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Extreme Programming

In Testing MVC actions, mock objects and code coverage, Simon Brown wonders aloud about how to think about the issue of code coverage via tests. It's quite simple really... The rationale for testing and high test-coverage rates is exactly the same as for brushing your teeth and flossing everyday.
on Jan 21, 2004
Mock objects are the subject of several blogs again this week and they reminded me of a question that several people have asked me. In a web application, how do you unit test an MVC action? In a previous blog entry, I highlighted the differences between implementations of the Servlet specification when it comes down to security and presented a fairly simple workaround. Subsequently, I now have...
on Jan 21, 2004

Business

I was talking with author Dori Smith recently, and it turns out we both experienced a similar phenomenon: angry email and online posts about how we were making it too easy to learn Java. But is that really such a terrible thing? I know there's a lot of on- and off-line grumbling about whether it's a good idea to "teach the unteachable" or try to encourage "people who have no business programming...
on Jan 19, 2004
I recently wrote about Lego killing Mindstorms. It seems that Lego just put out a press release saying: Hearsay has it that a product range like LEGO MINDSTORMS is no longer in focus. This is not true. On the contrary, MINDSTORMS, CLIKITS and BIONICLE are all good examples of products the company wants to stake on. Well, there you go.
on Jan 15, 2004
Yahoo news reports that Lego is going to kill off the geekily popular Lego Mindstorms. Basically, Lego, as an organization, just never learned to adapt to the high-paced world of high-tech toys. Heck, they didn't get the whole trend / tie-in toy market either. So, they lost a lot of money and now their going to try to deal with the consequences by retreating back into their old, core market....
on Jan 11, 2004
Deepa Kandaswamy articulates his "seven reasons why women in technology remain invisible..." in Talibanism in Technology. What do you think? Aside from the sensationalistic title, is there really a problem? If so, what's the process by which to address it?
on Jan 10, 2004
Luckily for us, Steve Jobs debuted the iPod mini in his MacWorld 2004 conference keynote. It's tiny and very slick. Even better, the control felt pretty nice. Alas, in all too typical Apple style, the $249 price tag is just plain silly -- they should have hit the $199 price point. Apple does get the Best Revisionist Video Award for reshowing their seminal 1984 TV commercial with an iPod...
on Jan 7, 2004
I've been reading the buzz for the last couple of weeks that Apple would launch a smaller version of their iPod music player at MacWorld. Enter the iPod mini, announced in today's Jobs keynote. Thinking about my blog from a couple of weeks ago on the emergence of cellcams, I had to wonder: Is the iPod mini too little too late? Phones are already shipping with add-on support for MP3...
on Jan 6, 2004

Programming

"Mr. Ed" deconstructs the all too common tendency of developers to make horrendously vague propositions in his Basic Critical Thinking for Software Developers blog entry. His primary example is an assertion about pair programming so extreministas should definitely go wild. :-)
on Jan 18, 2004
Coupling in software architecture seems to form a spectrum, based on what has to change to make the system do something different. At one end of the spectrum are dissociated ubiquitous services, like those envisioned by JXTA. At the other end are the highly-coupled systems of architectural nightmares. In between I've identified configured services, component systems, and client-server systems....
on Jan 11, 2004
I'm sitting here at MacWorld Expo in San Francisco. I flew more than a thousand miles to get here, and I'm paying for it out of my own pocket. Why? Because it gets me excited. I'm surrounded by cool technology (I've waited my whole life for Apple's new GarageBand software). I do it because I'm happier and more productive if I stay enthused, and attending conferences has always worked for me. So I...
on Jan 8, 2004

Open Source

Today, residents of Iowa will participate in the state's causas, the first in this election. They will cast their vote for the Democratic party's presidential nominee. The Iowa caucus draws a lot of national attention because it is the first test for the candidates, and establishes the elections early leaders...and losers. After the votes are tallied, we'll see the field of prospects,...
on Jan 18, 2004

J2ME

For the past few weeks, I've been playing with MacSense's new HomePod device. The HomePod is a compact MP3 player with WiFi built-in, a scroll-wheel interface not unlike that of Apple's iPod, and peer-to-peer media streaming software developed by Gloo Labs. Unfortunately, the HomePod user interface does not work like the iPod. After playing with it for a few days, the differences between the...
on Jan 17, 2004
I've been working with MIDP 2.0 for the last couple of months. There is some incredibly exciting stuff going on in the mobile arena. Kathy's blog on MIDP 2.0 is just too much fun is right about that, but it's not just for the gaming folks. While I'm well aware of the fact that the gaming market is huge, it just doesn't float my boat. I'd rather see some cool applications that can integrate...
on Jan 15, 2004
I've spent the last few weeks playing with the Wireless Toolkit and MIDP 2.0. I've been in EJB-land for the last several years, so it's quite a shock going from big ol' gravel-hauling apps where it takes about a dozen objects to do Hello Bean, to these tiny little things where each object is precious. But man oh man is it ever fun! The MIDP 2.0 Game API is so easy to use. In about 15 minutes...
on Jan 14, 2004

Community

This week my team re-learned the debuggers' mantra: "What you think is improbable probably isn't as improbable as you thought.". A horrible performance problem cropped up in an upcoming release of our web-based product last Thursday. Each page of the application would take almost thirty seconds to load. This is not a good thing. Embarrassingly, this problem was hard to track down because we...
on Jan 13, 2004
James Strachan and others have been working on an awesome new scripting language for Java called, Groovy. I met James at the ApacheCon conference last year and he made me a convert to Groovy – its really a beautiful language and fairly easy for Java developer to learn. What makes Groovy really cool is that it integrates seamlessly with Java programs and is actually compiled into Java byte code....
on Jan 13, 2004

Databases

The relational database (based on SQL) has given us an elegant way to model the way different parts of an application relate to one another. Relationships allow us to eliminate redundant data, to relate data in meaningful ways, and to enforce those relationships at the lowest levels to ensure consistency. Enter the Object-oriented approach and its inherent desire to encapsulate and isolate, and...
on Jan 9, 2004

J2SE

Exceptions are a new concept for most people when they get to learn Java. Even though C++ offers some degree of support for them, a number of C++ programmers never heard of exceptions since the language they were used to did not force them to handle or declare exceptions. Other languages are said to have them as well - such as Ada, though I just read this information a few times and know nothing...
on Jan 7, 2004

Games

Happy New Year! After a much needed holiday break, and an excessive amount of gaming (2:30am chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and diet Cherry Coke to keep the gaming energy going) I am fired up and make this resolution: regular blogging. Yes, I know that things have been quiet on the gaming front, but no more! So, with the first blog of the new year, let's tackle some holiday gaming, outlooks...
on Jan 6, 2004