Blog / Almost April's last newsletter

Tom ten Thij
April 26, 2013

Murray Steele

Public Domain is not Open Source

I have a personal preference for not putting a license on software, because there are too many debates to be had about which is the “best” OSS license. Until now, if asked I’d just say my stuff is public domain, or at a push, CC0. Turns out that according to the above (admittedly biased) FAQ this decision might be a bad one, and they suggest that CC0 isn’t good enough either.

unlicense do provide an opposing point of view which I thought would be convincing given my preference going in, but having read the OSI explanation I found, to my surprise, I was unconvinced. So now I have to think about which license I do want to use that gives me enough “don’t blame me if you die” cover and you enough “you can use it for whatever you want” confidence. It’s MIT isn’t it?

Carl Whittaker

Feature toggles

Some links describing just what they are and how they’re used.

Requisite Martin Fowler blog post — http://martinfowler.com/bliki/FeatureToggle.html

A terrifying presentation in which slides try to kill you with CSS transforms — http://webdevnights.github.io/feature-flipping/

A ruby example (with gems for that) — http://99designs.com/tech-blog/blog/2012/03/01/feature-flipping

Flickr use them — http://code.flickr.net/2009/12/02/flipping-out/

as do Etsy. — http://codeascraft.etsy.com/2011/02/04/how-does-etsy-manage-development-and-operations/

Matt Peperell

The single most useful thing in bash

Or so the title of this blog post claims. Ever wanted to scroll through partial matches in your bash history? Now you can.

Minifesto

http://minifesto.org/

Billed as a “Manifesto for Minimalist Software Engineers”, here is another summary of some lean workflow principles. Having read through it, we already do a lot of this at Unboxed Consulting, but it’s still an interesting read.

Style police!

The Ruby style guide is well known and followed by many.

Here’s a software tool to tell you when you’re falling foul of the recommendations. Just what you always wanted!

https://github.com/bbatsov/rubocop

The Underhanded C Contest

Normally we aim to write well-behaved software. Here’s a chance to be a first-world anarchist, and write some software which is subtly ill-behaved. This year’s challenge is a social networking application. The competition runs until June 4th.

http://underhanded.xcott.com/?page_id=5

Bonus

Imminently relevant song