When
· Naughties
· · 2004
· · · December
· · · · 22 (2 entries)

Newsapalooza · I take off for a cou­ple of days of ru­ral iso­la­tion and and dial-up ac­cess, and the news flood­gates break loose. Si­mon Phipps has good com­men­tary and more point­ers. First, a tip of the hat to Poland for their in­ter­ven­tion which (at least tem­porar­i­ly) seems to have de­railed the EU’s head­long rush to em­brace soft­ware patents. In all this news, one an­gle that’s get­ting lit­tle dis­cus­sion but seems to me a re­al game-changer has to do with the Mi­crosoft­/EU lit­i­ga­tion. Mi­crosoft says they’ll ship a ver­sion of Win­dows with­out Me­dia Play­er and, while I agree with the EU that they played a lit­tle dirty in lever­ag­ing the Win­dows monopoly in­to the media-player space, this doesn’t seem like that big a deal. What does seem a big deal is the or­der that they dis­close enough of the Ex­change and SMB pro­to­cols to em­pow­er peo­ple to build com­pet­i­tive mail/disk servers with­out hav­ing to do ar­cane reverse-engineering. This ge­nie, I think, can’t be put back in the bot­tle, how­ev­er the ap­peals end-game shakes out, and it’ll be a while be­fore we re­al­ly un­der­stand all the im­pli­ca­tion­s.
 
Test Dammit! · Lau­ren want­ed to vis­it her Mum on the farm for a few days be­fore Christ­mas. The world is well in­to its pre-Christmas slow­down and I’m cod­ing away on Zep­pelin these days, which doesn’t re­quire much Net ac­cess, so I said OK. So I’m sit­ting in front of NetBeans ex­cept when I’m out push­ing the kid’s sled down the hill or vis­it­ing with the cows. Zep­pelin, like most soft­ware, has lots of lay­er­s, and I haven’t fid­dled with the bottom-layer APIs for a while. Ex­cept for I did, added this triv­ial lit­tle method that Couldn’t Pos­si­bly Go Wrong, but (ar­rrrgh) no JUnit test to be sure. Which cost me the best part of a day of de­bug­ging a com­plete­ly in­com­pre­hen­si­ble ap­pli­ca­tion full stop be­cause down at the bot­tom lev­el there was an args[0] in­stead of args[1]. To all those who sat in rooms at one point or an­oth­er this last cou­ple of years and lis­tened to me drone on in a su­pe­ri­or tone of voice about the ex­treme im­por­tance and Karmic ex­cel­lence of unit test­ing, you are now en­ti­tled to one large snick­er in my gen­er­al di­rec­tion.
 
author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
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