Monday, November 24, 2008

Visual learning

Sometimes a simple visual makes an abstract concept more understandable.  I find more and more that I like watching short webcasts about new concepts instead of just reading prose about them.

If you haven't tried it, check out Dimecasts for a collection of just that kind of presentation.  I find it great to not only see code, but also to hear why it is being written that particular way. 

Here's one I just ran across that explains pointers succinctly and clearly.

Learning about pointers from Binky

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Future of Reflector is Red Gate

In an interview with Lutz Roeder and James Moore entitled The Future of Reflector, we find out that development of Reflector is being taken over by Red Gate Software.  The promise is that Reflector will continue to be "available for free downloading".  Will source code still be available?  Not discussed in the brief transcript of the interview. 

It will be interesting to see what happens to such a widely-used tool.  How will the community of add-in writers react?  Will there be a hue and cry from the Open Source community at large?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Unit testing static classes

Cibrax describes a method to unit test static classes.  The example given applies to WCF, but it can be applied to anything that would otherwise be difficult to mock.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Unified SCC - a universal source control integration plugin

This plugin could be useful if you are looking to use Subversion (or CVS) as your source control management system.  It claims to handle Delphi as well as Visual Studio, with other development systems in the works.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Source Control in a .NET World

Scott Kuhl blogs about finding a source control system to replace SourceSafe and comes up with a surprising new contender.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Mythical 5%

Bruce Eckel's commencement address at Neumont University in Salt Lake City.  The school is geared toward teaching Comp. Sci.  Some excerpts:

We are in a young business. Primitive, really -- we don't know much about what works, and we keep thinking we've found the silver bullet that solves all problems. As a result, we go through these multi-year boom and bust cycles as new ideas come in, take off, exceed their grasp, then run out of steam. But some ideas seem to have staying power. For example, a lot of the ideas in agile methodologies seem to be making some real impacts in productivity and quality. This is because they focus more on the issues of people working together and less on technologies.

People issues.  In software as well as life, People Issues rule.  To condense further...

A man I've learned much from, Gerald Weinberg, wrote his first couple of books on the technology of programming. Then he switched, and wrote or coauthored 50 more on the process of programming, and he is most famous for saying "no matter what they tell you, it's always a people problem."

A third way to look at this:

...there's one more very important maxim from Gerald Weinberg which doesn't really answer anything as much as gives you a way to understand what happens. He says: "Things are the way they are because they got that way ... one logical step at a time." It's the legendary frog in the saucepan. So from your fresh new perspective things might look ridiculous, but remember that each decision on the way was made by someone weighing the issues and making what seemed like the best choice at the time. This viewpoint doesn't solve the problem but it can make you more compassionate about the people who are stuck there.


This is worth taking the time to read.