Friday, March 2, 2007

Legacy software

In a nice article, David Norfolk talks about legacy software applications and what they can do to a company that is to maintain it.
"beware of transforming legacy without a good business reason, just because new technologies are more fashionable – the pointy haired boss may not realise this, but most developers can turn their hand to any language, given a little training and encouragement."
This is so true. In fact, these days, if you are not able to learn a new programming language in a fashionable manner, you cannot be called a good developer. If you "stay true to your first love" you will not be able to become agile in the long term.
But if someone decides to transform a legacy software without a good business reason, like improving performance or adding new and futuristic features, the new endeavour would have a pretty good chance at stalling.

"the code tells you what the legacy does, but you need a domain expert (and, if you're lucky, the documentation) to tell you why it does it; and a technologist to make sure you get the best out of what you're moving to."

This is also very true. You CANNOT port an application if there's nobody that can read between the thousands (if you're lucky) lines of code. The lines of code alone can't help you very much, and, if you believe otherwise, you will hit a concrete wall when you will realize that you were wrong (and you will, eventually).
Furthermore, you'll need a good technician that will leverage the advantages that the language you are porting the application to provides you with.

God knows, in my "programming youth", I've written some code that even I would find hard to read and understand. Given my experience now, I would know how to write the code, even if I don't always write it the way I would like to. But when I see "bad code" written by people I know have experience with such things, I get angry.

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Thursday, March 1, 2007

Are you bored?

This guy seems to have lots of spare time and absolutely nothing to do.
But hey, it seems that he does something that kindergarten kids haven't thought of. Using stuff that don't even resemble animal parts to impersonate animals is something that you have to tip your hats to.


3 tier learning center

Here's a new resource center for all of you that feel the need to learn something new:
Beginner Developer Learning Center: Beginner Developer Learning Center Home :

a centralized learning environment specifically targeted to beginning programmers. Here you'll find a rich array of learning content that starts with the very basics, and guides you through step-by-step to becoming a fully-fledged developer!

It's a 3 tier (imagine that!) learning center that should bring you up to speed with .Net programming.

Seems interesting.

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This article shows all of if what is needed to integrate ASP.Net applications with the Windows Workflow Foundation. As it's stated in the beginning of the article:

Combining ASP.NET 2.0 and Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) will provide us with all the essential tools for building workflow-enabled web applications. Both ASP.NET and WF, however, are significant pieces of technology. Joining the two into a long-term relationship requires some careful thought and planning.
He got that right. It's not that easy to have a stateless web application make friends with a statefull windows application (it doesn't really matter if it's a Windows Service or a console application). But, if you read carefully and try to view it as a workshop, you might get the full idea. I know I'll have to read it once or twice. :D

Anyway, WWF is a nice piece of software library that one can use to develop

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Open Source rants

Polishing Ruby: burnout and the late night rant

Wow.. That's sad... But, come to think about it, I think he's absolutely right.

One of the best reason to "open-up your code" is being able to improve your coding skills by adopting what people have to say about your code in a constructive way.
But, if they "bitch about what's wrong"... it's a whole different ball-game.

If you're using it for free but it doesn't fit your needs, try to make improvements yourself or make demands in a way that doesn't seem like you are the boss.
The man (or team) that are releasing the code you're using are doing so for the fun of it, for the use of the community or to fill a spot that needs to be filled. So, please, for the love of god, be a part of the community around it, not just a part of the users that are complaining.

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Visual Studio Code Name "Orcas" March CTP

Rob Caron : Now Available: Visual Studio Code Name "Orcas" March CTP

  • Top-down service design
  • Architectural roles on system, applications and endpoints
  • Profiler support for WCF applications
  • Customize and extend code correctness policies
  • Performance tune an enterprise application
  • Unit test generation improvements
  • Web test validation rule improvements
  • Better Web test data binding
  • Improved load test results management
  • Support multi-threaded builds with the new MSBuild
  • Continuous integration support
  • Improved ability to specify what source, versions of source, etc. to include in a build
  • Improved ability to manage multiple build machines
  • Simplified ability to specify what tests get run as part of a build
  • Version control features (Destroy, Annotate, Folder Diff, and Get Latest on Checkout)
  • Team Foundation Server performance and scale improvements

It seems that things are going in the right direction.
Also, it seems that I have my weekend scheduled with downloading and installing this CTP.

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