Links for the Working Programmer
Is linking your new link list in your new link list gauche? I’ve been working on this in my spare time for the past few months, slowly populating content and tweaking the backend scripts I’m using to publish things. My goals here are
Creating a place where I can talk about topics not related to programming. This link list is more my idle thoughts on a topic, whereas the main alanstorm.com articles will continue to be programming tutorials
Create a place where I can, and will, write everyday
Create a space where I can, and will, play around with the design on a regular, possibly daily basis. I’ve been out of the frontend game for a few years and need to see what’s changed. I’ll also be abandoning my general practice of keeping old site designs active after a redesign
Write some backend publishing software to figure out what’s really needed for small publishers in 2012 vs. what’s in most modern CMS publishing systems
For now I’m going to keep this link list separate from my main site until the kinks are worked out. Contents will shift during flight, don’t get too attached.Originally linked on July 6th, 2012
If you’re creating an iPhone, iPad, or even Mac OS application not updating for the retina display seems like a foolish, short sighted move. The rest of the web is left with a tricky choice.
Most day to web production centers around coding up a version of your site that works in a leading edge browser, and then making choices when it comes to browsers that aren’t that leading edge browser. Sometimes the choice is leaving a visual flourish on the table, other times it’s rewriting your solution to better accommodate the older browser, sometimes it’s patching things up with an IE specific style sheet. Those choices depends on a lot of the business, project, and individuals involved in the project.
The past five years, (marked by the introduction of the iphone), have seen that model turned upside down. The proliferation of devices, screen sizes, and resolutions has left day to day web producers with an uncomfortable choice — abandon the above model and take on insane production burdens, or leave some devices on the table. This increased balkanization has given “The Web” a less coherent sense of place, which (personally) makes it a much less interesting medium.
Regardless of whether you adopt a retina display, there’s going to be a lot of websites and companies that choose to skip it, and that’s going to lead to an ugly web experience for people using these retina devices. I find this depressing, especially when I imagine a meeting that had to happen at some point inside Apple Inc.
Engineer: OK, what can we do with safari and webkit to ensure our users have the best experience possible when viewing websites on a retina display
Decision Maker: …
It’s not so much that there’s a secret cabal of executive deep inside Apple who are plotting the demise of The Web — more that The Web itself no longer has a strong advocate, and it slowly atrophying into something unrecognizable and arguably inferior to what came before.Originally linked on July 6th, 2012
Some people are obsessed with peak oil, I’m obsessed with peak IPv4.
Large organizations hate infrastructure projects like IPv6
Meaning blocks of IPv4 addresses will continue to grow in value
At some point all that “easy” money will become too tempting for the large shared hosts, and they’ll sell their IP blocks and close up shop
I know shared hosting isn’t cutting edge stuff, but the business and cultural echos of losing shared hosting are sure to felt far and wide.Originally linked on May 24th, 2012
Guy English writes
I believe that many Apple observers have been too invested in picking off the low hanging fruit of obviously out-of-touch commentators, columnists, and analysts. Apple is winning. It’s fun to pick on the idiots, and we do tune in for the affirmation that engenders, but that’s not insight. It’s a tag team wedgie patrol
Yup.Originally linked on May 24th, 2012
First trade press blog in a long time that didn’t leave me wanting to punch somebody.Originally linked on May 17th, 2012
A quick shell tip for logging your terminal session to a file. It’s on the OS X tips site but
script is a generic UNIX command. Seems like a nice crutch for those of us who still have troubling greping live text streams.
Back when I was in college someone had left a xerox with a the title How to use VI behind in the libraries “VAX” area. It warms the remaining cockles of my heart to see VI/VIM still in active use today.Originally linked on May 13th, 2012
I used to be amazed when a company, especially a company that used contract developers, didn’t have strict procedures on how to run tests and how source code should and shouldn’t be submitted/merged/etc. Not because there’s a global, I.B.M. style, right or wrong way to do things, but because a team needs a consistent set of expectations for how to do and submit their work, otherwise days will be lost during deployments, on-boarding, and the like.
If you’re a team leader and don’t have a document like ThinkUp’s, make one now. If you’re considering a job ask development team members what their procedure is. If you get that blank “brogrammer stare” back, procede with caution.Originally linked on May 13th, 2012
Back when the git crowd was trying to displace subversion as every developer’s favorite version control system, it always rankled when claims were made about how much easier branching/merging/etc were. These actions, and the git model, were no easier than subversion’s. The problem with branching and merging has always been one of expectation: Reasonable people disagree on how a certain situation should be handled, and when their software acts differently they get frustrated until they learn the new model.
Think Like (a) Git looks like it’s one of the few git tutorials out there that
Acknowledges git is hard
Attempts to explain it’s model to smart people who know nothing about git
A commercial ruby development environment for iOS applications. This is the sort of thing the old anti-flash section 3.3.1 nonsense might have banned.
This is also an interesting development in the world of software tools/IDEs. The pendulum is swinging away from strictly open-source tools and more towards commercial/open-source hybrids.Originally linked on May 3rd, 2012
This video mock-up of an improved iOS keyboard is what bums me out most about Apple’s desire/need to lock down their OS. Fifteen years ago the development community would have mocked up a prototype and/or product to actually give you this functionality, in the future we get a mock-up and empty-hopes that Apple will build something like this.Originally linked on May 3rd, 2012
Solid analysis of Amanda Palmer’s success via Kickstarter. TL;DR; It’s not a magic money machine, it’s one part of of running a small business.
I know disintermediation is the buzzword, but we’re not eliminating middle men, we’re just setting up a new generation of middle men with different agreements.Originally linked on May 3rd, 2012
A bit of WTF style fun in a hacker news thread.Originally linked on April 27th, 2012
There were two recent episode’s of Jen Simmons’s The Web Ahead podcast where you can start to see the cracks showing in how design/interactive/advertising agencies handle their technology and software design needs, and how that’s trickling down into stressful/futile production situations.Originally linked on April 26th, 2012
That said, the only distribution (outside of a contextless github account) is one of those weird “download and immediately execute this shell script” things, which is sort of squiky.Originally linked on April 26th, 2012