Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Nostarch Press recently published the book Code Craft: The Practice of Writing Excellent Code by Pete Goodelife.

I have to say the book looks pretty "excellent" itself. It may even become a new classic, replacing the old classic "Writing Solid Code" by Steve MacGuire. And if Steve McConnell hadn't recently updated his even more classic "Code Complete" with a 2nd edition, I might even put Code Craft on a par with that. It's that good!

It's not just about programming & design either. Like Code Complete it covers pretty much all of "software construction." It has some good stuff about build, integration, test, source-control, and more.

About my only pet peeve is that in the "Answers and Discussion" section it talks about recursive make versus inclusive make schemes. It has a pretty good discussion, but I couldn't find any reference to the classic paper by Peter Miller entitled "Recursive Make Considered Harmful". That kind of bothered me because I don't think there's any good excuse for it. It also made me wonder if there were some other places I didn't know about where appropriate references/citations were missed or neglected. (It's not severe enough to make me recommend the book any less highly though!)

I would probably put Code Craft on the "REQUIRED READING" list for any relatively new professional programmer, and have them read it just before before reading Code Complete.

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