In a further post of the intermitted kind, again, a collection of things I thought interesting and worth blogging about. Some of them are things I would previously have tweeted as interesting links, others are here because if like come back them some point.
Fun things, Cool Stuff
- Ever wondered how engineers feel in a meeting with non engineers. If I ever say to you seven perpendicular lines you'll now know what I mean.
- Cake is one thing. Layer cake is another. Layer cake in the shape of a sphere? Now that's planetary cake
- BBC News article on Denmark being entirely modelled in Minecraft...
- Interesting hack for solar charging using PWM and an Arduino
- It's always nice to have some variety in typography.
- Cool tech - 3D printer for Carbon Fibre
- Ever wondered what do modern websites look like on ancient browsers? No? Well, now you can and look at the answer in one step.
- Work with Mercurial repositories using git
- If you edit things using markdown, you'll probably find dillinger.io a useful site to visit - a combined markdown editor/viewer.
- Some notes on lesser known programming models. Most of these should already be known to most developers, but it's an interesting link nonetheless - esp given the links to languages you may/may not have already seen before.
- How to use Go on android devices.
- Every so often people look at systems and say "that must be easy!" and severely underestimate the complexity of a piece of code - be it a game or website. For those who don't code understanding why making code based systems can be hard is also hard - but hopefully this site helps. This also goes hand in hand with effective estimation. That's hard for all the same reasons.
- Rust and Go are both getting alot of airtime at the moment, and so it's useful to see a comparison of both rust and go.
- Interesting post on how to improve programming in the future, and for those not building coding tools how they could/should in future work.
- I'd never heard of Naur's ideas around programming as theory building, and it looks like it makes a significant contribution to theories around software development. Catenary's blog post regarding Naur stands as a useful introduction in a modern context. The original paper by Naur appears to be online as well.
- Ever wanted to write python with braces? Take a look at pythonb. Note, while it fixes the syntax, the standard library hasn't been flipped so you can't just compile and run. Fun thought though.
- Depressingly accurate youtube video of programming developments and how it could have been today. Talks about lots of things we should be doing now, but by going back to the roots of when these things actually started - often 30-40 years ago. This talk goes hand in hand really with the one on better programming. 30 minutes, but worth it, especially if you don't know an awful lot about the history of software development...
- Useful resource for [learning CSS layout][CSSLAYOUT].
- Since PHP won't go away, more and more people are looking at optimising for it. One project called HippyVM maybe worth your time if you do much with the language.
- The relatively new combined C++ FAQ - not just C++11, but also C++14 related...
Wider issues in tech
- An interesting business oriented take on innovation. Technically innovation has a different meaning, but interesting opinon
- Interesting read on how copyright laws for digital content conflict with sharing that people are used to - specifically preventing people sharing books
- Sleep deprivation is a bad idea at the best of times, it also has a severe effect on businesses, with sleep deprivation driving the failure rate of tech startups .
- Ever looked at a tech conference and thought "I can do better" or "there's no way I can do that?", the WAAA website is trying to encourage more people to talk. If you're not happy with diversity at conferences - propose a talk. We mimic those we percieve as being like us. By doing it yourself, you encourage others to do so too.
- ISO's recommendation on How to write standards
- Interesting read - the cost of telling lies
- Some people tweet without thinking about what their tweets tell others about their location. Worth a read - there are a lot of nutjobs out there who abuse twitter in that way.
- The Amiga will never die. Well, of course it did, but that doesn't stop people bringing life back into the old girl from time to time. This latest amiga hack of a Raspberry Pi and floppy drive is particularly entertaining. Much like the Amiga was itself. Nothing since has really quite had the same immediacy when it comes to digital art.
- Bit of a marketing post on Kanban (it mentions a particular product), but also quite a good post at illustrating the difference/benefit of Kanban over Scrum - even though on some superficial levels they're very similar.
Well, 2 weeks since the last post of this type, so this is a bumper edition. As before it's a collection of things I thought interesting and worth blogging about. Some of them are things I would previously have tweeted as interesting links, others are here because if like come back them some point.
This post also (naturally) includes links to things I've written since the last one these:
Some general reads
- Smart guy trap
- How to think
- A (long) but eloquent rant on Hacker Ethics (summary: patch or GTFO)
- Cunningham's Law
- More problems with Google's names policy
- Secrets of Branson's Success
- Talent Buddy - a sure for practicing your coding skills in a variety of languages
- Julia programming language
- Mozilla's Rust project
- The Wikipedia page onRust
- Rust book targeted at Ruby developers
- Rust main web site
- An attempt at building a simple Operating System using Rust
- Resources for building games with Rust
- Rust game wiki
- There's a fairly useful Rust sub reddit
- Rust tutorial
- Nimrod is another new language
- Hack is Facebook's new language which adds gradual static typing to PHP. Reminds me of Cython which does something similar for python. (which I've used off and inn for a few years now) Hack is significant I think because Facebook (who hardly have a small infrastructure) have ported most their previously PHP codebase to Hack - for performance and reliability reasons.
Some really interesting code resources for kids and those who teach them popped up...
- There's now a large selection of Code Club resources on github
- Programming minecraft on the Raspberry Pi (pdf)
- ... blog of the minecraft coding book
- Web Flow - Web systems without coding
Some generally interesting technical posts
- Node habits for happiness
- Stack overflow thread on how to test flask
- Promising library for testing flask based apps
- Simple computer vision
- Understanding Quarternions
- Fundamentals of programming languages (pdf)
- W3C work on device discovery
- A thread on these W3C efforts
- An implementation of the Hindley Milner type inference system in python
Some interesting issues relating to the brains of programmers, from which parts the brain they use when coding (not where some people might expect), how pressures from coding drive people CRAZY - due things like unrealistic expectations, and overwork, along with debunking the whole left brain/right brain nonsense:
- Programmer's are being driven crazy by their work, claims Business Insider
- An account of one programmer who was burnt out/driven crazy
- Many developers tend to under rate the utility of non technical workers in start-ups
- Scanning programmer's brains
- The Guardian had an interesting article on the left and right brain myth
Finally a neat site with a large collection of free (as in libre and gratis) fonts, searchable usage type:
- Font squirrel is a source of free fonts
Is there anything that's caught your eyes in the past two weeks that I've not mentioned here? If so I'd be really interested to hear about it!
In no particular order, some things I read and thought worth blogging about for some reason. I may start doing this as a regular thing - as opposed to twittering everything. Sometimes these will be links put here as aide memoire to come back to rather than as bookmarks.
Fun little easter egg from google. Don't Blink!
Modern Open GL
Many moons ago I wrote (in SML) a tree growth simulator that allowed you to define an L-System in a custom DSL. which then modelled a tree's growth in a voxel space, based on contents of the voxels. Finally itspat out drawing instructions as another custom DSL to drive a renderer. The renderer used Open GL (written in C), and was my first real usage of Open GL. Fun it was too. Since then Open GL has changed somewhat, and I've heard good recommendations for these next two links.
First of all a set of tutorials:
Slides from University of Texas - interesting in that it also covers the evolution of OpenGL rapidly:
Kids' coding challenges
Launched by Young Rewired State - this is a collection of coding challenges for kids. Essentially a collection of projects which can give some direction to learning coding. After all, coding is a means to an end, so this provides a collection of "ends" to head towards.
It's worth noting that this is actually a competition and everything and that there will be awards and everything at Buckingham Palace.
The actual challenges though look suitable for everyone from 8-80 who likes having a bit of fun.
Take a look have a go. Help a kid you know have a go.
What would Travolta Call you?
Not everyone watches the Oscars ceremony these days, especially given the timezone difference and the fact its a PITA to find. However, when people goof up, it goes round the internet at lightspeed, and this happened this week with John Travolta calling Idina Menzel by the name Adele Dazeem. Very silly goof. Anway, Slate were quick off the mark with this silly little web page that simply asks you to enter your name and tells you what John Travolta (or Jan Thozomas as we like to call him) would call you.
Me ? I'm Marcel Speerce.
If you missed the sillyness, the above also has a link to the video
8 Reasons why Programmeers make the best ...
Fun little observations from Emma Mulqueeny - best known for founding and running Young Rewired State.
TED Playlist on Creativity
I've included this because it looks interesting, but I've not watched the videos yet. As I say, a playlist on creativity.
http://time.com/12786/the-new-barbie-meet-the-doll-with-an-average-womans-proportions/ - Someone decided to find out average women's proportions, and make a model based on it. (This was after making a 3D model online which was well recieved) It's an interesting thing.
http://timkastelle.org/blog/2014/03/you-should-start-a-blog-right-now/ - Bunch of reasons as to why you should blog and what you should blog about.
The BBC News website soft launched the responsive design version of their website, and there was a discussion on hackernews regarding it. Quite an interesting discussion. -- https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7346176
The following 3 links looked interesting this week for various reasons as they popped past the websites I poll periodically.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactive_programming - This is a general term for system that perform computation when things happen. The simplest type that many people are familiar with is spreadsheets - change numbers formulas update, the numbers change. However it also applies to lots of other domains.
http://cppquiz.org/ - I use C++ an awful lot at work at the moment, and it's one of those languages that gets more and more complex every year, and lots of edge cases making developer lives harder. For me to only sane way to use it is to define a subset you're going to use and still with that. In order to understand why someone would reach that conclusion, take a look at this quiz. This probably also explains why python remains my favourite language!
https://gist.github.com/hrldcpr/2012250 - Clever trick in python using defaultdicts.
Recent Blog Posts
A little known fact about the BBC News website is that the first 4 paragraphs and title of the news story used to be used in the creation of CEEFAX pages. In that spirit, I've started making my (except this sort) posts such that you can get the gist of them from the introduction - which may be up to 4 paragraphs long. (My paragraphs are longer than BBC News's though and I don't have an editor :-)
Changing Communications - http://www.sparkslabs.com/michael/blog/2014/02/26/changing-communications Short version - switched away from twitter back to blogging when using my real name, with good reasons.
Guild - Pipelinable Actors - http://www.sparkslabs.com/michael/blog/2014/03/07/guild---pipelinable-actors-with-late-binding Guild is a python library for creating thread based applications. Guild actors have late bindable methods to allow pipelining and lots of the fun stuff that Kamaelia used to have, but with the pleasantness of Actor style syntactic sugar.