Friday, December 24, 2004

A small world

Looking through my sitemeter logs as I'm wont to due from time to time I found this article from Eamonn McManus who is now at Sun. He was in my class in TCD from 1983 to 1987. Lets see, I reckon its about fifteen years since I met Eamonn. A small world.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

What is the most fun you could possible have with a cellphone?

Pick up your Expat XML Parser and XPath implementation for the Nokia Series 60 cellphone here.

Test first. Code later.

It has taken generations for this simple, brilliant idea to take hold in this industry. As a relatively recent convert to TDD I can attest (sorry) to the power this simple idea encapsulates.

I do a lot of work in the Java ecosystem. Two words spring to mind - actually three. Confidence, documentation and Jython.

Confidence : TDD raises your confidence level in your software. Every step of the way your have a full test suite. Every step of the way you have a mechanism for catching the knock-on effects that accompany even the smallest change in source code. TDD has saved my life so many times...

Documentation : "Read the source, Luke" has been joined by a less daunting epiteth : "Read the tests, Luke". Test scripts are a great source of real documentation for how objects/methods/apis/interfaces are to be used and not to be used. When the Javadoc fails you, hit the tests.

Jython : Anybody coding in a statically compiled programming language that is not using a dynamically typed programming language for the tests, has missed a golden opportunity for a productivity leap. In the C world, CPython. In the .NET world, IronPython. In the Java world, Jython.

Jython has quietly carved out a niche for itself in the testing area. Some examples:

  • Write Eclipse JUnit Tests in Jython - this is a recently published article about unit testing with Jython but there are tons more. Google is your friend.

  • PushToTest is an Open Source test automation system that uses Jython

  • Grinder provides a load testing framework for executing
    Jython scripts across many threads, processes and machines; and allows
    the whole shebang to be controlled from a graphical console.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Forward compatability

Fast forward to forward compatibility is this weeks ITWorld e-Business in the Enterprise article. It concerns the lopsided relationship between forward and backward compatability in the application software game.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Dynamic languages infrastructure in NetBeans

Coming to a NetBeans distro near you soon : dynamic-language infrastructure.

Splen. Brill. Excele. Aweso. Fanta.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Jython update

Today I finally got around to putting a news update on jython.org and sending an e-mail to the Jython lists about recent events of interest.

I have added some entries to Jython users. If you have any Jython project you would like to see listed, let me know.