Category Archives: Code Ecosystems

Complicated moving parts interacting with one another.

CSS vs Tables: You’re Doing It Wrong

Definitions first.


A specified set of columns and rows with cells that automatically and fairly smartly expand to fit their contents; cells can span rows or columns; the table as a whole can be treated as one block, and cells can contain tables. A table is a metaphor for visually laying out 2-dimensional content.


cascading style sheets; …Read More

Going Fast, Frankenstein, and Refactoring

Very soon now, the project that has consumed my days for the last 6 months will go into public beta. It’s too early to pop the champagne, and that’s not what this post is about. However, the newness of this project is worth pointing out for the following reason: We’re already planning a fairly major refactoring effort to take care of a lot of code rot that has crept into the designs.

That’s right. We haven’t released anything, and there’s already enough bloat to justify spending at least 2 weeks cleaning it up. …Read More

Surgical Team or Motley Crew of Adventurers?

The Dungeons and Dragons party is, I believe, a much better metaphor for the modern programming team than Mills’ and Brook’s surgical team. In what has been called the geekiest thing every written, I catalog some different character classes and explain their corollary roles in a web development team. I suspect that other types of programming teams have similar roles. …Read More

Agile Scrum Sucks (but so do the alternatives)

Software development is not like manufacturing.

Chances are wildly against getting any software product out on time or under budget. My heart goes out to project managers and executives who are tasked with controlling the chaos. I understand why many of them might grasp at ideologies that promise to solve the problems, but Scrum rarely helps the odds.

If you’re doing software development right, you’re probably doing Agile wrong. …Read More

Required reading for web developers: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

Some 50 years before the Internet was even a spark in TBL’s eye, Ayn Rand managed to capture the timeless essence of a web developer in the character of Howard Roark. Every web developer needs to read this book. …Read More

Squish it good - Code compression for the masses

Labor Day came and I completely forgot that it would mean no Monday morning for writing a post. Hope you all had great beer and burgers, or whatever you were doing.

In the meantime, I’d like to mention something cool. Julien LeComte has released his YUI Compressor that includes a CSS minification script that …Read More