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What was Homoiconic?

Homoiconic was an experiment in publishing code and words about code on a small scale. When I wrote, I added files to the homoiconic git repository, organized by date. Code was included in the posts and also in the folder with the posts that discussed them, so it was easy to download what you liked. You could (and still can) download the entire site as an archive!

Homoiconic was really simple: Snippets of code and words about snippets of code. I avoided words by themselves. And the words existed to amplify and explain the code, rather than the code existing to illustrate the words. This was the opposite of most of the posts we could find on traditional (circa 2004) blogs.

what can I read right now?

Asking me what to read is like asking the chef what's good on the menu. It's all excellent, of course! That being said, I had a few personal favourites:

Many people link to my series on combinators: Kestrels, The Thrush, Songs of the Cardinal, Quirky Birds and Meta-Syntactic Programming, Aspect-Oriented Programming in Ruby using Combinator Birds, The Enchaining and Obdurate Kestrels, Finding Joy in Combinators, Refactoring Methods with Recursive Combinators, Practical Recursive Combinators, The Hopelessly Egocentric Blog Post, and Wrapping Combinators.

There are also a few things about abstractions, functional programming, meta-programming, metaprogramming again, and brevity.

Of course, you can simply read the archives. They're organized by date, so the most recent writing is at the bottom, not the top.

is there anything else to read?

My current blog is called raganwald.

is this code clever?

Whoa, Nellie! Easy with the word "clever." Being interested in some of the things that interest smart people is not the same thing as being smart. Especially in my case. So before rushing off to use each and every technique presented here, be mindful of the fact that programming requires judgment, it isn't a perfectly logical process of solving problems using whatever tools, materials, and techniques happen to be within reach. You don't want to provoke responses like this:

Why do I have a feeling that the professional code you write would be too "clever" for most developers to understand? --devinus

My goal is to be able to say that thinking about the code and ideas presented here is a useful way to learn and grow, whether you use any of this code or not.

credit where credit is due

I originally set up a blog at, but I spotted David Baldwin's blog, and I knew right away that a blog that is about the how of code ought to be hosted on Github.

(Spot a bug or a spelling mistake? This is a Github repo, fork it and send me a pull request!)

I am Reg Braithwaite. You can reach me by email. My first name is reg, and that works fine for sending email to I look forward to hearing from you.