Aaron Sumner


3 picks for April 28, 2014

It's been awhile since I did a picks post. I used to do them on Fridays, but started feeling scheduling pressures to come up with picks during weeks when, honestly, all I had were anti-picks. I don't feel like giving anti-picks the time of day in this venue, honestly. If you want to know what gets my goat these days just buy me a beer the next time you see me at Johnny's.

Anyway, the picks thing started as a cheap way to try to meet a self-imposed writing quota. I hate quotas, so now I'll just write about my picks when I have enough to write about. Here's what I like right now.

You Might Not Need jQuery

Yes, this site made the rounds a couple of months ago. Now, I like jQuery. That may not be cool to say these days, but I like it when frameworks save me from dealing with the pain that is cross-browser support (see also: Bootstrap).

Unfortunately, this past week I had to deal explicitly with the issue presented by customers who use the likes of Noscript or Ghostery. Ham-handedly blocking all JavaScript? No problem. Browsers have handled that since the lousy-little-language-that-could's inception. Discerning folks who pick and choose what they want to load? Dammit.

The good news: My ten-line, jQuery-dependent script was converted to a ten-line, pure JavaScript script. I owe it to You Might Not Need jQuery. Yeah, this stuff is out there in other places, but it was useful to have it under one roof.

Ruby Best Practices

I've long said that Rick Olsen's Eloquent Ruby is my favorite Ruby book. Now I have two. Not sure how I missed this one over the years, but Greg Brown's Ruby Best Practices is a great book about getting the most out of the language. In particular, I like the focus on real-world examples. Definitely worth a read for intermediate and advanced Rubyists alike.

Hefner

I don't know a damn thing about Hefner beyond the four albums I've found in used CD bins in Lawrence and Seattle. Still, some 14 years ago I had to buy We Love the City based on the album cover alone. How did I know that it would become part of my life soundtrack, circa 2000-2001? My favorites from the album are the title track and "Painting and Kissing," which had just enough creepy coincidences to make my then-twenty-something mind think these guys knew what I was about to go through and wrote a song about it for me in advance.

Maybe not. But a solid album and worth checking out, especially if you like that era of British popular music. Hell, I even had Ding-dong, the witch is dead! running through my head the day that Thatcher died.

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