Jan 31

The value of Spring

Tech 11 Comments »

Crazy Bob wrote about how he doesn’t get Spring, which was obviously going to get a lot of attention ;)

I see a lot of value in Spring, from projects in which I use it on. As you go from project to project, you tend to bring with you code from past projects. This may be a StringUtil, a bunch of other old code, or 3rd party libraries.

Spring is an item that tends to join me across Java projects that follow particular conventions.

This isn’t because Spring is so amazingly different that it changes everything I do. It is because it does things that I could do but don’t want too.

  • Dependencies: Yup, I could use Pico, or another DI framework, or my own thing. Spring happens to have the most features of the bunch though, and works nicely
  • Testing: I tend to wire up all of my tests via Spring. I slap in a different test bean config, and it all gets slurped up for tests, making it zero work to wire in my tests
  • Non-XML: You don’t have to use XML to wire up Spring. You can even use Ruby if you want ;)
  • Wrapper functionality: Spring is part DI, part wrapper libraries to make life easier. These guys went through the various frameworks and made them easier to use. Spring-Hibernate wrappers, JDBCTemplate, JTA stuff, you name it there is a Spring wrapper that makes things easier to use.
  • Business logic: I want to write business logic. I don’t want to rev my own DI framework, and other infrastructure crud. Think about the man-hours that have been put into Spring. The testing that has been done so it works across domains. Why would I want to do this myself when I can have others do it.
  • AOP: The simple Spring-AOP interceptors are simple, but now with AspectJ integration you have the power of AOP at your fingertips

It’s there. It works well. It is developed and tested by others. It means that I write less code. Why wouldn’t I use it?

Interestingly, in my current non-Java projects I don’t feel the need for this type of framework since I don’t have the complexity of the world of Java.

Jan 30

Firefox Sync Web Service

Tech 11 Comments »

When I jump between machines, I wish that I had the same experience when it comes to things like: the bookmarks on the machine, and the extensions installed.

I would love to signup for a service that keeps track of my Firefox, and keeps them all in sync on any machine. It can be a plugin itself, and once installed, everything is sync’d.

In fact, I would love a service that tracks ALL preferences that I care about. Soon it would be like being at Sun and putting in your java card to get the same session back, but not running X and such ;)

Jan 28

The Daily Show: Global Edition

Personal No Comments »

I have been telling my european friends about The Daily Show for years. It can help explain to them that “all americans don’t love Bush, and we do have good satire over here”.

I finally got to see “The Daily Show: Global Edition”, which was aired by CNN International last night in Denmark.

I often joke about how, being a brit, I need to add “Just Kidding” to sarcastic comments (I know, I know… sarcasm is the lowest form of wit) in the US. However, I saw this reversed as the Global Edition started with a screen of text saying:

The Daily Show is satire. Facts are not checked. Please do not take this literally!

I wonder if the show used to go out without that message, and people thought it was real!

Of course, The Daily Show is the most “real” news that is shown in the US (and BBC news shown on cable)

Jan 27

Waterfall 2006

Tech 3 Comments »

I am heading to Waterfall 2006 this year.

I am a bit mad of them though, for not letting Ben and I talk on “Ajax: make your website confusing with crazy effects that web users don’t know how to deal with”

  • Take Control of Your Team’s Decisions NOW! by Ken Schwaber
  • Avoiding the Seven Pitfalls of Lean by Mary Poppendieck
  • Pair Managing: Two Managers per Programmer by Jim Highsmith
  • Two-Phase Waterfall: Implementation Considered Harmful by Robert C. Martin
  • User Interaction: It Was Hard to Build, It Should Be Hard to Use by Jeff Patton
  • FIT Testing In When You Can; Otherwise Skip It by Ward Cunningham
  • The Joy of Silence: Cube Farm Designs That Cut Out Conversation by Alistair Cockburn
  • wordUnit: A Document Testing Framework by Kent Beck
  • Slash and Burn: Rewrite Your Enterprise Applications Twice a Year by Michael Feathers
  • Very Large Projects: How to Go So Slow No One Knows You’ll Never Deliver by Jutta Eckstein
  • Eliminating Collaboration: Get More Done Alone by Jean Tabaka
  • Retrospectives: Looking Back…Looking Aaaall the Way Back by Diana Larsen
  • The Glacial Methodology
Jan 27

Convergence: TV/Radio a.k.a. we don’t need no stinkin’ alarm radio

Travel 1 Comment »

When I am in europe, I try to do it the euro way. It allows me to cling on to being british.

A common thing in hotels is to have the magic TV that has a radio, and timer builtin (as well as teletext, which was missed in the US…. it allows you to read about anything via your TV).

Since you have these features baked into the TV, you don’t need a bedside table alarm clock, and instead of doing the right thing (and having me own) I decided to set my alarm for this morning via the TV.

The TV menu is all in Danish (which makes sense since I am in Denmark) but I managed to luckily change it to english via some guess work.

I then set the timer to turn on the TV at 7am until 7:30am. I also make sure that a loud channel is setup before I turn it off for the night.

Then at 9am I get a bang on my door from Ben, as we are speaking together first thing in the morning. Ouch!

What happened?

I got to debug the problem after the talk, and it turned out that the TV *did* turn on, but it switched on at a channel that has no audio (showing what is happening at the hotel and such) and I guess a small amount of light from a TV wasn’t enough to wake someone who had been flying for 24 hours.

I think Pres Bush said: “Fool me once shame on me….”

This isn’t the first time I screwed up. I did a similar thing in Belgium, where I set the TV correctly, but I fell asleep with the TV on. This meant that the act of re-turning the TV on at 6am didn’t really do much to wake me up either. That was a fun wild dash to the airport and just making it.

Ah the glamours of travel.

Jan 11

Enterprise guy that get the complexity

Tech 4 Comments »

I have always been a fan of Billy Newport (IBM server side guru).

He recently had the experience of setting up a simple PHP based website, and wrote about this: Future is application and coarse components?.

It is great to hear a server side guy who gets the simplicity need. This isn’t to say that we don’t need OSGI, as it serves a real need. But, that need is small compared to the number of apps that don’t need it, and Java needs to do a better job at accomodating that.

Kudos to Billy. At least he works at IBM where they like PHP too ;)

Jan 10

Yes Ruby in the Browser, No it won’t take off?

JavaScript, Ruby, Tech 6 Comments »

Obie Fernandez wants No Ruby in the Browser, after Paul Hammant discussed it in Ruby vs. JavaScript for Web 3.0.

I am actually a fan of JavaScript these days. It isn’t as evil as you think.

However, I would love to have Ruby integrated as well as JavaScript it.

We could then have true libraries, and if we could version them all within the browser etc, we could share them between apps so we don’t duplicate painful downloads (not that we can’t add this to JS, but we could use rubygems).

Having true packages and namespaces, and a full environment like ruby in which we can share code in both worlds would be great. No need for Ruby to JSON etc. Send Ruby on down.

The reality is that it would be hard to get the ball rolling. JavaScript is part of the majority of browser suites, including the Flash VM, and getting groundswell around a Ruby plugin would be tough.

But in another dimension Marc A put Ruby into Netscape and we are all happy.

Jan 09

Steve, give me a late christmas present

Tech 4 Comments »

I can’t wait for Steve Jobs to take the stage tomorrow, and hope that some of the rumors are true.

I have been waiting for a Mactel Powerbook, and if he comes out with the iBook I will not be a happy bunny at all.

Come on!


They did it. Ordered. Matt, I bet you have too? ;)

Jan 09

HTML Tables aren’t pure evil

Tech 442 Comments »

I was in a situation where I watched HTML designers work for days on a CSS layout. They refused to use tables in one area, even though they had to work forever on workarounds for various browsers, and the layout in that area was tabular.

While they were fighting, I went in and added the table, and all was working in a few minutes.

The client didn’t care that there were <table> tags, he just wanted it to look right on his screen.

I am all for CSS layouts, and using a table did bug me, but it worked and we can move on to bigger and better issues.

Jan 06

Leap Second Lovers Are Traitors Says Bill O’Reilly

Personal No Comments »

I love Steve Martin, and it seems like Huffington has quality again with Steves Leap Second Lovers Are Traitors Says Bill O’Reilly.

Satire is the new black in the US (always been black in the UK).

Jon Stewart hosting the Oscars. Nice.