Great programming cartoons

3 06 2009

Ah! Humor! Gotta have it!

Corporate trolls have Dilbert. He tells tales of corporate life.

Army guys had Beetle Bailey (is he still around anymore?). He tells tales of military life.

The little kid in us has Charley Brown. He tells tales of our childhood.

Childish adults had Calvin and Hobbes. They told tales of what we would have liked to do when we were children.

Programmers have — lots, including Dilbert, who is, after all, an engineer. And this helpful article collected some of the best programming/programmer humor for us.

Drop down menu

3 06 2009

Here is an article that help us with our drop down menus.

Speed, size and dependability of programming languages

3 06 2009

Ah! A really useful bit of research that can pay off huge dividends!

While it has been true for some time that the most expensive part of application development is the human involvement, I think we have used that as an excuse to not prune our code, use the most efficient language for the circumstances, or otherwise seek to optimize the code aspect of the application. Which is really strange, because we’ll pay big bucks for a faster CPU or a faster buss, and we look to see the RPM on our hard drives in order to eke a bit faster response from our machines, and then we’ll smother that architecture with bloatware.

In a previous life I worked for a company that had a couple Assembler programmers who wrote and maintained the read and write routines for certain high-traffic databases. As a rookie I used the typical IO routines that I was familiar with, the ones that came with the language package. When we ran our stress test on the code changes for the month’s implementation package, my code was the bottle neck, specifically my IO. When we changed the IO calls from the generic IO routines to the company’s custom Assembler routines our thru-put returned to normal, and I became a believer in efficient code, especially in critical high-volume areas such as key data calls. And those Assembler guys weren’t some anachronistic dinosaurs but key components of the Systems group.

With all the hype the latest cool language gets, whether it is Java or Ruby on Rails, HTML or CSS, it can be easy to loose sight of the fact that these are meta-languages, using high-level language concepts to implement in one statement the things the old timers might need 100 or 1000 lines of COBOL or Fortran to implement. A benefit of working in nGL languages is that it is easier to put together an application from a concept; a potential cost is that the implemented code is, as I discovered with my IO routines, bloated and less efficient.

But how do we know of our code is bloated? It isn’t necessarily the disk space it keeps, it is also the programming efficiency, whether a routine is smothered under 15 loops, or only 2 loops, even if the 2-loop option has an extra statement or two.

Fortunately, the guy who wrote this article, or at least the guys about whom this article was written, took the time and energy to delve into this very question. They pulled together a bunch of languages and wrote identical applications so we could have a definitive answer. And the article that was written by/about them is appropriately called, “Speed, size and dependability of programming languages“.


3 06 2009

A page overflowing with tutorials and other info in a variety of web design, coding, and Photoshop.

Windows 7 vs. Linux

1 06 2009

Both have been making tremendous strides, trying to position themselves to gain serious market share. How are they fairing? What are their features? What advances are they making? And how do they compare to each other?

InfoWorld has taken the time to lab test both sets of products, and have delivered their opinion in this article on Windows 7 vs. Linux.

MP3 Tagging Tool

27 05 2009

I love iTunes(R), though it has not been completely problem free for me. I have a large collection of music – like 8 days without including podcast subscriptions and the like – so being able to tag music with different genres and ratings is useful. I use smart playlists to automatically include the appropriate set of music, which means that new music is included just as soon as I tag it.

But, iTunes(R) is not the only application in the MP3 library niche, and Lifehacker has collected the top favorites of their readers. Instead of the usual “Top 5”, they gave us a “Top 6 MP3 Tagging Tool” collection because of a near tie between two of the favorites. Five of the applications are free, the other has a relatively small cost – certainly well within the affordability range.

Top 30+ CSS3 Tutorials

23 05 2009

CSS3 is on the books, and there are a lot of new features coming out. Not that CSS3 is ready for prime time since many current browsers cannot support it, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t dream. And start playing!

What do you need to know about CSS3 and the changes over prior versions of CSS? Look at these 30+ tutorials and find out what CSS3 can do for you!