Archive for the 'books' Category

After Man

After almost a decade trying to get it, yesterday I received a copy of After Man by Dougal Dixon. I got it from an seller, second hand.

I recall browsing through the pages of that book, back in the 1980s, and being mesmerized at the drawings and the stories within. Last night I browsed through the book again and I wasn’t disappointed. Quite the opposite; I am utterly impressed.

My book is out

My book about metamodelling, co-authored with Brian Henderson-Sellers, has been published.

I would understand if you cringe at the idea of a whole book devoted to a topic so obscure as that. Anyway. That’s what I do 🙂


Today I skim-read Peopleware. I had read it already, maybe 10 years ago, but I needed to find some details so I grabbed it from the shelf for a minute and ended up re-reading most of it again. I am still impressed at how good this book is. It’s just a little pearl, so current and so insightful, especially the section on work spaces.

Girlfriend in a Coma

A few days ago I finished “Girlfriend in a Coma” by Douglas Coupland, one of my favourite authors. Awesome. I absolutely loved it. Romantic, powerful, gripping. Wow. Can’t say more. Go get it.

Go get a copy now

Have you read “A Pattern Language” by Christopher Alexander? No? Get a copy now. Please.

It’s beautiful, useful and large. What else could you ask for?

Visigoth epigonism

Yesterday Isabel showed me one of her old text books from high school. It is tattered and torn and on the spine you can barely read “History”. I flipped through the pages, feeling the smell and the old-fashioned layout, and suddenly something caught my eye. Left page, inner column, midway from the top, in all-caps bold type: “VISIGOTH EPIGONISM”.

I immediately recognised the words. That wasn’t my book, but surely enough I used the same edition when I did history at high school. I will never forget the topic on Visigoth epigonism; I was 16, a curious kid quite well read for his age, and when I first stumbled against those words that I could not recognise, they got engraved in some engram at the back of my head.

I knew who the Visigoth were. I had studied history before and I had a rough idea of what they looked like in the pictures of the books. And I had watched a movie about them too! But “epigonism”… I had no clue about that word. I remember reading through the passage in the history book and being completely unable to infer the meaning of the title from the meaning of the text.

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Software factories

Some time ago I read the book by Jack Greenfield and Keith Short on software factories, and I liked the overall idea. I even got involved with a workshop at OOPSLA on this topic, kindly invited by Greenfield himself.

Since then, I have been reading papers, opinions and news related in various degrees to the concept of “software factories” as described by Greenfield and Short. A few days ago I attended an event where different Spanish government and corporate parties presented their ideas and objectives about software factories, and I was surprised to hear that everybody is into software factories now. Every single company talking at the event told tales about how they have created a software factory with 300 or 500 engineers in some low-tech, rural area of Spain. It was unclear why everybody used the term “software factory” to refer to a large building chock full with “engineers” developing software; we have always had that kind of place. It seems that development shops become now “software factories”, developers become “engineers”, and software development is not software development anymore but software manufacturing. So chic.

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