InfoQ have published a 30-minute video interview with James Shore about the contents and application of the book “The Art of Agile Development”. The interview has a transcript, so it’s worth a look even if you don’t like web video.
This last weekend I spent several happy hours entering details of my book collection into Library Thing after being prompted by reading about it on JHGHendriks blog. What got me doing this right now is that I finally got to try out my new CueCat barcode scanner, which makes the whole process a lot smoother.
So far I have entered about 600 books, and will continue with the rest (probably at least another 1000 or so) over the next few weeks. In the meanwhile, you can take a look at my library as it grows.
Many times when designing or implementing tabular user interfaces I have been through the loop of adding “zebra striping” to distinguish elements of a sequence. I have done this so often that my web framework Mojasef provides tools to assist in generating such stripes.
Jessica Enders has done a small study and written an article about the perceived effectiveness of this technique: A List Apart: Articles: Zebra Striping: Does it Really Help?
I don’t do a lot of presentations, these days, but back when I did, I used to continually curse and rant at powerpoint. I toyed with s5 for a bit, but found the workflow of creating and editing a presentation even more clumsy than powerpoint without tool support, even though the resulting presentations were much lighter and nicer.
Dave Thomas of the Pragmatic Programmers described his scripting-based approach: PragDave: Our take on presenting code
Try this out, it’s pretty strange.
The reason for this is that Notepad tries to be smart and use an appropriate character set and encoding for every file you open. However, txt files, unlike XML for example, have no explicit character set indication, so Notepad has to guess by statistical analysis, and can sometimes get it wrong.
Jeff Atwood goes off on a rant about XML and a whole bunch of commenters chip-in. I particularly like “Ant makes me cry.” 🙂
many developers intuitively understand the benefits of working in small tightly-focussed teams. Apparently, one way of determining whether your team is an appropriate size is using Pizza as a measure. Seems an interesting idea, although I have yet to find any definition of what sort (and crucially, size) of pizza should be used.
The same author later returned to the topic to point out some potential problems with this approach
There has been an apparent upsurge in interest in distributed version control recently. I like the idea, although I am a little concerned with the relatively poor state of IDE integration for these tools compared with the more mainstream source repository systems such as subversion and CVS.
One fairly familiar way of writing requirement stories is “as a … I want … so that …”. Elizabeth Keough reckons this is not quite right.
A summary of some tips on successful adoption and use of Wikis.
Motorola are running a competition to win a Z10 phone Â£10000 by making some video and uploading it to YouTube.
A summary of some mailing list discussions about adopting and implementing incremental design.
I don’t usually get involved in a lot of low-level debugging, but what it’s needed, it’s really needed. With this in mind, developments in instrumentation and diagnostic tools for Java are always interesting, and VisualVM looks like a good combination.
Almost (but not quite) as barking mad as Guitar Hero mobile. Sigh.
Some thoughts on measuring and tracking team effectiveness. In particular, a consideration of some of the problems of existing or otherwise obvious metrics.
A brief description of the value of tests in building confidence in a codebase.
Looks like Adobe are getting itchy about all the competing “rich internet application” (RIA) technologies such as silverlight, ajax and whatever proprietary stuff Apple uses. So they are making a big push for flash on every kind of device.