Handling Incoming Email With Your Web Application

This morning I was looking for a way to handle incoming email in a web application (similar to the way Highrise and Evernote let you email things to a special email address and have them put into their system). There are a number of ways to do this via procmail, or by using something to connect to your mail server using POP or IMAP and reading emails, but I was looking for a way to do this without having to host my own email infrastructure.

The Programmable Government

We are headed toward a time where the workings of government are much more visible to the American public. Through things like the Freedom of Information Act, this information has technically been available for some time - but not in a form that is easily consumed. This is starting to change. The emergence of open APIs that provide access to information about how the government is operating is a massive step in the right direction.

The Two Kinds of Programmers

In my time as a developer, and now managing a team of developers, I have come to realize that there are two kinds of programmers: the Journeyman and the Craftsman. These terms aren’t mine - I’ve seen them used other places - but they describe the developers I’ve worked with pretty well. The Journeyman …knows one programming language. …knows one operating system. …can’t be bothered to learn something on their own.

Wil Shipley on Unit Testing (and Why He's Wrong)

Wil Shipley is the author of several well known Mac applications, notably OmniGraffle and Delicious Library , and has a well-read blog. In a post here he asserts that “Unit testing is teh suck”. Although Wil is a bright guy and very likely a better programmer than I will ever be, this is completely out of touch with reality. I suspect anyone that has done TDD, or even used a unit testing tool would agree with me.

Exporting a Database Schema in MySQL

File this under “Useful things to remember”. The following bit of command line magic will export the schema of your database. mysqldump –no-data –tables -u YOUR_USER_NAME -p DATABASE_YOU_WANT_SCRIPTED >> FILENAME.sql An example looks like this: mysqldump –no-data –tables -u larry -p contacts >> contacts.sql If you want the data as well, omit the “–no-data” portion.

Backpack API

The Backpack web service has been available for a few short hours, and already O’Reilly has started using it on their Radar Blog. They’ve devised a nifty way of tying together content on their public backpack pages, with the Amazon API in order to produce their books page. This reminds me a lot of shell scripting on a *nix system, tying together applications to build something new. Very cool stuff.