found drama

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Linkdump for March 31st

by Rob Friesel
  • Drew Crawford’s response to James Coglan's post about Node.js and Promises. (And yes, it has the same title as Mikeal Rogers' post — vide infra…) Also long, also worth reading. His promises : callbacks :: for-loops : while-loops analogy may or may not be completely appropriate, but I thought it was reasonably illustrative of the point he was trying to make: concurrency is hard and you’ve got some choices and trade-offs to make.
  • Mikeal Rogers with a well-reasoned response to James Coglan's bit about Node.js and Promises. There is this bit right at the front though:

    That success is measured in two parts: the absolute number of modules and the degree of compatibility between those modules.

    The part that makes me bristle? "The absolute number of modules." With no definition of what that means. The total number of packages listed in npm? Active packages? ("Active" defined how?) Popular packages? ("Popular" defined how?) A huge number of orphaned packages is not necessarily healthy — but having not taken a census, I'm shooting from the hip there. Obviously callbacks are not holding back Node's popularity, and it appears as though it's not holding back developer productivity, but there's always been something a bit… "smelly" about them.

  • Ladies and gentlemen: James Coglan:

    A function with no return value is executed only for its side effects – a function with no return value or side effects is simply a black hole.

    Callback hell. (Warning: It's a (very) long post.)

  • Philip Walton, writing at Adobe Developer Connection. It's a bit funny how whenever people talk about Crockford’s JavaScript: The Good Parts, they always talk about how he talks about JavaScript's worst parts. Walton's post likens the global nature of CSS rules to JavaScript's global variables — and with good reason. He also illustrates a number of strategies to deal with this — some of them intuitive, some of them less so. His points about namespacing your CSS classes (as opposed to using descendant selectors) I found to be reminiscent of BEM, though without the ugly Hungarian notation-inspired conventions.
    (tagged: CSS )
  • At The Mozilla Blog. I'm intrigued by this, but I'm also like: "What do I do with this?"
    (tagged: Open Badges Mozilla )
  • By Alex Sexton. Thorough. If you're doing even half of this you're probably doing OK.

UPDATE: (4/1/2013) Added Drew Crawford’s response to the James Coglan post (yes, in addition to the Mikeal Rogers post with the same title) because it was worth it.

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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