Archive for the ‘General Coding’ Category

  • Will source code analysis change developer culture?

    on Apr 26, 11 • by Alen Zukich • with No Comments


    Will source code analysis (SCA) or static analysis change developer culture? The answer really depends on the developer’s skill set. In my experience, there are developers who are excellent at what they do (visionaries), and then there are some that just don’t get it (fence posts). I’m not here to talk about the visionaries — they already get it. They know that SCA techniques help find critical issues early in the development cycle. Sometimes SCA finds great stuff, sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s always worth the time, because it makes developers better at what they do. In fact, it’s

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  • Porting gotchas

    on Jan 25, 11 • by Alen Zukich • with 2 Comments

    Top 10 porting issues

    If you’ve ever gone through the process of porting an application, you know the pain.  Porting can be difficult if you’re not vigilant from the outset.  There are tons of written guidelines and best practices for specific platforms or architectures, such as those going to 64 bit for Windows apps or Intel architecture and Mac OS. In the past, we have talked about Endian issues, which are very specific to porting from different architectures (big-endian vs little-endian).  This time I want to take you through some general porting issues to show you how you can

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  • Is RSS dead?

    on Jan 6, 11 • by Alen Zukich • with 2 Comments

    RSS feed

    Well no, far from it, but there has been an interesting post on this and other discussions from the browser makers themselves.  Namely Firefox has removed the RSS feed from the toolbar in 4.0.  This has sparked much conversation to bring that back. The main reason for this is that it simply is not used, therefore having it so prominent is unnecessary.  Furthermore all sites already provide this capability on their pages, so why include one on the browser too?  There are some interesting counters to this and I suggest you have a read. This

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  • Shell scripting 101

    on Nov 17, 10 • by Alen Zukich • with 1 Comment


    I don’t know why, but every time I go back to some simple shell scripting I can never remember the one liner for loop.  For those who know what I’m talking about, it is the one command you need over and over again when it comes to performing the same thing on a set of files.  I can never seem to remember the simple syntax and it always leaves me scratching my head. So I thought I would ask a forum on shell scripting and  was promptly answered with: for file in `ls`; do rm

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  • Do you have a big endian or little endian problem?

    on Oct 27, 10 • by Brendan Harrison • with No Comments

    Ok… bad pun but question still stands. We wanted to try and answer that question so we worked with the team at VDC Research to try and quantify some of these questions. You can download their full report on the multicore and multiprocessor landscape, but here’s one piece of data that I thought might be interesting. Basically, heterogeneous processor architectures are growing quickly and the number of projects using simple processor architectures is diminishing fast. Really, backs-up what we all instinctively know and understand but nice to see some empirical evidence to add to the

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  • How developers (eventually) get what they want

    on Oct 12, 10 • by Mike Laginski • with 3 Comments

    It started with the iPod and slowly but systematically gained momentum. A few years ago, I asked a developer-friend how he decides whether he’ll buy a dev tool or not. He responded somewhat tongue in cheek with, “I will download the tool, play with it and then decide if I would rather spend my money on the latest iPod or the dev tool.” Maybe this is a bit of an edge case, but it speaks to the thought process that goes into the individual developer’s personal workspace design. For anyone who thinks it’s not all

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  • Endian analysis

    on Sep 28, 10 • by Alen Zukich • with 2 Comments


    Endianness refers to the ordering of bytes into memory. As many of you are aware, computers do ordering differently. You can have the representation of Big-endian or Little-endian. Essentially Big-endian stores data big-end first, meaning the first byte is the biggest and Little-endian stores data little-end first, meaning the first byte is smallest. Because all machines are different and write data either as big or little-endian, a computer could read this data incorrectly.  If you are not prepared ahead of time for heterogeneous processor architectures, then you might be in for a world of hurt

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  • Real developers don’t need tools

    on Jul 15, 10 • by Alen Zukich • with 1 Comment


    As the topic suggests, this kind of argument has been around for some time.  Most developers can recognize the need for tools but once you start breaking the developer’s day-to -day workflow you might as well flush that tool down the drain. What developers need is a tool that seamlessly integrates with their development environment and their workflow, so they can meet their quality goals without taking a big productivity hit. It’s one thing to provide plug-in tools for the more popular IDEs like Visual Studio and Eclipse, but it’s an added bonus when defect

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  • Top 5 reasons developers can relate to soccer players

    on Jun 17, 10 • by Alen Zukich • with 1 Comment

    Soccer players

    In the spirit of the FIFA 2010 World Cup, I thought it would be fitting to describe how software developers can relate to the game. Announcers – Have you ever really listened to what the announcers say?  One of my favorite things to listen to is the very opinionated soccer announcers.  Some of the things they say just make me laugh.  For example, when the announcer was describing the uncertainty of the game – “There’s one thing for certain, there is no score.”  or in this year’s World Cup describing a slow and boring game

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  • Error messages: Moving beyond WTF

    on Jun 10, 10 • by Patti Murphy • with 3 Comments

    By the time users hit the help documentation, they’re already snarly. Yeah, some people read the documentation first before using the tool, but… A lot of people just want to dive in and start using the tool. And when I’m stuck I want answers. Now, already!  You might think it’s stupid-user error and I might think it’s stupid software design, but who cares? I want help right NOW. Troubleshooting information lives or dies by the search-and-I-better-frickin-find-what-I’m-looking-for mentality. How do we look for this help? We copy and paste error messages into a browser and search

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