Noel Rappin Writes Here

May 5, 2010: Aaiieeee

Craftsmanship, Languages, Neil deGrasse Tyson, REST, RailsRx, Teaching, This American Life, UsersNoel RappinComment

Book Status



Working toward beta 2, which will probably come out early next week. It'll include chapters on integration testing, and webrat/capybara, and maybe the Cucumber chapter, depending on if I finish the redo. Also, the setup appendix with at least partial Rails 3 info -- still sticking on how best to integrate the user plugin.

Thanks to Dan Benjamin and Jason Seifer for mentioning Rails Test Prescriptions (still on sale) on The Ruby Show episode 115.

Lulu raffle will be tonight.

And then...



Interesting article by Michael Bleigh on the divergence between the popular definition of REST with the technical definition. Bleigh argues that the popular definition is popular for good reason, but that the technical definition can still be useful.

If you are a web developer, then you probably hate Internet Explorer, or as I always pronounce it, "Aaiieeee". (Drives the people I pair with crazy, I think.) So it's kind of nice to see that IE's market share continues to drop. Though, of course, your milage probably varies -- the site I work on these days is still about 75-80% IE.

The first story in episode 406 of This American Life is interesting for it's discussion of Steve Poizner's experience teaching in a public high school. Leaving aside the details of Poizner's claims, which I'm not really competent to discuss, what came across to me was the common misconception about what teachers do. Thinking "I know stuff and I'm just going to to go into a classroom and be all knowledgeable and the students will learn" followed by "it's the student's fault if they aren't engaged" is such a sad and depressing view of what teachers do and what it means to teach. For a more contrasting, inspiring view, here's Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Two posts inspired by presentations at this year's Chicago Code Camp:

The similarity and difference between programming languages and human language fascinates me. This blog post talks about how programming might change if Chinese language grammar components were used to build the programming language constructs. Reminds me of Damian Conway's old Perl Latin paper.

Michael Norton has posted his slides from a talk on technical debt from the idea that most of the time when we say "I'm building technical debt" we really mean "I'm writing bad code". Love the slides, wish I had seen the talk.

Finally



So, in the past, I asked the Kathy Sierra question, "How can we help our users Kick Ass" so often that people began to think we were a martial arts studio. Here's Kathy Sierra from Business of Software '09, expanding on the point -- I've only watched some of this so far, but she's one of the best on building a passionate and awesome user base.