Four short links: 26 October 2009

Data Exploration, Evidence-Based Coding, API to the English Language, Dual Licensing

  1. Toiling in the Data Mines — Tom Armitage describes the process that Berg calls “material exploration”. Programmers very rarely talk about what their work feels like to do, and that’s a shame. Material explorations are something I’ve really only done since I’ve joined BERG, and both times have felt very similar – in that they were very, very different to writing production code for an understood product. They demand code to be used as a sculpting tool, rather than as an engineering material, and I wanted to explain the knock-on effects of that: not just in terms of what I do, and the kind of code that’s appropriate for that, but also in terms of how I feel as I work on these explorations. Even if the section on the code itself feels foreign, I hope that the explanation of what it feels like is understandable.
  2. Bits of Evidence — Slides for a talk, “What we actually know about software development and why we believe it is true”. (via Simon Willison)
  3. Wordnik API — definitions, frequencies, examples APIs. See the announcement from the Web 2.0 Summit.
  4. The Peculiar Institution of Dual Licensing — Brian Aker eloquently describes why he feels that dual licensing is anti-open source. Brian obviously has considerable experience informing this opinion–his years as Director of Technology for MySQL.
tags: , , , , , , ,