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# Modern Platforms

Here are a few things I'd like from a modern development platform:

1. Everything is Automatically Testable

Test scripts exercise the software in a predictable way, to automatically detect code regressions. Must also be able to detect UI regressions. Defects are reproduced in script and henceforth are verified as fixed as part of the test suite. If a known defect reappears, the test fails. These types of end-user tests are called acceptance/customer/functional tests.

2. Quick Defect Turnaround

New defects are immediately reported to the development team. If the software detects an error it automatically sends the report (and script). Otherwise the user may choose to send a log of their past actions (also in script) to be verified as a defect by the team.

Why?

Far too much time is spent stabilizing software. The same problems appear and reappear, wasting time. Rather than having a destabilization and stabilization period in the development cycle, we need to be mostly stable all of the time.

The only way to do this is to constantly barrage the software with testing. Automatic testing methods are the only way this is practical, quick and inexpensive. So methods for all types of automatic testing must be built into the platform itself, especially in the GUI. Anything that may be done manually in software must be able to be done in a test script that can be used for regression purposes.

These feauteres would dramatically improve software quality and development speed. The only question is who will be the first to do it?

posted at December 30, 2002 at 11:37 AM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# How to Get a Virus

Here are a few simple steps you can take to effectively get a computer virus. Not all steps are necessary.

Step 1 - Use a Popular Email Client and Operating System

Forget web mail like Hotmail. Use a mainstream email client and operating system like Outlook and Windows like everyone else does. Then you get everyone else's Outlook viruses, especially the viruses that automatically mass mail to everyone in your address book. Those are the best ones and they spread the joy of viruses even faster.

Step 2 - Open Every Email Attachment You Get

Viruses aren't just for EXE files any more. Open every email attachment you can get your grubby little hands on. Those Macromedia Flash games are good little virus carriers and you can have fun at the same time! w000!

Step 3 - Blindly Trust Virus Scanning Software

Don't worry if you have anti-virus software installed, even if it is updated regularly by some crazy person that doesn't want a virus (what's with those people?) or automatically by services like Microsoft Hotmail. Old viruses are boring anyway. New viruses take weeks or months to be properly detected and repaired by anti-virus software so you don't have to worry at all.

... and finally, if all else fails ...

Step 4 - Make Your Own Virus

If you followed Step 1 and you use Outlook, through the magic of Visual Basic for Applications you can easily create your own virus. There are plenty of resources on the Internet and you can improve your programming skills at the same time! Truly Amazing!

</facetious>

Added 1:34am ...

Step 5 - Don't Worry

A lot of people use email every day and yet they don't know anything about email. Not educating yourself about the technology you use is probably the best way to use it improperly or unsafely. Blindly trust the email fairy and you will get fantastic viruses!!

posted at December 30, 2002 at 12:54 AM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# Mass Windage

Ahh, the sweet sound of nothing. There's a huge difference in noise level between the iBook and my AMD box, aka "the wind tunnel". I might actually be able to hear myself think when I'm in the same room as the computer I'm using. How scary is that ...?

... although the sound of a gerbil scurrying may be distracting. There, I beat you to it. :P

posted at December 28, 2002 at 08:52 PM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# In Rotation

It's been a while. Here's what's in rotation ...

Albums:
David Gray - A New Day at Midnight

Singles:
Hot Hot Heat - Bandages
Christina Aguilera - Beautiful
Matthew Good - Weapon
Theory of a Deadman - Make up your Mind
Coldplay - Clocks
David Gray - The Other Side

Retro:
Doobie Brothers - Without Love

posted at December 24, 2002 at 01:50 AM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# Wow, nothing

Ok, I've got nuthin. Just been playing with the new machine the last few days and I don't want to bore you with those mundane details. Pretty much it's:

1. Wonder how something is done.
2. Play around for an hour.
3. RTFM.
4. Find the answer in 5 minutes.

Rinse and repeat.

Xmas will probably be slow around here, as I'll be moving around visiting the family, etc. More content in the new year ...

posted at December 24, 2002 at 12:01 AM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# OMG!

Oh Mac Goodness! I can't believe I just did that ... I must be insane. AND I PAYED CASH. ACK. Help me, I've lost it.

posted at December 19, 2002 at 09:33 PM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# Mac Fanac

Ok, the iBook investigation is proceeding .... slowly. Went to BMac on Merivale this weekend to check out the floor model and Galen gave us a great demo, answered a lot of questions. I don't keep up with the Mac scene, but computers are computers.

He suggested I might want to wait until a G4 iBook comes out in six months - maybe. I don't think I can, or want to, wait that long. If I don't get an iBook now, I'll get an IBM notebook ... ahh, decisions decisions.

I think I do need a change though. Wintel is boring me.

posted at December 19, 2002 at 01:20 PM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# Another Trek

SPOLIER FREE!

I think the TNG clan could do just about anything and I'd think it was interesting to watch. When you watch a series that much you become connected with the characters on such a high level.

But the new movie was pretty good. Some parts were ridiculous, some concepts were off the wall and the ending was shocking and got me half teary-eyed. HALF. heh.

I give it 7/10. See it in the theatres, the special effects will look better.

posted at December 14, 2002 at 04:45 PM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# paradigms

Why do we cling to the desktop paradigm? What is it about windows, widgets, textboxes and icons that float our boats? Honestly, I have no idea. It's almost as if all of those UI critics out there bitching about software usability never said to themselves "why is a window on a desktop? That makes no sense whatsoever." Maybe it's a figurative window onto your data. Whoa, that's deep.

Throw the window out .... of well, itself. Let's start with a completely blank slate and see what we come up with.

posted at December 12, 2002 at 11:33 PM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# (software == complicated)

Joel is right, software is too complicated. But it is for a reason. Software is complicated because customers demand it. Each one has their own set of unique requirements which lead developers to use different tools, languages and APIs in completely different ways with different priorities.

posted at December 12, 2002 at 11:10 PM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# Crazy Stylin

My mangled site.

posted at December 09, 2002 at 05:09 PM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# That's SE, Not IT!

Why is it every time I try to help someone with their computer and I can't figure it out I get grief? "Aren't you supposed to be a computer expert?" "Isn't this what you're going to school for?". In fact, no it's not.

I have nothing against the IT profession, but figuring out some company's terrible software and making it work nicely with other terrible software doesn't exactly mesh with my personality. I'd rather pump out more terrible software myself. ;)

Now THAT I can do.

posted at December 08, 2002 at 11:56 PM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# Abandoned what?

This is too cool.

posted at December 07, 2002 at 11:56 PM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# Bye Bye CDNOW

CDNow is no more. It is part of the Amazon.com megastore and the old interface and information is gone. This is a shame, because it was such a great site (even though I admit I never bought anything from them). Where am I going to get my album info from now? :)

I actually read a rumour on F'kedCompany a little while ago relating to this. The rumour was that CDNow had fired all of their programmers. I suppose this explains why.

posted at December 07, 2002 at 11:45 PM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# SurpriseSurpriseSurprise

Wow, this happened today.

posted at December 06, 2002 at 12:32 PM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# Wireless on the Way

A little momentum behind broadband wireless. Too bad Canada doesn't have the population density to make this practical any time soon. Of course, that's what they said about cell phones ....

posted at December 05, 2002 at 09:19 PM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# MacHead

Maybe it's just me, or Apple is getting more press lately. Is it a coincidence that people are inundated with products in December?

It doesn't matter - I'm sold. I'm getting one. Now the only question is "when?" ... pre or post-Xmas craziness? My view is that the price can only go down, and there's certainly no rush. Just anticipation. :)

posted at December 05, 2002 at 05:21 PM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# Martin Fowler Interview

Artima has a very interesting interview with Martin Fowler in six parts:

Part I: Refactoring with Martin Fowler
Part II: Design Principles and Code Ownership
Part III: Evolutionary Design
Part IV: Flexibility and Complexity
Part V: Test-Driven Development
Part VI: [Next week]

A good quote from Part V:

"One test I've come up with since the Refactoring book is asking if there is any line of code that you could comment out and the tests wouldn't fail? If so, you are either missing a test or you've got an unnecessary line of code."

Also, some Slashdot comments on the interview.

posted at December 02, 2002 at 11:49 AM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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# Make Something Useful

Making something useful to customers will make you money. Seems obvious, but maybe not during the high-tech "bubble".

posted at December 02, 2002 at 11:10 AM EST
last updated December 4-, 2005 at 15: 1 PM EST

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