29 Apr 2005

Java Path Finder

Nasa is putting one project on sourceforge, I wonder if Ariane5 would have done the same and use this project, if it would still have blown?
4/26/05: It is done! JavaPathFinder is not just open sourced, but becomes the first NASA program to be actively developed and hosted on SourceForge.
Java PathFinder (JPF) is a system to verify executable Java bytecode programs. In its basic form, it is a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) that is used as an explicit state software model checker, systematically exploring all potential execution paths of a program to find violations of properties like deadlocks or unhandled exceptions. Other than traditional debuggers, JPF reports the whole execution path that leads to a defect. JPF is especially suitable to find hard-to-test concurrency defects in multithreaded programs.

26 Apr 2005

Conceptual Integrity

In 1975, FredBrooks said: I will contend that ConceptualIntegrity is the most important consideration in system design. It is better to have a system omit certain anomalous features and improvements, but to reflect one set of design ideas, than to have one that contains many good but independent and uncoordinated ideas.

Maven 2 Plexus

I was reading Vincent Massol blog about Increasing open source project contributions, I've been quite surprise to see in the comment part:
This is what is happening with Maven2. It's being built around a lightweight container (called Plexus). It is indeed the goal that plugins are developed in Java or in other languages. -- Vincent Massol
I don't really understand why he wants to use Plexus were there is already Spring, Pico and HiveMind.
And that just what Jason Carreira said (in a very polite way ;-) )
If the Maven community wants to be taken seriously you guys really need to stop making bone-headed decisions like this. Plexus? Who the hell is using that? Just because it's someone's pet project is no reason to base an already questionable project on it. When you're trying to sway public opinion (much of which has been negative toward Maven so far) you have to go out of your way to be mainstream and make it easy for people to use. This is why Venture Capitalists won't let startup companies base their business off of a dependency on another startup company. Maybe Plexus offers something that Spring doesn't (I doubt it), but is it really worth the risk of Plexus dying or just of people like me and Hani pointing and laughing at the silly decisions?
-- Jason Carreira
Jason is one of those people.

25 Apr 2005

Platefome (petroliere) de developpement

For french people...
I'm not sure this is true, but it seems a company wants to outsource it production on ships salling in the international sea areas.
Funny but scary if it becomes true!

21 Apr 2005

Don't step into an hospital!

Frightening article about usability problems in hospitals:
The study identified twenty-two ways in which the system caused patients to get the wrong medicine. Most of these issues are usability problems.
Cars are dangerous too ;)
The most striking example of how bad design can kill comes from in-car user interfaces: thousands of deaths per year are related to drivers being distracted by overly complex designs.
About usablity problems, I spoted two I didn't know:
  • Memory Overload - The well-known limits on human short-term memory make it impossible to remember everything across that many screens.
  • Overly Complicated Workflow - In general, whenever you see users resorting to sticky notes or other paper-based workarounds, you know you have a failed UI.

19 Apr 2005

eXtreme Feedback Devices

Making other people care about the metrics, cruisecontrol and unit tests is sometimes hard, eXtreme Feedback Devices (like lava lamps) is a good way to get some attention!

18 Apr 2005

XP - going back to childhood

It's seem sometimes XP people come back to childhood.
See the original Rachel Davies'story here.

Google desktop search

I was relunctant of using google desktop search product, but windows search engine is so slow... I never find what I want!
I'll just give it a try.
I can see, they make some kind of "html preview" in the search result page... cool!

15 Apr 2005

Google recruiting

Funny, colorfull video from google recruiting department. (I liked the indian guy who works on a rotating world map of google!).
Everybody is happy! Sun is shining! (propaganda?)
Anyway... may be we could do the same for Anyware? Coudn't we sylvain? ;)
ps: too bad you ain't got the shoes at the end of the video!

TheServerSide - Unit Testing Database

Interesting article about unit testing data acces or domain model objects.
I've come accross this problem on my previous project but the data access layer was "home made" (even before hibernate started) and couldn't be change easily.
So I used DBUnit in TestCase to unit test, the tests were a little slower but still good enough.
For the Ron Johnson fans ;) see the comments on the server side.

Maven 2.0

The Maven team is rewritting maven and still provide support for maven 1.x products.
I hope for them, they're making the right choice because making multiple branch for a product is a lot of work.

12 Apr 2005

xUnit Naming - Stub vs Mock

Gerard Mezaros is trying to find a common vocabulary for unit testing.
Personally I make a difference between Stubs and Mock.
For me, a Stub is just an object that return the same value over and over.
For example:
String Stub.getMethod() { return "test";}
Stub is a dumb object!
A Mock object, is more intelligent, it can test itself. You can use it and then do
to check if it state is valid.
That's a big difference in my opinion.

9 Apr 2005

Half-Life hardware survey

Valve made a survey and made the results available here.
Alsmost every player use windows XP SP2. ATI won over NVidia and people have 256 or 512Mo of RAM.
What about you ?

6 Apr 2005

Thunderbird and import/export functions

I'm using Thunderbird for about 6 month now. Both at home and the office, and I'm quite happy with it.

So yesterday I decided to take it a step further.

Account settings:
I have personal accounts set at home but not at work, so every evening I need to check my mails. Usually, except junk, I don't get that much mails but I'm quite feed up with this way of doing.
So I wanted to import my account settings from home to work.
I successfully did it under
Outlook, there is an "export settings" function that create a small outlook file I can import back to outlook.
But unfortunately there is no such export in Thunderbird 1.0. Only import settings from outlook, outlook express and eudora. I need to type this one more time :(
Or I can get those outlook files, import them to outlook (and therefore need to setup outlook) and then export from outlook to thunderbird.

I also wanted to give thunderbird an other try for feeds (I'm using
sage plug-in for firefox).
But there is no opml import/export function and I don't want to type my xxx blogs entries.
someone add the same problem (full details in bugzilla) so I used his hacked version of thunderbird to import my feeds.
But I lost my feeds folders :( I need to rearrange all of them...
I'm not sure I use thunderbird for feeds... we'll see.
May be I'll give bloglines a try one day ;)

5 Apr 2005

Cook Until Done

Nice article. Funny to see people who gets money from teaching other people good ways to work say:
Every author, trainer, and pundit will swear up and down that "they know the secret."
But somehow it doesn't seem to be that easy.
XP is a wonderful tool but doesn't prevent you from thinking :)
Actually one xp rule is to break the rules if they don't fit!

1 Apr 2005

I hate encoding problems!!!

I hate them! I hate them! I hate them! I hate them! I hate them! I hate them!
I wish I lived in the shadok world which is a famous french comics. The shadoks have only 4 "words":
  • Ga
  • Bu
  • Zo
  • Meu
Everything would be simplier. Hopefully I'm not a chinese!
I forgot one shadok word "Meu" (thank you sylvain)