Base58 is an alternative to Base64 that is growing in popularity for case-sensitive encodings due to several characteristics including multi-protocol-safety and human-readability. It is used by Flickr, Bitcoin, and now Grokbase. The general characteristics of Base58 are that it uses the protocol-safe alpha-numeric alphabet (Base62) and excludes easy to confuse digits. Both Flickr and Grokbase
The other day on Hacker News, there was a good discussion of Avdi Grimm‘s talk on how to write Confident Code given at this year’s Ruby Midwest. He covers four areas: gather input, perform work, deliver results and handle failure. Here are links to the code example showing the initial, timid and final, confident code.