Category Archives: Videos

Video: Douglass Crockford explains “The JSON Saga”

JSONWhile this video is from back in July 2009, it’s a great story around how JSON came to be and has some solid lessons in it for people developing new data formats:

Video: Douglas Crockford — The JSON Saga

Yahoo! thankfully provided a full transcript of the video on that page so that if you don’t have time to watch the video (I initially didn’t) you can simply scan down the text.

I enjoyed the emphasis on “less is more” and on the need to remove functionality to make it simpler. At one point Crockford says (taken from the transcript):

One of the key design goals behind JSON was minimalism. My idea was that the less we have to agree on in order to inter-operate, the more likely we’re going to be able to inter-operate well. If the interfaces are really simple, we can easily connect, and if the interfaces are really complicated, the likelihood that something’s going to go wrong goes way, way up. So I endeavored to make JSON as simple as possible.

I had a goal of being able to put JSON standard on the back of a business card. And this is the card. Come see me if you want one of these cards; it’s the JSON card, it’s got the JSON standard on the back.

He goes on at some length about XML, language design and much, much more. If you have 50 minutes to watch the video, it’s worth it. (Alternatively, the transcript is excellent.)

Want to learn about Node.js? Excellent set of videos coming out of Node.js Camp

Interested in learning more about Node.js and the surrounding ecosystem of tools and modules? The folks over at Joyent have made available a set of videos covering the Node.js Camp that occurred December 14, 2010, in San Francisco. You can view them all at:

Nice range of topics… looks like a fun event…


Node Tuts – a video podcast tutorial on learning Node.js

In my continued interest to learn more about Node.js, I was recently pointed to an enjoyable set of video podcasts called “Node Tuts” and available at:

In each episode, host Pedro Teixeira walks you through how to perform some task using Node.js. He uses a combination of the command line, TextMate (to view the code) and his web browser. I have only started working through the series, but so far I have already picked up a few tips and learned about a few new modules to check out.

These episodes are recordings of Pedro hacking away and do include mistakes he makes (and corrects). This actually was okay because it helped me check my own knowledge. There was one show where I thought “he didn’t declare that module” and sure enough he had to go back and correct that. The rawness of the recording, though, was helpful in understanding how you could debug code in Node.js.

I do also like that each episode builds on the previous one (so far). It provides a useful way to expand your knowledge based on what you just learned.

As I mentioned, I am only starting to work through the recordings, but so far I have found them quite helpful!

Video Book Review: Pragmatic Guide to Git


Last night I recorded a new episode of my Emerging Tech Talk video podcast (as part of my One Day of Content Creation) where I reviewed the Pragmatic Guide to Git written by Travis Swicegood and published by Pragmatic Programmers in November 2010.

As I note in the video embedded below, I found the book quite useful as a reference and a solid intro to git for people who may have experience with other version control systems and want to come up to speed with git. It is not a tutorial on version control systems, so if you have no experience with VCS’s, you’ll need to read some other book first. (Or watch my earlier ETT episode where I explain version control systems.)

Enjoy the review…

In full disclosure:

  1. O’Reilly sent me a copy of this book to review, but I would have purchased it anyway since I have a passionate interest in git.
  2. The links to above use my affiliate code and so if you actually buy the book I will receive a tiny amount of money.