Source code for my blog (blogdown/Hugo). The source code for individual blog posts is tracked from this repo as git submodules (
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About 2018-07-02T18:00:00+01:00

Welcome to my corner of the web!

My name is Taha and I'm the author of this site. Contact me on the Fediverse, or follow me on Twitter @solarchemist. Or there's always email. The easiest way to follow this blog is via its RSS feed.1

I like the idea of giving back to the community by building on/with free software and free knowledge in general, and as such I take every opportunity to promote open science, open data, and open source.2 All of which is made possible by the open web.3

The site header contains links to my profile on some web services (I try to prefer libre services, but it's a work in progress). I also maintain some self-hosted services:

  • my linkblog where I share interesting tidbits I've encountered while browsing the web (sometimes with commentary).
  • my public Shiny server. I have written a how-to install Shiny, but that post should really be updated...
  • a few RStudio Server instances (primarily for my own use). I have published a write-up on that setup here.
  • a JupyterHub instance for my own use, which I've setup with Python, Julia and R kernels.
  • sometimes I post questions or even answers on StackOverflow et al.
  • feel free to check out my Zotero profile.
  • Figshare hosts some of my posters and data. They were one of the very first such services on the web, and they are still going strong. Kudos to them!

The source code of this blog (including that of the blog posts themselves) is hosted on I also share my code/data projects on Github or on my own Gitea instance.

I have chosen not to use a regular comment system for this blog. Instead I'd like to encourage you, dear reader, to use which effectively provides an annotation layer for the web. You'll see a sidebar to the right --- open it to annotate! Please note that I have no control over the content of these annotations, it's up to you and other web users whether to enable this annotation layer or not. It's possible to receive all annotations made on this blog by subscribing to this customised stream.

You may of course also send me comments via email or any of the channels listed above.

  1. What's RSS, you ask? RSS is a standard for the syndication of content. It's a little like XML or HTML --- it's not centralised, and by itself, it ain't much, but in combination with the right software, it can put a lot of power in the hands of users. Laura Kalbag has a good explainer on how to read RSS, as does p1k3. You use RSS by subscribing to RSS feeds (offered by the website you want to follow) using your feed reader (also called news aggregator). The feed reader is just a piece of software (and you should get your own), with many to choose from). Personally, I self-host TinyTinyRSS on a server in my closet --- it's been rock-solid for years :-) ↩︎

  2. See, for example: Alan Jacobs, Tending the Digital Commons: A Small Ethics toward the Future. The Hedgehog Review: Vol. 20 No. 1 (Spring 2018). ↩︎

  3. Interested in the subject? A couple of excellent essays, both by Parimal Satyal: Rediscovering the small web, and Against an increasingly user-hostile web. ↩︎