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Showing posts from April, 2007

How to sneak Agile into a project

Being a consultant, the opportunities I get to do project management are quite few. Still I believe many of our customers can benefit from the advantages of doing some sort of agile method. Come riding in on a white horse yelling "You are old fashioned in-effective conservatives wasting loads of effort on your specs and docs! You will go over budget if you do not join the society of Agile developers!" won't necessarily convince management that this is the way to go.

So I take some small steps to build a small proof-of-concept, merely by applying it to my own daily routine. Most developers who like to organize their own personal work in some fashion, be it writing stuff down in a notebook or filing issues in an issue tracker, will recognize these steps as mere common sense.

It can be handy to note that these routines could also be absorbed into the project on a higher level, and that is essentially when your project becomes agile.

Step 1: Ask people what they are doing and t…

How to get off your lazy arse and contribute to an open source project

I have a bug in my code. Only it isn't I who made it. It belongs to one of the numerous open source software components in my software. How do I fix that?

I have only run into one other developer I know from the local community contributing to an open source project (not counting project devs/committers) on random occurence. Very few of open source software users contribute back to the projects. I think there is a huge amount of lurkers; people who observe the project but fail to contribute their own solutions back to the project when they encounter problems with the software (or lack of documentation).

I wrote this post while trying to get a Struts2 bug fixed. I'll keep real-life descriptions in italic font like this.

1. Identify your bug You usually stumble on a bug when you're trying to use the component in some funny, modern, weird or alien way; integrating with another component, using rarely used/tested configuration, or simply using code from an unstable branch of the…

Is Eclipse really that bad?

[Update: Stupid Blogger wysiwyg editor completely screwed up the formatting in the rss-feed.]

Patrick Lightbody asks whether my Eclipse can do that.

I'll be the first one to admit that Eclipse can be a crappy, unstable, unpredictable gob of software (especially the 3.2 release). Still his list of advantages with using IDEA strikes me as quite unfair as Eclipse can do a lot of those things he mentions.

Let's step through his points and counter what we can:

Way smarter code complete

Can go beyond the basic support provided by eclipse and can even narrow the completion down to only objects that are type-safe. That is: it won't show you a variable that, if selected, would result in a compile error.

Eclipse can do that. Hmf, hide the options that are not type correct? Eclipse suggests the variables of the correct type first, it doesn't hide the other ones, and I wouldn't want it to. What if I want to pass by that compilation error in order to change the type of a vari…