Monthly Archives: February 2004

Don’t build a framework!

I’ve been helping folks with .NET for a little while now and one of the recuring themes I see, especially with larger organisations is the tendency to indulge in a lengthy and expensive framework building process.

Quite often I hear of the “productivity improvements” that teams are getting out of these frameworks. Its not uncommon to hear about projects taking anywhere between twice to ten times as long to achieve successful completion. It’s hard not to see where the attraction is right?

Martin Fowler has some excellent (and short) writing on the subject of harvested frameworks vs. foundation frameworks. So why am I making this post? Its simple, I want the IT services firms out there getting involved in these projects to focus on delivering products that relate to their customers core business – I want them to “wait and see” if frameworks appear. Keep it simple stupid.

*sniff* no architect summit for me!

I’ve been looking forward to getting down to Melbourne to the upcomiing architect summit but it appears that I somehow forgot to submit my registration. Well, registration is now closed and its a full house so I won’t be going, its a real bummer because Pat Helland was going to be presenting. Simon Guest also did a great presentation last year – in fact his lip sync’d media player demo was a riot. The flights are booked, so I guess I’ll find something else constructive to do with the time.

AFL: A good excuse to talk about Longhorn.

Frank is talking about AFL again. Being born in Queensland much more interested in rugby and league although it is pleasing to see the Bears (er Lions) doing so well. However, when I moved to Victoria I was forced to choose a team. Knowing nothing about the sport I referred to as “aerial ping pong” I chose to support the Bombers – I thought their patch looked cool. Although it could have been the kiss of death for them . . .

Longhorn? Well, I had this idea a few weeks ago about how the Australian edition of Longhorn should ship with a number of tiles and pop-up toast applications too integrate sports into the shell. So how about a BaggyGreen tile and an AFL ladder tile (atleast!). Just need to unpack that Longhorn VM. Sounds like a good excuse to geek out Wednesday night next week.

P.S. Frank: I’m sure you have some partners you need to see early on Monday morning that means you would absolutely positively have to been in Melbourne over the weekend 😛

Temperature: 18 degrees celcius. Woohoo!

This has been my first summer in Canberra since I moved up here with Monash.NET. Before that I was living in Melbourne, and grew up in Brisbane (Caboolture actually). In Queensland summer is humid, but atleast there is a good chance of rain most evenings. Melbourne is much drier during summer but cool changes do come through quite regularly, and the temperature is very predicable – look at the weather in Adelaide and add a day.

Canberra, however, has been a real shock to the system. Because there is no body of water to regular the temperature it can climb and climb and climb. For the last month or so we have fairly consistently been in the 30oc to 40oc (thats up to 104of if you don’t have a converter handy). While its not the surface of the sun, it does make getting a good night sleep quite difficult – you always feel tired.

Well, today I had to put on a jumper. In fact I am wearing this spiffy canterbury MVP jersey that  Rose (local MVP contact) sent me. If you have an appreciation of real football (apologies to soccer fans – this isn’t directed at you), then you will know just how warm these things can be. The current temperature is down to 18oc, and while it might climb during the day I can’t see it getting over 30oc.

I’m looking forward to looking out on the snow frosted hills this winter. Last year it snowed a number of times but I was unlucky enough to be delivering training courses or working interstate each time.

So, who spotted the bugs in <csunit />?

When I first introduced my task to the world I mentioned that there were a few things that I wanted to tackle in future releases. Here is a bit of a referesher for those of you who missed my earlier post.

  • Write automated unit tests using csUnit.
  • Write automated build script to run unit tests and build a release.
  • Improve API documentation for the source code using XML comments.
  • Make the NAnt output look prettier.

I am now pleased to annouce that in the 1.1.0.0 drop I have started to address the first two items in that list. There are now a bunch of unit tests in the NotGartner.Build.Tasks.Tests project to excercise the task and weed out any problems with future modifications/enhancements I make. The act of writing the unit tests actually uncovered a number of bugs which are now fixed.

  • When input validation failed, clean-up of temporary files still occured causing an exception, masking the underlying exception that was raise as a result of invalid arguments.
  • Test summary output failed when tests passed (can you believe I missed this!).

Both of these errors resulted in me not running a full suite of tests as the task evolved, so things slipped through the cracks. Anyway, give this drop a crack!

Google Juice

I was reading one of FrankArr’s blog entries where he was checking the level of GoogleJuice for the bits that he puts out there. Ofcourse there is no prizes for guessing what the first link is for my surname was. Sometimes I wonder whether based on that association I’ll get stopped at US customs for acts of terrorism on US soil. Mind you, that is based on second hand information. I’ve seen the signs, just never had the pleasure.

Searching for my first name produces the desired results, however the cache that Google has shows the site as being in error. Not surprising giving the reliability of my hosting provider. If the site isn’t down, the database is down, and if the database is down files are getting zero-byted. Groan.

Are you registered for the Australian security conference?

The folks at Microsoft are taking to the road and are putting on a security conference for developer folks and IT professionals. I’m going to be at the Canberra one on the 5th of March, other dates for the rest of the country are available. Security has been under the spotlight recently and while the press would have you believe all the problems are in the OS, most vulnerabilities exist in home grown application code.

About a year ago Jeff Prosise and Dan Green did a tour of Australia. Jeff show folks how easy it was to compromise a poorly designed application and I think I saw a collective jaw drop several times that day. Anyway, be there, or hand in your geek card!