Links for 8/27

MySQL Cheat Sheet - Commonly used MySQL commands, all in one convenient HTML page.

Explaining TDD to a non-techie

  • Great way to explain Test Driven Development.

Programming Language Inventor or Serial Killer? - I’m really surprised (or perhaps frightened) at how wrong I was on this quiz.

Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby - Yeah, this is an oldie, but a goodie. This is chapter 3, the best (and funniest) introduction I’ve seen to the Ruby programming language yet.

Five things you didn’t know you could do with Ruby - Includes things like “Process Satellite Images and Meteorological Data”. Not a lot of practical information, but interesting to see what people are using Ruby for.

MS Security Response

I’m not a huge fan of MS, but there’s a fascinating article at eWeek on how Microsoft responds to threats (particularly this last worm).
It’s an interesting insight into how good MS has gotten at responding to this stuff.

Color for Coders

If you’re design challenged (like me), you need all the help you can get. I stumbled upon a good article that explains color theory, with links to sites that implement various kinds of color schemes (complementary, monochromatic, etc).


Python vs Ruby

Ian Bicking (a python developer I have a great deal of respect for) has a good comparison of Python and Ruby, focusing on the things that are unique to dynamic languages.


Django vs Rails

There’s a relatively in-depth comparison of the Django framework to Rails over at Sam Newman’s site. It appears to be a relatively fair comparison.

It’s interesting that both frameworks were extracted from large development projects in roughly the same time period, although Rails has been publicly available for longer, and has more mindshare at the moment.

I’m happy with Rails, but I wonder whether I would have bothered with it if Django had been available when I started looking at Rails. The thing that kept me away from Rails for a long time was that I didn’t know Ruby. I was (and still am) well-versed in Python. I still prefer the cleaner syntax of Python over Ruby, although the latter does have some features that I find compelling.

I wonder about the impact of one aspect of Django though: the fact that the model generates your databas schema, instead of the developer generating the model from the schema (which is the Rails model). I suspect most DBA’s would go into convulsions at the very thought of this. I can certainly see how it would ease moving from database to database.

Links for 8/10

  • Martin Fowler has a great introduction to Rake. If you’re not familiar, Rake is similar to Ant, but instead of build files written in XML, they’re written in Ruby. If you’ve ever written a complicated Ant script, you know how verbose and complicated they can be. Rake is the answer to your prayers.

  • Novell has put OpenSUSE 10 into beta.

  • Google Sightseeing is a cool collection of images from Google Maps. Check out the collection of shipwrecks and airplanes.

  • Adaptive Path has an interview with Flickr’s Eric Costello. Good read.

Seth Godin on Small Companies

Seth Godin has a brilliant piece on the advantages of small companies. It seems to me that the greatest innovation in technology (particularly software) is being done by micro-companies. These are companies like 37 Signals(5 people), Robot Co-Op(7 people), and Delicious Monster(7 people).

I think that larger companies tend to be very good at stifling creativity. There are notable exceptions (Google comes to mind), but by and large this rule seems to hold. Small companies are more able (and willing) to take risks, whereas risk-taking is seen as a bad thing in many companies.

Are there are any other examples of micro-companies anyone can think of?