Why openpyxl development is stalled for now

virus

I thought that I could communicate a bit more on why things haven’t seemed to move too much since my last announcement about how openpyxl development was going to rock in 2013.
In January, I turned 30, but I also became pretty sick, and what was first diagnosed as simple cold was in fact a severe viral disease, that left me and my liver in pretty bad shape. I’m now recovering from the virus (while my antibodies count is still hitting the ceiling) but for a whole month I was unable to focus for more than a few hours a day, and even then, only thanks to high doses of drugs to keep the fever at sustainable levels. I chose to invest all the time I had to do my day job and also to try my best to support my wife who is taking care of the kids (I unfortunately failed at the latter :-p).

I’m since then undergoing weekly blood analysis and have a MRI scheduled next month to see how bad my liver is and how to make it recover fully, and in the meantime I’m starting to feel better, but I’m definitely feeling like a cranky 80 years old man after 4PM, and this might last for a period ranging from a few weeks to a few months.

I’ll try to review as many pull requests as my strength enables me to in the coming days, but please bear with me, as everything will get in, but maybe not very fast 😉

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I have been silent for a while … this is why :-)

my two sons, born end of August

Apologies to all the people who were awaiting for some openpyxl news, my wife and I have been quite busy those last months 😉

Meet Dorian and Gabriel, my two “first borns”. They are in an excellent shape, and their parents as well (well, as much as someone who didn’t sleep a full night for a month can be).

Raising newborn twins being a quite demanding job, I’ve stepped back from my work, and also from my opensource contributions for the moment. Hopefully we start to get used to our new life and I should be able to resume my activities soon.

Wish me good luck ! 🙂

Making of a mascot

Although I like the current tone of the Adimian website, with the nice black and white contrast, I still feel it needs a more cheerful image, because you can be serious in your job and yet retain some sense of humor.

So I’ve been sharping my Inkscape skills (don’t laugh) and produced this nice fellow:

Actually, I noticed I was wasting plastic cups every day at the coffee machine, so I thought “let’s buy a mug”, and as I don’t like the idea of someone else accidentally drinking in my cup, I then thought I’d better customize it, say with my company logo. It definitely sounded too serious, so I decided to draw a mascot for the company, and to put it on the cup instead.

Took a few hours to get the shape and the colors right, I know he’s plain ugly and any one-handed monkey could have done better, but well, I made it so I’m proud of it 😉

Next step: find a printer with large supplies of lime-green ink !

Working from the couch

Red sofa

Image via Wikipedia

Those days I’m in southern France, in a small (15 sq.meters) flat originally rented for my wife who’s working at the local museum.Even if I’m here to cheer her up, I still have to get some work done, but obviously there is no room for a large desk (nor for any desk actually), an external 24″ monitor, or my beloved wireless keyboard and trackpad.

There is not even a decent table, we have to put our dishes on a stool and eat in the sofa. In those conditions, I’ve been trying two configurations: the standing desk and the lap desk.

The standing desk

Pros

  • trendy
  • good for your back as it preserves the ‘S’ shape of your spine, instead of bending it into a ‘C’ like modern office chairs do
  • looks like a good idea when the only flat surface you have is a 30cmx40cm stand-up kitchen table

Cons

  • 16 hours on your feet is quite a lot of time, especially when you don’t have proper shoes nor proper rubber carpet
  • putting an expensive laptop on top of plastic candy boxes, next to an open window is … stressful

The lap desk

Pros (compared to placing the laptop directly on your lap)

  • comfy, veery comfy
  • prevents lap burns
  • greatly improves wrist position and angle
  • you can move around the house (seated on the couch -> seated on the armchair -> laid on the couch)
  • as the couch/armchair is much softer than the usual office chair, you can stay seated much longer before feeling tired

Cons

  • (not sitting properly in the couch is) bad for your back
  • (being seated too straight in the couch is) bad for your neck
  • (not moving your bum for 4 hours straight is) bad for your knees
  • (not changing your posture for several hours is) bad for your shoulders

As I couldn’t find any affordable cardboard boxes to build my poor man standing desk, I opted for the Logitech N550 lap desk which is an excellent product. It keeps the laptop cool, and the additional speakers have more bass and power than the internal ones. This version is for 14″ laptops at best, the N700 and Comfort Lapdesk are slightly larger, but the foam shape is different (it ends with a ‘^’, while the N550 is like a ‘<‘) and I find it more comfortable this way.

I’ve also looked at different brands and models, but the Logitech are the only ones that I find soft enough and properly engineered, for example, CoolerMaster makes ugly all-plastic stuff intended for overheating laptops, with giant fans, but no foam, no cushion of any kind. Not suitable when you need to work several hours a day.

To avoid neck and shoulders pain, it’s important to be properly seated, and moving around the flat for 1 minute every 2 hours keeps your knees from hurting.

It won’t replace my casual desk at home, but I definitely won’t work with my laptop on my lap anymore, and after one full week in this position, I found that I could work for 4-5 straight hours without notice, like in good days at my office desk. Totally worth it !