C++ coding standards

book coverC++ coding standards : 101 rules, guidelines, and best practices / Herb Sutter, Andrei Alexandrescu. Addison-Wesley, 2005

Such a simple yet invaluable book to anyone coding in C++, because code readability is so important. Lend it to co-workers and hope they read it.

The recommended standards are practical, and after you have read this book you will see them as common-sense. Each is supported by references to well known authorities.

Security Engineering

book coverSecurity engineering : a guide to building dependable distributed systems / Ross J. Anderson. Wiley 2008, hard cover

1000 very readable pages of straight talk on security.  This affects almost everyone.  The first edition was published in 2001, and the book appears to have been rewritten.  I wish there was a new edition yearly.

According to B. Schneier, “It’s beautiful. This is the best book on the topic there is”.

Professional Apache Tomcat 6

book coverProfessional Apache Tomcat 6 / Vivek Chopra, Sing Li, Jeff Genender. Wiley 2007 ISBN: 9780471753612

This is the quickest way for a systems admin to understand Tomcat. There is a lot to learn, and you need to know it all.

This book is not for the Java J2EE programmers who develop the servlets and web applications. Neither is it for a Tomcat developer.

Silence on the wire

book coverSilence on the wire : a field guide to passive reconnaissance and indirect attacks by Michal Zalewski. No Starch Press, 2005

This book on internet security is much different than most. Firstly, it is a joy to read! It has no dry descriptions of the latest vulnerabilities, but instead it delves into the technologies that underlie the Internet, and explores their inherent limitations.

Professional Python frameworks

book coverProfessional Python frameworks : Web 2.0 programming with Django and TurboGears / Dana Moore, Raymond Budd, William Wright.

If you are developing web applications using Python you will want to use a framework so you are not re-implementing all the ‘glue’ that is common to all web apps and so you have a clear project structure to work around. This book is an excellent introduction to two frameworks, TurboGears and Django.

More info is at the Library of Congress

The C++ standard library extensions

book coverThe C++ standard library extensions : a tutorial and reference / Pete Becker. hardcover.
Here is a book every C++ programmer needs. The TR1 library, which extends the C++ standard library, has most of its ideas from the Boost library, and is powerful. A line of code deserves a page of discussion. As such, it tricky to use or use well.
This book, by a core leader of C++ standards groups,
is mostly a reference volume. Nowadays you usually use the web for reference, but this book will save you a lot of searching.

C++ programming has advanced so much since I started with it 10 years ago. Not that the language changed much, it is more that we use it differently with templates and the standard library. I wish I had time to read this book page by page.

Ottawa Public Library on the Web

The Ottawa Public Library (OPL)
A few years back OPL got a web request system that revolutionized the way we use the library. We used to browse the shelves or the card catalog. Now we do an online search, place a hold, and get notified in a few days that the book is ready to be picked up at the local branch. The book might be from any branch in the city.

Can’t find what you want in the library? Suggest that the library purchase it (library card needed).