Welcome to Niche Software, a MicroISV based in Wellington, New Zealand.

The primary goal of the site is as a host to my writing - mostly entries in my blog, but also including more detailed articles and the occasional highly opinionated editorial. A secondary, but still important, goal is to be a place to post some tools, utilities and toys that I have written. As I tend to develop applications that "scratch my own itch," most of these are fairly technical in nature. Please check out the license on any item you download - while many are free, some are not.

Improve your troubleshooting by aggregating errors

Jun 11 2022 go

In the early days of the web, circa 1995 or so, it was common for the forms on websites to return a single error on submission, identifying only the first field that needed attention. This resulted frequent failed submissions as users would only be able to fix one thing at a time. To say that this made for a laborious and frustrating process would be a massive understatement.

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Improve your troubleshooting by wrapping errors

May 28 2022 go

When managing errors in your code, help out your future self (and anyone else who will be supporting your code in the future) by doing more than the simplest possible thing.

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Keep your promises

May 14 2022 go

One of the best ways to disappoint someone is to break a promise - and this applies both to the software we write and the applications we use as well.

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Mandelbrot Screensaver

Mandelbrot Screensaver is a screensaver that automatically generates images from Mandelbrot fractal, generating a never ending display of fractal images on your screen.

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WordTutor

WordTutor, a tool for running interactive spelling drills: the easy way to improve your spelling.

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OOS Alarm

OOS Alarm is a repeating alarm clock which pops up regularly to remind you to appropriate breaks during your work each day.

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Becoming a Better Developer

In this talk I pass on some of the things I've learnt about being a better developer.

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Static Analysis for the Win

We all know that the earlier we find a bug, the cheaper it is to fix. Shouldn't we therefore be doing everything we can to identify bugs as early as possible?

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The Pragmatic Programmer

Unusually for a technical book published in 1999, The Pragmatic Programmer remains thoroughly relevant to the modern developer. I present a review of this book, looking at how it is relevant to the modern developer.

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Writing Maintainable Code

One core skill that every developer should cultivate is the ability to write Maintainable Code - code that can be easily understood.

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Geek Communication

In June 2014, presenting to the first cohort of the Enspiral Devacademy talking about the nature of "geeks" and how to communicate effectively with them.

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Unit Testing 101

A beginners introduction to unit testing, based on Roy Oscherove's book Art of Unit Testing. Presented to both Software Quality New Zealand and to Statistics New Zealand.

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