Robin's Blog


I really enjoy reading blogs. That seems to be a slightly outdated view, as many people have moved over to using Twitter exclusively, but I like being able to follow everything that a specific person writes, and seeing mostly long-form articles rather than off-the-cuff comments.

Back in the day, when blogs were really popular, every blog used to have a ‘blogroll’ listing other blogs they subscribed to. That doesn’t seem to be a ‘thing’ any more – but I thought I’d put together my own blogroll. So, this is a list of blogs to which I subscribe.

(For those interested, I subscribe using RSS/Atom and use Feedly as a RSS reader online, and gReader on my phone. I used to use Google Reader, but that was discontinued by Google. I created the list below from my Feedly OPML export using this script, and then added the descriptions and categorisations manually. The original OPML file – suitable for importing into the feed reader of your choice – is available here)

  • Programming – a range of topics are covered here, including language-specific blogs (mostly Python and R) and general programming blogs. Sadly, many blogs have stopped publishing regular articles, but their archives are well worth a read.
    • Planet Python – a blog aggregator covering lots of blogs about Python, so you get a huge range of Python-related items on here, from scientific code to webapps and machine learning to databases
    • Planet SciPy – the same as above, but focused on scientific applications of Python
    • Jupyter Blog – updates from the team behind IPython and the Jupyter Notebook
    • Doug Hellmann – Python Module of the Week – the blog of the Python 3 version of the Python Module of the Week series, taking a Python module each week and doing a ‘deep dive’ on it
    • Programming in the 21st Century – this blog has now closed, but the archives are great. Conveniently the final post has a ‘best of’ list, so start there
    • Walking Randomly – scientific programming articles from a fellow SSI fellow. See the highlights page
    • DatasFrame – great articles on modern, idiomatic usage of pandas, plus scaling python data analysis using tools like dask
    • The Endeavour – a combination of maths, statistics and programming. The maths often goes a bit over my head, but I like it anyway.
    • Third Bit – blog of Greg Wilson who founded Software Carpentry, good for thoughts on teaching programming
    • Software Carpentry – blog of the organisation that Greg founded, also with interesting articles about teaching programming
    • Wes McKinney
    • RStudio Blog – I’m not much of an R programmer, but RStudio are doing a lot of interesting things, so it’s good to keep an eye on what’s happening
    • alexwlchan – Python programming and general programming articles
    • Daily Life in an Ivory Basement – blog about real-world scientific programming from a bioinformatics lab
    • Mike Bostock – from the creator of d3.js and rarely updated these days, but the archives have lots of good stuff on visualisation and cartography generally, and with d3.js specifically
    • good coders code, great reuse – most of the recent posts are about online tools for programmers and cartoons the author has written, but the archives have some really good stuff
    • Python Engineering at Microsoft – some interesting articles, particularly about Python support in the Microsoft ecosystem
    • I Love Symposia! – articles on scientific python programming, with a particular emphasis on image processing. From the author of Elegant Scipy
    • – general programming articles, with a bit of a Windows focus
    • The Old New Thing – detailed articles about Windows programming. Often a bit above me (I was never really a Win32 C/++ programmer) but some interesting articles come up sometimes
    • The GitHub Blog – always good to keep up with what is going on at Github
    • stackoverflow – also good to keep up with StackOverflow
    • Joel on Software – very few posts recently, but some absolutely wonderful archives from many years ago. These were the source for Joel’s two books. Conveniently the homepage has an index of some of the best articles – go and read them!
    • Stevey’s Blog Rants – some interesting general programming articles, but for the really good stuff you need to go to Stevey’s Drunken Blog Rants where pretty-much every article is worth reading.
    • Coding Horror – same as above, some great articles many years ago, the recent stuff isn’t so good.
    • John Graham-Cumming – hasn’t been updated much recently, but some good articles in the archives
    • Eric.Weblog() – not updated any more, but some good archives such as these
  • General Computing – fewer blogs here than I used to read, but a good way to keep up with a few areas of computing.
    • Ken Shirriff’s blog – absolutely fascinating blog about electronics and antique computers, ranging from punched card machines to early GUIs.
    • The Morning Paper – an article about an interesting academic paper from computer science, every morning
    • Scott Hanselman’s Computer Zen – general computing/programming articles, with a Windows and ASP.NET focus. Less good these days, but the archives are good.
    • Windows Command Line Tools For Developers – good way to keep up with the many improvements to the command-line experience on Windows
    • Daring Fireball – a strange one for me to read as I’m not really an ‘Apple fanboy’ (even though I do use a MacBook Pro), but good to see what is happening in the worlds of iOS and macOS
    • – updates on the editor that I’m using to write this post
    • Alfred App – Mac OS X Quicklaunch Application – updates on the quicklaunch toolbar that I use many times a day
  • Remote sensing and GIS – many of these have also stopped publishing recently, and in general there are far too few remote sensing blogs. If you know of any more then please let me know!
  • General academic – I think all of these are actually posting articles regularly. Hooray!
    • PHD Comics – this has to be near the top, great cartoons of what it is like to work in academia. I own multiple PhD Comics books. The archives are great.
    • Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week – completely not my field, but has some interesting things about the scientific process and scientific environment generally, as well as a lot about open access publishing
    • Study Hacks – this started off as tips for studying as a student at university, but has turned in to tips and advice for any sort of ‘knowledge work’. From the author of Deep Work
    • Chronically Academic – the blog of a recently-formed support network for chronically-ill academics
    • Matt Might’s blog – not many posts these days, but some excellent archives on how to do a PhD, productivity, computer science and more
    • Software Sustainability Institute – news from the SSI, about software in science, sustainability of that software, software citation, teaching scientists to program and more
  • Disability – a strange topic maybe, but as someone with a chronic illness/disability, it is good to keep up with others who have similar problems, and keep up-to-date with knowledge on my condition
    • ME Association – UK association for people with ME and those who support them. Regular articles with ME-related news. I particularly like the summaries of published research.
    • Chronically Academic – a network of academics with chronic illesses
    • Stickman Communications – blog of a great company who make lots of products to help those with disabilities, all featuring stickmen. I use many of their products.
    • This Is My Blog – blog by a lady with ME. Mostly baby photos over the last few years (very cute!) but the archives have some interesting insights into ME, particularly when preparing to have children
    • Diary of a Goldfish – quite political blog about disability. Creator of Blogging Against Disabilism Day, which I have taken part in
    • The Social Worker Who Became Disabled – another long dormant blog, but with some interesting archives. From a friend who also has ME.
  • General – a complete mix of blogs that don’t fit anywhere else, including some from friends of mine
    • – I’m sure I don’t need to explain this one, just go and read it – and read the archives
    • What If? – dormant now, but has great articles asking fascinating ‘What If’ questions and answering them in detail
    • The Oatmeal – Comics, Quizzes, & Stories – great, and hilarious, cartoons – have a look at the archives
    • Letters | – letters to The Guardian newspaper in the UK, often interesting and sometimes controversial.
    • – articles from George Monbiot, including his columns from The Guardian
    • The Secret Teacher | The Guardian – The Guardian’s Secret Teacher series. Depressing, but enlightening.
    • Trent Hamm – The Simple Dollar – I think the archives are better than the more recent posts, but this blog really helped me sort out my financial situation a few years ago.
    • The Frugal Girl – another blog on saving money and living frugally – but also a fascinating insight in to someone else’s life
    • Mr. Money Mustache – a slightly-more opinionated look at saving money
    • Disappointed Idealist – fascinating articles (diatribes?) on the state of education in the UK today, from a former teacher
    • The Secret Barrister – a barrister publishing about the state of the court system in the UK, and giving informed comment on cases in the media
    • The Reinvigorated Programmer – the personal blog from one of the authors of the Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week, with a mix of programming, culture, science, books and more
    • – local news for the Portswood area of Southampton
    • Dominion Strategy – interesting articles about strategy for the card game Dominion
    • Ionia Guest House – the blog of a former supervisor of mine who is currently building a hotel in rural Turkey. Fascinating insight into the building process, and a good way to keep up to date with an old friend.
    • Two years in Toronto – the blog of a couple of friends who are spending a couple of years in Toronto
    • Traveller C – the blog of an artist/illustrator friend of mine – look at some of the images in the archives!
    • The Ginger Allotmenteer – the blog of a friend of mine from sixth form college, focusing on her work in her allotment
    • blissfullyeccentric – the blog of a friend of mine from university

If you found this post useful, please consider buying me a coffee.
This post originally appeared on Robin's Blog.

Categorised as: Computing, GIS, Linux, OSX, Programming, Python, Remote Sensing, Windows


  1. Jason says:

    Thanks for sharing – might you share the OPML as well? Save me the trouble of plugging these into Inoreader. Thanks

  2. Robin Wilson says:

    Good idea! I’ve added a link to the OPML now. Thanks!

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