Tell Me About Your Indispensable Programming Reference Books

At the suggestion of some colleagues that it’s a good instructional volume, and having heard that it was a fairly indispensable reference to have on hand, I purchased and am currently working my way through Mastering Regular Expressions.

(Let’s just say there was a moment this week where this stuff made sense, and I really want to hold on to that as much as I can.)

Is there a book or two that you use on a regular basis or that made something with which you had trouble suddenly make sense? Online resources are OK, too, but I’m looking for things that address stuff like programming concepts, tools, or languages. Tell me about those books or resources in the comments.

I Made Something Last Week

I guess it’s the small things, right? We were building something at our team meetup this last week in Key West (photos forthcoming), and I just decided to sit down and do what I could.

Before I knew it, I sat down and had opened a function.

It’s since been massively rewritten by my colleagues, but the point is that I wanted to get it to do something, and with some guidance here and there, I did. It’s polling an API and returning that data as needed into a page.

Infinite Complexity in 4096 Bytes

Creative Applications Network:

Worthy winner of the PC 4kB intro competition at Revision 2012 and latest example of the compact-coding tradition exercised within the demoscene, Hartverdrahtet by Akronyme Analogiker is a three minute long audio-visual trip into a procedural fractalverse, compressed into a minuscule piece of software. No bigger than 4096 bytes – less than an empty Word document, as demoscene activists like to point out – the executable file contains all the mathematics needed to generate the unfolding visual complexity and audible ambience upon a double-click. A solo effort by a talented coder who calls himself Demoscene Passivist, Hartverdrahtet reveals a mesmerizing cosmos observed through what could be an electron microscope – ethereal, greenish and a little eerie.

Truly astounding. 4096 bytes.

So If She Weighs as Much as a Duck…

I spent a good portion of today and this evening mulling over the methods for application deployment and trying to figure out a few things; I think it only relevant and interesting that I share whatever insights I have gleaned from very likely thinking too hard.

For some time, I have resisted the very in vogue notion that the future of computing is “in the cloud,” as it were, though no one is quite sure where the cloud is and I’m pretty certain that no one person owns that cloud. Listen to tech podcasts or read tech news for a short amount of time, and you’ll see that many in the technology punditry business are saying that before long, many computers will be nothing more than dummy terminals. You won’t have Microsoft Office, you won’t have complicated desktop applications, and you certainly won’t have the complex operating systems you have now or store your files locally – everything will be handled through Internet-based communication. Your documents and your files will be stored “in the cloud,” and my impression is that everyone wants a piece of this cloud before it floats away.

It wasn’t until today that I really understood the appeal of this methodology.

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