June 2007 - Posts

30 June 2007
Three Things About Software I Didn't Learn In College
Scott Hanselman recently put out an interesting request for folks to post about three things they've learned about software either in college, out of college, or both. Seeing as I only took one programming class in college (C++ 101), this post will cater to his request of "I'm especially interesting in those who didn't go to college at all, to add yours" (I do have some college, but only 3 semesters worth). Reading Karthik's response is what inspired me to hammer out my own version. Learn how to say "no" early on in your software development career. I don't mean just all out "no we can't do that" but something more along the lines of knowing how to avoid scope/feature creep. Give clients an inch, and they'll take a mile if you start succumbing to a "we can do anything" attitude. Potentially this can snowball into ever slipping ship dates, and the client will blame you. Release early and release often when it comes to milestones... Read More...
23 June 2007
This Could Only Happen In North Carolina
A while back, the story about inhaleable alcohol broke over the internet (I can't find the specific link, but this was announced several years ago in 2004). Fast forward to today, and there's an article floating around stating the machines have been banned in my home state of North Carolina (in addition to 21 other states). My home state is at the very center of the bible belt, and is also a haven for commercial televangelism so it's not a huge surprise until you factor in the following: The company that distributes the Alcohol without Liquid machines is headquartered in North Carolina The reasoning behind the ban has nothing to do with the actual imbibing process, it's the fact that hangovers are averted and thus the user isn't "punished" for committing what most Christians consider to be a sin: Over consumption of alcohol. From the article: Indeed, the main knock against AWOL in the U.S. is the absence of a hazard (hangover) usually associated with alcohol... Read More...
17 June 2007
Syntax For Generic Type Declarations In Type Elements
I was recently working on implementing a provider based design for a project I'm working on which also happens to make heavy use of generics throughout the provider architecture. The signature of the type to be used in the <providers> section of the config file is MyType<T, V>, however I kept getting the dreaded "Unable to load type 'MyType' from assembly 'MyAssembly'" error when attempting to run the application. After about 30 minutes of wringing my hands wondering what the heck was going on, I remembered that generic types have a different signature when declared in text form. The fix was simple, instead of declaring it as type="MyAssembly.MyType, MyAssembly" This needs to be changed to type="MyAssembly.MyType`2, MyAssembly" Where the number after the '`' is the number of generic type parameters in the type's signature. It would have been nice if the runtime could have offered a hint like it does in other situations... Read More...
16 June 2007
Congratulations To Eric And Leigh
This past Thursday, one of my best friends (a local artist, check out the cuffs he makes by hand) tied the knot to his beautiful bride Leigh in one of the most memorable weddings I've been to lately. He's one of the 'core' crew, and even though we've lost touch a little over the past couple of years, I love him like a brother and wish him and new wife the absolute best of luck in their life together. The reception was held at Blue, a local restaurant , and I've posted a couple of pics over in my gallery. It was awesome having most of the core crew under one roof hanging out together; it's tough to get everyone together at the same time. Congratulations Eric! Read More...
07 June 2007
What If You Built A Browser, But No One Used It?
Through my daily reading of tech news, I came across this dandy: Netscape Navigator 9 Beta released . Wait a second, you mean to tell me that Netscape A) even still exists and B) is still releasing new versions of Navigator? Until reading that headline today, Netscape had ceased to exist in my mind. The last version of NN I played around with (out of curiosity) was something in the 7.0 timeframe ( 5 years ago ) which left my machine as quickly as it got there, namely due to huge memory consumption. The point is this: I'm a web developer, and I forgot about the company who once used to dominate the browser market...that's how much of a non-commodity they've become. Curiosity got the better of me and I did a little poking around to see what kind of market share (if any) Netscape still has after all these years. The results were not surprising in the least: http://www.thecounter.com/stats/ (effectively 0%) http://www.upsdell.com/BrowserNews/stat.htm (~.15%) http://www.webreference... Read More...