Most interesting links of November '12

Recommended Readings

  • James Roper: Scaling Scala vs Java (recommended by M. Odersky) - writing scalable apps in Scala is much easier then Java because idiomatic Scala uses immutable structures and lends itself naturally to asynchronous processing while doing these things in Java is possible but very unnatural and laborious. "It [Scala] is biased towards scaling, it encourages practices that help you scale."
  • Exception Handling Antipatterns (2006, still valuable) - Log and Throw, Throwing Exception (instead of a suitable subclass), Throwing the Kitchen Sink (declaring many exceptions in method signature), Catching Exception (instead of a particular subclass), Destructive Wrapping (not including the exception as cause), Log and Return Null, Catch and Ignore (swallowing the exception), Throw from Within Finally, Multi-Line Log Messages (via repeated log calls instead of \n), Ignoring InterruptedException (instead of breaking the loop etc.), Relying on getCause().
  • The GitHub way: Your team should work like an open source project - a provocative article about the development process in GitHub that strongly prefers asynchronous and on-line communication over face-to-face meetings and communication, which, according to the author, leads to increased productivity. That is quite the opposite of what is usually practiced. I can think of situation where direct interaction is invaluable but, on the other hand, I could certainly live with less meetings. (Comments on Hacker News)

Clojure Corner

  • Chas Emerick's screencast Starting Clojure is a great example of Clojure development and interactive Clojure web development without restarts, with live code changes and direct access to the running app via REPL. It makes also a good job of introducing the Eclipse Clojure plugin Counterclockwise and the popular web framework Compojure with the template engine Enlive and HTTP abstraction Ring. Highly recommended! (I would however recommend to already know a little about the language.)
  • Results of the 2012 State of Clojure survey (and, for comparison, 2010 results) - some interesting facts are what people use Clojure for (math / data analysis 35%, web development 70%), 60% people evaluating ClojureScript, answers to "What have been the biggest wins for you in using Clojure?", the fact that ~ 20% use Eclipse, around 60% Emacs, only 10% IntelliJ, 23% vim. Also interesting is "What has been most frustrating for you in your use of Clojure" (with 30% mentions of documentation, being now improved by, 23% "future stuffing concerns")

Favorite Quotes

You can reach a point with Lisp where, between the conceptual simplicity, the large libraries, and the customization of macros, you are able to write only code that matters.

- Rich Hickey in an interview
Lisp was a piece of theory that unexpectedly got turned into a programming language.

- Paul Graham in Revenge of the Nerds

Tags: scala clojure java DevOps

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