Frank John Vilece – the quiet strong ones

Frank – I never bested you at tennis. Because you were damn good. And funny. And you helped me learn the game with few words, always a quiet one. You rarely spoke even as partners. Occassionally you ran for a lob to throw us off. But more frequently your offense prevented anyone from hitting a lob in the first place. But you know that. Strategy. Quiet strategy. We noticed. I noticed.

You offered no help as an opponent with your surprisingly fast net play, sly grin. I still learned. Even on the other side of the net I still learned from you. I never told you, nobody need tell you, you know. There are many like me who respect the quiet strong ones. Like you. #respect

May God bless you and your family Frank. God Bless. #peace

From the Houston Chronicle on Frank John Vilece:
Frank John Vilece of Houston, TX, passed away on December 24, 2012. He was surrounded by his three loving children, Kathryn, Frank Jr., and Michael, down to his final breath.

Born in New York, New York on February 10, 1944, and raised in Greenwich Village, Frank graduated from Xavier High School, and then Steven’s Institute of Technology in 1965. Growing up his family spent summers in Lake Carmel. In 1971 he married his late wife, Gail Mansfield Vilece and eventually moved west to start and raise a family and build his career. Frank was a brilliant man who spent his entire career as a mechanical engineer. He took great pride in his ability to create energy and power. With his wealth of knowledge he was able to tackle the most sophisticated engineering project, yet he was humble enough to teach anyone willing to learn his passions.

His greatest accomplishments and joy in life were his three children. He did everything he could to make sure his children were given all the tools they needed to be successful and enjoyed hearing about their many adventures. Frank loved staying active and had a life-long love of learning. Much of his free time was spent on the tennis court. Following tennis events on TV, in person, or playing in leagues around Houston, exhilarated Frank.

Frank is survived by his children Kathryn Vilece, Frank Vilece Jr., and Michael Vilece, as well as his sister Alice Battle and brother Vic Vilece, in addition to numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A Mass will be held for Frank at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 625 Nottingham Oaks Trail in Houston, on Friday December 28, 2012, at 11am.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation in Frank Vilece’s name to either the American Cancer Society or Vitas Hospice Charitable Fund.

something must be done

I agree that something must be done. It’s time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. That’s the only way our nation can ever truly heal.
God help me. God help Michael. God help us all. – Liza Long


simplify, because I can see why Cal hates Django even if I love it

Yes I love Django and Tendenci has been rewritten fully on the Django framework. Open Source as well. (Go install it and tell us what you think.)

But there are days…. like right now…. like right this instant…. there are days when instead of doing big things I’m fighting inconsistent name spaces between apps for no reason. We have PEP. But nobody thought to go “ya, let’s just always call this one “title_block” in the base.html template? Or no hook to a global template on a site? Or standard theme definitions. For all the beauty I see in Django somedays I feel like I’m revisiting 2001 with setting up conventions. We don’t have to lock in like Rails, we don’t have to lose flexibility to gain efficiency.

You still can’t easily sequence the loading of installed apps for packages as well as your local apps. (better get ReportLab in the right spot or else!) So you roll your own. Days that I struggle with deployment even though those smarter than me have written scripts to help. New employees just deploy straight to databases on Heroku or use SQLLite locally, never getting the errors in South that a real user would get trying to set up their own server somewhere between the cloud and non-production.

And then there are the days I see 100+ queries go by on the debug toolbar on a page that used to only need 7. And everyone just says “cache” it as if the Calomine lotion will cover up the rash of inefficiency.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather walk on broken glass than convert to PHP. (yes let the flame war begin). But …. but …. I’m a big enough kid to find myself laughing out loud at this keynote called “Why I Hate Django” by Cal Henderson.

Oh yes I really do believe the future is Python and Django. I’ve bet the farm on it as they say. And if Facebook has to compile PHP basically into C++ then all of us will face these problems at Scale.

Yet can we all just admit that we can and should improve our conventions, our name spaces, our theme standards, remove the incentive for programmers to keep removing the file from the root of the /conf/ or site folder. Use runserver or foreman start? That’s kind of a big question if it changes the way you load your environment variables? We are creating a learning curve that will send all but the most stalwart young programmer back to PHP.

I don’t even consider myself a “real” Django programmer yet as I keep having to look up syntax. But having written one web framework that has stood the test of time, and now working with the team who is rewriting it, I see danger in them hills. The danger of not keeping things simple enough.