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.
Boy I know some people that will go nuts over these two libraries.1 First up is the MusicBrainz Python library. Fuzzy disc look up from a python script! Very cool. Did you Marvel Comics has an API? Yeah, that’s awesome. Here’s a nice demo of using it to generate VM’s with random Marvel character names. I could see this being a lot of fun for random string generation. The API has some interesting calls:
My favorite part of this tutorial from PyPix is the context map. That’s how I plan code projects too. I’ve always wondered how competent Python developers planned a complex library. This example walks through creating an FTP library and I found it very useful.
Thanks to iThoughts for sponsoring Macdrifter this week. iThoughts is my go-to context mapping software because it works and does so much more than make a pretty map. Sponsored This article is about a sponsor's product. All of the ideas and words in this article are mine. I use iThoughts every day. I use more than almost any other app on my iPad. I also use it on my iPhone and Mac and sync everything through Dropbox.
I’m a proponent of services like FastMail. They charge a modest price for a service I use a hundred times a day.1 Because FastMail does one thing, it’s far superior to using the generic email services provided by most hosting companies.2 FastMail web access is better than any other web client I have used and the little options like file upload and mail alias' are terrific. But maybe you’re held back by the effort required to move your email to a new host.
Many Tricks is Sponsoring Macdrifter this week and their Name Mangler application is the best way to give meaning to file names again. SponsoredThis tutorial is about a sponsor's product. The concepts, words and opinions are mine. I like Many Tricks. I use Name Mangler and I feel good about recommending it. Now, I know a lot of us have scripts we’ve made to rename files and those certainly do a great job, for some very specific cases.
A nice walkthrough by Jordan Merrick to create a diagnostic utility disk. I’m definitely dedicating one of my old disks for this purpose.
I’ve been forcing myself to get better around the edges. I’m forcing myself to pay more attention to the little things that I use, but use very inefficiently. One of those things is Git. Here are a couple tutorials that are really helpfull. Learn Git Branching is a highly visual introduction to Git. The visual nature of the tutorial is unique. A nice balance of words and cartoons.1 Ryan Irelan’s Git Tutorial is a basic introduction to Git.
Pythonmonk is a beautiful and interactive training site for Python. It’s fully interactive and forces the user to solve real code problems. You type right into the code samples and run them in the browser. Right now there is only a primer so it’s not too useful for me, but I think this is a great start.
This sale at Tuts+ is very tempting. They have a huge variety of premium tutorials that look very good. Sale ends at the end of January.