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Choice Bits

Top 11 books, tweets from the coding life, and the CoffeeScript flamewar...

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  Who knew that CoffeeScript was so controversial?  

What’s Hot

Top-Ten lists are passé—ours goes to 11. These are the top titles that folks are interested in currently, along with their rank from last month. This is based solely on direct sales from our online store.

1^2Agile Web Development with Rails
2v1iOS Recipes
3^5Crafting Rails Applications
4^6Programming Ruby 1.9
5v3The RSpec Book
6^9Seven Languages in Seven Weeks
7^NEWTest Driven Development for Embedded C
8^NEWCode in the Cloud
9v4Programming Concurrency on the JVM
10^NEWThe Definitive ANTLR Reference
11^NEWLearn to Program

Wake Up and Smell the Flamewar

Rails creator David Heinemeier Hansson (dhh) announces, “Rails 3.1 will ship with CoffeeScript… in the box for use with the new asset pipeline. It’s badass.” CoffeeScript, if you haven’t heard, is JavaScript done right. It civilizes JavaScript, letting you write clean, readable, powerful JavaScript code. Understandably, this announcement is greeted with enthusiasm.

Rails 3.1 moves to Coffeescript. Is Slashdotted. News at 11. — telemachus

Wow... crazy github comment war breaking out on the coffeescript commit in rails. — ajkovar

Freakout on CoffeeScript in Rails 3.1: — rtwomey

88 notifications on Github, apparently the coffeescript flamewar is alive and well. — dfnkt

The coffeescript-rails discussion ( almost makes me jealous. Haven't seen such passion in .NET land for a while. — martijnboland

That Rails Coffeescript thread is out of control. I can't view the thread without Firefox causing my machine to hit swap: — damncabbage

I’M JUST HERE FOR THE VIOLENCE! #rails31 #coffeescript #github #comments — ziromr

I don’t even know what coffeescript is. What are you kids fighting about now? — kch

The Cons

So... CoffeeScript. I don’t get it. — jlecker

Are people weary of using #coffeescript for js, #haml for html and #sass for css in #rails? All cool stuff, but nearly too meta for me. — danistheremix

I’m not really into all this meta stuff; SCSS, Coffeescript, HAML. Just do the real thing, and do it good. #Rails3.1 — rienswagerman

Rails 3.1 coming with CoffeeScript and Sass? Cool. Making them the defaults? Kind of crazy. (And what about LessCSS?) — lof

Making SASS and Coffeescript default in Rails 3.1 is a horrible decision! This is how/why merb was born… stupid & rushed decisions. #rails — Mephux

#CoffeeScript—write in one language, debug in another! #thejoysofcodegeneration — twitinsin

The news of Rails 3.1 supporting CoffeeScript reminds me how angry CoffeeScript makes me... I can’t understand how people would prefer it. — enormego

The Pros

I for one welcome my new CoffeeScript overlords. — joshpeek

Love that Rails 3.1 is pushing the envelope with CoffeeScript. Please continue this and ignore the haters. — mperham

Seems obvious to me. Javascript usually becomes an unintelligible mess, and CoffeeScript is JS turned into Ruby. Perfect fit. — enormego

Also missing from the conversation is that Firebug + other tools have plans to support tracebacks to CoffeeScript src. — BrendanEich

CoffeeScript by default in Rails? Bloody brilliant. Does anyone who’s ever (really) used CoffeeScript have a problem with this? I don’t. — darthapo

Seriously playing with coffeescript for the first time. Very impressive, and smoother integration with #nodejs than I expected. — felixge

CoffeeScript is all kinds of awesome! — bitsushi

default != requirement #rails3.1 #coffeescript — vianaweb

@jashkenas Congratulations! Getting CoffeeScript included in Rails is an honor. You should be proud. CoffeeScript is a beautiful language. — gixug

The Final Word

dhh gets the final word, because are you going to tell him otherwise?

I love how most of the arguments against CoffeeScript were the same we faced against Ruby back in the day. It’s “cute,” “toy,” “just syntax.” — dhh

Beyond the Final Word

Fearing irrelevance, Rails drops Ruby, moves to #CoffeeScript and #Node.js for 3.2 release. — FakeHackerNews

This Coding Life

I am. Therefore I tweet. — @unclebobmartin

When @livia wants bagels, I go fetch bagels. That’s how I do. — @biz

Starting to think I need a new business plan.... — @RonJeffries

I’m pleased to announce I’m creating an exploratory committee. What I’m exploring, however, remains a secret. — @hugs

We all thought that the first time we did something was the first time it had ever been done. — @scottknaster

cd / ; sudo ln -s Applications Apps — @cdespinosa

Terrifying deadline looms. Time to redesign my blog! #productiveprocrastination — @ginatrapani

Even though I did get my earring for business reasons (credibility with Ruby hepcats), I manfully refuse to count it as a business expense. — @marick

Why is Twitter recommending a bunch of hockey tweeters for me to follow? Has the machine developed a cruel, surreal sense of humor? — @gvwilson

Hell is other people’s concurrency. — @therealadam

Meaning no disrespect to either tradition, Iroquois dream-guessing might be preferable to SDLC requirements analysis. — @marick

“We can’t estimate the time for a task in software development because the nature of the work is creating new knowledge.”… — @dalmaer

In 90s, mgr tried to used boiling frog metaphor to explain how team was just fine w/ pressure increase, unaware froggie dies @ story end. — @tottinge

I have the best wife in the world. — @bphogan

@bphogan Let me guess: She tore apart your laptop, soldered a loose connection to fix the issue and overclocked the CPU for you? — @rit

Fan Mail

Cool. PragPub has a whole issue on Arduino. — @MilesForrest

This month’s PragPub has 28 pages dedicated to Arduino. It’s like they’re reading my mind. — @dlkinney

Best issue yet: Maik Schmidt writes about Advanced Arduino Hacking in the April PragPub. #arduino (via @pragpub) — @jerrykuch

Been trying to tell myself that I don’t have time for Ardiuno hacking, and then @pragpub had to do this: — @squarepegsys

Great April PragPub issue with an Arduino focus! And thanks for using Fritzing. #pragpub #Arduino #FritzingOrg — @gnozicka

John Shade’s #oracle #sun illuminations in @pragpub well worth a read. — @stevencarrie

Chad’s Japanese has Improved Greatly

Hey look, it’s my @pragpub interview in Japanese! — @chadfowler

This month we followed Dion Almaer, Peter Aronoff, Bitsushi, Martijn Boland, Jonathan Buchanan, Steven Carrie, Dan Cruickshank, Brendan Eich, enormego, Chris Espinosa, Miles Forrest, Chad Fowler, Luke Francl, Felix Geisendörfer, GJN, Pawl Grayham, David Heinemeier Hansson, Brian Hogan, Mike Hostetler, Rob Howard, Jason Huggins, Ron Jeffries, Adam Keys, David L. Kinney, Scott Knaster, Alex Kovar, Jerry Kuch, James Lecker Jr., Brendan W. McAdams, M@ McCray, Brian Marick, Uncle Bob Martin, Tim Ottinger, Josh Peek, Mike Perham, Biz Stone, David Stone, Rien Swagerman, Gina Trapani, Ryan Twomey, Evandro Viana, Dustin Webber, Greg Wilson, Caley Woods, and ziromr. You can follow us at