On Thresholds

Sunday, October 05 2008

I had a production system go down this week - one minute no problem, the next, critical functionality stopped working. Worse, it didn’t die because something broke - it went down by design. And did so without warning.

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Foundations of Programming

Wednesday, October 08 2008 random

Karl Seguin, one of the CodeBetter bloggers, has written a book on programming fundamentals, covering topics from ‘YAGNI’ and Unit Testing, to Domain Driven Design and Dependency Injection.

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Understanding the Office UI

Saturday, October 11 2008 ux

So I’m involved with a project that’s includes finally deploying Office 2007 throughout the office, and the #1 source of comments from users is the Ribbon. While some like it, most don’t - and some are downright creative in their commentary.

Leading up to the release of Office 2007, I read the blog of Jensen Harris, the ‘Group Program Manager of the Microsoft Office User Experience Team’ (what a job title, eh!).

Going back this week, I found ‘The Office 2007 UI Bible’ - an index page of links to posts that give the back story for the Ribbon UI.

If you’re not familiar with the origins of the Ribbon, go an read some of those posts - they’ll open your eyes.

Alternatively, check out The Story of the Ribbon - a video of Jensen presenting the overall story. Worth watching.

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Whatever happened to responsiveness?

Friday, October 24 2008 ux

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend - it seems that all kinds of systems are getting slower and slower, almost as though usability is being deliberately sacrificed for other factors.

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The right knowledge for each problem ...

Saturday, October 25 2008 professional

A friend emailed me an interesting quote:

‘… what little evidence we have about programmer productivity points to a productivity distribution that’s skewed with a long tail of incompetence’ Larry O’Brien

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Contravariance and Covariance at last

Wednesday, October 29 2008 csharp

It seems the information deluge has started, and the first piece of good news about C# 4.0 is the introduction of contravariance and covariance for delegates and interfaces.

Charlie Calvert has a useful summary that I’d suggest you read.

On first glance, it looks as though the support hinges on adding a in and out modifiers to type parameters as hints for further use.

I’d like to know if the compiler will be doing any checking/enforcing in this area - are the in and out modifiers just hints, or will the compiler be doing some semantic checking to enforce the rules.

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Linq Aggregates

Thursday, October 30 2008 smart-code

Catching up on my blog reading, I came across a gem demonstrating use of the Aggregate() method from Linq’s Enumerable static class.

Worth reading.

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WiX Techniques Updated

Thursday, October 30 2008 deployment

My whitepaper on WiX techniques has been updated to correct an error.

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