June 2008 Entries

Identation and Readability

Somehow (and I can't remember how) I recently ended up reading the Wikipedia entry for the K&R style of indentation. K&R just seems so ugly to me – who out there loves it and feels like defending it for my benefit? Indentation styles are such a personal preference, I get that. But K&R just seems to sacrifice so much readability for what? Is it just a case that it's defenders simply can't adjust to anything else? On the subject of indentation styles, I'm wondering a lot about the default HTML formatting built into Visual Studio 2008. When I...

One good thing and one bad thing about Firefox 3

The good The awesome bar is actually pretty awesome. Initially I didn't care for it in terms of it's auto completion side of things. However when it came to finding an article that I knew I'd read 6-7 days ago but couldn't find the URL for, the awesome bar made it incredibly easy to track it down. Having a full text index of sites you recently visited is a handy thing indeed. The bad I leave browsers running for weeks. My Windows boxes are so reliable that I reboot them once every 60 days on...

So many games, not enough time

A busy few weeks have left me unable to find time to write much. I've had a lot of things which I've wanted to write about, but no time. That's bad for me – they sort of bounce about in my mind and I end up writing half finished versions of things in my mind whenever I have any small amount of spare time. What this means is that when I actually get around to writing something it ends up paling in comparison to whatever I dreamed up in the shower or on the train. Whatever. So to help...

Domino Superior

Meet Domino Superior is a post from Nathan Freeman discussing and demonstrating a few features of Domino XPages. It looks interesting, although I can’t work out if the prospect of having @DbLookup available inside JavaScript is interesting or just scary? Tags: Notes,Domino

How to recognise a good programmer

A lot of these are common sense, nonetheless How to recognise a good programmer is worth a read if you’re someone involved in the hiring process. The author uses the subtitle "How do you recognise good programmers if you’re a business guy", but it’s relevant to technical people too. If you take one thing and one thing only away from the article, then it should be reinforcement of the value of passion in anyone who works with computers.

Is it?

Is it geeky to say that I really like the way Firefox 3 handles SSL sites and their certificates in the browser bar? Yes, yes it is. But it’s true.

The Dangers of Reusable Code

Reusable code is a great thing. However when you’re sitting at a client site knowing exactly what you want to write, and knowing that you’ve got the exact snippet on another machine (which you don’t have access to right now), but not being able to remember the syntax because you’ve been copying and pasting it for the last few months then you start to realise that reusable code does have a downside. Either that or that you need to start carrying more code on your laptop. Pick one.

Source Code Optimisation

  Source Code Optimisation (or optimization for the American readers out there) serves as an interesting reminder that often optimising your code at the expense of readability doesn’t actually improve performance at all.

Steve Jobs WWDC keynote in 60 seconds

It's a pretty good summary really - iPhone, iPhone, iPhone. Don't mind me, I'm just disappointed that there wasn't any mention of a new Macbook Pro. Tags: Apple

LLBLGenPro v2.6 released

After 11 months of development, v2.6 of LLBLGenPro is out now. Featuring LINQ support, .NET 3.5 support, optimisations, bugfixes, etc etc – sounds like a nice upgrade. Link: LLBLGen Pro v2.6 has been released! Tags: LLBLGenPro

ReSharper 4.0 Released

Existing ReSharper users are no doubt already aware that the 4.0 release is now out. If you’ve never used ReSharper and want to check it out, then now would be a good time. The 4.0 release looks to be packed full of new features, as well as providing support for LINQ and C# 3.0 (oh and it does VB as well if you’re into that). This release also fixes a small graphical display bug which I was only getting on my XP64 system around Visual Studio window resizes. Get it here. Tags: ReSharper...

LINQ issue sorted

The answer to my LINQ query turned out to be pretty simple in the end – all I needed to do was run my query against a list. I.e.: args.Result = from userimage in db.UserImages becomes args.Result = from userimage in db.UserImages.ToList() (Thanks Blair!) Tags: LINQ

SQL Profiler templates

Way back when I was using the 2000 version of SQL Profiler I would always apply a filter to restrict my profiling by database id. On busy servers it’s simply the only way to fly. When I moved to using the SQL 2005 version of profiler I was quite shocked to find this option wasn’t visible. I did a bit of searching, but found nothing, and was in a hurry to get my profiling done - so I gave up. Whenever I’m using profiler there’s usually a...

New Technical Preview of Live Writer available

Grab it here. The UI looks a bit more polished in a few places, and they’ve added some improved support for those who publish images and video frequently including support for LightBox and other image previewing effects (like Slimbox, Smoothbox, and others). The inline previewing looks incredibly useful. Here’s hoping it works on my 64 bit XP box at home.

Quick LINQ question

I'm throwing this out there hoping there's a LINQ guru lurking among my readership somewhere. I'm trying to add a Row Number Column to a LINQ query. In fact, this looks to be exactly what I want to do, however his example won't compile for me - "An expression tree may not contain an assignment operator". I'm hoping there's something simple and obvious I've missed. My code looks something like: int i = 1; args.Result = from userimage in db.UserImages               where userimage.UserID == userGuid.Value ...

TFS Workgroup Edition, SubVersion, TRAC

In a recent discussion around replacing source control systems at work, the subject of Team Foundation Server "Workgroup Edition" was raised. At the time, the team could easily handle the 5 user limitation, so it seemed like it could be a good way to get TFS up and running without incurring the full costs of the product. However in the back of my mind alarm bells were ringing. Memories of the "procedure" to upgrade from the 2005 beta to the final product were lingering - luckily I wasn't the one who had to do it in that case, but...

SQL epic fail?

Often, when throwing databases together using SQL Management Studio, I end up missing a feature of Domino Designer - the ability to add a short comment against a table (or in Domino terms, a view). There are times when it would be really nice to add a small amount of descriptive information to accompany a database model. This leads me to ask 2 questions; Does the act of asking this question indicate a fail in terms of database design? Is there some other way that database people of the world use...

Microsoft Source Analysis for C#

Microsoft Source Analysis for C# (aka StyleCop) is designed to help you enforce a set of best practice style and consistency rules. It can be run from inside Visual Studio or via MSBuild, however if you're planning to use the Visual Studio integration then you should be aware of this rather nasty bug. Hopefully the bug will be addressed soon. Link: Microsoft Source Analysis for C# Link: Source Analysis Blog Tags: C# , Microsoft , Visual Studio


Versions is a rather shiny looking SubVersion client for the mac. I'm currently loving VisualSVN inside Visual Studio, but wonder whether there could be a place in my life for Versions if I should ever happen to make that impulse buy of a brushed aluminum piece of tech. Tags: Apple , SubVersion

WMD (the markdown editor)

WMD is a rather unfortunately named WYSIWYG-style HTML editor written in JavaScript. It looks pretty slick, especially the split screen mode shown in the advanced demo. I've recently spent a bit of time playing with the YUI editor, which was incredibly feature rich and I liked it a lot, but seemed a little bit heavy for my needs. Obviously it's not right to compare the YUI editor (which is full WYSIWYG) to WMD (which requires a little more tech savvy user base), but the lightweight size and clean styling of WMD is really appealing right now. I'll try and...

Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 - Web-Based Client Development - Done

Most IT professionals I know seem to regard certification exams in a similar light - so rather spend time debating their actual value, I'll just say (in a Gordon Ramsay voice):  Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 - Web-Based Client Development - Done.

"Do you like reducing your line count at the expense of readability to others? Then you'll like this!"

When I first read the "Try-catching in a single line of code" I didn't notice the first line, skipped straight to the code, and promptly got annoyed - he's encouraging people to create exactly the kind of code I hate to read. But then I read the byline, and it became instantly amusing. Funny how that works, isn't it?

OH HAI! I can has train notification?

The standard of Veolia transport's SMS notifications has always been a bit questionable, however one from this morning is in line to win some kind of award: "Due to operational problems the Western Line services had been delay by approxed 25 minutes both direction train". Huh? A massive thanks to the person who drove the wrong way around a roundabout at New Lynn this morning, before ignoring the warning barriers and crashing into a train, therefore delaying all the trains.. words fail me.


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