Posts Tagged ‘stack overflow’

How To Deal With 200k Lines of Spaghetti Code

August 5th, 2012 08:19 admin View Comments


An anonymous reader writes “An article at Ars recaps a discussion from Stack Overflow about a software engineer who had the misfortune to inherit 200k lines of ‘spaghetti code’ cobbled together over the course of 10-20 years. A lengthy and detailed response walks through how best to proceed at development triage in the face of limited time and developer-power. From the article: ‘Rigidity is (often) good. This is a controversial opinion, as rigidity is often seen as a force working against you. It’s true for some phases of some projects. But once you see it as a structural support, a framework that takes away the guesswork, it greatly reduces the amount of wasted time and effort. Make it work for you, not against you. Rigidity = Process / Procedure. Software development needs good processes and procedures for exactly the same reasons that chemical plants or factories have manuals, procedures, drills, and emergency guidelines: preventing bad outcomes, increasing predictability, maximizing productivity… Rigidity comes in moderation, though!’”

Source: How To Deal With 200k Lines of Spaghetti Code

RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: CoffeeScript and Java Make Gains

February 14th, 2012 02:10 admin View Comments

redmonk-1.jpgHere’s a tip: If you want to gain traction with developers, having a name that calls caffeine to mind may not be a bad thing. OK, that may not be why CoffeeScript and Java are making gains on GitHub and Stack Overflow according to RedMonk’s February 2012 language rankings, but it probably doesn’t hurt.

RedMonk is using a ranking system developed by Drew Conway that pulls data from GitHub and Stack Overflow to gauge language popularity. They first looked at this in September of last year and came up with four tiers of languages.

In the first tier, you have the most popular languages like JavaScript, Java, C, C++, C#, Objective-C, Perl, Python, PHP, Ruby and shell scripts. The second tier has languages that are less widely used, but are still fairly popular like Clojure, CoffeeScript, Lisp (Emacs and Common, separately), Haskell, Lua, R, Scheme, Tcl and so on. The third tier is more obscure, with Ada, Racket, Smalltalk, Verilog and others. Finally, the fourth tier has even more obscure languages – at least in terms of the following on sites like GitHub and Stack Overflow. That includes Objective-J, Supercollider, Vala and Boo.

The caveat that this applies to very specific communities is important. As Stephen O’Grady said last September, “this is a measure of two specific communities, and therefore reflective of the respective biases in terms of usage of same. This kind of analysis is observational in nature, and therefore cannot be considered representative of the market as a whole.”

Changes Since 2011

O’Grady says that little has changed since the last survey, with a few exceptions. CoffeeScript has made impressive gains on GitHub and Stack Overflow. It’s jumped from 19th most popular to 13th most popular in six months. Says O’Grady, “the jump is even more significant since six new languages were added to GitHub’s list in that span.”


If you were predicting Java’s demise, says O’Grady, then you might want to reconsider. O’Grady says that it not only has the second most associated tags on Stack Overflow (C# is first, PHP is third as of this writing), but it’s the second highest growth language on GitHub and grew faster than the average on Stack. O’Grady says that Java’s popularity is also borne out on LinkedIn. (That’s based on the Java user group on LinkedIn growing faster than other tracked languages.)

Mozilla’s Rust is also gathering steam, and Go and R have grown quite a bit on Stack Overflow.

Looking at the language plot from February and the plot from September it’s easier to visualize the results. If you’re hoping to engage other GitHubbers and Stackers then you want to be looking at Red Monk’s first tier of languages. Java, JavaScript, Python, C#, C++ and so forth. It’s interesting that Perl is hanging in so well, given the number of times you hear that it’s “dying.”

How does this compare with what you’re using for work? Are GitHub and Stack Overflow reflecting what’s being used behind the corporate firewall? Any surprises here?

Source: RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: CoffeeScript and Java Make Gains

Go Daddy Reverses Course On SOPA

December 23rd, 2011 12:13 admin View Comments


An anonymous reader writes “Go Daddy has relented in the face of public pressure and will no longer support SOPA. ‘Fighting online piracy is of the utmost importance, which is why Go Daddy has been working to help craft revisions to this legislation—but we can clearly do better,’ Warren Adelman, Go Daddy’s newly appointed CEO, said.” Go Daddy was put under a tremendous amount of pressure from around the internet; a boycott had been organized for Dec. 29th, and several major sites threatened to pull their domains from Go Daddy, including Stack Overflow and I Can Has Cheezburger. The U.S. House Judiciary committee posted a list of companies who support SOPA (PDF).

Source: Go Daddy Reverses Course On SOPA

Stack Exchange Gets Into The Conference Game With Stack Overflow DevDays

June 24th, 2011 06:49 admin View Comments

Q&A network Stack Exchange will be launching Stack Overflow DevDays this fall, a two day conference targeting coders who want to brush up or dive into the latest programming technologies like MongoDB, HTML 5 and Coffeescript, with hour long tutorials put on by speakers culled from the developer community.

Says StackOverflow co-founder Joel Spolsky on the motivation behind launching a conference,

“Think of all the programmers using slightly old-fashioned programming languages like PHP and Java because that’s what their employers make them use… but they would LOVE to have a chance to learn the hot new things. Last year it was Ruby on Rails and jQuery. This year it’s HTML5, Coffeescript and Node.js.

We set out to organize a conference that would be perfect for these programmers… a series of one hour basic tutorials on the hottest things that everybody wants to learn right now.”

While Stack Overflow did hold an early version of DevDays back in 2009, Spolsky tells me that this time they mean business. The company has hired three people with conference producing experience (one of them, Alex Miller, also worked on TechCrunch 50) in order to handle the five different conferences in the fall, the developer conferences in San Francisco, Sydney, London and DC as well as a Sys-Admin conference in San Francisco.

Spolsky tells me his goal is to keep the price of DevDays as affordable as possible at $499 and is offering a $100 discount for TechCrunch readers who use the discount code “techcrunch.” He expects several thousand developers to attend (sounds like tech recruiter paradise). Those interested can learn more about DevDays here.

Source: Stack Exchange Gets Into The Conference Game With Stack Overflow DevDays

Forrst Gets Seeded With $200,000

March 24th, 2011 03:44 admin View Comments

Coders hang out on Stack Overflow. Designers hang out on Forrst. The invite-only site for Web developers and designers just raised a $205,000 seed round from Dave McClure’s 500Startups, Nate Westheimer, Adam Schwartz, and Jim Sokoloff.

Forrst is a forum for Web designers where they can share designs and code to get feedback from other designers, ask each other questions, or write posts about design topics. It also offers an profile page for designers called, witha picture and links to that persnon’s Forrst posts, Twitter, GitHub, and Tumblr accounts. Here is founder Kyle Bragger’s page.

Forrst is based in Brooklyn, NY.

Source: Forrst Gets Seeded With $200,000

Report Finds Performance of Web Apps Throttled on iOS Devices

March 15th, 2011 03:15 admin View Comments

apple_logo_150.jpgApple iOS devices run web applications two-and-a-half times more slowly when they’re launched from the home screen than when they’re run from within the mobile Safari browser. According to numerous tests by the technology blog The Register, when web apps are saved to the home screen and launched this way, they aren’t able to take advantage of Safari’s recently updated Nitro JavaScript engine nor do they get to utilize some of web caching systems.

The poor performance of these web apps could simply be a bug introduced in the most recent iOS. Or it could be an intentional move by Apple to make it more difficult for those who’d like to bypass its App Store and offer web rather than native apps.

Eyebrows are raised here, no doubt, as The Register’s discovery comes on the heels of Apple’s announcement that it will require all in-app purchases to run through its new subscription plan. That gives Apple a 30% cut, something that many developers have balked at.

One way to avoid the new in-app purchase rules – and to avoid paying Apple its 30% share of app sales as well – is to build your app as a Web app. While this means the app isn’t available via iTunes, Apple does allow users to add any Web page to their home screen. This creates a little icon on the iPhone that makes it appear as though it’s just another app.

However, if these apps aren’t fully functional, or aren’t as functional as native apps, it’s may be a disincentive for developers and for users to go that route.

The issue has been brought to light on developer forums, Hacker News, and Stack Overflow, and The Register reports that Apple is aware of the problem. It has offered no official comment, however, and no indication if this will be rectified.

If Apple is intentionally throttling the performance of web apps, it does call into question the company’s support for HTML5 and web standards. CEO Steve Jobs asserted that support in a statement last year. Justifying Apple’s lack of Flash, Jobs wrote that “Apple has adopted HTML5, CSS and JavaScript – all open standards. Apple’s mobile devices all ship with high performance, low power implementations of these open standards.”

Making “open” web apps perform more poorly certainly challenges the company’s stance on these standards.

Source: Report Finds Performance of Web Apps Throttled on iOS Devices

(Founder Stories) Joel Spolsky On Startups: “Have A Co-Founder Otherwise You’ll Go Insane”

March 13th, 2011 03:46 admin View Comments

All this week on Founder Stories, we’ve shown segments from Chris Dixon’s interview with Stack Exchange CEO Joel Spolsky, who also writes the Joel on Software blog. In the final rapid-fire Q&A video above, Spolsky doles out some advice to other startup founders, primarily “have a co-founder” to share the load, “otherwise you’ll go insane.” And “make sure you figure out who wons what,” he adds, and do that up front. As Dixon points out, the last thing you want is to have to explain to later investors why some guy named Frank who was only around for 3 weeks owns 30 percent of the company. (Disclosure: Host Chris Dixon is an angel investor in Stack Exchange).

Spolsky also explains why he admires Bill Gates more than Steve Jobs, why his favorite charity is DonorsChoose (crowdsourced funding FTW), why he finds it easier to hire people in New York City, and dishes on the group think in Silicon Valley.

Below is the entire 30-minute interview, or you can watch it in segments. In Part I, Spolsky talks about when to raise VC cash and how he seeded the original Stack Overflow community with the readers of his blog, in Part II he rails against what bad SEO has done to the Internet and why he chooses to go deep in each vertical site Stack Exchange rolls out, and in Part III he rags on Yahoo Answers. It’s worth watching the whole thing. Other episodes of Founder Stories are also now available on iTunes.

Source: (Founder Stories) Joel Spolsky On Startups: “Have A Co-Founder Otherwise You’ll Go Insane”

(Founder Stories) Stack Exchange CEO: “Nobody Wants To Find Yahoo Answers In Their Search Results”

March 12th, 2011 03:10 admin View Comments

There sure are a lot of Q&A sites on the Internet, but not all Q&A sites are the same. In the Founder Stories video above, Stack Exchange CEO Joel Spolsky talks about the origins of Q&A sites and his competition. Stack Exchange operates Stack Overflow and other peer-reviewed knowledge sites. Spolsky minces no words in his contempt for the Big Daddy of Q&A sites, Yahoo Answers.

“Yahoo Answers is Teenage chat,” says Spolsky. “Nobody wants to find Yahoo Answers in their search results. It is one-sentence gibberish.” Stack Overflow, in contrast, goes deep. Stack Overflow users gain reputation by giving the best answers, and answers are peer-reviewed. It doesn’t cover every topic under the sun, either, just programming.

Stack Overflow is often compared to Quora, another geeky Q&A site that attracts tons of smart people. With Stack Exchange, Spolsky is broadening to other topics and communities such as cooking and photography, but he will only go where his audience takes him.

Given its roots with programmers, that means that new Stack Exchange verticals may not be as mainstream as those of competing sites, but that’s okay with Spolsky. The Stack Exchange sites are still growing 40 percent to 50 percent per month.

(Watch Part I and Part II of this interview and other episodes of Founder Stories, which is now available on iTunes)

Source: (Founder Stories) Stack Exchange CEO: “Nobody Wants To Find Yahoo Answers In Their Search Results”

(Founder Stories) Stack Exchange’s Spolsky On How SEO Makes The Internet Worse

March 11th, 2011 03:59 admin View Comments

Content farms and SEO are the bane of the Internet. Google is fighting it, but somehow spam results keep slipping through. In this second installment of our Founder Stories interview with Stack Exchange CEO Joel Spolsky, he talks about how SEO sites make the Internet worse.

For instance, Stack Overflow is the premier site on the Internet for programmers to ask and answer questions about code. But Spolsky charges that SEO sites just rip the questions and answers straight off the site, wrap them with some black-hat SEO magic and Google ads, and rank higher than the original page on Stack Overflow. “They took our content, put Google ads on it, and made it worse because not in situ,” says Spolsky. “They used SEO techniques to rank higher.”

This is exactly how quality content gets displaced. There are even pages about “How to ask a question on the Internet.”

Spolsky fights this by going deep with each knowledge community Stack Exchange launches. In the video segment below, he explains why “you have to go deep.” He also talks about Stack Overflow’s new Careers 2.0 product, and how simply answering questions on Stack Overflow helped one “guy wasting time on World of Warcraft” become the No. 1 user on Stack Overflow, He parlayed that reputation into a job at the company.

(Watch Part I of this interview and other episodes of Founder Stories, which is now available on iTunes)

Source: (Founder Stories) Stack Exchange’s Spolsky On How SEO Makes The Internet Worse

8 Tech Companies That Announced Funding Today: Which is Most Likely Change the World?

March 9th, 2011 03:15 admin View Comments

piggy_sep10.jpgWe’re highlighting eight diverse companies that announced venture capital investments today. Investors have made a wager on each of these companies, but the odds are only so good for the group. We want to know, readers, which one do you think is most likely to prove viable and change the world? We’ve got a photo-based social networking site (looks like another fun means of communication), a question and answer site where different folks from programmers to home cooks can get their questions answered, a web-based advertising platform and five more promising companies to pay attention to. We also reveal who interested you voted the most interesting out of yesterday’s line up.

Yesterday’s poll winner was HubSpot, which raised $32m. HubSpot makes marketing software geared for small and medium-sized businesses and it earned 39% of RWW readers’ vote.

Today’s Companies:

StumbleUpon, the popular discovery engine that recommends the best sites for interests that the user specifies, raised $17m in a Series B round of financing. Tier 3, a cloud-computing service based in Seattle, raised $8.5m.

DailyBooth is a photo-based social networking site, which enables users to capture images of themselves and upload them daily in a process known as, “boothing.” It raised $6m in its first round of funding. Stack Exchange recently changed its name from Stack Overflow and raised $12m in a Series B round of of funding. Stack Exchange is a network of 46 question and answer sites, covering a wide breadth of topics. For example, I explored the cooking forum and learned about how to prevent my homemade soup from sticking to the bottom of my pot.

Flite (formerly Widgetbox) is a web-based advertising platform that raised $12m in Series C investments. Grid2Home, a smart grid software developer based in San Diego, raised $12m according to an SEC filing.

Startup Digest, a members-only email service that lists the best startup opportunities and happenings in 50+ cities raised $200,000 in funding from the Kauffman Foundation. MindSnacks makes learning games for touch-based devices and it raised $1.2m from an assortment of investors. Their focus is on short, “bite-sized,” interactive language learning experiences.

Again, we’ve got eight very different companies raising funding, which do you think could take that money and change the world?

Source: 8 Tech Companies That Announced Funding Today: Which is Most Likely Change the World?