A little over a year ago, Joel Spolsky wrote an excellent article entitled
The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!). I’ve been searching the web for something as informative, and readable, on dates, times, calendrical calculations, and related mysteries. If anyone knows of a programmer-oriented tutorial on the subject, please drop me a line (gvwilson at pyre dot you-know-what).
In the last couple of years, people have taken to calling Perl, Python, Ruby, and their kin “agile” languages. The term is pure marketing hype: “agile” is obviously a good thing, and it implies (without actually saying) that compiled, statically-typed languages like C++, Java, and C# are clumsy, plodding things, fit to be used only by programmers who drag their knuckles when they walk and need UML diagrams to show them how to pick their noses.
In the interest of fair play (and to stir things a little), I’d like to find an adjective to use for the non-agile languages of the world which is just as biased as “agile”. “Robust”? “Sturdy”? “Predictable”? If possible, it should be an antonym of “agile”, but a complimentary one. Please send your suggestions to gvwilson at pyre; I’ll add a comment to this posting when I have a handful for consideration.
Those of you who are about to dive into your final reports may find this article on writer’s block useful.
I just found out about the Canadian Undergraduate Software Engineering Conference. It looks like a great idea—anyone ever been, or know anything about it?