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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