Distribute Must Die

A.K.A distribute is dead; long live distribute!


Hopefully most people know that distribute is now deprecated, and the entirety of its functionality has been merged into the updated and now active setuptools project. If you didn't, consider yourself informed.

If you've never used distribute or setuptools before, they are almost worth it solely for their addition of install_requires in a python package's setup() function, which allows one to specify software dependencies of your python code before it will install. That, and they are required by the wonderful pip. Along with active development, setuptools and python packaging are improving at a rapid pace, making things easier and simpler for everyone. If you are currently using distribute or your packages work directly with it, please consider updating your little bit of python to the latest tools!

There are also practical reasons for updating: not only a myriad of bug fixes, until roughly v1.0, setuptools/distribute didn't properly use a verified HTTPS connection to download all resources. You want this for the thing that installs your software! Over time it's also gained support for a new installation format as well, which you'll hear about below. At the time of writing, PyPI tells me that distribute has been downloaded 384810 times this week. We need to move on!


HTML5 EME is not a DRM standard.

Probably the hottest thing the W3C is working on right now is their Encrypted Media Extension Working Draft. The EME draft is widely talked about as "the DRM standard for HTML5", but this is not truly what it's content covers. I'll look at what it is, why it's not a great idea, and some implications of its approval, were it to be approved.


On Static Site Generators

Static site generators seem to be the current in-vogue project an individual can craft in their spare time. All the tools you need to plop one together are there, in numerous languages: a markup->html compiler, a syntax highlighter, a simple web server, a file watcher, and of course myriad css and js frameworks, transpilers and minifiers.

In turn we have a myriad of static site generators. No one thinks the set of constraints and flexibilities that anyone else's implements is quite right for their situation, and I think this is a good thing. The more I get to experiment with, or cynically judge unworthy!