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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Joel on Software (Book)

I’m currently reading Joel on Software* by New York blogger and former microserf Joel Spolsky. Basically it’s a best-of-blog offline collection, but what a difference it makes to have it all in one place (and on paper).

*The full title being Joel on Software: And on Diverse and Occasionally Related Matters That Will Prove of Interest to Software Developers, Designers, and Managers, and to Those Who, Whether by Good Fortune or Ill Luck, Work with Them in Some Capacity.

If you’re a programmer, or forced to work with programmers, this is an excellent read. Joel on Software covers programming details (like a low level string discussion, or the history and meaning of character encoding), software architecture (like the Architecture Astronaut, whose thinking tends to be a tad too abstract to be useful), and software management (you want to hire people who are both smart and get things done, and the two don’t always coincide).

The weblog writing (using smaller, essay-like chunks) works well in book format, even though it means all links have been converted to footnotes. I found not all of the issues presented directly apply to the web business I’m working on (like his mantra of daily builds, or details about desktop software). Still most concepts are universal, and there’s some incredible software wisdom to bite your teeth into here.


RSSAds is signing up RSS publishers; buyers will be able to buy ads soon."

Google Canada Celebration Logo

You might have missed Thanksgiving logo (Zorgloob caught it).

Next MSN Search Preview

Abakus noted MSN went live with yet another installment of their search preview.

Zawodny’s New Job


Yahoo blogger Jeremy Zawodny goes back to the Yahoo search team to make sure “products kick the necessary amount of ass."


Dirson reports Erik Thauvin created GooglME, a simple interface to the Google SMS service to be used on hand phones supporting Java-J2ME which support MIDP and WMA.

FindForward Alert

I decided to completely discontinue FindForward Backlinks alerts for the time being (I might continue it some later day, or in another form). The image shown now will not trigger emails alerting you of backlinks (you can still use it if you want to – it will now again always display “FindForward”). I’m doing this for three reasons:

Though this was a free service with no promises made, of course I’m unhappy I couldn’t take this a step further. But I believe at 100 users and still in Beta, I’d rather stop it now than in some months. I hope you understand, and if you want to you can further discuss this in the forum.

History Bot Answers

H-Bot (the “automated historical fact finder”) answers your questions, like “When was Einstein born?” And it works very well.
I’m somewhat reminded of FindForward’s answer mode, and I wonder which algorithm H-Bot got under its hood. [Via ResearchBuzz.]


Usually web sites have different pages for introductory notes, contact information, samples and so on. Richard at highly simplifies navigation for the visitor – and puts it all on one page. (I’m thinking about doing the same with my Outer Court homepage.) [Via Dr. Web Newsletter.]


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