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October 2005 Archives

Oct 28, 2005  –  Finalizers and with-open-file or

Tom Ball has an interesting blog entry on a good use for finalizers. Library designers can use it to let users of their library know when they have not cleaned up a resource.

The comments on the entry are enlightening. One comments that this could slow down garbage collection. Another comments that they always make sure that any code in their library that has system resource handles manages the closing of that code. I have used this approach in the past, but it was somewhat ugly.

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Oct 19, 2005  –  TDD is about Testing? Alan Francis makes the bizare claim that TDD is about testing: major advantage of TDD is the ability to answer the question "how will I know I am done?". We can aswer that question because we have a test that will fail if we are not done and pass if we are.
Of course this is exactly what I was on about when I wrote about why I like the Continuous Testing plug-in so much. (Thanks to Jason Yip for the pointer.)
Oct 18, 2005  –  An Interesting Forum Happened on the Way to the Home I have a fair commute from Mountain View over the hill to Santa Cruz County. So, I try to make good use of the time by listening to podcasts of technical presentations. Yesterday, I was driving home on Highway 17 listening to Tech Nation with Dr. Moira Gunn, It is a technical discussion program broadcast on NPR, but also available on IT Conversations as a podcast. more >>
Oct 12, 2005  –  XP Stages of Acceptance My friend Kevin is a very smart guy. He did a talk that was an intro to XP and one of his slides was "XP Stages of Acceptance": more >>
Oct 10, 2005  –  Tests as Double Entry Bookkeeping Uncle Bob gets it just right:
I have been consulting for a number of teams that have adopted Agile Methods, including TDD. One common issue I have found is that developers drop the discipline of TDD in the face of schedule pressure. "We don't have time to write tests" I hear them say. Before I comment on the absurdity of this attitude, let me draw the parallel. Can you imagine an accounting department dropping dual entry bookkeeping because they've got to close the books on time? Even before SARBOX such a decision would be such a huge violation of professional ethics as to be unconscionable. No accountant who respected his profession, or himself, would drop the controls in order to make a date.
Oct  6, 2005  –  Ruby, Rails, Eclipse and a Link to Remember I posted before about the virtuous cycle I envision when I link to something useful from my blog: it'll be easy for me to find it later, my vast :) reader-base will be exposed to this useful thing, and it will be more likely to be found by people via some related google search. The useful item for the day are Brian Hogan's excellent directions on Setting up a Rails Development Environment on Windows Using Eclipse. If you're using Ruby/Rails but not on Windows don't let that stop you from taking a look because some of the best parts of about setting up the external tools in Eclipse. In fact I think the directions are worth looking at for any Eclipse user just to get a good idea about some of the options that are available. I've been using Eclipse off and on since 2.x and I learned quite a bit about things that I always knew were possible but didn't know exactly how. Jtf says "two thumbs up".
Oct  5, 2005  –  Interviews in a Blink

Malcolm Gladwell, in Blink, tells a story about how some students were asked to evaluate their teacher after a semester.

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 –  Cheat Sheet for Interview Candidates

Just to make it easy for any potential candidates out there, here's my whole interview question for the J2EE position.

I want you to build a Hello World application in J2EE. I want you to do the simplest thing that can possibly work.

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 –  Tips for being a good interviewee

1. If you are interviewing for a company that makes tools for developer testing you should probably know something about developer testing.

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