Earlier this week, after responding to a post on
ClojureVerse, I got curious about re-implementing the basics
of Emacs’s regexp-opt function in Clojure. I thought it would be a
fun little coding exercise so I decided to take a stab at it during a
few spare minutes in my day and was very pleased with the concision
and clarity of the result.
There’s a loose convention in Clojure of leaving top-level (comment ...)-style comments in source files to give examples of how a
particular piece of code works or to provide a convenient means of
invoking functionality contained in the file. You can even see this
in the source files to Clojure proper.
Even though leaving commented out code can seem a bit messy, it has
also saved me a ton of time relearning how to invoke something, so I
have somewhat mixed feelings about the practice. But, regardless of
the merits of using this in production code, it’s unarguably useful in
development, and I use it extensively as I work to test out function
invocations with different arguments, and to store little bits of test
Frustratingly, this form does not play nicely with CIDER’s C-M-x
(cider-eval-defun-at-point) and C-c M-;
(cider-eval-defun-to-comment) commands, which expect the target form
to be at the top-level of the file. The containing (comment ...)
form means that technically isn’t so, leading me to perpetually
evaluate the wrong form…
When working on CollBox, we have a handful of external services
the app depends on which we need to have running at development time.
I used to run these via Foreman, but somewhere along the way my
Ruby installation seems to have gotten borked (thanks, Catalina?)
and since then I’ve been running the services by hand. I always work
in a tmux session anyway, so I decided it was time to see
what it would look like to launch my window full of dependencies in
tmux from a script.
Last year I tried out making a reading list in
January, to keep myself reading at an acceptable pace, and to put a
bit more foresight into what I would be reading. This worked out
pretty well. Despite finishing a couple of my 2016 books in the first
days of 2017, I largely stuck to my schedule, and I finished
everything on my list, including a few rather lengthy items. I
actually didn’t read a whole lot more than I had listed (to my
surprise), which makes me even more confident that this is a good
idea, since it sets a minimum reading curriculum.
Again this year, I’ve tried to establish some common themes to allow
for comparative reading and amass some knowledge of a field. The
stronger themes are decision-making (four books) and creativity (four
books), and the remaining four books are loosely centered on
self-improvement, though that’s more of a coincidence than a plan.
I’m abstaining from buying anything today in protest of excessive consumerism. Make something instead!
And got a rather curious reply from a friend:
I wish I could make things
I mulled that over for quite a while. I struggled to put myself in the commenter’s shoes. It’s wildly foreign to me.
In my head, clearly creation is for everyone. It’s not the domain of some privileged class of individuals—it’s an essential act of being human. Everyone should—and can!—create. But I kept tugging at the thread because of a nagging suspicion that perhaps lots of people feel this way.
I just read David Bryant Copeland’s post
It’s not Naming That’s Hard—It’s Types which he wrote in
response to Katrina Owen’s
What’s in a Name? Anti-Patterns to a Hard Problem and I feel
compelled to say a few words. Katrina’s post provides some
suggestions around the perennial developer challenge of naming things
in code. Along the way she asserts that including the type of a
variable in its name is typically an antipattern, and “type
information is just not that compelling”–something David took great
David argues that the actual problem is we don’t have enough types:
“types are a better way to solve the problems Katrina identifies in
He then proceeds to turn Katrina’s perfectly reasonable bit of code…
subject != candidate && same_alphagram?(subject, candidate)
# ... (not provided, but I want to offer a fair comparison of length)end
Whenever you look around, you know what you should be doing: creating
and launching and selling a product, bootstrapping a business on the
side. You’re smart. You’re capable. You’ve got the skills to make
stuff […] why can’t you just make this happen? […] We’ll teach you
21 principles for getting off your butt and finally shipping.
This is a soup-to-nuts guide to the human aspects of shipping a side
project. It’s not going to teach you how to design a logo or a code a
website, but if what’s holding you back from completing your dream is
lack of confidence, disorganization, over-ambition, etc., then this
could be the book for you.
There’s nothing tremendously groundbreaking here, but it’s compact and
won’t waste your time (as I’ve come to expect from Amy Hoy).