Snakefooding Python Code For Complexity Visualization

by in Books & Tools on August 26, 2014

Snakefood is a tool written by Martin Blais to create Python dependency graphs. Combined with GraphViz, snakefood can create beautiful visualizations of Python codebases. Here are graphs for some notable open source projects written in Python. Continue reading »

You Should Change Your Python Shell

by in Books & Tools on December 16, 2013

If you write Python code, switching to IPython is the number one thing you can do to immediately improve your productivity. Bold words, I know. Let’s look at how IPython can make you a more productive programmer. Continue reading »

Launching Downloadable Products Quickly

by in Books & Tools on March 27, 2012

My intent is to give recommendations that will be of use to other programmers who are trying to quickly turn a side project into a professional product that they can sell. Continue reading »

The Ergonomic Keyboard Productivity Myth

by in Books & Tools on April 15, 2011

Keyboard manufacturers would have you believe that ergonomic keyboards increase worker productivity, reduce injuries, and increase typing speed, but the real benefits are murky. The body of research on ergonomic keyboards is inconclusive, with a number of studies showing that ergonomic keyboards are of dubious value or that they decrease productivity. Continue reading »

Java Build Systems: A Sad State of Affairs

by in Books & Tools on October 4, 2010

The evolution from Make, to Ant, and then to Maven has done precious little to advance the state of Java build tools. Developers are still stuck with poorly thought-out tools that force us to violate DRY and write XML tag soup. Your team may be better served using a less popular alternative. Continue reading »

Knuth’s TAOCP Vol. 4A Now Available For Pre-order

by in Books & Tools on September 19, 2010

“Combinatorial Algorithms,” the 4th Volume of Knuth’s seminal work, The Art of Computer Programming, has been a long time in the making (Volume 3 was published in 1973), but it is now available for pre-order from Amazon. TAOCP is widely regarded as the most comprehensive book on its topic and is included in GrokCode’s list of essential books for programmers. Continue reading »

Building a Ubuntu Box

by in Books & Tools on April 27, 2009

I’ve been in need of new workstation for a while, and finally plunked down the cash for it. I built a mid range workstation and installed the latest long term release of Ubuntu (Hardy Heron) 64 bit. The install was remarkably painless, and all of the hardware was auto-magically detected and works great in Ubuntu. Hardware support is much improved in the recent Ubuntu releases, but if you are looking for a rock solid build that just works with Ubuntu, give these specs a try. Continue reading »

51 Insanely Useful Emacs Shortcuts

by in Books & Tools on April 8, 2009

Intimate knowledge of your code editor is required to be competent and productive developer. Here is a list of shortcuts anyone on the path to becoming an emacs guru should be familiar with. This shortcut reference card covers mostly intermediate and advanced shortcuts for GNU emacs (most of them will work with Xemacs as well.) I learned some great new shortcuts while making this cheat sheet; I hope they will be helpful to GrokCode’s readers as well. Continue reading »

5½ More Books In a Hacker’s Bookshelf

by in Books & Tools on August 4, 2008

This is a follow up to the list of recommended books for a hacker’s bookshelf that was posted a few months ago. Here are 5½ more essential books for a hacker’s bookshelf. This list is based on reader suggestions, and like the previous list of recommended programming books, it contains a nice mix of computer science texts, developer references, and books giving insight into the programming industry. This is another list of hackers’ classics. Continue reading »

The Top 9½ In a Hacker’s Bookshelf

by in Books & Tools on April 4, 2008

Every hacker should have a good solid dead tree library to draw ideas from and use as reference material. This list has a bit of everything – textbooks you will encounter at top tier computer science universities, books giving insight into the industry, and references you shouldn’t be caught without. It is a list of hackers’ classics. Continue reading »

Top 7 Development Tools

by in Books & Tools on January 14, 2008

Every developer should have a collection of tools at their disposal to facilitate project planning stages, speed development, automate testing and building, organize code versions, and otherwise make life easier. Here is a list of the standard tools in my toolbox that make me more productive. Almost all of them are F/OSS and multi-platform. This list has a slight Java slant, but most of these tools are language independent. Continue reading »