Archive for November, 2005


Presentation Tip

Learn from my mistakes. When typing CSS in public presentations, use color hex values rather than color names. Otherwise when you try to type

background-color: white;

you’ll actually type

background-color: shite;


Of course, if you’re presenting to an audience that would appreciate it, it shouldn’t be that hard to put together a Greasemonkey script to support that background color.


Link dump

Catching up with what’s caught my eye in recent weeks.

Jason Fried gave a talk earlier this year about lessons learned building Basecamp, their development process at 37 Signals, and Getting Real. I’d long meant to listen to the presentation but didn’t get around to it until a couple weeks ago. Then I listened to it again and again, a half-dozen times in two days. Wow. Inspiring. Energizing. He captures a process that makes software development exciting. It’s a big part of what interests me in Ruby on Rails., a hosted content management system. Astounding. The bar for browser-based CMS has been seriously raised. After spending a few minutes with Editsite, my first thought was that not to have CMS at this point is pathetic — at least if you want one. Especially if you’ve spent, say, five years thinking about it. Not that I know anyone who’s done that. :)

Remember The Milk. I’m a list maker. I’ve tried lots of ways to organize what I do. I need something a bit more involved than Ta-da List, less project-focused than Basecamp, more easily accessible than a pad of paper on my desk (not helpful when I’m at home), a bit less neurotic than Getting Things Done. ;-) Right now I’m using Remember The Milk. Two words: keyboard shortcuts. Read much of Kathy Sierra et al? Using RTM makes me feel like I kick ass. I haven’t played much with its RSS feeds, email or IM integration, but man am I gonna.

A Moleskine notebook is a thing of beauty. Sublime.

What is Web 2.0? Some are perturbed by the label “Web 2.0”. I am indifferent, but you should at the very least read this essay by Tim O’Reilly, one of the most important software essays of the year.

Speaking of essays, Bill Moyers’ “9/11 And The Sport of God” is marvellous, as is Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.’s “Forgetting Reinhold Neibuhr”. The New York Times have done something to break or impede the direct link to Schlesinger’s essay, but you should be able to find it on the book review page for September 18, 2005.

An interview with Anders Hejlsberg about C#, part 1 and part 2. There’s some very interesting activity on the C# front, notably LINQ, which embeds a query language right into the .NET framework. See the whitepaper for more detail. Combine this with Monad (MSH), Microsoft’s innovative command shell that lets you pipeline objects from .NET-aware apps, and you’ve got something very, very cool indeed. Seeing lambda expressions come to C# … nifty.

BuildSecurityIn, a new portal from the US Department of Homeland Security designed to provide developers and architects information and guidance about building secure software. Its Software Engineering Institute roots are clear in the academic nature of the articles. Usually heady and abstract, sometimes disappointing, sometimes useful. There are holes, but there’s good stuff there. You might want to start with the process agnostic article view” diagram.

The folks over at Particletree have now released two issues of their beautifully produced web development magazine Treehouse. Always worthwhile.


Maybe I can put off raking just a bit longer…

We have three trees in our front yard; I’ve been waiting for the basswood to drop their leaves before I bother to rake. It’s a small yard and I’m lazy. Well, I woke up this morning at 3:30 and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I’ve been sitting in the living room listening to the rather strong wind raging outside. I just took a peek and not only are the basswoods’ leaves mostly gone, the front yard has been swept clean by the wind. Now they’re Somebody Else’s Problem. Sweet! :)

I just hope that my being pleased about this doesn’t mean that I’ll step outside to find that a tree has fallen on our garage.


Another scene from my life with Owen

A few weeks ago during dinner, Kiara poured ketchup on her plate and set the bottle back on the table. “No,” Owen objected, “that’s the wrong way!” He pointedly turned the bottle around so it was facing him and peered intently at it. “K—K—Ketchup! K is for ketchup!” Almost three years old and the boy occupies odd moments reading ketchup bottles.

Heh. Like father, like son.


OWASP Twin Cities November meeting

The chapter page on the OWASP web site seems to be strangely difficult to get updated, so let me spread the word here.

The November meeting of the Twin Cities OWASP chapter has been scheduled for next Tuesday, November 8, at the Golden Valley Library. The library is a block or two north of the intersection of Winnetka and Highway 55, at 830 Winnetka Avenue. (map) We will meet from 6 to 7:45 PM.

This month, Gunnar Peterson will head up the agenda with a report on the OWASP App Sec Conference, and a recap of his presentation there on “Integrating Identity into Web Applications: Overview of issues and risks related to identity services in web and n tier applications.”