2017 is the year of Linux on the desktop

Or maybe not.

posted @ Sunday, February 12, 2017 2:06 PM | Feedback (0)
Coding standards are bad aka learning the wrong lession

So, Rocky reflected on coding standards, and ended up here: This was the point where I had my first professional developer epiphany. Yes, it is truly painful to adapt to the idea of living within strict coding and style guidelines. But the alternative is so much worse! Ever since that experience I insist on consistency of coding standards and styles within each project (or enterprise) where I work. And even if I think some choices (like 2 spaces after each tab) are really, really, really stupid, I'll use and vehemently support that choice. Um, no. There...

posted @ Thursday, December 22, 2016 2:36 PM | Feedback (0)
Uninstalling Visual Studio 2017 RC appears to have broken Xamarin

In a previous post, I mentioned some difficulties with the latest Visual Studio 2017 RC, and how uninstalling it, plus installing the latest Typescript release, appeared to have minimized the damage. Unfortunately, I apparently have spoken too soon, as I discovered today that an Android app project is broken, showing the project as being incompatible, and there are no longer any Xamarin project templates to be had.  Even worse, there doesn’t appear to be a ‘repair’ option, so I’ve yet to figure out how to fix Xamarin. Again, my fault for blanket installing without testing, but still very...

posted @ Friday, November 25, 2016 9:56 PM | Feedback (0)
C# Programming in Excel: To delete a worksheet, make it visible

Is programming in Excel better or worse than programming Sharepoint? Anyhoo, I was trying to merge 5 single worksheet excel spreadsheets into a new spreadsheet, and then deleting the blank worksheet created when you create the new spreadsheet. But when calling delete on it, I would get one of those fantastic COM errors you get when programming like it’s 1989.  I tried many different things before realizing: app.Visible = true; would do the trick (I made it invisible because it is a server side process). Fantastic.

posted @ Wednesday, October 19, 2016 4:24 PM | Feedback (0)
Asp.NET Core Failed to make the following project runnable, access to the file is denied

This shit again. Except none of the workarounds that worked previously worked.  I cannot build on my current machine, and won’t have access to another machine that I can check on (since it only occurred on some machines previously) until tomorrow.  Got rid of the app.config file completely, and other things, but cannot build Infuriating. a few minutes later One workaround works.  Check out the entire solution for edit, then build.  Fantastic. I suppose it’s a lot to ask for the bleeping tooling to work properly under common scenarios.  I’m unappreciative that way. Bleeping...

posted @ Saturday, October 01, 2016 1:53 AM | Feedback (0)
Rhetorical Question about God-Awful Radio Ads

Have there ever been as consistently awful radio ads as the ones by ESPN for Heisman House? I think not.

posted @ Thursday, September 22, 2016 10:20 AM | Feedback (0)
Asp.NET Core + net461+ IIS = WTF

So, I have my nice port/re-write of an older MVC app to the new Asp.NET Core, which depends on some parts still written in net461 and so is configured for that, and I’ve reached the point I’ve ‘dreaded’ for quite some time. I want to host this up in EC2, like a real app, which, of course, runs IIS. The obvious question is:  how the hell do you do that? I’ve read many things, and still, no work-y, as they all seem to depend on ‘pure’ Asp.NET core to work.  I can look in my stdout log...

posted @ Saturday, August 20, 2016 1:55 PM | Feedback (0)
Fixing ImageLink code that Asp.NET Core broke

This code, prior to Asp.NET Core, worked to create an image link: public static HtmlString ImageLink(this HtmlHelper htmlHelper, string imgSrc, string alt, string actionName, string controllerName, object routeValues, object htmlAttributes, object imgHtmlAttributes)        {            UrlHelper urlHelper = ((Controller)htmlHelper.ViewContext.Controller).Url;            TagBuilder imgTag = new TagBuilder("img");            imgTag.MergeAttribute("src", imgSrc);            imgTag.MergeAttribute("alt", alt);            imgTag.MergeAttributes((new RouteValueDictionary(imgHtmlAttributes)), true);            string url...

posted @ Wednesday, July 27, 2016 9:41 PM | Feedback (0)
The MSDN subscription people and processes need some work

So I have a Visual Studio MSDN Enterprise subscription which I’ve had since 2009 (back when it was Ultimate), which I originally subscribed to under a particular email account. A year or two ago, I changed the Microsoft account that it was listed under/connected to/ whatever.  I don’t recall exactly, but it seems like it went fine. This year, after I renewed it, it expired.  I called in to point out the problem and they created a ticket, and the person online noted that I had in fact paid and they did something in some database somewhere, and...

posted @ Thursday, July 14, 2016 1:09 PM | Feedback (0)
Asp.NET Core 1.0 and TFS, works on my machine, as long as it’s just the one machine and not the other

Can build and run just fine on my Surface Pro 4, but not on my Surface Book, which fails to build with the previously mentioned error. Let’s hear it for the Scotts, well done guys.

posted @ Friday, July 01, 2016 9:47 AM | Feedback (0)
Asp.NET Core 1.0 & TFS FTL

Why can’t this stuff just work? So, I ended up recreating a significant Asp.NET Core solution as trying to upgrade from the previous RC versions just didn’t work.  Even after finally getting it to where it could build and run, I lost Intellisense on any code coming from projects built under .NET Framework.  It wasn’t so so bad, I did it in a couple of afternoons, and though I had some cleanup still remaining (it was having some issues seeing the CSS files associated with it), it was mostly good so I checked it into TFS, in order to...

posted @ Thursday, June 30, 2016 11:46 PM | Feedback (0)
Asp.Net Core 1.0 RC2 fail, why? Who knows, it works on my machine, unless it’s the other machine

Related to the previous….. After deciding that Asp.NET 5 MVC 6 (or whatever it was called) wasn’t quite how they wanted to do it, the brilliant Scotts from Microsoft decided to redo god knows what percentage of the damn thing, and it became Asp.NET Core 1.0. Fantastic, but fine.  If that’s the direction to go and it makes sense, swell.  Rock the mutha out. Of course, I then had to upgrade/port/bitchslap a major project that had been built on Asp.NET 5 MVC 6 (or whatever it was called) to Asp.NET Core 1.o. Awesome.  Fantastic.  It...

posted @ Wednesday, June 15, 2016 11:03 PM | Feedback (0)
Asp.Net Core fail, what a surprise, it’s NuGet related

Rebuilt my SurfaceBook, downloaded all code from TFS, solution has 41 projects, one of which is an upgrade to my most important web site to Asp.Net Core. I’m on a flight from the west coast back to Chicago.  Every single project builds, except one.  And which one is that?  The Asp.Net Core one, of course.  Why is that?  Oh, it wants to connect to NuGet servers to download whatever it needs, it could actually keep those in TFS so that all packages were there from the start, but apparently not. So much for using the 4 hours to...

posted @ Tuesday, June 14, 2016 12:12 PM | Feedback (0)
Visual Studio 2015 Extensions and Updates Install ‘Bug’

You need to open Visual Studio 2015 in order to get to Extensions and Updates, to update any updated extensions or updates. 37% (unscientifically made up number) of the time, it tells you that you have to shut down Visual Studio in order to continue.  Not ‘you may need to restart Visual Studio afterwards for the update to take effect’ (which does happen sometimes as well), but that you have to.  This, of course, makes no sense. Especially if the Extension only applies to Visual Studio 2015, and it says you have to close down any open instances...

posted @ Wednesday, February 10, 2016 9:32 AM | Feedback (0)
Groove Music – Music Acquisition Still Sucks

I loved my Zune.  However, there were only about 8 of us who did, so it died a quiet death. I now have all my music on my phone.  Well, let me take that back.  I want to have all my music on my phone, but it doesn’t seem to want me to have all my music on my phone, and never has. Previously, I would always use the Desktop Lumia app to sync between my local home source of music (usually my laptop) and the phone because Groove just didn’t hack it and it was a waste...

posted @ Sunday, February 07, 2016 4:22 PM | Feedback (0)
Good old days: working with WCF

% time actual coding: 4% % time figuring out the f’ing configuration: 96%

posted @ Monday, January 25, 2016 4:16 PM | Feedback (0)
My New Favorite Data Type

object [] []

posted @ Thursday, January 21, 2016 3:21 PM | Feedback (0)
PATCH support for Asp.Net 5 MVC 6?

So, where is it? They got rid of ODATA support because….who knows.  Didn’t fit in with the magic vision of the future (maybe OSX or Linux doesn’t support PATCH………), I guess. There’s a new Microsoft.AspNet.JsonPatch namespace.  Only available in the latest version of C#.  That makes it useless to build on the client side, unless your client is running the latest version of C#.

posted @ Saturday, January 02, 2016 1:07 AM | Feedback (0)
Are you targeting the full .NET framework and the CoreCLR? Please stop

“Well, the CoreCLR can’t process images or send email, but there should be 3rd party NuGet packages to take care of this.  And this way, if you every need to move from Windows to OSX, it will be seamless.” Oh.  My.  God.  No, people.  Lowest common denominator programming is wrong.  WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.

posted @ Tuesday, December 29, 2015 9:51 AM | Feedback (0)
Everything above the .NET layer is a NuGet Package

Yeah, that should go well.

posted @ Tuesday, December 29, 2015 9:49 AM | Feedback (0)
Using EF 6 with Asp.Net 5 MVC 6

Just an aside, but Microsoft’s naming conventions are getting absolutely comical. Anyhoo….Microsoft appears to hate connection strings now.  With UWP and now with Asp.Net 5 MVC 6, they just don’t make things easy at all. Since EF 7 is woefully undeveloped, and even when it RTMs, it won’t be ready for prime-time, I was trying to get an existing EF 6 infrastructure to work with WebAPI in the new Asp.Net 5 MVC 6 world (yes, I’m going to keep typing it out).  Since code changes are fun, there were various changes that needed to be made to take...

posted @ Friday, December 25, 2015 11:59 PM | Feedback (0)
“Let’s build the data using the API”

Translation:  blah, blah, blah

posted @ Wednesday, December 09, 2015 3:17 PM | Feedback (0)
Asp.Net 5 & dependencies, still not right

This is not all that shocking, but I was trying to follow this demo, and downloaded the code and tried to run it. As the article states: The required dependencies are added to the project.json file. This is the hardest part, as you have to figure out which packages are required and also if the packages work together. It’s even harder when the packages can’t be found. From project.json:   Output (after package ‘restore’):   If you go here, you see:   Core and...

posted @ Wednesday, September 09, 2015 9:12 PM | Feedback (0)
Upgrading a Windows 10 Universal App from Preview SDK to Release? Holy crap

I’m in the need of doing this, as I’m not a very good developer so I need source code I can review/steal, and I’ve been using some sample apps from Microsoft. Ran into an issue looking at an old sample, where it couldn’t compile, since it couldn’t even find the ‘System’ reference.  Eek. Anyway, tracked down apparently what is needed. Holy crap.  That looks like a lot of work.

posted @ Tuesday, August 25, 2015 9:23 AM | Feedback (0)
Windows 10 Mobile Build 10512 on a Lumia 1520: Still not right

I’ve been using Windows 10 ever since it first became available (so sometime in 2014), even on my main development machine, and without any significant issues along the way. Which makes it all the more surprising that Windows 10 Mobile is such a freakin’ trainwreck. Ever hopeful that the build quality will get better, not worse, I have installed the latest build on my Lumia 1520, and it still can’t display the start screen properly.  In the previous build, you could get it to show up.  It might disappear from time to time, but generally, you could get...

posted @ Wednesday, August 12, 2015 2:01 PM | Feedback (0)
Have I mentioned before how much I hate Nuget?

Rebuilding my replacement Surface Pro 3 (let’s just say the advanced exchange program is awesome, and that I’m lucky it died with only weeks left on the warranty). I have an ASP.NET MVC app.  Originally written in MVC 3, upgraded at various times to 4 and then 5.  Stored in Visual Studio Online, set up on many machines, many times.  Manual issues (relating to having to run the MVC 3 and 4 installers, now that I’m on Visual Studio 2015 and the fact that it is, well, 2015, etc.), but always works pretty much straightforward. Clean solution, build...

posted @ Tuesday, August 04, 2015 11:31 PM | Feedback (0)
Google Webmaster Tools API – Forget those search queries

So, Google killed off ClientLogin, and wanted everyone to move to OAuth2, because it is so much more secure yada yada yada. Except, you apparently can no longer get your search queries programmatically like you used to.  In other words, it doesn’t work. Awesome.

posted @ Wednesday, June 03, 2015 12:51 AM | Feedback (0)
Azure + Hadoop = Clumsy and Expensive?

So, I decided to teach myself a little bit about Hadoop and running it on Azure, using some ‘hello world’ code found here and here, just a kick the tires kind of thing. The first thing I noticed was how difficult it was to do something this basic.  Configuring accounts and objects and tying them together took quite a bit of time (the username is ‘admin’ BTW, this isn’t obvious anywhere), really more complicated than it really should be. It also didn’t work, not quite.  The Hive queries wouldn’t work as is, and it isn’t idempotent, so there...

posted @ Friday, May 29, 2015 10:00 AM | Feedback (0)
Breaking news: Relational databases are no longer needed

I wasn’t aware of this: It's not a relational system and, frankly, relational systems simply aren't needed any more. The whole concept of normalization and relational "thinking" for lack of better words came about because of disk space (I was a former DBA). SQL databases are very good at what they do, they succeed because they stick with ACID and are quite fast; I don't think it has anything to do with how good they are at relational theory. But, he was a former DBA (apparently he isn’t a former DBA anymore), so he must know what he’s...

posted @ Sunday, April 19, 2015 12:52 AM | Feedback (0)
Acronyms FTW!


posted @ Wednesday, March 25, 2015 4:31 PM | Feedback (0)
Microsoft pledges to pick up the windows 10 update pace, doesn’t release new build

All-righty then.

posted @ Friday, March 13, 2015 12:45 PM | Feedback (0)
I dream of the day when this goes away

When you run dozens of browser windows, each with possibly dozens of tabs, when things slow to a crawl, it’s probably Flash that’s the problem. Bleh.

posted @ Thursday, March 12, 2015 3:28 PM | Feedback (0)
Strange AutoMapper 3.3.1 Problem

Add AutoMapper from Nuget, build, compiles, fine, run…..exception.  Automapper.dll file cannot be found.  Sure enough, it ain’t there.  Automapper.Net4.dll is there, but not the other. Manually copy over file to bin directory, rebuild, no problem. Not sure what causes this, but it’s obviously a problem, especially with all the different build configurations I have.   Update: once I uninstalled and reinstalled at the project level (as opposed to solution level), the problem resolved itself. God, I hate Nuget.

posted @ Wednesday, March 11, 2015 1:04 PM | Feedback (2)
Flexible Architecture, done entirely wrong

Having worked on a similar system at a ‘too big to fail’ financial client, I know exactly what Ayende is talking about: Then the designers sat down and created the following system of classes: public class Table { public Guid TableId {get;set;} public List<FieldInformation> Fields {get;set;} public List<Reference> References {get;set;} public List<Constraint> Constraints {get;set;} } ………

posted @ Tuesday, March 03, 2015 9:08 PM | Feedback (0)
Visual Studio 2015 CTP 6 Nuget Problems

More reasons to love the piece’o’shit that is nuget…. In previous versions of VS 2015 CTP, the ‘manage packages’ section was horribly designed so that it automatically selected every single project if you wanted to add a package, and you had to manually deselect ones you didn’t want to add it to.  They fixed that. Unfortunately, when adding EF 6 packages, I discovered that now they no longer add all of the config entries required, so you have to finish it manually.  That’s bad enough. But now, today, when I try to go to that section to...

posted @ Thursday, February 26, 2015 12:51 PM | Feedback (0)
Microsoft and Versioning

From Scott Guthrie’s introduction: ASP.NET 5 is an open source web framework for building modern web applications that can be developed and run on Windows, Linux and the Mac. It includes the MVC 6 framework, which now combines the features of MVC and Web API into a single web programming framework.  ASP.NET 5 will also be the basis for SignalR 3 Well, that won’t be confusing in any way, shape or form.

posted @ Monday, February 23, 2015 8:24 PM | Feedback (0)
SQL Server Import Wizard still can’t handle basic text files?

Way back before there was indoor plumbing, there was this thing called DTS.  It was used to process data in SQL Server, a typical use case involved getting data from text files and loading them into tables. It sucked.  A lot.  You could program them graphically and/or in Visual Basic, but they were a bitch to write and maintain (somewhere on this blog there’s an entry of how to export them using Microsoft Word, which was necessary if you wanted to edit them in bulk since they had connection strings and whatnot embedded in them).  Migrating from one server...

posted @ Friday, February 20, 2015 9:45 AM | Feedback (0)
2-step verification: a request

To all those who implement 2-step verification (I’m looking at you, Google and Microsoft, in particular)….. When you have step whereby you wait for the user to enter in the verification code, and underneath where they put in the code, is a checkbox which says “Don’t ask again on this computer”, and the user checks that box…. Honor that shit already. And Microsoft, you should be ashamed, but you should really probably figure out how to get 2-step verification to work better when someone wants to add Hotmail to Outlook 2013.  I mean, seriously….

posted @ Monday, January 26, 2015 9:19 PM | Feedback (0)
Brilliant things Kirk Herbstreit taught us during the National Championship Game

Oregon, get this, has more difficulty converting on 3rd down when they have longer to go, as opposed to when it is 3rd and 4 or less. Ohio State was having difficulty in short yardage situations because of the push Oregon was getting from their defense, which is why they were 3 for 3 when trying to convert on 4th down. If only Brent Musburger had been there…..

posted @ Monday, January 12, 2015 11:11 PM | Feedback (0)
The OneDrive version dance

Suppose your machine reboots before you have a chance to close out all of your documents (this happens quite often when you are on a Surface Pro 3 that refuses to successfully install the latest Windows 10 Technical Preview, but I digress).  Suppose some of these are Excel documents. When you restart Excel and try to open one of those documents, you may get the message ‘someone has updated the server version, do you want to keep your local version or the server version’, what would you choose?   This is a document that is only updated on a single...

posted @ Monday, January 05, 2015 11:40 AM | Feedback (0)
Does your website automatically play videos when you visit and not allow you to turn them off?

Then you suck. You doubly suck if you allow visitors to turn auto-play off but then ‘forget’ this.

posted @ Monday, December 29, 2014 11:17 AM | Feedback (0)
Old Dog + New Tricks = Ugh

Just one of those days……. Yes, I’m whining, I know that. Bleh.

posted @ Monday, December 22, 2014 12:52 PM | Feedback (0)
The sort of user requirement that can make a software developer weep, random example #74

Scenario: a console app takes a file, loops through every record in the file, and creates an output file. “The user has requested that you add delete button functionality.”

posted @ Tuesday, December 16, 2014 11:00 AM | Feedback (0)
Please don’t save your view models in your database

For various reasons, I was watching this to learn more about the latest version of Raven DB 3.o (basically, I have a big event/command store and I want to process the raw data into multiple different ‘buckets’ and am looking into various options, including SQL and NoSQL options). Before I get to my main point…. Normally, I wouldn’t pay much attention to mistakes/issues with the presentation itself.  Things happen.  Network connections go out, that sort of thing. However, if you are trying to give an example that is key to your overall presentation, and it is not...

posted @ Friday, December 12, 2014 11:20 PM | Feedback (2)
Who is Sandro Mancuso?

This is a rhetorical question, of course.  I wonder if there was a meeting, complete with secret handshakes, to decide who gets to write the bible. “Where how it is done is as important as having it done.” Right. Translation: “helping developers become more difficult and unproductive than they already are.” YMMV.

posted @ Thursday, December 11, 2014 11:08 AM | Feedback (0)
If you are going to have an endless page….

You know, one of those ‘fancy’ pages where you continually load stuff at the bottom of the page…. Think about whether a user who comes to your site might expect/hope that you will have a footer with links of a standard sort. Because if they do, and you don’t, it’s highly annoying. Thank you.

posted @ Friday, November 28, 2014 5:11 PM | Feedback (0)
Nuget still sucks – Visual Studio 2015 Preview version

Why doesn’t Nuget just work? I have a solution.  It’s mostly ‘shell’ projects as I’m just starting out.  About the only package installed is EF 6.1.1.  It builds just fine (on an existing machine with VS 2015 Preview installed). I check it into TFS.  I go to a new machine, with VS 2015 Preview installed.  I connect to TFS, I download from source, I go to build…..of course, it fails. I check in options to see if it is configured to automatically download packages.  Of course it is. I right-click on the solution….no longer is there...

posted @ Thursday, November 20, 2014 11:39 PM | Feedback (4)
Microsoft Surface Chat Support: Generally Sucky

On October 28th, there was a firmware update for the Surface Pro 3.  Microsoft ‘staggers’ these updates (I don’t know why) through Windows Update.  It’s been a week, I haven’t gotten it yet. I have downloaded the latest firmware download, which contains all of the drivers and whatnot, but it doesn’t have an install program itself, and I don’t know exactly how it updates the firmware, and, generally speaking, I just don’t want to f%^k with it unless I need to (I could manually update each driver that is listed but I’m old and tired and would prefer not...

posted @ Tuesday, November 04, 2014 11:41 PM | Feedback (0)
Trying to watch a Penguins game while travelling internationally

So, I’m in Scotland and trying to watch Game 2 of the Pens opening round playoff series against the Blue Jackets. I watched Game 1 through GameCenter Live on NHL.Com, so that should work again, right?  Nope.  It says the game is being broadcast locally.  Wait, what?  Where?  I have no idea. So, how about NBC Sports network live streaming?  It also says that I can’t since it is being broadcast locally.  Right. This is kind of a messed up system, if you ask me.  At least I can get the radio broadcast.

posted @ Saturday, April 19, 2014 6:39 PM | Feedback (0)
Dumbest in-game info graphic ever?

CBS just showed a graphic that said that UK is 4-0 in the tournament when trailing at the half. Um, if they weren’t something and 0, THEY WOULDN’T BE IN THE FINAL. 

posted @ Monday, April 07, 2014 9:28 PM | Feedback (0)
When is opening day again?

Back when I was young (before there was indoor plumbing and when, gosh, life seemed so much simpler), Opening Day in baseball was simple.  It started in the afternoon in Cincinnati. Now that life is more complicated, everyone starts on the same day.  Well, most everyone, anyway.  At least we can celebrate the beginning of the…..wait.  What?  The regular season started over a week ago?  In Australia? I believe this is how Rome fell.  Or something. Go Pirates.

posted @ Monday, March 31, 2014 9:08 AM | Feedback (0)
Web sites I visited recently that suck

I realize one of these is a sitting duck, but…. Since I incorporated, I’ve had an individual plan for a very long time.  It seems to be okay, but the premiums have been rising pretty quickly, so once I figured out I could get a better plan for half the cost (currently, anyway), I decided to go ahead and get one through this newfangled thingy we have. Most of the known issues are well-known, but a couple of ones I really liked included having to enter my SS# multiple times, often in the same ‘process’.  Apparently,...

posted @ Wednesday, March 19, 2014 11:09 AM | Feedback (0)
A message to ESPN.Com : No means no

In ESPN’s never ending quest to suck at just about everything they do, they consistently refuse to honor requests to turn autoplay OFF when you load some of their web pages. Oh, you can switch it OFF.  For a while.  But at some point, lo and behold, autoplay is magically ON again.  Knock it off, douchebags. And by the way, they aren’t ‘cold hard facts’ when they aren’t, you know, FACTS.

posted @ Tuesday, October 22, 2013 11:15 AM | Feedback (0)
Yes, Virginia, Code Reuse is Bad

Seems like this still comes up from time to time. It happens in so many scenarios, but let’s focus this one on SQL code.  “Why are you rewriting that code, my code over here already does that!” Is it identical code? “Well, it’s very similar.  If you just use this code, then you don’t have to rewrite it, and we have fewer lines of code to maintain!” And when you need to change your ‘very similar’ code, will you be prepared to retest every single other calling module to make sure your changes to your ‘very...

posted @ Thursday, September 19, 2013 8:20 AM | Feedback (0)
How not to answer a technical interview question

Me: “So, I see that at various times, you have used Ninject, Unity and Autofac.  Could you explain what you would choose if you had 100% control over a project, and why?” Respondent: “If it were up to me today, I would use NHibernate, especially Fluent NHibernate.”

posted @ Tuesday, August 20, 2013 7:02 PM | Feedback (0)
If you have less than 30 concurrent users on your web application, please turn caching off

Seriously, if you need to implement caching on an application that has less than 30 users, you are seriously doing something wrong, and making it really hard to troubleshoot what is wrong with your application, especially if you have to recycle the bleeping thing every single bleeping time a bleeping change is made. That is all.

posted @ Wednesday, August 14, 2013 12:00 AM | Feedback (0)
SSMS Tip: Auto-generate Insert Statements

Once again, leaving a note to myself. Do you remember when SQL Server’s import/export functionality didn’t suck?  Where, when you didn’t have direct connectivity between two instances, you could export data to a flat file from the source server and then import them into the target server, and not have to deal with annoying conversion or cast errors due to the nature of the data, the rotation of the Earth around the Sun, and other random problems? I ran into this issue when trying to copy reference data from one server’s reference tables into another’s (where the schema...

posted @ Tuesday, August 13, 2013 11:18 PM | Feedback (0)
God how I hate parsing strings

There.  I said it.

posted @ Wednesday, July 24, 2013 11:06 AM | Feedback (0)
Dumbass Tech Idea of the Week: The Reactive Manifesto

It actually isn’t from this week, it’s only this week that I’ve seen it. You can find it here.  If you care to, you can read the whole thing, but its conclusion is thus: “Reactive applications represent a balanced approach to addressing a wide range of contemporary challenges in software development. Building on an event-driven, message-based foundation, they provide the tools needed to ensure scalability and resilience. On top of this they support rich, real-time user interactions. We expect that a rapidly increasing number of systems will follow this blueprint in the years ahead.“ Well, gosh, it...

posted @ Thursday, July 18, 2013 12:59 AM | Feedback (0)
A few tips for the weekend golfer

Hey there.  If you like to play the occasional round of golf on the weekend, here are a couple of pointers. You aren’t that good, so you really don’t need GPS to tell you that the distance to the pin is 137 yards vs. 138 yards.  It doesn’t make that much of a difference. You don’t need to make 10 practice swings.  Your real swing looks almost nothing like your practice swing anyway. You don’t need to line up the putt, and then back off and examine the green for another 30 seconds.  You can’t really read...

posted @ Sunday, June 09, 2013 7:04 PM | Feedback (0)
Yet another reason why the software craftsmanship movement sucks

Here’s the description of the talk: “In this talk Robert C. Martin outlines the practices used by software craftsmen to maintain their professional ethics. He resolves the dilemma of speed vs. quality, and mess vs schedule. He provides a set of principles and simple Dos and Don’ts for teams who want to be counted as professional craftsmen.” The video sounds like it was recorded next to a cocktail party.  You can always hear what Uncle Bob says, I never had a problem with that.  Just keep that in mind if you listen to it. Now, as...

posted @ Wednesday, March 13, 2013 9:31 PM | Feedback (0)
Software Craftsman Myopia

Uncle Bob: “In another 10 or 15 years TDD will likely be as prevalent and important to programmers as hand-washing is to surgeons or double-entry bookkeeping is to accountants. I stand a good chance of seeing that happen.” Alexander Tarnowski: “The ability to deliver tested and integrated software whenever we want to will be taken for granted. There will be no holy test and staging environments that some hero set up once and nobody dares to touch (for they’d break anyway). ” Bullshit.  Bet very very heavily on the under here.

posted @ Wednesday, March 06, 2013 11:29 AM | Feedback (0)
Uncle Bob is a consultant

Not that there’s anything wrong with being a consultant, of course. <rant> Apparently Uncle Bob has never heard of Twitter (the company, not the technology). Here’s his latest “please hire me at hundreds of dollars an hour to peddle dogma, and if you question me, I’m going to use ‘I’m old’ as a response” post. I think the saddest thing about the Software Kraftsman Kult is this desperate clinging to shibboleths.  “TDD simply must be right, in every instance and at all times!!!!!”  Whenever some peddler wants to peddle some ‘Best Practices’ shit, remember the truth:...

posted @ Wednesday, March 06, 2013 11:20 AM | Feedback (2)
Turns out, NPM kinda sucks as well

So, for some project, it turns out that I’ve gotten to take a look at all of that Node.JS love.  That in itself is another story. As it turns out, I needed some specific modules that sat on Github.  Being total newbie, I figured you could just download stuff from Github and it would work, but of course, it generally almost never works that way.  You do some “npm –install <module name>” magic and everything goes swimmingly. Or not.  I’m at a location that has whatever port npm needs blocked at some firewall, so I need to use...

posted @ Friday, February 01, 2013 5:09 PM | Feedback (4)
More fun with Nuget, or NuGet Still Sucks

I like Jimmy Bogard.  A lot.  He seems really cool.  We’ve never met, and besides maybe an occasional cross comment on blog posts, I don’t think I’ve ever talked to him. But he seems cool, and he seems to be a really good developer, much better than I am (though a sick hamster with some JQuery skills is probably a better developer than I am, but I digress). Anyhoo, he had a recent post about some presentation he gave in various places like Dublin and Kiev and Guam and Haiti and Narobi (okay, I’m exaggerating), and posted about...

posted @ Sunday, December 23, 2012 3:40 PM | Feedback (6)
Another reason I hate ESPN

As the wonderful game crew (or whatever the hell they call their Sunday morning goof-fest) gathered to pick the Steelers-Bengals game, they all picked the Steelers (which is a kiss of death right there), but the kicker came when Berman explained that he was picking the Steelers because Franco Harris was attending the game (it being the 40th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception game). Right.  That certainly guarantees it, doesn’t it?  That’s the sort of logic that dominates the booyahs in Bristol. Naturally, the Steelers just lost. 

posted @ Sunday, December 23, 2012 3:19 PM | Feedback (0)
The yellow line is not official

You may not be aware of this, but when watching a football game and there is a question about where a first down might be, the TV generated yellow line is not official. This will shock and surprise you, but it is true.

posted @ Sunday, November 18, 2012 10:04 PM | Feedback (0)
Bad analogy time: It's okay to be a line cook

I was trying to explain to non-software developers a certain point, and came up with one of my typically bad analogies. Though I hate the term, I guess I have to admit that I qualify as being a 'foodie.'  Though I tend to discount some of the more political aspects of it, I buy into the whole food to table thing, cook for myself, believe in using local ingredients, and all that stuff. Because I am lucky enough to be financially successful, I enjoy the occasional visit to Michelin starred restaurants.  I also remember being, in a much...

posted @ Thursday, November 01, 2012 12:13 AM | Feedback (0)
Software Development != Writing Code

The disconnect between these two has been highlighted by recent events. The end requirement was clear.  A couple of changes that the business wanted, prioritized and re-prioritized to a certain list.   A couple of changes that could be completed in a few days and fit into the long list of various requirements that the business wants, a business that has very little resources available for testing. The developer in question though sees the ugliness in the entire codebase, it makes him uncomfortable.  He sees all of the places where it goes against what a software craftsman believes in. ...

posted @ Thursday, November 01, 2012 12:00 AM | Feedback (0)
Colin Cowherd inadvertently defines ‘irony’

On his show recently, Colin was doing a not totally unfunny bit about what it would be like on the day when Derek Jeter breaks Pete Rose’s all time hits record at the age of 47 (or something).  He was describing Jeter limping to home plate, then remembering that he forgot his bat, limps back to the dugout and falls in and breaks his hip (it was actually pretty funny as delivered).  He then said something like, “We know that his falling into the dugout will be sponsored by someone, since it is the Yankees, and the Yankees have someone...

posted @ Friday, October 12, 2012 10:54 AM | Feedback (2)
Another example of the brilliance of ESPN commentating

I realize that there are many different sources that do a much better job at pointing out on a continual basis how fucking awful ESPN is, in all of its multitude of suckitude, but sometimes, it just is really rich. Mike Ditka decided, on the Mike and Mike morning show, that he really wanted to talk about the Detroit Lions’ special teams, as they haven’t been doing well.  Or, the producers’ decided they wanted him to talk about it.  At least the segment wasn’t sponsored by Coors Light. Anyway, what did we learn?  We learned that,...

posted @ Friday, October 05, 2012 8:33 PM | Feedback (0)
Ah, the start of another beautiful college football season

We made it all the way to 6:02 remaining in the first quarter of the Alabama-Michigan game before Kirk Herbstreit reminded us, after a penalty, that there is a “big difference between 3rd and 10 and 3rd and 5.”  Brilliant, just brilliant. The only question is, considering this the ‘line’, do we take the over or the under on when John Gruden makes a similar comment on the first Monday Night football game?

posted @ Saturday, September 01, 2012 7:42 PM | Feedback (1)
Visual Studio 2012: Still can’t handle going offline?

Shouldn’t Visual Studio be able to handle this by now, without multiple prompts about files needing to be overwritten (at best) or total failures because of files being read-only (see previous post about NuGet)? Seems like a rather obvious requirement for basic functionality.

posted @ Tuesday, August 21, 2012 11:01 PM | Feedback (2)
I still hate NuGet

So, I’m already annoyed in finding out that, a) when you try to upgrade Windows 8 RC to RTM, there is no upgrade apparently, just a new install, b) Johnny the idiot developer forgot a check in and lost a day’s worth of work. Fine.  But what I still hate about NuGet is how fundamentally broken it seems to be, at least when it plays with TFS.  I have the ‘disable integration’ nuget config setting set to false.  I tell it to download any missing packages (and of course there are missing packages, since I’m refreshing from TFS the...

posted @ Sunday, August 19, 2012 7:21 PM | Feedback (16)
No Windows 8 Boot Menu = bad

One of the ‘features’ of Windows 8 is that it boots so fast that you can’t actually get the typical F2/F8 boot menu to show when powering up.  Instead, you can, from within Windows 8, tell it to boot into a typical boot menu (where you choose to use last known good, etc.).  If for whatever reason your last boot into Windows fails, the boot menu will also show. This is all great, but as my experience with trying to get Clear 4G to run on Windows 8 on a MacBook Air shows, this isn’t good enough.  Windows boots...

posted @ Saturday, July 21, 2012 8:35 PM | Feedback (0)
Repost: Technology vs Sexism

I’m reposting about the original that can be found here. Since I’m reposting it, I obviously agree with it, but let me add my own spin/rant to the whole thing. To repeat something I posted previously: “If you are a woman in any industry, and you find yourself going to meetings where the first comment you hear is “Hey babe, nice tits”, run, don’t walk to your HR department. “ Since that could be read as being flippant, let me make clear how serious I was.  Like racism, sexism takes different forms.  Not every form is...

posted @ Thursday, May 24, 2012 8:57 PM | Feedback (0)
Jesus does not influence the outcome of NFL games

After watching yet another miraculous Tim Tebow led comeback, I began to reconsider my stance that Jesus was not interested in the outcome of NFL games. There are two particular aspects about the Tebow phenomenon that I particularly enjoy. One is the obvious religious aspect. Although it isn’t the only factor, by far one of the largest aspects that drives the Tebow-haters, and drives them nuts, is the fact that Tebow is openly Christian, and unapologetic about it. These same people generally wouldn’t mind thuggish behavior in their athletes, or manslaughter convictions, or what have you, but an occasional mention of Jesus...

posted @ Sunday, December 11, 2011 7:45 PM | Feedback (2)
Comment Spam: I’m not interested in a business loan and neither are any of my readers

Comment spam is a fact of life if you run a blog.  It typically takes on a few common aspects. Comment spammers are looking for unmoderated blogs so that they can post a whole bunch of random off-topic comments that contain links to whatever they are spamming about.  This blog is moderated, so what happens is I get a bunch of spam comments in-between the few real reader comments.  I approve the real reader comments, and then delete the spam comments in a batch whenever my lazy ass gets around to it. Usually, once a particular comment spammer...

posted @ Wednesday, September 21, 2011 6:25 PM | Feedback (0)
Review: Tekpub Webcast - Full Throttle : TDD with Brad Wilson

So, after going through the signup process, I finally gained access to this episode.  Leading up to this review, I have watched the episode in total 3 times:  the first time I watched straight through while taking quick short hand notes, the second time, I watched portions of it in succession, stopping to take more in-depth notes, the third time, I watched it to fine-tune my comments on specific sections. Since I’ve been ragging on Tekpub, it is only fair to start off with a positive general note. Tekpub’s Production Quality Rob has been doing...

posted @ Tuesday, September 20, 2011 8:07 PM | Feedback (0)
Tilting at Windmills Award of the Week: Reference Architecture Foundation for Service Oriented Architecture Review announced by OASIS

Holy crap.

posted @ Wednesday, August 24, 2011 1:05 PM | Feedback (0)
Craptastic Tekpub Account Setup

One would think one would try to follow even basic practices for this sort of thing. So, I went back through the fantastic process of trying to buy the Full Throttle – TDD Brad Wilson Rocks episode, and managed to do it, though it required emptying out my shopping cart as it initially said I wanted to purchase 4 of them. After setting up my account through the fantastic process, after the purchase, I got an email saying (paraphrasing) “Hey, we setup an account for you based on your email, here’s the bizarre password we created initially, you...

posted @ Tuesday, August 23, 2011 10:06 PM | Feedback (2)
Why do I have to use NuGet?

NuGet is Microsoft’s attempt to copy Ruby gems, as far as I can tell.  Great.  All for it. But why is it that I have to use it, instead of getting the option to install normally through some MSI or other option? Maybe I’m missing something, but if I want to install, say, EF 4.2 Beta 1, why can’t I have an option to install it globally, as opposed to having to install it within some specific project/solution?  I’m using a Microsoft release as an example, but I could just as easily use, e.g. AutoMapper as an example....

posted @ Monday, August 22, 2011 8:53 PM | Feedback (7)
This is a semi-complex query?

Rob posted something about how to implement complex queries using Massive: “Here’s a semi-complex query that is all too common in the business case: var results - DynamicModel.Open(connectionString).Query(@" SELECT Orders.OrderNumber, Categories.Name FROM Products INNER JOIN Categories ON Categories.CategoryID = Products.CategoryID INNER JOIN OrderItems ON OrderItems.ProductID = Products.ID INNER JOIN Orders ON Orders.OrderID = OrderItems.OrderID WHERE Orders.OrderDate > @0 ", DateTime.Now.AddYears(-1)); ...

posted @ Tuesday, August 09, 2011 5:28 PM | Feedback (0)
I didn’t think Apple made buggy products: the new MacBook Air 13”

I bought my first MacBook Air 13” in March because of the extended vacation I was taking, and because my main Dev laptop was approaching its end.  I had looked at some of the ultra notebook type things like the Sony Vaio line, but there wasn’t one available, and since I needed to do some IPad/IPhone development soon, I decided to go ahead and take the plunge. Once the new ones were announced, I bought one as I wanted the faster processor, upgraded memory (since I had bought only the 2 GB model), etc. My experience with the...

posted @ Sunday, August 07, 2011 6:29 PM | Feedback (0)
Tip to paying taxes electronically

If you switch from paying taxes ‘manually’ to electronic payment through your accountant, take the extra minute to verify that they are going to try to pay it out of the right account. Merde.

posted @ Monday, April 18, 2011 11:06 PM | Feedback (0)
Nice Job Mozilla…Not

I am something of a ‘power user’ when it comes to web browsing.  I tend to have up to ten separate windows open, each one of which could have as many as 10-15 tabs open at any one time. I used to use separate browsers depending on the content, Maxthon for certain things, Opera for others.  I tried IE and Chrome and Safari, but finally ended up with Firefox.  Opera had been my favorite due to its ability to explicitly save multi-windows sessions, but its memory usage wasn’t great (though when you have up to 150 tabs open at...

posted @ Friday, March 25, 2011 6:50 PM | Feedback (1)
Software Development for Children aka Paging is an option

The title of this post, even for me, is pretty obnoxious, but I also feel pretty strongly about this, so here goes. Ayende posted about code that “should never hit production” in one of his usual code challenge blog postings.  I know that some people complain when he does this, but a) it’s his blog, he can post whatever he wants to, you don’t have to read it, and b) even if these challenge posts don’t touch something you happen to be facing yourself at any point in time, they tend to be pretty interesting, and c) if like me,...

posted @ Thursday, January 06, 2011 12:05 AM | Feedback (2)
How Do I Reboot My Car?

Update: apparently, the phone issue is a known issue related to the Samsung focus and using microSD cards that aren’t “certified for Windows 7 Phone.”  The problem is, there is no such certification now.  Nice.  Apparently it wasn’t part of the official Windows 7 Phone profile or something.  But a fix is supposedly on the way, so for the meantime, AT&T says they will give me a new phone (since it’s apparently possible it could brick itself at any point). Technology rocks.  If you are old enough to think about where things where things were 10 years ago, you...

posted @ Sunday, November 21, 2010 10:55 PM | Feedback (0)
Devops–A good thing

The fact that it talks about a ‘movement’ makes me a bit wary (“manifesto” anyone?), but there’s this thing called Devops that falls into my “freaking obviously good” category enough that I’m willing to ignore that. I’ve talked about this sort of stuff a lot (though am way too busy/lazy to link all the relevant posts), but let me talk about a typical non-Devops example. Separation of Duties Working the last few years for all sorts of those “too big to fail” type companies, one of the standard things that you run into is “Separation of Duties.” ...

posted @ Sunday, November 14, 2010 4:21 PM | Feedback (1)
Software Developers aren’t Doctors, and they shouldn’t play one on TV

Continuing on the theme that David Harvey talked about, where one can and should be in favor of ‘craftsmanship’ while being skeptical of Software Craftsmanship (TM pending), I’ve created a category to that effect, and want to continue the discussion here. Jan Van Ryswyck (hope I spelled that right, he doesn’t have an easy last name like “Nuechterlein”, further mentioned as “JVR”) has a post up on Elegant Code where, inspired by a tweet, he discusses the division of software developers between laborers and professionals.  As I’m going to paraphrase the hell out of it, so you might want...

posted @ Thursday, November 04, 2010 9:28 PM | Feedback (2)
The start of a new college football season

Signals the beginning of Fall in America, and the annual renewal of some fantastic traditions: Brent Musburger will promise that any contest between two teams in the Top 10 will be “ a dandy.” Kirk Herbstreit will claim to have intimate knowledge of the inner psyche of the QB based on one or two plays.  “You can see here that the QB runs up field, even though he has players open, because he’s afraid of how the defensive line is coming after him” (replays will clearly show that every receiver is clearly covered). Mike Patrick, ignoring the...

posted @ Monday, September 06, 2010 8:44 PM | Feedback (2)
I Like Windows Home Server

I took my computer into the place I bought it, so that I could get them to figure out why it won’t turn on.  I’m hoping it’s just the power supply that’s crapped out.  Turns out there’s a six day waiting list till they even get to it, but out of stubborn principle, I’ll wait. <rant>there are just certain things I don’t want to do anymore, damn it.  I used to be a line cook (though a friend of mine is/was a chef, I never got that bug, which is probably a good thing, because being in the food...

posted @ Tuesday, August 31, 2010 1:11 PM | Feedback (0)
More Reasons Why Integration Tests Can Be More Important Than Unit Tests

Over at CodeBetter, Patrick Smacchia (the NDepend dude) recently has blogged a couple of posts about “Tests Driven Development” (not sure if the extra ‘s’ is supposed to signify something important or if that’s just what he calls it).  I’ve written at other times about why I’m not a big fan of TDD so won’t go through all of that blah blah blah here, but some more events at clients have re-iterated to me why Integration Tests are often much more important than unit tests. Patrick talks about using code contracts as integral, and I agree with...

posted @ Friday, July 16, 2010 9:47 PM | Feedback (0)
Advantages of being a contractor

Davy Brion has a good post about overtime that is worth a read. I’d like to expand on my comment to his post. I should note that this applies beyond IT. It seems to be an expectation in many organizations that the people who work for them should need to work more than 40 hours a week.  This is unfortunate, but it is what it is. As a contractor, you can bill for it.  End of story.  If the organization you work for, for whatever reason, good or bad, has this sort of expectation, then your...

posted @ Wednesday, June 30, 2010 7:17 PM | Feedback (0)
Horrible Performance is a Bug

TDD can’t help you when it comes to determining the performance of a software development project. Imagine if you will a situation where you are dealing with a 3rd party vended application, and you work through all of the functional requirements in a UAT environment.  Imagine that you have previous experience where related software projects have performed by orders of magnitude better in PROD than in UAT.  When the important software development project is migrated to Production, how will it actually perform? Anyone with any decent amount of experience already knows the horrific result of finding out that...

posted @ Tuesday, June 22, 2010 8:55 PM | Feedback (0)
A description of a not entirely ideal software development project

Names and places are changed to protect…well, to protect against any personal liability.  You can guess the rest. The first thing you will note about a project like this is that the actual end user and/or business requirements are not really defined until you are at least 75% through the development of the software that is supposed to support the requirements.  An important thing to highlight here is that the actual end user requirements and the business requirements are not necessarily the same.  No, it would be folly to think that they were. Another fine point is when...

posted @ Friday, June 18, 2010 7:21 PM | Feedback (0)
Hello SSIS My Old Friend

A few years ago, Ayende had a post about why he hated SSIS, which brought about some responses (here and here and here) from some other folks.  It was a lot of fun had by all (sarcasm).  I happened to be doing some work prototyping SSIS and whether it could be used to replace some of the Perl-based implementations we had in place.  After only a little bit of effort, we clearly determined that SSIS couldn’t hack it (which is ironic, since getting SSIS to do many common tasks required a lot of hacking, but I digress). digression: I...

posted @ Tuesday, April 13, 2010 12:08 AM | Feedback (0)
Blog Comments or “Saint jdn – fighting Those Who Cared”

I have to explain the new tag line. Updated: the new tag line was fine for a day.  Back to what it has always been. In the meantime, don’t forget the first rule of the Blogosphere: opinions are like assholes.  Everyone that has one, is one. Because of the weird phenomenon of people in Eastern Europe posting spam links that advertise porn or poker or whatever, I have moderation turned on for the site.  It’s annoying because almost no one reads this thing and almost no one comments on it (except maybe to say “DOH!  I did...

posted @ Sunday, February 07, 2010 9:28 PM | Feedback (5)
Why don’t TV Sports Announcers Watch Their Own Broadcasts?

Okay, I understand why they wouldn’t actually watch TV while broadcasting the game, but it’s starting to get ridiculous. I’ll focus on hockey and football, because that is what I watch mostly. Watching tonight the big Ovechkin/Crosby rematch…err, the Caps/Pens first game since their epic (Jim Rome shout-out for a member of the crowd) playoff battle, and Crosby scores on one of those weird goals where the goalie wanders out to play a puck and it takes an odd bounce to sit in front of the net for the opposing team to knock in.  This one was doubly-weird...

posted @ Thursday, January 21, 2010 8:53 PM | Feedback (1)
The EchoChamber Software Craftsman Cooperative

A bunch of guys at ElegantCode have announced what they are calling the The Software Craftsman Cooperative. At a very high level, it is hard to see what could possibly be wrong with this: “All members are dedicated to working collaboratively with clients, which means alternative ways of doing business. The Software Craftsman Cooperative members maintain the following values: Working together produces better results than working alone Transparent and collaborative client relationships are healthier than fixed bid contracts Delivering business value does not always mean...

posted @ Thursday, January 14, 2010 9:16 PM | Feedback (0)
There’s nothing wrong with ORM

Rob Conery, apparently bored again, decided to post a rant/whine/something about ORMs, apparently because of something Ayende posted.  Apparently.  It looks like this is a topic that he’s been thinking about for a while, so maybe Ayende’s semi-flamebait post was just the trigger.  I don’t know.  Anyway, Rob posted an initial commentary, and then, because he’s a wuss sensitive soul, he deleted it, and posted an edited commentary.  I have the initial commentary since my RSS reader grabbed it, and I’m not sure exactly why he deleted it, as opposed to just posting a follow up.  I didn’t think it...

posted @ Tuesday, December 29, 2009 7:20 PM | Feedback (8)
Subject Matter Expert != Technical Expert

I’ve run into this situation a couple of times over the years.  Let me tell you, it is fun!!!!!!! (That’s sarcasm for the sarcasm impaired). The general scenario is something like this: at some point in the history of a department, usually a number of years ago, the department decided it needed to upgrade its technical infrastructure (I’m leaving that purposefully vague), and decided that it needed someone who had a significant amount (or significant enough) of domain knowledge to drive that decision.  Often times, this means the SME learns enough to implement some sort of technical design.  Usually,...

posted @ Wednesday, November 18, 2009 6:50 PM | Feedback (0)
The Deployment Runbook

The deployment runbook is an artifact usually found within larger IT departments, and is designed to help guide the deployment of ‘Enterprise’ applications that requires a large number of steps, and typically can cover a period of a number of days.  Anyone who had experienced this beast knows that it is almost always a sign of an environment that is horribly complex and barely manageable. In its common form, the deployment runbook is a master Excel spreadsheet, often with many worksheets within it, typically numbering hundreds, if not thousands, of rows long, and almost always very colorful.  Because it...

posted @ Monday, November 16, 2009 8:00 PM | Feedback (1)
Football Coaching 101

Suppose you have the ball with time winding down in the 4th quarter, and you are down by, say, 9 points.  Suppose you get the ball to the opponent’s 20 yard line or so with about a minute left.  What do you do? You spike the ball and kick the field goal.  You have to score twice, you can’t waste time.  Kick the f%^king field goal.  This happens in both the pros and in college.  Maddening, especially when it is your team that does.

posted @ Saturday, November 14, 2009 6:03 PM | Feedback (3)
The beginning of College Football season….

means a new round of stupid songs that we get to hear ad nauseum on ESPN/ABC and this years losers are: “This is our moment” by Kenny Chesney.  Nothing like an insipid country ‘thriller’ to get one fired up for a contest, especially written to suck, I mean, written specially for this.  You can read a rousing endorsement of it here. Ah, but there’s more!  The Dave Matthews Band has been named the Official Band of College Football Coverage on ESPN!!!  Because, really, you have to have an official band for that, and also, who doesn’t, when thinking...

posted @ Saturday, September 05, 2009 3:23 PM | Feedback (0)
I hate fantasy football

There, I’ve said it. I hate it.  Really.  A lot. There are many reasons why I hate it.  I hate tuning into a sports radio station and finding people discussing it.  I hate watching ESPN (which I hate in general anyway) to find some blowhard talking about some 2nd receiver on the Bengals (or whatever) and why everyone should pick him up for the week.  I hate hearing that Don Brown is at worst going to get 900 yards and 8 TDs for the Colts this year (um, no, at worst, he’s going to blow out a knee...

posted @ Tuesday, September 01, 2009 12:29 AM | Feedback (2)
How not to advance software development practices

Jimmy Bogard, creator (I think, he’s listed as a Coordinator, but I think his role is much more than that) of AutoMapper, has a post up about Continuous Learning, where he states: One of the more tiring arguments against ideas like Agile or Lean is the line of “gee, it used to be RUP, now Agile, now Lean.  Make up your mind!  I’ll come back in 2 years when it’s something else shiny you’ve latched onto.”  But that’s not an argument against ideas, it’s just an argument against change. and: So we have two options – cling...

posted @ Sunday, August 16, 2009 11:34 PM | Feedback (1)
Bad Football Announcing 2009-2010: Preseason Start

While the baseball game I was watching was in commercial, I flipped over to the Cardinals-Steelers game on ESPN with the normal Monday Night crew (whoever that is this year…Tirico, Jaws, and Gruden, I think).  Anyway, 1st drive of the 1st quarter, and they are going over the Steelers lineup when Jaws says something like this (paraphrasing): “Well, the Steelers were only 23rd in rushing last year, so the offensive line is going to have to step it up.  That’s just not getting the job done.” Uh, Jaws?  The Steelers are the defending Super Bowl Champions.  ...

posted @ Thursday, August 13, 2009 7:18 PM | Feedback (0)
When TDD can't help you - A case study : Paypal Express Checkout

If you’ve ever been able to work for a period of time where you could use TDD, BDD, or just plain ol’ unit testing, then you’ve probably experienced the joy of having to work the good old fashioned way, what we might call “Brute Force Integration Testing”, otherwise known (when developing web applications) as “Click through the damn thing and see what happens.” Recently, I’ve had such a joyful experience, and its name is Paypal Express Checkout (henceforth ”EC”). I’m assuming most everyone knows what Paypal is.  When designing a checkout process, you typically want to have standard...

posted @ Tuesday, July 14, 2009 9:36 PM | Feedback (3)
Modern Software Development in a Corporate Environment

Inspired by a recent conversation: Time it takes to code a bug fix: 10 minutes Time it takes to deliver the code through arcane processes: 6 hours Time it takes to document the code in the required formats: 4 days Time it takes to deploy the code to production: 3 months Time it takes to point the finger if something goes wrong: 2.2 seconds

posted @ Wednesday, May 27, 2009 6:41 PM | Feedback (1)
Self-Promotion Weasels

Channeling my inner Bellware on this one. Blog posts can be set up to be kicked or dugged when readers of those posts think they are worthy of it.  Within the .NET world, there are sites like DotNetKicks and DotNetShoutout that exist for similar purposes.  The general idea is that you can use these sites to find posts that are deemed to be especially important by the community at large.  A nice enough idea, I guess, won’t really argue against it now. But the idea is subverted by people who decide to abuse the system.  This can be...

posted @ Wednesday, May 06, 2009 7:27 PM | Feedback (3)
Battlestar Galactica, Daybreak, Part 2 – Spoiler (I guess)

I’m glad I didn’t spend four years watching the show (only the last year).  I think this has to go down as the worst finale of a series in the history of television. I remember how angry people were at the end of Babylon 5, but this was so much dumber.  The only character I really cared about was Starbuck, and that’s what they did to her character?  Right. Oh well. Update: okay, maybe calling it the worst finale in history was a bit harsh.  Keeping it spoiler free, these are the things that really bug me:...

posted @ Saturday, March 21, 2009 12:32 PM | Feedback (10)
Promoting burnout is a bad thing

Ray Houston over at LosTechies has a post about not wasting time.  On the surface, what he says makes sense.  But consider this: “After a good day of pairing, you feel exhausted because you put in a real day's work. You were engaged the entire time. Why don't we hold ourselves to the same standards when we are programming solo?” It is bad to have your workers, in any field, feel exhausted at the end of a day’s work.  This pretty much guarantees burnout in your workstaff. Except for those periods where there is a really important...

posted @ Tuesday, March 17, 2009 10:14 PM | Feedback (5)
How not to interview for help

Question: “What is the difference between System.Array.CopyTo versus System.Array.Clone”? Correct answer: who the fuck cares?  If you find yourself working with arrays, know it, otherwise, Google is your friend. Technically correct answer: shallow copy versus deep copy.

posted @ Monday, March 16, 2009 10:09 PM | Feedback (2)
Enough with the ‘Sprocs are evil’ BS m’key?

Derik has posted one of those ‘Sprocs are evil’ type rants (he did label it as a rant, so I have to give him props for that).  Probably unrelatedly, Jeremy Miller posted something that is sort of related (though his point was really a larger one).  Regardless, I have to respond. (Update: I mean responding in general, not line by line discussion of either Derik's or Jeremy's posts...more of a rant using them as a launching pad).  (Update #2: Derik wants to make it clear that he doesn't think sprocs are evil.  I think it is a semantic point, but...

posted @ Monday, March 02, 2009 1:14 AM | Feedback (7)
Stick a Fork in Them

Not only will the Penguins not win the Stanley Cup, they won’t even make the playoffs. The last time I was going to write this (a couple of weeks ago), the Pens were down 3-0 at home to the Tampa Frickin’ Bay Lightning, and Malkin decided to play Superman, and they won 4-3 in OT.  Okay, fine.  The Pens are back, blah blah blah. Tonight against the not very good Maple Leafs, they went up 2-0 in the 1st.  And promptly decided to stop playing for the rest of the game, to give up six unanswered and lose...

posted @ Saturday, February 14, 2009 8:38 PM | Feedback (1)
Note to the people using or supporting the Food Bar

To those people who set up the Food Bar, you really need to think about the placement of the food as it relates to how normal people will function.  So, for instance, when you set up a taco bar that moves from right to left, putting the taco shells and tortillas at the left end after the meat and the rice *completely* screws up the flow of people, since they then need to get the shells and swim upstream back against the line, and this just slows everyone down. To those people using the Food Bar: ...

posted @ Thursday, December 04, 2008 7:13 PM | Feedback (0)
Developer Growth Price is Right: From Coder to Craftsman, without going over

Jeremy Miller has a post about the evolution of a developer (in terms of DI/IoC) and also includes something from a previous post of his (but doesn’t directly link): “I think there is an inflection point where a coder mindlessly spewing out code transforms into a thoughtful software craftsman capable of creating maintainable code.” Now, I think the idea that this is an off-on switch type of thing is wrong.  Developers like to talk about ‘aha!’ moments (“Take on me!!!!!!!!”….sorry, I digress, but I loved ‘Hunting High and Low’) and they are real.  They are real in other...

posted @ Thursday, November 13, 2008 9:26 PM | Feedback (7)
Excellent Code is Easily Deployable Code

That I am including this in the rant category I will leave as an exercise for the reader to determine the cause. Let’s leave aside all of things (SOLID principles for instance) that should be considered as basics in any software development process, I want to talk about configuration. App.config.  Web.config.  Within .NET, almost any project is going to involve having values that will need to change as you deploy code from environment to environment (DEV, DEVINT, QA, PREPROD, PROD…do any of these sound familiar?). Except they shouldn’t. I want to advance as a general principle/goal...

posted @ Friday, November 07, 2008 7:14 PM | Feedback (0)
Alt.NET Baby-ism

So, Ayende wrote a post criticizing some API related stuff about the ASP.NET MVC Framework. Phil Haack had a reply that dealt with why the design was done the way it was done, which contained the following funny comment: “We spent a lot of time thinking about these design decisions and trade-offs, but it goes without saying that it will invite blanket criticisms. Fortunately, part of my job description is to have a thick skin. ;) In part, by favoring usability in this case, we’ve added a bit of friction for those who are just starting out...

posted @ Thursday, November 06, 2008 7:31 PM | Feedback (3)
Signs You Might Be Working For A Client That Isn't On The Cutting Edge #4 in a series

If they propose an architecture for the next version of the application where you create UML models and then click a button so that all of the code is magically generated for you.  That way, you don’t have to worry about build errors. CASE, anyone?  Run.

posted @ Monday, October 27, 2008 6:06 PM | Feedback (0)
The State of College Football Broadcasting

Is poor.  Very, very poor. Maybe I’m just paying more attention this year than in recent years, but the inability of announcers to follow what is happening on the field, to consistently get calls incorrect (including whether someone gains a first down or not), and to botch instant replay predictions is amazing.  They still get stuck trying to fit games into their pre-conceived, pre-game analysis, not matter what happens in the actual game, but they’ve been doing that for forever. Even though it has been more than a week, take a good example from the Rutgers-North Carolina game...

posted @ Saturday, September 20, 2008 9:03 PM | Feedback (0)
Reasons to hate ESPN's SportsCenter #1 in a series

I should have started this one about 15 years ago. So I'm having DSL problems (as in, Internet connection) which may very well be the subject of another post, and I figure, okay, I can watch the new morning edition of SportsCenter while the technician from the phone company pretends to do something. And so, in the middle of highlights, they have a 5 minute interview with..... L.L Cool J.  New 'album' comes out in September (do they even make albums now?).  He's working out, eating healthy, and staying away from the drugs (though he will 'pop a...

posted @ Wednesday, August 27, 2008 9:37 AM | Feedback (2)
I think this means I won

At the most recent Chicago Alt.NET meeting (Sergio posted about it here), I was talking with various people when someone (I think it was Aaron) mentioned that Scott Bellware had issued a tweet/twit/whateveritscalled at some point that I be drummed out of Alt.NET and have all of my blog comments deleted.  And apparently I had a number or something attached to it. Since I hate Twitter (to me, it is the 'web 2.0' version of IRC...when I first got online in the late 90s, I made the mistake of going to a philosophy IRC and tried to, you know,...

posted @ Tuesday, August 19, 2008 8:19 PM | Feedback (17)
Anonymous Blog Comments

This is something that comes up quite a bit on certain blogs, especially with Alt.NET types (before he (un)fortunately (unfortunately because he was the source of a wealth of unintentional humor, fortunately because his blogs were usually stupid), Scott Bellware was a typical example, Chad Myers is a current example if only because he's open and honest about it, to his credit), but I finally remembered to make a public note about it. Some people seem to think that the value of a comment on a blog posting is related to whether or not it is anonymous.  There is...

posted @ Tuesday, August 19, 2008 7:39 PM | Feedback (10)
Signs You Might Be Working For A Client That Isn't On The Cutting Edge #3 in a series

You are told "those unit tests are really good, but we don't have time to keep doing them, so just update the functionality, and if you have time later, write the unit tests." Um, I don't quite think that's right.

posted @ Saturday, August 09, 2008 9:33 PM | Feedback (1)
Bad Analogy Time Again: Alt.NET Libertarians

Standard disclaimer:  Everything is analogous to everything else, just as everything is different from everything else.  So, what I'm going to do is create an analogy, an admittedly bad analogy, to explain something I think about Alt.NET.  And not really about Alt.NET per se, but just some members in it.  And not really about Alt.NET but about certain personality types.  But I digress. Additional disclaimer: I thought of different things besides Libertarianism to make the point I'm trying to make.  I wanted to exclude things like Scientology and Objectivism, because everyone accepts those are nutty, and I don't want...

posted @ Wednesday, July 30, 2008 1:35 AM | Feedback (11)
Signs You Might Be Working For A Client That Isn't On The Cutting Edge #2 in a series

You ask them if you can use NHibernate or some other popular and/or well-tested and used ORM within the .NET space, and they tell you "It isn't a good idea to use an ORM because they produce overhead." What?

posted @ Tuesday, July 29, 2008 11:33 PM | Feedback (1)
End of a nice little run

Read about it here. Fitting that it ended with Mr. Rent a Player just missing.  To be really fitting, he should have hit the post. Here's a couple of things we learned: 1) While it sounds nice, hitting the post is no more effective than completely missing it. 2) If you don't clear the zone, and especially if you pass it to the other team in your defensive zone, they are more likely to score. 3) If you get multiple 5 on 3 power plays, and don't score on ANY of them, you aren't going to win a series. Still,...

posted @ Thursday, June 05, 2008 8:29 AM | Feedback (0)
Dumb-Ass Spammers

Sometime a long, long time ago, I let in a trackback to a porn site on some old post.  I think this was before I had moderation on. In any event, a couple of months ago, after turning moderation back on, I noticed I was getting a ton of 'pingtrack' (Subtext language) comments to moderate.  A few hundred a day.  Tied to the one post that one had slipped by into. After a few days of deleting them (more or less automatically), I turned off trackback/pingback support entirely.  Nothing more to moderate appeared in the Admin. Well,...

posted @ Monday, March 17, 2008 8:03 PM | Feedback (1)
Why I'm Skeptical about Mocks and Testing

Last week after the Microsoft Launch Event in Chicago (for the 2008 'wave' being in this case Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, and Visual Studio 2008), there was another get together of the Chicagoland Alt.NET group (there isn't a web site yet but that is forthcoming) where we discussed all sorts of things, as well as planning out the initial stages of a Code Camp in the fall (more details forthcoming). Somewhere in there, I was able to formulate in pretty brief terms a description of why I am skeptical of mocks and testing.  It was not a...

posted @ Sunday, March 16, 2008 9:31 PM | Feedback (7)
The Joys of Bad Customer Service

For one of our clients, we handle very basic web site maintenance tasks for them.  It's an already existing site (written around 2003 by someone else), so it usually involves very minor text changes and other related matters. About 3 or 4 months ago, the hosting provider decided to move the web site to a new server.  They never informed the client that they were doing it (since I have in the past done hosting provider type work, I'm guessing it was a server decommission matter), they just did it.  Which would have been fine if nothing was affected....

posted @ Friday, December 28, 2007 1:08 AM | Feedback (0)
Bad Analogy Time: Alt.NET Ex-Drinkers

Everything is analogous to everything else, just as everything is different from everything else.  So, what I'm going to do is create an analogy, an admittedly bad analogy, to explain something I think about Alt.NET. Have you ever known anyone who has quit drinking (or smoking or eating fast food, etc.) and has 'gotten religion' about it?  To the point that they point to every use of alcohol as abuse?  Alt.NET people tend to be like that. Okay, bad analogy created.  Explanation please. As far as it has a definition, Alt. NET is about attempting to improve software development, usually by taking an...

posted @ Sunday, October 07, 2007 2:04 PM | Feedback (10)
Is Alt.NET contrarian? OF COURSE

Sam Gentile finally got around to posting about why he left Code Better and there was nothing surprising in what he said.  I'm guessing it is sort of what everyone who cared to guess about it guessed it was about (as an aside, I do find it hilarious that Sam says he doesn't want to discuss it, just speak his peace and move on, and then posts comments to other people blogging about it.  I'm guessing he is still deleting comments to his own blog as well). Any number of people posted about it, such as Ayende and Haacked. ...

posted @ Sunday, October 07, 2007 12:51 PM | Feedback (7)