Meditations on programming, startups, and technology
Currently Browsing: Programming

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...

Ten recent programming books that will make you a better developer

Programming is the type of discipline that requires countless hours of dedication to reading and writing code, rather than purely theoretical learning from books. Yet programming books can be enlightening and provide guidance while one attempts to hone their craft in the pursuit of mastery. In this post I’ll share a (necessarily incomplete) list of relatively new books that I believe will make most developers...

Would you use a Mac mini as your development machine?

Apple just released a brand new, gorgeous looking Mac mini. This major upgrade brings us two different models: a desktop one and a server version (priced at $699 and $999, respectively). Equipped with a HDMI port, the desktop edition of the Mac mini makes for a perfect Home Theater PC. It’s small and stylish, and as such is a great fit in your living room. Most of the reviews I’ve read focus on its use...

Padrino: a Ruby framework built upon Sinatra

From the Padrino’s site: Padrino is a ruby framework built upon the excellent Sinatra Microframework. Sinatra is a DSL for creating simple web applications in Ruby with speed and minimal effort. This framework makes it as fun and easy as possible to code increasingly advanced web applications by expanding upon Sinatra while maintaining the spirit that made it great. The Ruby community has plenty of web...

Adobe AIR as the cross-platform solution of choice

Adobe has just made an important announcement: We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of the Adobe AIR 2 runtime. Starting today, you can download and install the new version at get.adobe.com/air/. Adobe AIR is rapidly becoming a very viable solution to the desktop cross-platform conundrum. MicroISVs pay attention, this new release includes a native processes API, WebKit, multi-touch and gesture...

Upgrading to Rails 3

Rails 3 is a major upgrade; using it almost feels like working with an entirely new framework. Porting existing applications and acquiring the skills required to build new ones entails a significant amount of effort. You could scout the net for bits and pieces of information, but that would be time consuming and possibly frustrating. Thankfully there are resources available that have done the work for you, so you...

Benchmarking MacRuby 0.6

Recently MacRuby 0.6 was released. The development team put a lot of emphasis on improving compatibility with Ruby 1.9, and the viability of MacRuby as a tool for developing Mac OS X applications. Focus on these aspects took precedence over performance, but I was still curious to see how well it performed when compared to Ruby 1.8.7 and Ruby 1.9, respectively. This article showcases the results of a small Ruby...

The most important programming language today

“What programming language should I study next? What framework?” I occasionally receive emails from younger — and not so young — readers alike asking me for guidance about such matters. “Use the right tool for the job” is the correct answer, but it’s cheap advice when there are a plethora of tools seemingly right for the job. For most people these days the job at hand is of course...

IBM_DB 2.5.0 with support for Rails 3 is out

This is a tiny post to let you know that IBM just released version 2.5.0 of the IBM_DB gem with support for the upcoming Rails 3. That’s what I call both proactive and a true testament of IBM’s commitment towards DB2 on Rails. Aside from providing a working adapter and driver before the new framework release is even out, this release has a few improvements and fixes, such as getting rid of a minor...

« Previous Entries Next Entries »

Copyright © 2005-2014 Antonio Cangiano. All rights reserved.