Random pieces I enjoyed reading.
These are on the top of my list. Cooper’s book is great for learning about the process of developing software in general. Philip’s book is about web sites, and since all interesting program in the next few years will be web sites, it’s equally relevant. Scott McCloud’s book is about the combined visual and written language used in cartoons. As it turns out, these are the same elements available to most software. Finally, there’s Tufte, with his excellent, intelligent approach to information design in general, also highly relevant to software.
- The inmates are running
the asylum by Alan Cooper explains the right process for
developing software that’s useful to users. Too bad it isn’t free
(even though you’d expect Cooper to make enough money from his job to
refrain from the few bucks earned from a book).
Philip and Alex’s Guide to Web Publishing
by Philip Greenspun
What Philip thinks web publishing is all about, and also technical help on how to do it in real life. There’s a whole lot of interesting reads scattered around his whole website, so dig around.
Comics by Scott
McCloud. Boy, I wish someone would write an introductory computer
science textbook with Scott.
Explanations by <a
Tufte. Also read his other books, they’re all worth it.
Should Not Have Owners by Richard Stallman
Stallman, from MIT, is the guy that started the whole thing. Most of the articles in the philosophy section are worth reading.
The Right to Read
by Richard Stallman
A piece of prose depicting where we may be headed.
Other Interesting Articles
The Cathedral and the Bazaar
by Eric S. Raymond
This is the “original” and often cited article.
- The Magic Cauldron
By Eric S. Raymond
Raymond has also published a book titled “The Cathedral and the Bazaar”. This is a chapter from that book on revenue models for free (or, rather, open source) software.
by Thomas Penfield Jackson
From the US vs Microsoft antitrust case. Makes for an interesting read, although it doesn’t have anything to do with free software per se.
Is Microsoft the Great Satan?
by Free Software Foundation
This is, I guess, the “official” Free Software Foundation view on Microsoft.
The Microsoft Antitrust Trial and Free Software
by Richard Stallman
What Stallman thinks should be done about Microsoft and their monopoly power.
In the Beginning was the Command Line
by Neal Stephenson
A humorous and insightful essay about the operating system business. Makes for an interesting read for technical and non-technical people alike.
The Death of File Systems
by Jakob Nielsen
A short article on what we intuitively know is wrong with the file system of today’s operating systems.
Route to Creativity: Following Bliss or Dots?
By Natalie Angier
Are computers creative or is advertising just a dull, non-creative business?