Tag Archives: coding

Making Smarter Thumbnails

I was recently tasked to improve the look and functionality of a site that lets users upload images. One of the area I looked into was how it handled automatic thumbnail generation, because I found the thumbnails that were being generated to be, well, plain ugly.

The method they used was a standard resize to max width and height. The uploaded photo is scaled down proportionately to fit into a box of specified width and height. This resulted in irregularly sized thumbnails and even more so when users upload photos with strange dimensions. Not only does it make the page look messy and disorganized, Continue reading

The speed, size and dependability of programming languages

Guillaume Marceau has made an interesting attempt at visualizing 33 programming languages in terms of code terseness and speed.

The Computer Language Benchmarks Game is a collection of 429 programs, consisting of 13 benchmark reimplemented across 33 programming languages. It is a fantastic resource if you are trying to compare programming languages quantitatively.


Anyone can write code. Not everyone can throw it away.

An article by Esther Schindler discussing how it is often a good idea to start coding from scratch instead of trying to patch the big mess you created the last time when meeting a deadline.

Becoming a Great Programmer: Use Your Trash Can

I’ve come to believe that all great software is written three times. The first time you write it, it’s to see if your idea can work at all. It’s the digital equivalent of scratching something out on the back of the envelope, leaving out the fancy stuff and just concentrating on the basic feature or algorithm. Once you figure out that yes, this might be a good way to solve the problem, then you write the code a second time, to “make it work.” But it’s the third time you write the code, when you’ve had the opportunity to learn from the mistakes from the “try to make it work” phase, when your application will be the best it can be. (Well, almost. There’s often a 3.1, too. Even great software has a few bugs.)