Four short links: 27 December 2010

Compiling to Javascript, Lessons Learned, Idle Insights, and Visualizing Competition

  1. emscripten — LLVM to Javascript compiler. Any code that compiles to LLVM can run in the browser (Python, Lua, C++). LLVM is open source virtual machine that Apple bought into (literally, they hired the developer).
  2. 30 Lessons Learned in Computing Over The Last 10 YearsBackup every day at the minimum, and test restores every week. I don’t think I’ve worked at an organisation that didn’t discover at one point that they couldn’t restore from their backups. Many other words of wisdom, and this one rang particularly true: all code turns into shit given enough time and hands. (via Hacker News)
  3. What Your Computer Does While You Wait — top-to-bottom understanding of your system makes you a better programmer.
  4. How to Visualize the Competition — elegant graphing of strategy. (via Dave Moskovitz on Twitter)
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  • emscripten is a nice hack, but I worry about debugging: if I write Python, it’s compiled to JS, that JS runs in the browser, and something goes wrong, do I have a source-level debugger in Python that I can use to diagnose the problem? Or do I have to guess what might be wrong, tweak my Python (probably adding ‘print’ statements, just like 1975), regenerate my code, re-run it, etc.?