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Showing posts from September, 2013

Some Random Thoughts on Haskell

It seems like all my Python friends are playing around with Haskell lately, so it's been on my mind a lot lately. Since I'm a language guy, Haskell has always fascinated me. I wrote my first article on Haskell in 2006 (Everything Your Professor Failed to Tell You About Functional Programming), and I think it's a beautiful, interesting, awe-inspiring language. However, I've never really achieved full mastery of it. Since I've been thinking about it a lot lately, I thought I'd share some of my thoughts:Haskell is well known for being very concise. The functionality / lines of code ratio is very good. However, if I compare Haskell code to Python code, one thing is clear to me. Haskell squeezes in a lot more function calls per line of code than Python does. We have this idea in programming that the number of lines of code that a programmer can write in a given time period is relatively constant regardless of language. However, in my experience, I can write lines of…

Books: Two Scoops of Django

I just finished reading the book Two Scoops of Django. It was highly recommended to me by members of the Bay Area Python Interest Group. It covers Django best practices. In short, I loved it!It's not an introduction, tutorial, or a reference for Django. In fact, it assumes you've already gone through the Django tutorial, and it occasionally refers you to the Django documentation. Rather, it tells you what you should and shouldn't do to use Django effectively. It's very prescriptive, and it has strong opinions. I've always enjoyed books like that. Best of all, it's only about 300 pages long, so it didn't take me that long to read.Having read the book cover-to-cover, even though I'm fairly new to Django, I kind of feel like I know what I'm doing at this point--at least a little ;) I was afraid when I started using Django that I wouldn't have that feeling until I had used it for a couple years.So, if you're using Django, I highly recommend it!

Books: American Gods

I just finished reading American Gods. It won the Hugo, the Nebula, and the Bram Stoker award, but I read it because it was number 10 on NPR's Top 100 Science-Fiction & Fantasy Books and because my buddy Sam Rushing recommended it.In short, I really, really liked it! I didn't think I would like it at all until about chapter 3, but after that, I couldn't put it down. It's like a mix of "O Brother Where art Thou", "The Guardians", Edgar Allan Poe, John Steinbeck, and "Pulp Fiction". My only complaint was that it was a bit too violent and sexually explicit for my tastes. Aside from that, it's a very enjoyable read.