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ActiveSupport: Humor, Defaults, Security

Reading the source of Rails gives insight into the minds of the contributors over the years. It lets you know how they like to write code (of course), but it also gives you little glimpses into the personalities of particular people who shaped Rails in big and small ways. As a reader, you walk away from comment reading sessions knowing just a little bit more about the code, and the people behind it.

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Reading the Source of Ruby on Rails

I have decided to read the whole source of Ruby on Rails and make notes as I work my way through it. I have used the framework for far too long without doing such an obvious step and have just accepted the “magic” of how things work. Well, I’d like to see how the magic is made, and perhaps in so doing, I can become more useful as a Rubyist. These posts are going to read more like a journal, as that’s precisely what they are.

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Land of Lisp

There are a few programming books that I enjoy simply because they take a different approach. This book uses simple games to teach Lisp, and it's very well executed. Fun games, fun illustrations, much enjoy.

Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!

Haskell is a religion to which I'm not an adherent. I mean seriously, how many times have I been told that Functional Programming is the future. . .so when is that going to happen already? That said, great book for learning Haskell, really had fun reading it!


All the wizard references are fun for a bit, but I just didn't get that much out of this. Not sure why it's referenced so often.


I'll be honest, I skimmed through most of this, mostly to satisfy my curiosity on how compilers work. The thing is, if that is what you are after, there are much shorter tomes. This is an undergrad book.

The Little Schemer

Socratic method to learn Scheme? Yes please! Very well done and I recommend it extensively.

The Art of Computer Programming Volume 1

There is a group delusion when it comes to this series of books. Perhaps, it is like hazing, where individuals go through a bad experience and then force it on others, somehow feeling better about it in the process. This book is no longer relevant, and while it may serve a historical function for some, is not useful for programmers today.

The Algorithm Design Manual

Incredibly useful book for programmers today looking to learn about algorithms. If you think you should be reading TAOCP, you are wrong. Read this instead (unless you are building in a fictional Assembly language).

Ender's Game

This may have been the book that got me fired up about Sci-Fi originally, and then when I re-read it a number of years back. Incredible execution of the child-genius motif (see Dune) overlayed upon space marines, with a twist. Love it.

A Brief History of Time

Hawking at his finest, this book drew a young highschool Zack to see Hawking deliver a lecture in Seattle and increase his fervor for Physics. Truly a stunning landmark book in explaining things like black holes to the masses. A+

Six Easy Pieces

A distilled version of his lectures, which makes this much more approachable that the former.

The Feynman Lectures on Physics

Read during the window between highschool and college, this series of books fired my passion for science as an understandable and explainable discipline, not just wizardry for smart people. That said, it's quite a haul to get through these, but it's worth it.