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I’ve started re-reading The Mote in God’s Eye. I first read it shortly after it was published, back when I was in mumblecoughmumble grade.

The 1970’s-era sci-fi character development (everyone speaks like an astrophysicist including warship captains), dialog (“Blast it!”), and male-female relations (sexist) don’t fit contemporary expectations. But they are the artifacts of its time. It’s a great yarn that’s still very enjoyable and thought-provoking. Even recognizing its shortcomings is instructive.

I wonder why it’s never been made into a movie or mini-series. It has the sci-fi operatic atmosphere of The Expanse, albeit shorter.


I bought “Python Testing Cookbook” by Greg L. Turnquist, published by Packt.

The good. I liked the cookbook recipe approach. Each recipe has the same headers: Its name, “How to do it,” “How it works,” and “There’s more.” This may not sound fancy, and it isn’t, but it works.

The writing’s good (albeit sometimes elementary — see below) and the example code is well laid out (except when it isn’t — see below). The book starts with the simplest form of unit testing, and goes all the way to measuring test coverage, and load testing. That’s a lot for one book to cover, which is both good and bad. Your first line of defense can be one book, but unless the book is very well written, it may leave every reader scratching their head over one section or another.

I learned a couple of new tricks.

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I recently read Plone 3 Theming, a new book by Veda Williams. Although not presently working in Plone, I like to keep up with the Plone ecosystem. Should I find myself working on a new CMS, Plone will be one of my preferred technologies, so I need to nourish what few Plone neurons I’ve got.

Obligatory caveats

I bump into Veda at Seattle Plone Gathering meetings. I wouldn’t say we’re friends, but we are friendly.

BTW, the book has an online errata list.

Snap review

Buy this book if you’re working on any aspect of developing a Plone-based site. Even if you aren’t doing theming work, its informational goodies will come in handy. It’s written for the newbie-to-intermediate level, but I’ll wager that even advanced Plone site developers will learn a thing or two from this book.

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