a tumblelog
Tue 21 Jan 2020

Why Learn AWK?

Because of the arcane syntax? Because other languages can’t do the job?


I resisted AWK for a long time. Couldn’t I already do everything I needed with sed and grep? I felt that anything more complex should be done with a “real” language. AWK seemed like yet-another-thing to learn, with marginal benefits.

Read on in Jonathan Palardy's Why Learn AWK?.

The CSS Cascade

The CSS Cascade is one of the most powerful parts of CSS. But it can also be very frustrating, if not well understood. Anyone who’s worked on a large enough website has complained "Why won’t this CSS property work?!" And we’ve all been tempted to throw an !important to strong-arm things into place.

To save ourselves from future angst, let’s take a step back and learn this thing for real.

Source: The CSS Cascade, an article by Amelia Wattenberger.

Why do we fall into the rewrite trap?

One of my favorite reads is Joel Spolsky's Things You Should Never Do. He wrote this post almost twenty years ago, outlining the downfall of Netscape and others because they spent years rewriting working code. His solution is, unsurprisingly, to refactor. About a year before Joel wrote Things You Should Never Do, Martin Fowler published his popular book, Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code.

So, my question is, if we as a community figured out — twenty years ago — that we should stop rewriting programs, why is it still commonly done today?

Source: Why do we fall into the rewrite trap?, an article by Justin Fuller.