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Running Radiant CMS on DB2 in the Cloud

In this article I will show you how to set up and run Radiant CMS on DB2 Express-C in the Cloud. Before getting started, let’s define each of these components: Radiant CMS is a popular, easy to use open source Content Management System (CMS) that’s written in Ruby on Rails. DB2 Express-C is a fully functional, free edition of DB2 which can be used in production for commercial purposes. Cloud, in this particular...

FAQ: What programming language should I learn first?

There are hundreds of different programming languages out there. As a newcomer you can ignore the fact that most of them exist. However, even if we narrow the list to just a dozen mainstream languages, deciding on what programming language to learn first can be a daunting task. You might find yourself asking, should I learn C, C++, Java, C#, or PHP first? If you ask ten programmers this question, you’ll...

Programming is a Super Power

In a society where technology and the Internet have become incredibly prominent elements of our daily lives, being able to program is akin to having a super power. In fact, a programmer is able to not only easily interact with cutting edge technology, but also to take advantage of said technology to transform pure thoughts into something as tangible and useful as software. I would argue that there has never been a...

Interview with Michael Hartl, author of the Rails 3 Tutorial

The following is an interview with Michael Hartl, author of the popular Rails 3 Tutorial. I want to thank Michael for his time and answers. Be sure to read until the end; as per Monday’s post, I’m doing a Twitter giveaway for this interview, too. 1. How did you go from Theoretical Physics to Ruby Programming? I have a background in computational physics, and I learned Perl and then Python to avoid the...

Eloquent Ruby Review

In 2007 Russ Olsen published Design Patterns in Ruby (US | UK | CA). Right around that time there were several other Ruby books hitting the shelves (as Rails was really reaching the peak of its popularity), however Olsen’s book managed to distinguish itself as a highly valuable resource for readers who wanted to better understand how to apply design patterns to Ruby programming (in an organic rather than dogmatic...

Jenga Driven Development

Over the years I’ve coined a few new programming related terms that are meaningless to other people, but which make sense to me (as they concisely describe certain programming concepts). Sometimes these homemade words have taken off among my colleagues as well, however others remain for the most part just tokens of my own nomenclature. One of my personal favorites is the term Jenga Driven Development (JDD). I...

The Art of Computer Programming, Volumes 1-4A Boxed Set

There’s exciting news in Computer Science-land this week, as the 4A volume (on Combinatorial algorithms) of The Art of Computer Programming by Donald Knuth is now complete and is available for preorder on Amazon. To make things even more intriguing, and to really get all of us CS/programming/math enthusiasts salivating, the boxed set is also made available for preorder (it’s slated to ship out next...

DB2 University goes live

DB2 University is a website that’s aimed at providing (mostly free) database courses. Its public beta went live today. While the focus is clearly on the free DB2 Express-C — as the name implies — the initial lineup of free courses already includes “SQL Fundamentals I”, which is a course that’s worth following regardless of your database of choice. Feel free to watch the intro...

Give your programmers professional tools

Professionals tend to have expensive tools that enable them to do their job as efficiently as possible. Even when cheaper, more commonly used tools exist, professionals often opt for higher-end ones that are faster, stronger, more durable, or more advanced. This is why the Canon Rebel — which is a great camera — isn’t the model in the hands of most professional photographers, who are more apt to go with a...

The recommended Ruby and Rails book pages have been updated

During the holiday lull I managed to finally update the Ruby and Rails book pages. The Ruby page includes a few new titles and sees a few existing ones get the axe, as I took the major emphasis on Ruby 1.9 into consideration when updating this list of books. The Rails page is a complete rewrite as I’ve removed any trace of Rails 2 books. I outlined a useful path of Rails books to follow based on the few...

Why would you use a commercial database anyway?

Yesterday was the 25th birthday of the Free Software Foundation (FSF). Over the past 25 years they’ve managed to deeply influence the world of computing and technology. The ideas promoted by the FSF’s foundation and leader, Richard Stallman, have certainly veered on the radical side. However, even if you don’t agree with this group’s ideology, I’d argue that we are afforded a lot more...

StreamSend is looking for a senior (Rails) web developer

This is just a quick heads up for my US readers. Given the tough economy we’re all battling, I thought you might be interested in learning about a great employment opportunity. My friends at StreamSend are looking for a senior web developer (preferably one with Rails experience, however they don’t discriminate as long as you can learn quickly and have enough web development expertise to satisfy their...

Get weekly emails about new Programming books

Today I’m announcing a pet project of mine that I think may interest some of my readers. Any new books? is a free notification service which enables you to subscribe to a series of subjects that interest you and receive weekly emails about new book releases in those categories. These books are hand-selected, to filter out obvious duds, and include only books that appear to be promising/interesting. Naturally I...

The Great Ruby Shootout (July 2010)

The Great Ruby Shootout measures the performance of several Ruby implementations by testing them against a series of synthetic benchmarks. Recently I ran Mac and Windows shootouts as well, which tested a handful of implementations. However this article reports on the results of extensive benchmark testing of eight different Ruby implementations on Linux. The setup For this shootout I included a subset of the Ruby...

In-Depth Book Review: Practical Clojure

Title: Practical ClojureAuthors: Luke VanderHart and Stuart SierraTrue pp.: 198Publisher: ApressPublished on: June 2010ISBN-13: 978-1430272311Rating: 6.5/10 Published in June 2010, Practical Clojure by Luke VanderHart and Stuart Sierra is the latest Clojure book to hit stores. Despite the Clojure 1.0 jar shown at the beginning of the book, this title tries to cover the current version of the language, including...

How to setup Clojure from scratch

My previous post about Clojure generated quite a bit of interest, so I thought I’d follow it up with something a bit more concrete. I primarily wrote this article for a friend who asked me for guidance on how to set it all up; and while this isn’t he only way to setup Clojure, I hope it will help other people who are also getting started with this great language. As some people pointed out, setting up...

Thoughts on Clojure

Lisp has had a tremendous impact on the world of programming. Even though Common Lisp and Scheme — the two main Lisp dialects — may not be considered mainstream today, several popular languages have been influenced by one or both of them. It isn’t stretching things too much to say that both Ruby and Python can be seen as slower, easier (for beginners), object-oriented, infix Lisp dialects. Some may...

The pursuit of excellence in programming

As I write a series of thoughts on the pursuit of excellence in programming, I must preface my essay by asking you to ignore that I wrote these words. I invite you to evaluate the opinions and ideas presented here not ad hominem, but rather on the basis of their own merits. It would be easy to otherwise mistakenly dismiss them with the infamous question posed by Steve Jobs to a blogger: “What have you done...

The Great Ruby Shootout (Windows Edition)

This post contains the results of a Ruby shootout on Windows that I recently conducted. You can find the Mac edition, published last month, here. I was planning to have this one ready much sooner, but a couple of serious events in personal life prevented that from happening. Be sure to grab my feed or join the newsletter to avoid missing the upcoming Linux shootout. The setup For this shootout I included a subset of...

How Microsoft is changing the programming world

Several years ago I knew a programmer, we’ll call him Joe, who fancied himself to be a great developer. He was a senior developer at “Big Co.”, who received a large enough pay check to just as easily compensate a few junior developers. The guy had Microsoft certifications, as expected of one in his position, and he appeared to know Visual Studio inside and out, just as you’d imagine. What...

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