored 20/20. She gets the bragging rights. Thus I switch to focussing on the fact that we both passed, rather than the details of who got which score.

This  test, and the documents check and chat with the nice woman from Citizenship and Immigration Canada which accompanied it, represent the last substantive filter to eliminate candidates from citizenship. There will be 3-5 months of process, pro-forma hearings, but not anything that is likely to reject us. Then we get a letter inviting us to an oath-taking ceremony, and we become Canadian citizens. I’m really pleased about this. It is the culmination of over ten years happy settlement in Canada.

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A 21st century container for music scores

Posted by Jim DeLaHunt on 31 Oct 2015 | Tagged as: Keyboard Philharmonic, culture, music

A music score is an information product. The printed book is a proven, well-understood container for information products. It is also a 16th-century technology approach. In the 21st century, we have a new container for music scores: the symbolically encoded, software-accessible digital file. The exciting task of our time is to explore how to move the music score into this new container, preserving the connection to our cultural heritage and our artistic tradition of music creativity, while transcending the limitations of the 500-year-old container technology.

I see the Keyboard Philharmonic project as providing an important bridge, to move the fine musical works of the classical music and opera tradition into their new home in the 21st century.

“Building Localization Capacity Through Non-specialist Developers”, at IUC 39

Posted by Jim DeLaHunt on 30 Sep 2015 | Tagged as: Unicode, meetings and conferences, software engineering

I’m delighted to be presenting, once again, to the 39th Internationalization and Unicode Conference (IUC39).  The conference is the gathering of my “tribe”, people who are as enthusiastic about language, text, and software as I am. If you like this stuff, it’s the best place in the world to be for those three days, so please register and join us there.

My presentation is, Building Localization Capacity Through Non-specialist Developers. Here’s the abstract: Continue Reading »

Why I won’t buy Chums anytime soon

Posted by Jim DeLaHunt on 31 Aug 2015 | Tagged as: personal

I won’t be buying Chums eyewear retainers anytime soon.

1000m above the ground in my paraglider is no place for my dark glasses to fall off. My prescription dark glasses, you see, without which I can barely make out anything. So, I relied on my Chums eyewear retainer on my dark glasses. Imagine my dismay when I pulled them out of my helmet bag recently, and saw this: Continue Reading »

Why revisable formats matter for our digital scores

Posted by Jim DeLaHunt on 13 Aug 2015 | Tagged as: Keyboard Philharmonic, culture, music

The Keyboard Philharmonic overview mentions “revisable, symbolic digital notation formats” for music scores. Sometimes people ask if projects like the Internet Music Score Library/Petrucci Project aren’t already putting music scores into “digital” form. Perhaps a clarification will help. Yes, the IMSLP and many other worthy projects are offering music scores in “digital” formats — but not in “revisable digital notation” formats.  The difference matters. Continue Reading »

More on Vancouver Opera’s business situation

Posted by Jim DeLaHunt on 31 Jul 2015 | Tagged as: British Columbia, Vancouver, culture, music

Last month, the Vancouver Opera announced that it was going to have one more year of a regular season, then switch to a “festival” structure. That is, instead of four productions spaced throughout the year, it was going to have a concentrated three-week burst of opera once a year. Or at least that’s how the story seemed to run. Yesterday, I went to a town hall for subscribers. General Director Jim Wright spent 30 minutes laying out the Opera’s business situation, and an hour in a lively question and answer session. It was informative, and placed the Opera’s strategy in a much better light. Continue Reading »

‘’tain’t right’, says he: storm in apostrophe

Posted by Jim DeLaHunt on 14 Jun 2015 | Tagged as: Unicode, culture, language

A friend pointed me to a interesting blog post, Which Unicode character should represent the English apostrophe? (And why the Unicode committee is very wrong.) by Ted Clancy, 3. June 2015. The argument: “The Unicode committee is very clear that U+2019 (RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK) should represent the English apostrophe…. This is very, very wrong. The character you should use to represent the English apostrophe is U+02BC (MODIFIER LETTER APOSTROPHE). I’m here to tell you why why….” [Emphasis in the original.]

I understand that there might be many people on this planet who actually don’t care about English language orthography concerning the apostrophe, contractions, and Unicode plain text representations thereof. Go ahead, skip this post and go on with your day. I am completely captivated by such questions. I started writing a quick reply, which grew to the point where it seemed better to host it on my blog than on Clancy’s comments page. Continue Reading »

Things the docs never told me about SQLalchemy

Posted by Jim DeLaHunt on 31 May 2015 | Tagged as: Python, software engineering

In recent weeks, I have been working intensively with SQLalchemy for a consulting client. SQLalchemy is a Python-language toolkit for using SQL databases in applications. I’ve used Python, and SQL databases, and SQL queries, and a different Python-language toolkit for using SQL databases in applications, this was my first in-depth encounter with SQLalchemy. I had to do a lot of learning. SQLalchemy, despite its scads of documentation, and good tutorials, didn’t tell me some important concepts. Here’s a brief list, in an attempt to gather my thoughts and insights.

This list doesn’t include the important concepts the documentation does include, just what it (to my reading) left out. And I haven’t attempted to flesh out these points. That might be a good future blog.  It is concepts that I wish I had learned earlier and more easily.

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Music score pain points for the chorus

Posted by Jim DeLaHunt on 12 Apr 2015 | Tagged as: Keyboard Philharmonic, culture, music

A chorus that uses, for rehearsal and performance, the 5-century-old technology of printed music scores, will encounter pain points. Printed scores are expensive and difficult to stock and manage. Singers can find it hard to understand where in a score a director is, especially when members use different editions. Scores have mistakes to correct, details to tailor for a specific for performance, which are hard to communicate to each singer. And more. The coming public-domain digital music scores offer help for some of these pain points. Yet the printed scores have strengths, built by 5 centuries of music practice, which digital music scores will be hard put to match.

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About the Keyboard Philharmonic

Posted by Jim DeLaHunt on 31 Mar 2015 | Tagged as: Keyboard Philharmonic, culture, music

The newly-founded Keyboard Philharmonic is a music charity which aims to enlist music lovers to transcribe opera and classical music scores into a revisable, shareable, digital format, and then give those digital scores away for free. One way to think of it is as a way to bring Mozart and Beethoven’s scores into the digital age. I’m passionate about it, and I’m working hard to get it started.

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