Interesting Things Circa March 2013
Back in 2008 I had a blog series going where I did occasional blog post / news recaps with lists of interesting things. (Fun note: I ran that using ma.gnolia.com and stopped around the same time, but not necessarily because, they bit the dust.). I used that to post interesting things I'd been reading about, and given unlimited time would write long, insightful blog posts about.
I've noticed lately that I've been declaring browser tab bankruptcy quite often, and that these interesting things deserved a home. Around that same time, I've started enjoying Scott Hanselman's fun, "no worries, have some links!" style newsletter posts lately. So, for an unspecified amount of time, I am reinstituting the "here's some neat stuff" series. I will intend to follow up with long, insightful posts about some of these things, but probably will not. On with the show!
Working from home
Yahoo recently required remote employees to stop being remote or stop being employees. As a remote employee since 2005, I can definitely see both sides. It works for some companies, some employee, and some roles. When it's good it's great, but I've seen it abused.
Goodbye Google Reader, what's ahead for RSS?
Google announced they're shutting down Google Reader. I used to follow 1500+ individual RSS feeds (actually read them all), but lately haven't quite so much. Still, sad to see this go and hope those who predict this will help rather than exterminate RSS as a technology are right.
Glimpse 1.0 Ships
Glimpse is a great web debugging aid which provides in-browser information about what's happening on the server. They recently released versions 1.0 and 1.1. We interviewed them on Herding Code in February.
Semantic Release Notes
The Glimpse developers also just released the Semantic Release Notes proposal: Semantic Release Notes (SRN) is a text-to-object-to-html conversion tool for application authors. SRN specifically aims to produce semantic release notes from a Markdown document. This allows authors to write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text document, convert it to a structured data format (typically JSON or XML) and from this format, convert it into any styled representation (typically html) or to consume the information programatically within 3rd party applications.
scriptcs - Living on the edge in C# without a project on the wings of Roslyn and NuGet
Glenn Block and friends have spun up a neat project which allows you to write .NET apps with your favorite text editor, NuGet and the power of Roslyn!
Some cool new features in the recent CoffeeScript releases, including Literate CoffeeScript and Source Maps support.
Icon Fonts and SVG
As a long time fan of replacing web bitmap images (gif, jpg, png) with vector based formats when possible, I've been happy to see both the emergence of icon fonts as well as renewed interest in SVG for high-DPI display support.
Angular, Ember, brain hurt
- NCLDR - an open source .NET port of CLDR, the Common Locale Data Repository - http://www.ncldr.com/
- edge.js - Run C# and node.js code in-process with no compilation
- Traffic And Weather - News and commentary podcast about APIs and the cloud hosted by @smarx and @johnsheehan - http://trafficandweather.io/
- Mathics - A free, light-weight alternative to Mathematica - http://mathics.org/
- InboxPro - Inform people who e-mail you when they can expect to hear back - http://inboxpro.com/
- SayWhat - A neat idea that offers subject lines for phone calls - http://saywhat.mobi/
- Choose your own application - http://chooseyourownapplication.com/
- p4merge - Brad Wilson and others have recommended p4merge as the new cool merge tool - http://www.perforce.com/product/components/perforce-visual-merge-and-diff-tools
- Phishing has gotten very good - http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5303839
- Audacity on Surface RT - http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2103779
- View source on this - http://ha.ckers.org/weird/dandb.html
- HTML5 Template tag - A proposal to add official support to client-side HTML templates - http://www.html5rocks.com/en/tutorials/webcomponents/template/
- HTML5 Game Engines - http://impactjs.com/ and http://ludei.com/tech/cocoonjs (any others?)
- Draw Like a Child, Color Like a Man - My high school friend who's now an art teacher writes: "I do grow old , and I wrestle not to grow up…yet, I hope to always grow." - http://mrwrightsmake5.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/draw-like-a-child-color-like-a-man/
- OxyPlot - an open source, cross-platform .NET plotting library - http://oxyplot.codeplex.com/
- FullCalendar - a jQuery plugin that provides a full-sized, drag & drop calendar
- Leap Motion - I want this - https://www.leapmotion.com/
- AppBoxr - a .NET micro framework that makes writing apps bruisingly simple. No ORM. No API. - http://appboxr.com/
- Chart.js - exactly what you'd think - http://www.chartjs.org/
- Excel Flash Fill - corrects formatting inconsistencies and other tedious things automatically
- Google Docs - Sets - Here's a trick I've been using for a long time to find similar terms, movies, books, open source libraries, etc. http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5338433
- Explore and Master Chrome DevTools on Code School - http://discover-devtools.codeschool.com/
- Win8 - Working with files and storage - here are some useful links from a chapter I recently wrote
- MCE Buddy - Using Media Center? This removes ads, re-encodes and more - http://www.howtogeek.com/136470/strip-the-ads-from-your-tv-recordings-with-mcebuddy-2/
- Comments: Good or bad? - I happen to think blog comments are useful. Here's a thoughtful discussion on pros and cons - http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/a-blog-around-the-clock/2013/01/28/commenting-threads-good-bad-or-not-at-all/
- Gemini - We interviewed Amir about Oak on Herding Code, but I don't think people are paying enough attention to his other Gemini project - http://www.amirrajan.net/Blog/dynamic-c-sharp
- Can I Use... - Want to know what browsers support which HTML5 / modern browser standards? Use this. - http://caniuse.com/
- WebKit is the jQuery of Browser Engines - I disagree, but still a good read - http://ejohn.org/blog/webkit-is-the-jquery-of-browser-engines/
- Decompiling .NET Applications - Filip Ekberg wrote a nice overview of .NET decompilation, including some of the top decompiling tools - http://blog.filipekberg.se/2013/02/14/decompiling-dotnet-applications/
- Twitter development's not fun anymore - http://thetwitcleaner.com/blog/goodbye
- Artistic animated gifs - some new finds in this wonderful art form
- Temporary Projects in Visual Studio - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/6yx39k28.aspx
- FizzBuzz - Enterprise Edition https://github.com/Mikkeren/FizzBuzzEnterpriseEdition
- Scientists Uncover Invisible Motion in Video - video showing hidden information by exaggerating motion or color- http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/27/scientists-uncover-invisible-motion-in-video/
- Design inspiration for Windows Store apps - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh868274.aspx
- Run Java apps without installing daily Ask Toolbar Java Security Updates - http://portableapps.com/apps/utilities/java_portable
- Working with external files in SkyDrive
- Computer science education
Things I'm doing or involved with