Code Quarterly Blog

A few things we’re looking for

Posted in Write for us by Peter Seibel on June 2, 2010

Someone suggested, in response to an earlier post, that it might help potential Code Quarterly writers if I wrote a bit more about what sorts of things we’re looking to publish. So, for folks who’ve already looked at our writer’s guidelines, where I discuss the half dozen general kinds of articles we plan to publish, and my sample proposal, which gives an example of one of the kinds of articles we’re looking for, here are a few more ideas. They are in no particular order and this is certainly not an exhaustive list.

  • Math for programmers I’d love to have practical-minded pieces about specific bits of math that would be useful for programmers. The pieces would need to be understandable to someone who hasn’t done any serious math since, say, high school. Conceivably this could be a regular feature of Code Quarterly.

  • Parsing techniques There are a bunch of parsing techniques from the venerable LL and LALR parsers to things like linear approximation look-ahead used by ANTLR and new(ish) ones like Packrat Parsing and Parsing Expression Grammars. Throw in other techniques such as Top Down Operator Precedence and Schorre’s Meta-II parser and there are a bunch of interesting ideas that presumably are related in interesting ways. I’d be ecstatic if someone would write an article that covers the history of these techniques, explains some theory without getting bogged down it it, and gives practical advice about how to choose the right parsing technique for different tasks.

  • Energy efficient computing I know that lot of people are thinking about new ways of developing software and hardware specifically to reduce the amount of energy (i.e. electricity) required to achieve the same results. That’s about all I know but I’d love to read more.

  • Code auditing I’m specifically interested in something about the OpenBSD auditing process: what things do they look for and how do they come up with that list?

  • Code reads This is actually a general kind of article, not a specific suggestion but it’s one that I really want to have in the Quarterly. The basic idea is to take a piece of code that is interesting in some way and explain or critique it. We’re still feeling our way a bit with this kind of article but here a few possible approaches: one is to take a piece of really excellent code and analyze why it is so good. Or start with a piece of code that may or may not be that great but which is important in some way—perhaps because it is widely used—and explain and critique it. A third variant might take two pieces of code that do the similar things and compare and contrast them.

These are, as I say, just a few ideas. Feel free to email me if you are interested in working on something along these lines or if you have any other ideas that you think might be a fit for us.