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November 2005 Archives

Nov 18, 2005  –  Influence of Other Languages on Design

The Pragmatic Programmers recommend learning a new language every year. Not because you need to know a whole bunch of languages, but because other languages use idioms that you might not think of using in your everyday language.

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 –  What's the Use of Coverage

There is a discussion on the JUnit list about whether coverage tools are valuable.

I ran a coverage tool on a project of mine last night and found that almost all the coverage gaps were in boilerplate code. An interface required me to return false in a whole bunch of classes.

The duplication was already bothering me. The duplication plus coverage gaps bothered me enough to extract a common base class. Coverage was back up to almost 100% and I liked the new design better.

Go figure.

Nov 17, 2005  –  New Goal: Refigerator Code Dennis van der Stelt lead me to this article by Bob Koss where he defined Refigerator Code:
What’s that? It’s code that you’re so proud of that you want to take it home and hang it on the refrigerator, right alongside of your children’s drawings.
Nov  5, 2005  –  Inspired by A Thought Inspired by the CSS2 Specification Brian Marick was inspired by the CSS2 spec to note that:
That suggests that a specification should not be written to a consistent level of precision. Precision is needed only where disputes have already occurred or are likely.
Translating that into developer testing I immediately thought "That suggests that unit tests should not be written to a consisten level of precision. Precision is needed only where disputes (or confusion or bugs) have already occurred or are likely."
Nov  4, 2005  –  Open Quality Recognized Kevin Rutherford, on his blog Silk and Spinach describes our open quality initiative and hits the nail right on the head. more >>
Nov  2, 2005  –  Wacky Design Ideas

Every now again, I hear of a wacky design idea or a challenge to a deeply held opinion on design.

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Nov  1, 2005  –  Domain Specific Language with a lifespan of 2 hours -- or basic data munging

Last night I needed to categorize all of the JVM opcodes according to their effect on the stack. Since there are around 200 of them, it seemed like it would be a tedious task. Fortunately, the JVM spec is online in an editable format. I thought, "Maybe I can parse the opcodes out of the spec and then put them into a format that I can use to build my categorization automatically."

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 –  Show Me Your Tabs and I'll Tell You Who You Are A few weeks ago my friend Julio emailed me a picture of the stack of books he has on his desk waiting to be read. I thought this was a great thing and if I was a little better organized I would have sent him a reciprocal email already. I was reminded of his picture the other day when I looked at the stack of books on my desk at work -- Extreme Programming Explained (1st edition), Design Patterns, Slack and Unleashing the Ideavirus. It really struck me that this collection has got to mean something... more >>