Weekly Inspirational #1

Stay inspired during the boring working week is the best way to fight procrastination and stay on board of the “do-stuff”  train. There is nothing better than looking at a creative a work to say “Cool! I want to do something similar, too!” (or to lay down crying in depression, but this is another topic I suppose). For this reason I’d like to share with you 5 of the best inspirational and interesting stuff of the week that the web can provide. It is good food for your brain! (PS: Someone could say that I spend too much time reading and looking for these stuff… well… ehm… please, don’t. Let me dream.)

How I Start: Clojure

This is a very good article for wannabe clojurists written by Carin Meier. Clojure, as I hope you know, is the “Cool Lisp” of our era built on top of the Java Virtual Machine. Despite its big problem with the “debugging” phase of development, Clojure (and the Lisp family of languages in general) are pure magic in the hand of the proficient warlock. So it is important (and fun) to approach this language, maybe you will not use it a lot in real-world application but for sure it force you to look at many problems from a different point of view and, in practice, it makes you a better developer.

Anyway, let’s stop with the Clojure commercial! This article shows how to start with Clojure implementing a very cool real world™ application: a Twitter bot who use a Markov Chain to generate (and tweet) small “functional themed” poetry tweets. Honestly, this article require already a basic knowledge of Clojure but, covered this gap, the article is very insightful.

PS: The whole website is very cool. Look also at the other languages.

I made an NES emulator

Emulators are an amazing learning project. They force you to challenge yourself in very low-level and interesting problems. One day, I’ll have the constance to write a NES emulator all by myself, but until that day, let’s see what other programmers can tell us about this challenge! Michael Fogleman is the author of a simple Nintendo emulator in Go. The article is full of interesting and technical informations on the original Nintendo console. At the end, you can also find useful resources if you want to challenge yourself in writing your own emulator!

Computer Color is Broken

Did you know that an huge amount of softwares are completely doing wrong in blurring images (and in general, color manipulation)?In short: colors are stored in images format so that to be optimized respect to our eyes perception. However this optimization have to be “removed” before image manipulation. This video explain wonderfully why software are doing it wrong and what we have to do to avoid this problem.

It is a really cool video that makes us understand the complexity of a “simple” problem like colors storage and manipulation.

StackOverflow 2015 Developer Survey

Also this year, the results for the StackOverflow 2015 developer survey have arrived! And, as usual, it is full of interesting stuff. Well, is not the “book of revelation”. The results of this survey have to be taken with care, but they can give us the idea of the general mood of one of the biggest developer community out of there. The full survey can be summarized by this phrase:

The more things change, the more likely it is those things are written in JavaScript with NotePad++ on a Windows machine (theme: dark) using Git, and tabs instead of spaces.

The main points are:

  • Javascript is the most used technology (and note that Node.js is considered a different thing…).
  • Swift is the most loved language. I’d like to know why.
  • C++ is the second most loved language and Rust is the third.
  • Git is the most used source control system. This was granted. The interesting data is that the second most used VCS is still SVN and Mercury (another big appreciated tool) is not even close to the both of them.
  • The “space vs tabs” challenge was kind of surprising! Tabs are preferred overall, but spaces are preferred by the most “experienced” users.

You can read the full survey on the web site!

Myself v1.0.3

You know, with the new HTML5 standard you can use CSS for simple and effective animations in a web page. Cool. But you can not really understand how cool it is without looking at this great demo! It is a CoffeeScript script that start injecting the CSS char by char in the page (and in a div so that you can see the CSS “writing by itself” in the page). The script itself is no more than 50 lines but the result is absolutely effective. At the end, a pulsing heart is drawn on the screen. This is the most inspirational project I’ve found this week!

(Cover image by enzocavalli. If the use of the image is not pleasing, please, write me.)