Archive for the ‘General Coding’ Category

  • Is RSS dead?

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

    Is RSS dead?

    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

    Shell scripting 101

    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

    Endian analysis

    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

    Real developers don’t need tools

    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

    Top 5 reasons developers can relate to 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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  • How developers communicate. Not (using social media)!

    on Jun 8, 10 • by Eric Hollebone • with 1 Comment

    How developers communicate. Not (using social media)!

    So a while back, I explored where developers get their information.  Surprisingly, it is hard to find hard data on the subject.  As a bonus from a Forrester study commissioned by Klocwork into the habits of code review, part of  the data revealed developers’ use of social media tools.  When asked directly about their use of these tools to communicate with other developers, the majority polled would not choose a social media channel. It just goes to show that yet again, software developers are a breed apart.  As an aside, as I was researching this topic, I found

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  • Developer productivity – you’ve got mail

    on Jun 3, 10 • by Alen Zukich • with No Comments

    A while back, I talked about how I keep running into organizations that seem to go out of their way to make developers’ lives hell.  I’ve run into several examples where developers had to switch between different environments just to write and compile code.  That’s as productive as watching paint dry and as much fun as rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. For teams that want to run source code analysis in these types of environments (or any kind of dev tooling, frankly)  it’s very difficult for vendors to support.  I did my usual

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