A magazine about programmers, code, and society. Written by humans since 2018.


Geoffrey James

Western culture has long been fascinated with what the French call "Extrême-Orient"; since the times of Marco Polo, most probably since biblical times. We (the editors of a magazine that is, after all, a pure product of Western civilization) assign certain qualities to the thinking patterns of those regions: wisdom, calmness, thoughtfulness, and reflection. Eastern philosophy is often analyzed in counterpoint, in a tangential or even orthogonal fashion from its western counterpart: Confucius versus Aristotle; reason versus faith; extrovert versus introvert; yin versus yang; pandas versus grizzlies; Bruce Lee versus Chuck Norris.

The Gang Of Four

Many different things bear the name "Gang of Four"; however, in this case, we are going to talk about a major bestseller in the history of computer books: "Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software" by Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, and John Vlissides. There is a high probability that every reader of this article owns, has read, or has at least skimmed through the pages of a GoF book once or twice. The book has been reprinted dozens of times (40 times at least until 2012.) It has been the subject of uncountable articles, videos, panel discussions, and, yes, also attacks.

Let us talk about a book that would be usually featured in the "Business" section of your nearest bookstore. As such, it might have been overlooked by those inspecting the shelves of the "Computer" section. This book delves deeply into the economic fabric of the software industry and, for that reason, becomes a much-needed read by all software workers.

Michael Feathers

Adrian previously discussed Working Effectively with Legacy Code when he talked about how to choose a programming language for your book. It deserves revisiting though, so here it is in the library section.

William Aspray

There was a moment in which Kurt Gödel, Albert Einstein, and John von Neumann were all roaming the halls of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton at the same time. Let that information sink in. Humanity experiences such gatherings of brilliant minds in a remote location of the space-time continuum only every so often; maybe the ancient Greeks and the men of the Renaissance witnessed such periods in time, as did the IAS staff at the end of World War II. How much will we have to wait for the next such event?

Workers Of The (Digital) World

They say that software is eating the world. They also say, or rather they say that Jean-Jacques Rousseau said: "Quand le peuple n’aura plus rien à manger, il mangera le riche."

Erica Sadun

iOS developers new to the platform are completely (and thankfully) unaware of its rocky start during its initial years. The first iPhone was announced on January 9th, 2007, and was released in the United States on June 29th that year. The iPhone SDK was announced by Steve Jobs in October 2007, and released in March 2008. But even before the official SDK was first announced, people were already "jailbreaking" the device, and thereby making applications for the iPhone. First-generation iPhone and iPad developers will surely chuckle when reading the words "PwnageTool," "JailbreakMe," and the name of the first App Store, also known as "Cydia."

Janet Abbate

We are told that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. This is certainly true of the history of computing, at least as far as its telling is concerned.

Mar Hicks

In the 2008 book "Dreams That Glitter", telling the story of the English pop group Girls Aloud, one of its members, the late Sarah Harding, said: “I’ve got a t-shirt that says ‘Well-behaved women don’t make history’. Funny how the stylist gave that to me…”

Richard Matthew Stallman

It would be inappropriate to have an issue on software licensing without including one of the people whose work has done most to shape the topic. Somehow we managed not to mention him by name in the issue on Free, Libre, and Open Source Software. Well, today we correct that.

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