Tough Times on the Road to StarCraft Link

I played the heck out of StarCraft. I’m not sure this essay by Patrick Wyatt makes me feel better about all the crashes, but it does make me feel empathetic toward the developers. Working these long hours made people groggy, and that’s bad when trying to accomplish knowledge-based tasks requiring an excess of creativity, so there should have been no surprises about the number of mistakes, misfeatures and outright bugs.

Beer and Soup

This is what it’s like to be a nerd. As a computer-geek, my friends tend to think I have a lot of “answers” about computers. In reality, I spend more time making up problems than I do solving them. For some unknown reason I decided I wanted to extract all of the beer style data from BreweryDB and create a nice portable concept map I could use in iThoughts. As this pointless project unfolded, so did the scope.

CodeRunner 2 for Mac Available

CodeRunner 2 is a new non-AppStore version and it’s a complete rewrite of one of my favorite Mac utilities. In just a brief test, it feels much faster and I like the new support for TextMate themes. From what I can tell, the language support has been boosted and a new HTML/JavaScript mode has been added. You can get version 2 for free if you have the Mac AppStore version already.

Swift REPL Link

Swift has a REPL. If feels pretty slow but it does work.

Scripting with Swift Link

Look at that. The -i flag combined with a file path, is a way to immediately compile and execute a Swift file. It makes Swift look a bit more like shell scripting. By way of Clark. Love his site redesign and he’s pretty simpatico with my tastes. Good stuff.

Data Structures with Python Link

I put Data Structures and Quantum Mechanics in the same bucket. They are both the absolutely most interesting details of their respective fields but I hated learning about them. Here’s a reasonably nice introduction to data structures through Python. Maybe if my three different Quantum Mechanics courses had an interactive shell with detailed error explanations I would have enjoyed the subject more.1 No chance. ↩︎

Writing Sublime Text Plugins Link

Writing Sublime Text Plugins is a new book by Josh Earl. I bought it and think it’s a great place to start if you want to learn how to make Sublime Text do more. I’d recommend it even if you don’t want to make your own plugin to distribute. If you’re like me, you might just want your own function that does something special to you but useless to almost everyone else.

A Beginner's Guide to Design Patterns Link

Design patterns are easily the most important part of learning how to program well. I’ve always found it difficult to teach myself design patterns since practice may require writing a lot of code. This tutorial from Tutsplus is a pretty good starting point. I’d also recommend the Head First Design Patterns book if you’re a beginner.

List of Natural Language APIs Link

This is a nice rundown of some natural language APIs. The source is Mashape which looks like an API middleman. It’s an interesting idea and their index looks very good and it’s searchable. Don’t miss the link at the bottom for, which I’ve seen before but always forget about.