Shedding, TDD, Java, and keys.
This is a technique
described by Brian
McCallister which cheats just a little on the meaning of HTTP’s
302 Moved to do load balancing with some useful server-affinity
side-effects. In the comments, Sam Ruby points out that a little cheating is
still cheating; but still, the notion is appealing.
Joel, Sigh · In Part I of his Yale speech, Joel Spolsky makes an excellent point: that Test-Driven Development can in principle be oblivious to issues of quality and “coolness” in the UI, which are obviously important to end-users. It’s worth thinking about; but most experts won’t, because Joel makes it unfortunately clear that he doesn’t actually understand TDD. Practitioners make no claim whatsoever that TDD “proves” a program is correct, or that a test suite constitutes a “complete” specification of the code it’s testing. Joel makes TDD sound more or less equivalent to the waterfall method, and the whole point is that it isn’t.
I’ve never heard a TDD advocate argue against functional testing or integration testing; but I have heard a few of ’em generally diss UI glitz and glamor and fit and finish. Which is a real problem.
Java, Sigh · Check out Michael Kölling’s Can Java be saved from death by feature bloat? (his argument illustrated in The Evolution of Java). I have decided, after three years, that it’s OK to hate generics, and I am increasingly drifting into the camp of people like Kölling, who think that the designers of the Java language should declare victory and just go home already.
The Java platform is still really interesting, and I have immense respect for the core design of the language. But Java 7 has the potential to be a Great Slither Backward if we’re not careful.
Apple Keyboard · The new Mac keyboard (the ultra-flat one) is just fab. I can go faster then with the previous version, and make less mistakes. Also, the previous versions had the keys embedded in a kind of a plastic cable, which I found filled up with crud and crumbs and so on; there’s no place for it to hide on the new model.
There’s a fly in the ointment; the USB sockets are on the ends of the keyboard, which is a problem for me since mine sits, with the mouse, on a dinky little tray hung under the desk; right-left space is precious.