Developer

Programmers' Heaven: Not just another code warehouse

There's a lot of code to be found at Programmers' Heaven, but don't be fooled into thinking it's merely a code warehouse. See why this site is more than just the sum of its code.


When a Web site tries to be many things to many people, it rarely succeeds. But Programmers’ Heaven, with its cornucopia of source code and technical articles on virtually any language imaginable, definitely comes close. Figure A offers a capsule review of the site.

Figure A: Programmers’ Heaven at-a-glance review
*Halo not included.


Like Code Beach, the site I reviewed in my previous column, Programmers’ Heaven could best be described as a links warehouse. Neither site hosts much original content, instead providing value by collecting links to code and articles and organizing them into categories. With links to more than 12,832 code samples and articles of interest to both niche and mainstream developers, Programmers’ Heaven has a much larger link library than does Code Beach. The size of the warehouse isn't the only distinguishing feature: Programmers’ Heaven also hosts a set of active message boards and produces a bimonthly e-mail newsletter.

Looks can be deceiving
The site is arranged in a hierarchical way that can fool you into thinking there's far less content than there actually is. Each language has its own dedicated page that organizes its links into categories. At first glance, you're likely to think each link on the categories page will be to an individual article or code example, simply because there are so many of them on the page. Usually, though, each link on a categories page will open onto a third page with links to actual code and articles.

In case you can't find what you are looking for by browsing, the subcategory pages list related sections for files, articles, and code. If you know just what you’re looking for, Programmers’ Heaven sports a capable search feature as well.

Section highlights
The aforementioned sections are devoted to the usual mainstream suspects, along with some rather niche languages. You'll find the requisite sections devoted to Java, Visual Basic, and C/C++, but you'll also find ample space dedicated to Delphi, Pascal, Basic, and Perl and PHP.

The Java section organizes links into Java Programming, Applets and Sourcecode, and Common information groups. In the Java Programming section, you'll find some links to subcategories that include JINI, Multimedia, Database, CORBA, Servlets and JSP, User Groups, XML, Internet, JavaBeans, Utilities, and about 60 more besides. The Applets and Sourcecode section has links to a variety of Java applets and routines organized into subcategories based on their usage.

The Visual Basic page has links for the categories of Visual Basic Programming, Visual Basic Sourcecode, VBX Components, and Common information. The Visual Basic Programming category is the largest, with subcategories such as Visual Basic Files, Visual Basic Articles, Visual Basic Links, Visual Basic Utilities, and even a selection of FAQs. The VBX Components category contains links to both OCX and VBX components. The Visual Basic Sourcecode section has links to subcategory pages that list well over 100 zipped VB projects illustrating how to accomplish everything from database access to game programming.

You'll also find sections devoted to Windows, ASP, Microsoft.NET, UNIX, and Linux programming, each organized in a fashion similar to the language sections. While the Windows and Linux sections have links to more than a few system utilities, making them not exclusively programming information lists, there are still some worthwhile goodies to be found in each section.

Where'd they get all this stuff?
The majority of the links you'll find categorized on Programmers’ Heaven have been suggested by visitors to the site. Simply fill out an online form to join the Programmers’ Heaven community, and you'll be able to suggest the addition of links to the site, post to the message boards, and contribute news headlines.

Speaking of the message boards, they appear to be very lively. There are boards dedicated to all of the languages for which the site categorizes links, in addition to job postings, game programming, and COM, Palm, wireless, Windows, and UNIX development. Most of the boards are fairly active, usually with several active threads and new posts daily.

There appears to be a thriving community at Programmers’ Heaven, as well as more code and resources than you can reasonably expect to exhaust in your lifetime. If you like browsing through endless lists of articles about your favorite language, you may very well find yourself in heaven. With its well-organized link lists, Programmers’ Heaven is certainly paradise for those of us with terminally disorganized bookmark lists.

Know of a good or interesting site?
If you have a favorite site you think we should know about or you’d like to comment on this site, send us an e-mail or post to the discussion with your thoughts.

 

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