Sep 04

Relative Levels of Suckage – revisited

Dave Astels: Why your code sucks.
Yup, my code sucks. But I try hard everyday to make it suck less in certain areas.

Sep 04

And now for something completely different…

Language Log.
A Blog covering linguistics (via Hot Needle Of Inquiry).
Needless to say, a required read for yours truly.

Sep 04

The need for understanding

Ron Jeffries: …when I refactor, it is without regard to the “big picture” of the system, or even of the code.
By letting loose of understanding and focussing on rote behaviour, I actually gain some minor understanding of a small part of the system, thus making progress in understanding of the complete system. One small refactoring/step at a time.
A very useful strategy when dealing with a large base of legacy code.
Interesting enough, letting loose of understanding requires a lot of courage and confidence.

Sep 04


Rachel’s Place: …form is unimportant, there is no right way to write a story and writing them is not the important part. What is essential, is that a conversation takes place between customer and developer.
An honest, frequent, ongoing, two-way conversation.

Sep 04


I wonder if the satellite dish on the roof provided broadband internet connectivity, too.

Sep 04

More on persistence

Looks like there are others out there pondering the idea of automatic persistence in desktop applications.
Implementing a UI enabling non-developers deal with versioning will be a real challenge.

Sep 04

Zero Defect Development

Some great thoughts on well, as the title of this post implies, Zero Defect Development (via And Another thing).

Sep 04

More on testers & developers

Some more material on testers & developers:
Brian Marick points to Bret Pettichord‘s “Testers and Developers Think Differently“.

Sep 04


Wink looks like an interesting piece of software to create tutorials and the like.

Sep 04

I was not alone…

Bob Congdon mentions Steve Bourne (author of the Bourne Shell) was using a set of C-macros which allowed him to code in an ALGOL-like fashion.
During the mid-/late-80s I was “famous” for using a hand-crafted PASCAL.H header file which made my C-source code look like PASCAL. Of course, this was just ridiculous and made it much harder for us to use any source-code browsers etc. which almost always barfed when trying to “parse” our “pascalized” C-code.
From today’s point of view, my only excuse is that I was way too young back then.
Anyway, to close on a more serious and less reminiscent note: Of course, using macros to disguise one language as another is bullshit. If you keep your methods short (because you’re refactoring mercilessly, don’t you?), a new and potentially unfamiliar syntax shouldn’t get in your way.
Syntax doesn’t matter. Writing bad code is easy. Writing great code is hard. Doesn’t matter what language you’re using.