November 01, 2005 - Show Me Your Tabs and I'll Tell You Who You Are

A few weeks ago my friend Julio emailed me a picture of the stack of books he has on his desk waiting to be read. I thought this was a great thing and if I was a little better organized I would have sent him a reciprocal email already. I was reminded of his picture the other day when I looked at the stack of books on my desk at work -- Extreme Programming Explained (1st edition), Design Patterns, Slack and Unleashing the Ideavirus. It really struck me that this collection has got to mean something...

And of course it means something, which is why Amazon's and iTunes recommendations often turn up interesting stuff. But there are two problems which just going around comparing stacks and belitting the other persons size or the thickness of their tomes:

  1. the stack alone doesn't tell the whole story, doesn't say why the volume rates a place in your stack, and
  2. I do far more reading online these days at least by counting number of sources if not total volume

So here is a throwback to the old days of the World Wide Web (as people called it back then) when people shared their bookmarks on their personal web pages and that was often the best way to get around. Here is the list of tabs that I've got open in by browser waiting to be read and a bit of why they are there. Hope y'all are better than I am at reciprocating 'cause I'm curious what other people have in their virtual stacks.

A guided tour of the Microsoft Command Shell
This Ars Technica review has been in my tab list the longest because while I use the windows shell all the time I do so begrudingly. I'm hoping that the new shell will be much improved, but since I'm not using it yet there's no rush to be reminded how bad it is right now.
The Power of Full Engagement
This book was mentioned on the xp mailing list during a very interesting discussion on "Sense of Urgency", and the subtitle of the book -- "Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal" -- seems philosophically right on. This same discussion also spawned a few blog entries worth looking at, two from James Shore (Sense of Urgency and Hustle) and Ron Jeffries response about The Energy To Hustle
Does Visual Studio Rot the Mind?
Maybe it is just me and where I was in my life when it came out (doing technical support for Borland C++) but Charles Petzold's Programming Windows 3.1 cemented him in my mind as an important person. So if he's got something provocative to say about Visual Studio -- and by implication modern developer tools in general -- then I'm interested.
Installing Rails on Tiger
I've been dabbling a little bit with Ruby and Rails and this article by Justin Williams had the right title in the google results to catch my eye.
A thought on mocking filesystems
I have Brian Marick's entry open because we just did something very much like this after being inspired by the jMock people's OOPSLA 2004 paper. The idea that you should be using mocks for interface discovery more than just as a testing stub was intriguing so we decided to put it to the test. Still a work in progress but so far I've been pleased with it.
jMock's Getting Started
The paper referenced above had enough good ideas in it that I wanted to see what else they had to say.
Write GUI Code Last
Continuing the theme of the last couple of tabs, Keith Ray's blog entry combined with the jMock OOPSLA paper made me wonder if perhaps you discovered the proper interfaces by mocking that you'd be able to move forward with the GUI earlier.
Weblog Usability: The Top Ten Design Mistakes
When Joel redesigned his site he credited this article by Jakob Nielsen for inspiration, so it seemed worth checking out.
SOA Executive Forum Day One: Proposed Topics
I've got a link to this Jon Udell entry because he quoted an email I sent him, and it reminds me that even though I talked on this topic -- SOA, Agility and Quality -- at the Gartner Application Development Summit in September I still haven't gotten around to writing about it in this blog.
Language Workbenches: The Killer-App for Domain Specific Languages?
Language workbench? Not sure what all this is about but if Martin Fowler is writing about it then soon all the cool kids will be talking about it and I don't want to feel left out.
The subtext programming language pointer came from Martin Fowler's OOPLSA2005 writeup and he says it is worthwatching the demo. I'm also interested in looking at the Example Centric Programming paper that was presented at OOPSLA 2004.
Physics Education Technology
Free online and downloadable interactive physics simulations from the Physics Education Technology project at the University of Colorado, I want to review these and see if their suitable for my boys who are in 8th grade. Kevin and I have long talked about this sort of thing so I'm curious to see if these live up to our imagination.
Checking the Status of Your (Passport) Application
I'm heading to JavaPolis in December and had to renew my passport. If you'll be there I'll be giving a talk on Wednesday Dec. 14th on Continuous Integration and then be part of a BOF on CI and CC along with Jerome Lacoste

As I said these are the list of tabs I have open, and their open because I haven't read them. If I'm lucky enough of you will be inspired to read them and report back that I won't even have to read them at all... ;)

Posted by Jeffrey Fredrick at November 1, 2005 09:40 AM

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» What I’m reading from -= Chez Julio =-
Jeff wanted to see what people have in their tabs, ready to be read. This was in response to my pile of books (which btw grew a little since I first captured it). I don’t have tabs or anything like that, but I do have bookmarks I file under ... [Read More]

Tracked on November 2, 2005 09:06 AM

» Pile of books from -= Chez Julio =-
This is the updated pile. Notice how the neatly splits into two themes: The left pile has to do with programming, project management, eclipse. The right pile has to do with philosophy, evolution, history. The right pile is slightly taller though. ... [Read More]

Tracked on November 2, 2005 04:18 PM


I used to keep a browser window open with a lot of interesting thing to read, but I've accidently shut down the browser one too many times.

I've become quite keen on social bookmarking in the last year. I regularly browse recent and or popular bookmarks on (I actually use to find popular links). I keep track of interesting links on my homepage at I think that this is a pretty handy way to let friends see what you've been reading.

Posted by: Joe Schmetzer on November 2, 2005 01:41 AM

Interesting links and I'm happy to see you actually manage to read stuff. All I can do is pile more junk "for when I'll have some time".

AS a matter of fact, I took a few days off to catch up with my reading :-)

Here's my virtual pile

Posted by: Julio on November 2, 2005 08:17 AM

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