Archive for February, 2007

Wii will Wii will Rock YOU!

OK, so here I am joining the Wii for SAP link love in.

But seriously, these guys ROCK! Man any chance of getting the DEMO Jam title off these guys just took a serious hit.

What better way to spend a Friday night than coming up with this? Ok, so I can think of a few ways. But for geekiines this really takes the biscuit.

If you think that SAP is just for accountants with one bean too many then think again.

I remember watching a show ages ago about the potential of new visualisation techniques to analyse the stock market like it was a field of wheat swaying in the breeze. Looks like those wiimotes are manipulating the breeze.

Well done guys.

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symfony PHP5 framework » symfony 1.0 released

symfony PHP5 framework » symfony 1.0 released

Rock ON!

More later… I am very interested in symfony.

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.blog extension

Quick question…

Who would vote for a .blog domain extension? We have a .mobi and .name and .info for goodness sake.

Ok, let’s see if this gets any traction… use ‘.blog’ as a technorati tag and see how deep the rabbit hole goes.

[Update] Use ‘dotblog’ as a technorati tag.

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A Culture of Documentation

I have been brewing this thought over the last week six months or so… what if we could build in developers a culture of documentation. The reason I have been having this thought is because it is the thing that developers hate to do and yet the thing that other developers most need.

I used to work in a great company (it was aquired by IBM) that employed a really good technical writer to do all the help for the users, the training material and other outputs that the company needed.

That is all well and good but developers should take responsibility of their own documentation. I am not suggesting that they should have the scope of documentation that this technical writer did but there is room for improvement in most cases.

This starts with self-documenting code. Use of standard and consistant naming conventions across the codebase will mean that developers will be able to recognise what is going on more easily, especially if the variables are named with meaningful variable names.

Secondly, the code should be well commented. This should include a flower-box or equivalent for your language at the top of the file to describe the purpose of the file. Hopefully this will be able to be parsed by some automatic documenting tool like javaDoc or PhpDoc to generate documentation for the project.

Thirdly there should must be some source control. If you are in a development team of greater that zero then you must use source control. I have been using subversion for projects I have been working on for over a year now and there is no way that I would go back. Even if the project I was working on was a personal project. If you don’t want to go to the bother of setting up a subversion server of your own then use google’s new code service.

Fourthly, use a wiki. Wiki’s are a great way to easily capture documentation that can be shared with your developement team. It’s easy to create a heirarchy of pages that can be navigated or bookmarked for future reference. I find this particularly useful for tasks that I do regularly but not often enough to remember how they work. I can quickly check customised version of command that I need to issue or screenshots to check that I am on the right track.

Lastly, and I am thinking of SAP here, if there is scope in your development platform for capturing documentation, then capure it. There are lots of places for capturing documentation in an SAP project. All custom dictionary objects can be documented, all reports can be documented, all classes can be documented… need I go on? What can be a tad annoying with SAP is finding that there is no documentation in these standard places for SAP delivered objects.

No documentation available

Lets reverse this trend and employ a culture of documentation. What are your thoughts? How can we get developers to realise the importance of documentation? and then actually DO it?

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Storm in a teacup

Like the snow that we have had in London for the last couple of days, I think the current storm happening over at SDN will blow over soon enough. The new growth will bud out, the dead wood will be taken to the recycling centre and the tree will blossom once again.

My Dad, wise old sage that he is, says that you would get bored of summer if that’s is all you ever experienced. A good storm every now and again not only makes the sun more appreciated but also washes away the dust making everything fresh.

Allow me another metaphore if you will. Fire. The great fire of London in 1666 devestated the city. It has been rebuilt and it thrives as great city and a great place to live. In fact look at the great things to come out of the fire. St Pauls for one. Christopher Wren was an amazing architect.

I have said all this to say that, ‘This too will pass and what is to come will be a whole lot better’.

And there is probably a whole lot of registered SDNers that haven’t even noticed! (Like 600 000)

Let’s move on, fix what needs to be fixed and have a good laugh.

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Translating that Drawl

I don’t know where Hayden got this from, but this is very, very funny.

Here is a sample…

RETARD – Verb. To stop working.
Usage: “My granpaw retard at age 65.”

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SAP Blogging … not all good

James Governer reviewed blogging around the big corporates at the end of last year and gave SAP the thumbs up.

Vinnie also had some nice things to say about SDN in SAP’s SDN: Such Delightful News.

This is all very nice validatation but for the first part of this year it seems like the cotter pins are working loose and the wheels are a little bit wobbly.

There have been several incidents and not all SDNers are happy little vegemites.

1. Plagerism – nasty

2. Very similar content published at the same time by two people in the same company.

3. Enough posts of a basic nature to get Valery to post this ‘pull your head in‘ rant.

4. Unrest about posting in general. What gets to be a ‘valid’ blog seems to have been the order of the day since the very short blog from Curt Monash

Now, it seems that even Craig has been driven to distraction by all this nonsence and posted this blog and this forum thread late last night.

I would simply like see a little less whinging. Is that too much to ask? What are your thoughts?

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February 2007

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