Elixir can be a lot easier to learn than Python

I stumbled on a surprising instance of Elixir being much easier to learn and use than Python: I was in each one’s REPL, comparing how to do some typical programming task. (I forget exactly, but it might have been JSON parsing.) The function in each language was easy to call. And in Elixir, the REPL…More

Ruby RSpec or Minitest on new projects?

I’ve used both for years. But I use RSpec on my new projects: RSpec is an application, but Minitest is only a library. This cannot be overstated. RSpec has libraries too, of course, but the user experience is via a mature CLI program. (Bisect is wicked, and a life-saver!) It has incredibly useful options and…More

How to produce a JSON tree with nested data from Scrapy

This was an interesting puzzle: creating one single well formed JSON from a hierarchy of web pages. E.g., the sporting goods hierarchy of an e-commerce site could be Categories, Brands, Products. And so you’d like to output JSON like this: [Etc.] As an aside, I like architecting my systems to generate this kind of output…More

Making mistakes: Django startproject and Rails new

I like to see how software reacts when I step off the happy path and make a mistake. Today I found this interesting difference with an unknown (or misspelled) command line option: “–derp”: An interesting difference! Personally, Django is reacting like I’d expect. And so for me it’s following the principle of least astonishment. Rails,…More