Sunday, June 26, 2005

It's going to be a beautiful spring...

What happens to me? Summer has been here for five days and I start talking about spring... Well, in fact, I mean to talk about this Spring.

Yes, the Spring framework is beautiful. Not only: it is a friendly framework that goes where you want, without forcing you to subclass its objects. It is full of facilitators that make a developer's life really easier.

I already had this academic knowledge. Since a few days, I have tasted the true nature of Spring, and my life has changed.

I have just started a new open source project (jinFORM) and after a few days already used these features:

  • the Dependency Injection framework (the true core of Spring) for gluing all the components together (bye bye infamous Mr. Service Locator!),

  • web flow for MVC support, easy URL/controller mapping and centralized exception support,

  • EHCache support, for a no-brainer instantiation of the cache manager,

  • AOP for introducing Serializable in DOM documents and JAXP XSL Templates, where this interface is missing, which prevents them from being cached,

  • property file support for easily injecting configuration values into beans,

  • and many utilities like the so convenient FileCopyUtils...
Next step will be to use Spring for easily exposing internal objects as JMX beans!

If you have not started to use Spring, please do yourself a favor and follow this link.

Kudos to the Spring team!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Eurotrash in Euroland

Old habits die hard: Europe is once again on the verge of... of what? Nervous breakdown? Temporary malfunction?

In a world where compromise is not an option, the current tensions are not surprising. Our favorite politicians flex their muscles in Brussels to look like champions fighting for their own homeland, in order to appease nationalists and protectionists at home.

And all this costs an awful lot of money. Is it worth it? Yes, definitively. Burning billions of cash to feed and bread eurocrats is still much less expensive than risking war again. Investing money in such rooster parades, I mean, high level political talks, is worth each and every penny: let them meet, talk, get angry and reconcile... When they do that, they do not ask us to fight each other.

Talking about things that die hard, I know someone able to handle this eurotrash: John MacLaine! Beware politicians...

Monday, June 06, 2005

Get Out Of My Field!

So Martin Fowler reminds us what we all should already know, that people matter most. Why does he have to do that? Probably because in I.T. you very often face the situation where this obvious statement is loudly claimed while at the same time people are considered disposable. There is certainly an attitude problem, that finds its source in both the employers and the employees.

Employers: If I.T. is for you only a way to generate margin by selling at higher price what you have bough cheaper, please leave the field! We do not need you here, we all suffer from your cold cynicism: clients get infuriated because you sell rookies as experts, experts get mad at you because you break the market prices. Consider selling gravel and stones.

Employees: If software development is for you only your day activity where pride and thoroughness are excluded, please leave the field! We need a true mixture of professionalism and passion in here. We do not want bland little minds but people devoted to provide clients with the most efficient, most valuable and most durable solutions. Consider civil service in a governmental agency.

Thank you.

Gee! With a little more cursing, I could turn that one into a bile!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

A Dog Called Rover

I curse the day that I spent listening to Scott Meyers during the last SD West. Since this very moment, whenever I am facing arbitrary restrictions in a software, I am seized by Scott's spirit , turn berserk and start climbing up the walls shouting : Keyhole! Keyhole! Keyhole! That is pretty embarrassing.

What is a keyhole for a software? It is the poetic name Scott has given to such an arbitrary restriction. Text box too small, fixed-size windows, all these limitations that make life so much fun are keyholes.

Some are simply annoying, other are potentially dangerous.

For example, the last keyhole that drove me the Hulk-way, was the incapacity of Windows XP's new search facility to find string content in files whose extensions are not recognized by the OS. Why such a limitation? It made me miss important data because some files where found during the search. If none would have been found, I would have suspected a failure of the search engine, but in my case, the fact that the search facility returned arbitrary files that contained my search string caused me much troubles.

Keyholes! Keyholes! Keyholes!

And, believe me, swapping Rover (the animated dog) with Links (its feline counterpart) does not solve the problem.