My bookmarks

This is a list of Alvin Alexander's bookmarks.

In this piece, I disagree with Joe Armstrong and Rob Pike, basing my argument on the differences between vending machines and gift boxes (illustrated with drawings carefully prepared in Microsoft Paint).

The most important takeaway is that computational code, as opposed to event handling code, can be made virtually bug-free rather easily, using either automated debugging tools or static...

A quick and simple service for getting pictures of kittens for use as placeholders in your designs or code. Just put your image size (width & height) after our URL and you'll get a placeholder. is free online speed reading software designed to improve your reading speed and comprehension.

West Oakland Woods (WOW) Farm partners with Game Theory Academy to offer local high school students an opportunity to learn about and operate a small farm business. WOW Farm’s youth associates earn income by growing and selling exceptional organic produce to local restaurants.

This looks like a really good, cute way to learn grammar.

An extreme pair of superdense stars orbiting each other has put Einstein's general theory of relativity to its toughest test yet, and the crazy-haired physicist still comes out on top.

About 7,000 light-years from Earth, an exceptionally massive neutron star that spins around 25 times a second is orbited by a compact, white dwarf star. The gravity of this system is so intense that...

Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.

Scapple, from Literature and Latte:

Scapple is an easy-to-use tool for getting ideas down as quickly as possible and making connections between them. It isn’t exactly mind-mapping software -- it’s more like a freeform text editor that allows you to make notes anywhere on the page and to connect them using straight dotted lines or arrows. If you’ve ever scribbled down...

What the title says, a list of large sample XML data sets you can use for testing. In my case I'm testing the scala.xml._ classes and methods.

How to learn scalaz in 18 days, plus a scalaz cheatsheet.

Yahoo just introduced a new Weather app for the iPhone and iPod. Some info:

Checking the weather is part of our daily routine, but who says it has to be routine? For most of us, getting the weather is a moment of anticipation, it’s the memory of a great place we’ve traveled to, or it’s even a topic of conversation with a total stranger. Weather is so much more than a...

Writing in Scala is great. Takipi makes debugging it in production just as fun.

Takipi explains what led to an exception, illegal state or call latency in your Scala production code.

When I first started to learn how to write programs in a functional way, I was blown away by how concise, clear, and powerful functional solutions can be for some problems.

Expression-oriented programming is a good middle-ground. Everything returns a value, and can be used as a component in an expression. Each step in a computation is structured in a singular, composable way. Each...

Mr. Fadell himself says the decision to shift part of Mr. Forstall's responsibilities to Mr. Ive means that Apple's software design is now in "good hands".

And he has even warmer words for his ex-boss, describing his nine years working with Mr. Jobs as one of the most important relationships of his life. He adds that the experience taught him a lesson that he has tried...

The Chicago Cubs and the city of Chicago have reached some type of $500M deal regarding Wrigley Field. No immediate news on how this affects the rooftop owners.

A nice table that lists HTML character entities, such as for writing proper double quotes and things like that.

Reactive programming looks great, but before I knew much about it and when I just wanted an abstraction over swing listeners, I knocked up a reactive-inspired toolkit. This abstracts values that can change, which you can set and which you can get. It also provides a bunch of nice ways to bind listeners in, either purely for their side-effects, or to bond the value of one value to another....

A nice Scala @inline final example.

"Note, too, that the method definitions are annotated with @inline final, giving the Scala compiler the opportunity to pull them inline, for greater efficiency."

@inline final def debug(message: => Any) =
    if (debugIsEnabled) log(message)

This also demonstrates Scala's call-by-name...

Shows a nice Scala call-by-name example. The definition of a call-by-name method:

def whileLoop (cond: => Boolean) (stat: => Unit): Unit

Calling the call-by-name method:

var i = 0
whileLoop(i < 10) {
  i += 1
} // whileLoop

Ulysses 3 lives up to its hype. I can comfortably say that it’s the best Mac text editor around, and if you don’t need the few features that I rely on, then you’re golden. Seriously, just go and buy this thing before the price goes up to $40 next week.

Ulysses 3 treats your text like a RAW image file.

The level of polish is astonishing, and you’ll keep...