Clojure Gazette 1.96

Comics, History, and Window Systems

Clojure Gazette

Issue 1.96October 05, 2014


Hi Clojurators!

I have received nothing but positive comments about the Pre-Conj Prep emails I have been sending out. I wasn't surprised, but I wouldn't have been surprised if I had gotten lots of negative comments, either. The most common comment has been "every conference should do this". And that has made me happy.

Meanwhile, this week has some great content. Enjoy!

Rock on!
Eric Normand

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The Sociology of Programming Languages

If only there were more studies like this, showing evidence about how people actually program. I find this stuff fascinating. The only problem is that once you have stuff this clear, you just want more.

Clojure Cup Apps and Voting

Clojure Cup is over and there are many cool apps, all built in a weekend, waiting for your perusal. You can now vote on your favorite apps to help choose the Public Favorite award.

Pre-conj Prep Still Going

You can still catch up with the Pre-Conj Prep. The Conj is single-track, so everyone has the same experiences. The conversations that happen after the talks are part of the magic of the conference. Maximize the potential of those conversations by doing a little prep-work. The Pre-Conj Prep is a series of emails about the talk at the conference. It's not too late to pick it up.

Strange Loop 2014 Travelogue

Wow! This is a personal, graphical, and beautiful project. Chris Martens has documented her experience at Strange Loop in small, single-page comic form. I would love to see more of this. You can also support her projects here . We need more of this kind of thing. Help her reach her milestones.

Design, Composition, and Performance

I rewatched this talk by Rich Hickey and I just had to share it. It's not obvious what he's talking about and how he relates coding to music. It's subtle and has taken a few viewings to really get it. It's worth a watch and a rewatch.

All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again

A talk from Strange Loop about the history of some great ideas in Computer Science. He manages to show, mostly through quotations, that the main experiences of programming are still true today.

Reflections on Window Systems

Rob Pike, co-creator of the Go language, gave a talk back in 2008 about some of the history of multi-user systems up through Plan 9. At some point, Rob Pike developed a windowing system that used CSP channels to receive input from the mouse and keyboard, and a third channel for issuing drawing commands.

Pike also contrasts Unix and Plan 9 very strongly against the Alto, the Xerox personal computer of the time. I think I need to watch this a few times before I really get, but they seem well-reasoned.

Why Academics Stink at Writing

Academics have a reputation for bad writing. When asked why, people often explain that they are just trying to sound smart. But Steven Pinker goes deeper than that into some of the psychological underpinnings of academese.

Visualizing Persistent Data Structures

Baseball cards for persistent data structures? Yes, please! I would love to have a deck of cards that I could flip through to see which one best fits my problem.