thoughts (less random than expected)
This time of year it's great to curl up in the evening with a feather comforter and a good text file.
I recently read all of Andy Hertzfeld's stories about the origin of the mac on folklore.org, pretty much straight through in chronological order during one long night. Only at the last story did I find out that he'd turned the website into a book.
Reading a whole book in one sitting online is not a novel experience for me, though it seems to be for many, but doing it by accident is. My enjoyment of quantities of text online does sometimes come out in my own weblog postings, which are probably long enough, if not good enough, to be their own book.
This weblog at least occasionally violates 8 of Nielsen's 10 weblog usability guidelines. The only one I think I should fix is point 5.
Another book I read online recently is Karl Fogel's Producing Open Source Software. The contrasts between how Karl suggests doing some things and how projects I'm involved in work are sometimes large (he suggests voting on technical issues for example), sometimes due to differences in technology (the debbugs bug tracker makes conversations and other email-based use of a bug tracking system work much differently than the BTSes he describes using), and sometimes pointed to things that could be improved. More often though, he seemed spot on in extrcting and highlighting best practices. For example, he does a great job in pointing out that simple, consistent naming conventions, like #404093 for a bug report and r1021 for a repository revision, are more important than they appear.
I also enjoyed reading some reviews of Katamari Damacy, which sounds like a truely unique and fun game. I'm looking forward to playing it (probably under emulation) one of these years.