My Life As A Blog

Archive for May 2007


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Via Marc‘s post, I came across ALT.NET and Scott Hanselman posing the question “Is Microsoft losing the Alpha Geeks?”  Ayende has posted in a similar vein.  I’d have preferred a few less capital letters, but  ALT .NET is a reminder that tools are just that.   If the tool starts to get in the way, or if there’s a better tool available it’s time to move on.  The goal of your project is unlikely to be to gain expertise in a specific tool or technique – it’s more likely to be about delivering business value – working software that solves a real problem.  The best tools, like Resharper, make you wonder how you coped without them.  The worst tools make you spend weeks figuring out how to rewire the spodolifier so that the gubbinator doesn’t just produce bobbins.

Marc makes the point that decisions on what tools or techniques to use should be based against a set of guiding principles – themselves subject to reevaluation and change. This is a really important point.  Often, these principles are unwritten.  The trouble starts if they are not communicated and shared.

It’s good to see this thread – especially in the Microsoft development community, which, traditionally, hasn’t always taken it upon itself to look outside.

Written by remark

May 22, 2007 at 10:55 pm

The Business

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Here‘s some useful advice:

“Don’t lump all non-I.T. functions into a single bucket called the business!”

The post goes on to give examples of how to sell the idea of an SOA to a variety of audiences within the enterprise.  However, I think that the quote above is worth re-reading.  I find referring to “the business” to be inaccurate and unhelpful.  Is it really the case that “the business” want to do x – or is it department y or the Head of z.  This contextual information is crucial.   Three things happen without it.  Firstly, the wrong solution may be identified – for instance, a strategic enterprise solution may be identified where a point solution would have sufficed.  Secondly, the impression is created that there is an enterprise wide consensus.  Thirdly, it implies a them and us situation.  If you’ve got into the habit of referring to “the business”, make an effort to identify who you really mean.

Written by remark

May 22, 2007 at 10:26 pm

Posted in Development, General

New theme

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I put some code in the messaging article I posted. The theme I was using (Regulus) didn’t display it especially well the way I had it formatted (using <pre>). So, I thought I’d change themes. Nothing like a fresh lick of paint. Providing you don’t actually lick the paint, of course.

Written by remark

May 20, 2007 at 5:11 pm

Posted in General

ActiveMQ and NMS

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I’ve posted an article about how to use ActiveMQ from .NET. You can read it here.

Written by remark

May 20, 2007 at 5:07 pm

Feel the Power

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PowerCursor is worth looking at.  I’ve not seen anything quite like it on the web before.   I’ve shown this to a few people and they’ve all been captivated.  I’m impressed – although the killer example would be its use in a full blown app.

Written by remark

May 16, 2007 at 5:36 pm

Posted in Design, General, Tools

Oh! Sue you, sir!

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I’m assuming you’ve read this news.  If not, go read it.  While this is undoubtedly good news for those practising patent law in the US, for the industry as a whole, the implications and ramifications could be massive.  Other giants in the software industry (think IBM and Sun) have embraced open source and integrated it into their business models.  Microsoft have adopted, well, let’s say a different approach.

Here’s the most concise reaction I’ve found.

Other opinions are available.  The number of patents that are alleged to be infringed may go down as well as up.  The software you use may be at risk if you do not keep up license payments because of such an alleged infringement.

Written by remark

May 15, 2007 at 12:53 pm

nspectre 1.0.1 release

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I’ve released version 1.0.1 of nspectre.  This version has one new feature: the ability to use JSON to store configuration.  Jayrock provides the JSON capability.
The purpose of adding JSON support to nspectre is to demonstrate the capability of storing configuration in multiple formats.
Download the new version of nspectre here.

Written by remark

May 13, 2007 at 2:21 pm