All articles, newest first

  1. Lessons from the OuLiPo. All about a talk I'll be giving at ACCU 2015
  2. Why zip when you can map?
  3. Find the average of a collection of tuples or dicts using Python
  4. Group When
  5. Word Aligned, hosted by Github
  6. Go for short variable names
  7. You wait all day for a bus…
  8. Reverse, Esrever
  9. Clown, Flee, Jump
  10. Angle brackets hurt my eyes
  11. “Solutions”
  12. ACCU 2013
  13. An Exploration of the Phenomenology of Software Development
  14. Patience Sorted
  15. Hosting for Life? TextDrive revived!
  16. More adventures in C++
  17. Singly Linked Lists in C++
  18. Folded files and rainbow code
  19. C++ Concurrency in Action. A glowing review of Anthony Williams' book on C++11's support for concurrency
  20. Python’s lesser known loop control
  21. Two star programming
  22. ACCU Bristol and Bath
  23. Life goes on
  24. Life on Canvas
  25. Desktop preferences
  26. Knuth visited, Brains Limited
  27. Set.insert or set.add?
  28. Define pedantic
  29. Hiding iterator boilerplate behind a Boost facade
  30. Equality and Equivalence
  31. Binary search revisited
  32. Man or man(1)?
  33. Binary search returns … ?
  34. Think, quote, escape
  35. Beware the March of IDEs!
  36. Pi seconds is a nanocentury
  37. Bike charts by Google. Using the google chart API for something ... different
  38. When you comment on a comment
  39. Power programming. What makes a language powerful? The programmer!
  40. Python, Surprise me!
  41. Next permutation: When C++ gets it right. An investigation into a classic algorithm for generating the distinct permutations of a sequence in lexicographical order.
  42. Python on Ice. A review of the Python 2, Python 3 language fork. Python 3 has met with some resistance. A moratorium on further changes to the language is being imposed, to smooth the transition.
  43. Steady on Subversion. Despite the increasing popularity of distributed version control systems, I'm sticking with Subversion. Here's why.
  44. Favicon. Why my favicon is a jigsaw piece.
  45. Code Rot. What happens when we stop tending to our code? It decays. This article investigates why.
  46. A useful octal escape sequence
  47. Converting integer literals in C++ and Python
  48. Inner, Outer, Shake it all abouter. Encapsulation is about allocating responsibility and easing utility rather than protecting data.
  49. Blackmail made easy using Python counters. A programming puzzle and a discussion of Python's evolution.
  50. Could OCR conquer the calligraphylion? A note on the challenge which Arabic script sets for optical character recognition engines.
  51. Undogfooding
  52. Tony Hoare’s vision, car crashes, and Alan Turing. The highs and lows of Europython 2009. A personal review.
  53. Partitioning with Python
  54. Oulipo and the Eodermdrome challenge. The word EODERMDROME is itself an eodermdrome. Can you find any others?
  55. Run-length encoding in Python
  56. DEFLATE: run-length encoding, but better. An investigation into the extended run-length encoder at the heart of the Zlib compression library.
  57. Copy, load, redirect and tee using C++ streambufs. The C++ iostream library separates formatting from lower level read/write operations. This article shows how to use C++ stream buffers to copy, load, redirect and tee streams.
  58. Generic documentation
  59. The Rings of Saturn
  60. Software development checklist += 3
  61. Review: Expert Python Programming
  62. Patience sort and the Longest increasing subsequence. How a simple card game provides an efficient algorithm for finding the longest increasing subsequence of a given sequence.
  63. OCR. Wrong characters, right meaning! (chuckles). When OCR gets the characters wrong but the meaning right.
  64. Good maths, bad computers
  65. Longest common subsequence. An investigation into the classic computer science problem of calculating the longest common subsequence of two sequences, and its relationship to the edit distance and longest increasing subsequence problems.
  66. Ordered sublists. A brute force approach. A brute force solution to the longest increasing subsequence problem.
  67. A race within a race
  68. Maximum of an empty sequence?
  69. Emoticrab invasion, CSS breakdown. CSS positioning doesn't always work in a Feed reader.
  70. Spolsky podcast causes exercise bike incident
  71. Python was named after a comedy troupe. This note discusses what makes a good name for a computer language.
  72. Could a Python eat an elephant?
  73. Seamless sequence output in Python 3.0
  74. Tell me about … Virtualization. An attempt to describe virtualization, why it's useful, and when to consider using it.
  75. Perl 6, Python 3
  76. Steganography made simple
  77. What’s in the box?
  78. A Little Teaser. Keen Eyes? You’ll See! Follow the clues to reveal the hidden message.
  79. Books, blogs, comments and code samples
  80. Your computer might be at risk. A hard drive failed this weekend. Guess what, it hadn't been backed up. Here's how I went about recovering the data, and some thoughts on the future of computing in general and operating systems in particular.
  81. Negative, Captain
  82. Driving down the road of innovation
  83. Sums and sums of squares in C++. Reduce is a higher order function which applies a another function repeatedly to a collection of values, accumulating the result. Well known to functional programmers, reduce is also a standard C++ algorithm.
  84. BIG G little g - What begins with G? Capitalisation: Google or google?
  85. Removing duplicates using itertools.groupby. An interpreted Python session showing itertools in action.
  86. Merging sorted streams in Python. Did you know that Python's for loops can have an else clause? Here's how it can be used in a stream-merging function.
  87. Launching missiles and other unhappy accidents. Launching a missile is an example of a dangerous programming side-effect. Bus accidents are used to motivate team-work.
  88. Life, user manuals, recursive pictures
  89. Looping forever and ever
  90. Syntactic Sugar
  91. Macros with halos
  92. Entertaining Documentation
  93. iBlame Exchange
  94. Distorted Software. What does software look like? This article suggests that architecture diagrams get the emphasis wrong.
  96. Rewriting String.Left()
  97. Me, Myself and OpenID. Setting up a personal OpenID server using phpMyID
  98. Nonce Sense. Cryptography
  99. Fixing header file dependencies. A simple script to check header files are self contained
  100. Running Sums in Python. A Python program to generate the running sum of a series.
  101. Eurovision 2008 charts
  102. Curling for web sites. A script using curl and bash to detect when a website status changes.
  103. Fixing Compiler Warnings the Hard Way. Listen when your compiler grumbles, but sometimes you should ignore its suggestions.
  104. Accidental Emacs. A list of Emacs modes and tricks I use all the time but discovered by accident.
  105. Scatter pictures with Google Charts
  106. Takewhile drops one
  107. Stop the clock, squash the bug. Which is better, a clock which loses a minute a day or one which is stopped? An investigation into how we find and fix software defects.
  108. Hunting down globals with nm
  109. Programming Nirvana, Plan B. Simon Peyton Jones discusses functional programming, Haskell, and promotes a radical route to programming Nirvana at ACCU 2008.
  110. Fun with Erlang, ACCU 2008
  111. White black knight then black white knight. Yet more on drawing chessboards
  112. Drawing Chess Positions. A follow-up article on scripting graphics.
  113. Ima Lumberjack, (s)he’s OK. Gender-neutral technical writing using fictional names.
  114. Drawing Chessboards. An article about creating graphics programmatically.
  115. Tracing function calls using Python decorators. Developing code to trace function calls using Python decorators.
  116. Sugar Pie. Approximating pi by scattering sugar.
  117. The Price of Coffee. Offering something for nothing and getting paid nothing for it. Leap day ramblings.
  118. Top Ten Percent. The most efficient way to sort the top 10% of a collection.
  119. Top Ten Tags. Choosing the right algorithm to select the N largest items from a collection.
  120. No www, yes comments, no categories
  121. Lexical Dispatch in Python. Dispatching to functions based on their names
  122. Essential Python Reading List. An essential Python reading list. I've ordered the items so you can pause or stop reading at any point: at every stage you'll have learned about as much possible about Python for the effort you've put in.
  123. Attack of the Alien Asterisks. Unusual font rendering on Windows
  124. From Hash Key to Haskell. A note on keys, characters, smileys, digraphs and Haskell.
  125. Erlang Erlang. A parallel processing problem.
  126. Animated pair streams. Another look at the functional programming problem of generating an infinite sequence of pairs. An example of using the Python Imaging Library to generate an animated GIF.
  127. ACCU Conference 2008. A preview of ACCU 2008.
  128. File shifting using lftp and rsync. Sometimes it's easier to shift files using the command line, rather than a GUI.
  129. Too big or too clever? Steve Yegge says that, for large applications, size is an enemy best controlled by dynamic languages. Alex Martelli says a language can be too dynamic for a large application. Who's right?
  130. Maybe we live in a scripting universe. Comments on Larry Wall's 11th State of the Onion address.
  131. The Maximum Sum contiguous subsequence problem. A stream-based solution to a classic computer science problem.
  132. So many feeds, so little news. So many feeds, so little news. A reflection on internet consumption.
  133. Elegance and Efficiency. Must elegant code be efficient? This article investigates.
  134. Not my links
  135. Ever wish you’d branched first? A short article describing how to branch a Subversion working copy based on the development trunk.
  136. Zippy triples served with Python. How do you generate previous, this, next, triples from a collection. A stream-based solution in Python.
  137. Paging through the Manual using Access Keys
  138. Anti-Social Build Orders. An article advocating zero-tolerance for anti-social build offences.
  139. Metablog. Reflections on 14 months of blogging, and why I'm no longer using Typo.
  140. RTM vs STW
  141. Seeing with a fresh pair of ears
  142. Reversing Hofstadter’s Law
  143. Lock but don’t but
  144. Mistargeted ads
  145. svn help patch
  146. Big City Skyline Puzzle. Comments on a novel computer science puzzle. When machine resources are scarce, a compiled language offers precise control.
  147. Ongoing Peer Review
  148. Paralipsis
  149. Fixed Wheels and Simple Designs
  150. A yen for more symbols
  151. PyCon UK: statistics, pictures and perennial problems
  152. Pitching Python in three syllables
  153. What apple gets right
  154. The Granny—Stroustrup Scale
  155. Koenig’s first rule of debugging. The problems caused by the C++ compilation model, dependencies and cryptic compile diagnostics. If an expert like Andrew Koenig can’t get it right, what hope for the rest of us?
  156. Shameful Names
  157. He Sells Shell Scripts to Intersect Sets. The Unix command shell contains a lot of what I like in a programming environment: it’s dynamic, high-level, interpreted, flexible, succinct. This article shows the Unix tools in action.
  158. Collaborative documentation tools
  159. Space sensitive programming
  160. How green you are
  161. When web search results get read out of context
  162. A world without version control
  163. In, on and out of boxes
  164. Pragmatic fashion
  165. Robot wars
  166. The Third Rule of Program Optimisation
  167. Why Python programmers should learn Python
  168. Source open, problem closed. An example of the open source advantage.
  169. How many restarts?
  170. Evolving Python in and for the real world
  171. Turing Tests and Train Trackers
  172. Feeding an internet addiction
  173. Oberon, Cromarty, Lisa, Waggledance, Ariel
  174. Introducing Java
  175. Perlish Wisdom
  176. Awesome presentations
  177. Google Reader
  178. PyCon UK
  179. The Heroic Programmer
  180. An ideal working environment
  181. The Trouble with Version Numbers
  182. High altitude programming
  183. Python keyword workaround
  184. Charming Python
  185. Why Software Development isn’t Like Construction. What’s the best metaphor for software development? Steve McConnell prefers “construction”. I disagree.
  186. Shells, Logs and Pipes
  187. Drawing Software Designs
  188. Test driven development in Python
  189. Mixing Python and C++
  190. Release then Test
  192. Code completion for dynamic languages
  193. Casualties in the great computer shootout. An investigation into various dimensions of some speed benchmark programs.
  194. A tale of two upgrades
  195. One svnserve, multiple repositories
  196. Happy Mac
  197. Retro-fitting coding standards
  198. fold left, right
  199. Code Craft
  200. Narrow Python
  201. Trac — not just a pretty interface
  202. 1, 6, 21, 107, … ?
  203. Martin Fowler on Soft Documentation
  204. Printed C++ Journals
  205. Review of Pete Becker’s TR1 Book
  206. Synchronising Workspaces
  207. Hong Kong Supplementary Character Set
  208. Permission and Forgiveness
  209. Different Angles on Legacy Code
  210. Wiki Markup. Wikis often invent their own markup syntax. A note on why I favour Markdown.
  211. Functional Programming “Aha!” Moments
  212. Spam, Typo, Subversion Logs
  213. Internal Subversion Externals
  214. Lenient Browsers and Wobbly Tables
  215. My First Typo Sidebar
  216. Smart Pointers, Dumb Programmers. A note describing how a smart pointer tripped me up.
  217. The Etch-A-Sketch User Interface
  218. Joined Output and the Fencepost Problem. Items and the spaces between them: some notes on the fencepost problem and joining up strings.
  219. When computer applications reside on the web
  220. Computer Language Complexity
  221. Complacency in the computer industry
  222. The Lazy Builder’s Complexity Lesson. A discussion of algorithmic complexity, and a demonstration of how the C++ standard library allows programmers to write code which is both concise and efficient.
  223. Soft Documentation. A software developer's investigation into documentation tools.
  224. Personal overnight builds
  225. From CVS to Subversion
  226. Pcl-cvs and Psvn Incompatibilities
  227. Sounds of the Tokyo Metro
  228. Subversion 1.4
  229. Look and Say Numbers
  230. Polyominoes
  231. Browsing Python Documentation using the Python Sidebar
  232. From __future__ import braces
  233. Python 2.5
  234. Friday Puzzles
  235. Version Control for Third Party Software
  236. Overload Online
  237. Personal version control
  238. String literals and regular expressions. An article about string literals, escape sequences, regular expressions, and the problems encountered when mixing these together.
  239. There’s no escape??!
  240. Parsing C++
  241. Py2exe
  242. Ignoring .svn directories
  243. Are List Comprehensions the Wrong Way Round?
  244. How to Mirror a Subversion Repository
  245. Message to Self. What’s this?
  246. Octal Literals
  247. A Subversion Pre-Commit Hook. How to install and test a simple Subversion pre-commit hook script.
  248. Creating a Temporary Subversion Repository
  249. Binary Literals
  250. Readable Code
  251. Keyword Substitution - Just say No!
  252. map, filter, accumulate, lambda
  253. Saving changes to read-only files
  254. Google Mail holiday auto-responder
  255. A Python syntax highlighter
  256. Generating solutions to the 8 Queens Puzzle
  257. My (Test) First Ruby Program
  258. Getting started with Typo
  259. Posting from the command line using mtsend
  260. Built in Type Safety?
  261. The case against TODO. A neat label for work in progress or an easy way to disguise the flaws in a codebase?
  262. Metaprogramming is Your Friend. An investigation into metaprogramming techniques used by lazy C, C++, Lisp and Python programmers.
  263. A Mini-Project to Decode a Mini-Language
  264. Code in Comments. Don't comment out dead code, delete it!
  265. Brackets Off! Thoughts on operator precedence.