Thursday, October 20, 2005

Emacs Command Summary

I'm in the process of taking up Emacs again. I like vim a lot, but I think I would benefit from becoming more proficient with Emacs. I found this command summary that I think will be helpful.

Tabs versus Spaces

This article advocates using spaces for indentation in source code, and shows how to configure emacs and vi to accomodate this practice.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The State of Ruby on Rails '05

Slides, MP3, and OGG files are available for this talk. By the way, I went to a meeting of the DFW Pragmatic Programmers group last night, and one of the people there, Adam Keys, had just got back from RubyConf. He said he thought it was very worthwhile, and he had a good time there.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Practical Common Lisp

Following my friend's advice, I started reading Practical Common Lisp online. Then I decided to buy the print version after I got into a few chapters online. I think this book could lead to a revival of Lisp popularity. So much of the other stuff I had tried to read on Lisp made it hard to see how it would be used in real-world applications, but this book shows how it is a good high-level, high-performance general purpose programming language.

I saved the first paragraph of this post in May, and since then I have sold my house, and I've been living in temporary housing with most of my stuff in storage until the construction of my new house is complete. I packed up a lot of my books, and I've put my Lisp learning on hold. I hope to go back to it in a few months.

Meanwhile, I've been able to use some Ruby at work to do consolodation and summarization of performance metrics logs. Although this is the kind of work that Perl was originally created to do, I wanted to use Ruby as an opportunity to learn it better. I'm glad I did because I had to create some complicated data structures to collect all of the data, and I've always found such a thing messy in Perl. People who are more proficiant with Perl might do much better, but I had no problem building the objects I needed in Ruby.

Finally, I've posted before about Ruby web hosting. My previous hosting contract expired, and I moved my site to TextDrive. I've yet to try out Ruby on Rails on my new site, but I can say that I prefer the simple, straightforward tools that TextDrive provides for site management. I also like the fact that I have shell access. So, after a few weeks of usage, I so far have a positive experience with TextDrive.