Laurie Penny’s Saudade There are more of us than you think, kicking off our...– Laurie Penny’s Saudade, from Fifty Shades of Feminism (via mollycrabapple) So good. (via neil-gaiman)
zimpenfish asked: Imagine you're reincarnated as a unicode character. Which one?
Unicorns in the mist published at last
I’ve been working on Unicorns in the Mist for a while and, because I was ill, decided to get it out of scrivener and into the wider world. It’s my take on applying systems thinking to getting projects and stuff done and is assembled roughly 50/50 from old blog posts and new material. It’s free to download if you want to have a look at it.
Review of Why Most Things Fail: Evolution,...
Why Most Things Fail: Evolution, Extinction and Economics by Paul Ormerod My rating: 5 of 5 stars I think this is an important book, and I also think its message might be difficult for some people to reconcile their world view with. Ormerod sets his stall out to show that economists have presumed that the economy (and lots of other systems we think of all day every day) actually is a steady...
Now I are Python koder too
I’ve recently taken on a gig where I am writing Python code because the work is mostly done in Python and they want it to be maintainable by the original team members. I have to confess that Python was my gateway language into the world of non-rigid Java nastiness but this is the first time I’ve ever used it proper hard in earnest for money. In my Ruby practice I’ve recently...
Republished my novel Archive Fragments on Lean Pub
I thought I’d try out the Lean pub platform and put my novel Archive Fragments up there. Over the next month or so most of my creative and technical work will appear there so that people can see it more easily. It’s over 64,000 words long, and I hope an interesting read. Enjoy.
Running your Rails apps on a Mac
I keep making the obviously false assumption that people know how to run Rails apps on a Mac. If you’re starting from scratch have a look here: http://railsinstaller.org/#osx - I haven’t looked at it, but it looks like it will take a lot of pain away. This post is for people who have an existing app running on an old version. The following assumes that you have some kind of Ruby...
Review of "Dancing with Dragons"
George R.R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire, 5 Book Set Series, A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin My rating: 3 of 5 stars I have enjoyed the Game of Thrones series right from the beginning, but this book was very disappointing. The writing was very laboured in places, with characters repeating themselves, and...
Review of Better: A surgeons notes on performance
Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande My rating: 5 of 5 stars This book is an easy read but very thought provoking. One of the most interesting bits was where he examines the difference between the average Cystic Fibrosis centres and the best ones. All human activity has a bell curve attached to it, but CF treatment is very well understood and systematic. So why does one...
Nearly midnight, again
So here we are again, it’s the middle of the night and I should be asleep. Instead I sit here waiting for the evening to be over. It’s dark outside but for the street lights. I wonder which of the endless layers of me is writing this, what obscure trophism is pretending to be me right now, creating the narrative force that pretends to be I. I could be angry or frustrated, or so many...
I made a T shirt
Basic Men’s T-Shirts by Vistaprint Not sure if Vistaprint give me any readies for this, but what the hell.
It's not a bug. It's a feature.
I like Android development. But you go off the beaten path and, well … I’ve written some custom ListView objects that get rendered depending on what kind of device is needed for a home automation app I’m working on. So far so bad. Now you need to be able to turn that device on or off. Tricky. On the phone’s screen there is a button for every item displayed, each...
Take what the defence gives you - coding
I’ve recently listened to Steven Pressfield’s Turning Pro about 10 times driving up and down the motorways. I can’t recommend it highly enough. One of the things he talks about are the things that get in the way of getting things done, of pursing your art and doing what you have to do when you turn pro. So, some days you just can’t get your mojo on. The pro doesn’t...
Android and mobile, purity, who cares?
Been doing Android dev full time for a few weeks now. I have to say I’m enjoying it. I also put myself through iOS training and have been doing some of that. Really enjoying that too. I think I’m fed up with web apps, and all the arsing about you have to do to get things going and stoping useless bastards breaking your site. I can just fire up an IDE, and I’m there with mobile. ...
error: Permission denied sending UDP broadcast...
Sorry, gentle reader, this one’s a bit technical. I was reusing some of the code Apple supply for sending UDP packets between servers, but the system I’m working with listens for broadcast packets. I set it up to use the address 255.255.255.255, but got the EACCESS error: Permission denied I found an example that did work (without using Apple’s CFSocket class) and did a line by...
LoadError: OpenSSL::SSL requires the jruby-openssl...
I had to hack the bundler executable to load the jruby-openssl gem before it tried to load bundler. Then it worked. I think the gem command uses openssl, which is built into the MRI version of Ruby, but has to be included as a gem by JRuby and therefore it happens too late.
Laments to the 10 years of Agile →
(Click the link above to see the original article - this is a comment I left there) The IT project failure rate is a direct result of people ignoring (or plain removing) contingency, usually for political reasons (the Dilbert “pointy haired boss” kind). So a fail is being unable to deliver to a Waterfall-style objectives set at some remove from delivering the projects that were only possible if...
PGError: ERROR: date out of range for timestamp
Note - this assumes you’ve enabled the pgbackup plugin in Heroku - as it does the full database backup for you for free - I suggest you do it right now! Oh, the fun I just had with this one. One of my clients’ systems started throwing this message over the last week or so. I’m lazy so I was using sqlite for my development database and Heroku’s Postgres for live. So,...
Rails for Designers
This is a short post to help designers who aren’t familiar with Rails understand their way around it enough to change things and work with developers. It assumes that you know CSS and HTML and aren’t scared of HTML that has embedded code in it. The structure of a Rails app Rails is a Model/View/Controller system. Models are business logic, and storing things in databases Views...
Neil Gaiman: Another bit from an ancient blog →
One of the drawbacks of the World’s Best Porridge Recipe for those purposes is that it’s slightly chewy, which is part of the charm. Having experimented with porridge recipes for years now, this one sort of came together in a bunch of “what if I tried…”s that actually worked. You need two…
Dead Time at East Didsbury
Sometimes time is dead time; you have to wait and hope that it will pass Dangerous thought - how good it would be to edit your life away, but how would that be good? Once lost it doesn’t come back, whatever it might be So this moment is of waiting and not exactly enough, or not moving forward to where you would like to be: So what? Is it really that different from all the other...
Everything not contributing to learning is waste →
Comment on Jim Highsmith's article "Velocity is... →
Fredit inline rails view editing →
looks really interesting
Oh hell yes, no more crap →
Post explaining the personal side to the software craftsmanship movement.
My Article "old mistakes in a new guise" →
Article I wrote and put on the Magrails site. Enjoy.
False Analogy - meh
Just had a stupid Twitter spat with someone about the analogy that asking someone to predict the number of bugs is like asking a chef to predict the number of people who will fall ill. It’s hard to discuss things in 140 characters, particularly if the individual is some kind of pedant who just can’t be wrong. I used the term false analogy, which was originally coined by the long-dead...
How I Fast Test with Rails →
Chapter 4 of Grtz now available
This is my comic SF novel – however it mostly takes the rise out of corporate culture … have fun. 1 Bay Sick Training 2 Down Sizing 3 Lumpy 4 Any Colour you Like
Buddhism and Depression
Note I write this back in 2009, and was leery of making some of the things here public. I have decided that it’s better to think of others first and not worry about it. I hope this helps. Contents Dedication Introduction The ground of depression The centre of the universe Blaming others Mental poisons Heavy mind Calming the mind Reality and you – some things to muse on: Impermanence ...
The Warm Gun on sale now
Back in the 1980’s I wrote a dark novella called The Warm Gun. It’s not autobiographical in a plot sense, but some of the things in it did happen to me. The horrendous beating at the beginning of the book, for example. The machine it was originally written on died and I had a copy of it on paper, so I scanned it all in and then converted it, I did have the beginnings of a new draft as well. I...
Namespaces in Rails 3 and respond_with
Assume we’ve got a namespace of Customer and in that a controller for Organisations. This doesn’t work class Customer::OrganisationsController < ApplicationController respond_to :html def update @organisation = Organisation.find(params[:id]) @organisation.update_attributes(params[:organisation]) respond_with [:customer,@organisation] end end It redirects to the...
Magrails Survey Results
Total responents 40 This is a temporary home for this while the main site is built. Would you attend an Agile Charity Day (there will be a Ruby one anyway)? Answer Count % No 5 12.5 Yes 35 87.5 Would you prefer a one or two day conference? Answer Count % Two 11 27.5 No preference 14 35.0 One 15 37.5 Would you like to be on a panel for a balloon...
Once A star died Made the things bones are made of All changes Little star My teeth
Agile Heart: 2nd Essay: You Ain't Gonna Need It...
This article is part of what made me start on trying to organise the Manchester Agile Rails Conference – if you’re interested in it happening please fill in the survey. You Ain’t Gonna Need It (YAGNI) – vs flexibility The best software I’ve ever written is the software I didn’t write. I use Ruby on Rails – you’re probably sick of hearing this by now. But one of the things I really like about it is...
Good practice check list for code
This is a reworking of a list I created a couple of years ago for a client. Hope you find it useful. Contents Object-orientation Dry and Shy Tell don’t ask The law of Demeter Object Composition Ruby considerations Replace case statements with behaviour Fat model thin controller Short methods and classes General points Magic Numbers Let Boolean be Boolean No Surprises ...
Review of Seth Godin's Linchpin: Are You...
Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin My rating: 5 of 5 stars Seriously, if you want to know why your children’s school seems to not be teaching them to think, if you want to know why you hate your job, read this book. Our entire education system is built around creating good factory workers, who have no initiative and do what they’re told. You may sit in a call centre or push numbers...
Review of Tom Peters' The Circle of Innovation:...
The Circle of Innovation: You Can’t Shrink Your Way to Greatness by Tom Peters My rating: 5 of 5 stars Had this book on tape and listened to it many times back in the early noughties. I was writing a blog post about “The Agile Heart” (http://goo.gl/aBCae) and quoted from it, so I got a second-hand copy from Amazon to verify the quote, my tape player having gone the way of all flesh a while ago....
Comment left on the Register about Kindle stats
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/27/amazon_holiday_sales_stats It works and comparing it with an iPad is silly, it costs less than a quarter of the price. I was interested in an iPad for reading stuff (have actually read a ton of things on my old iPhone) and the Kindle made economic sense. Kindle will also do a Steven Hawking reading thing, which I plug into the car. Not brilliant, but means...
Agile Heart: 1st Essay: What is Agile?
This is the first in a series of essays about what it means to be an Agile Practitioner, at least from where I stand. Agile has a venerable history and started from a sense of dissatisfaction with existing practices and methods. I’ve heard lots of people say that they’ve “done Agile” and it didn’t work. I overheard a project manager saying that it doesn’t work, or only works in certain situations,...
first post from my new phone
I just got myself an HTC Desire and logged in here It’s interesting how I feel more comfortable using it compared to my now pretty crusty iPhone 3G. Still a bit laborious to type anything long on it but I think I’ll get up to speed quite quickly.
I'm tired of being led - student fees, lies and...
Leadership I think less that 20% of the UK population approved of the Iraq war (the Afghan one was unavoidable after 9/11, so let’s leave that out of the discussion). At the time there was a lot of hocus pocus where Tony Blair was said to be taking an unpopular decision for the right reasons and people need to be led in times of crisis. This is code for we don’t give a shit what you think, we’re...
Fun with Cucumber and ActiveRecord after Rails 3...
I was using Rails 2.3.4 (2.3.10 wouldn’t do logging in as a different user for some annoying reason). In my data model a story can have many fragments (which in turn can have many gates out) I had an idiom where I was forcing the ID’s of things to be something I knew, so I could do things like this in my cucumber scenarios: Given story 1 exists And story 1 has fragment 1 And I am on story...
Decided to work on non-software project for a...
I started a comic novel GRTZ way back in the day and have been thinking of adding some more stuff to it, and working on it for a while. I need a break from doing software in the evenings because I can’t concentrate on it. Here are the existing chapters: 1 2 Have a peruse if you want, I will be posting more over the coming few weeks. New stuff Lumpy I suppose this is chapter 3 Imported...
Ruby and Rails 2010: Corey Haines
Thoughts from Software Craftsmanship Corey Haines Pair programming started in 1946! Definitive source of information – googlefight. Says it’s good. TSA – top secret information. Kept erroring out. Travel visa for Australia – rejected for a Visa New term Softwared! Follow Glyn Vanderberg – glad I’ve got the skills feel sorry for the folks who don’t. @glv This is US! All written our fair...
Ruby on Rails 2010 notes part 2
Concurrency: Rubies, plural Elise Huard Moore’s Law finally hit in 2002. Multiprocessor response, plus non-uniform memory access. Important to be aware of concurrency. But … forget all that (mostly) Concurrent programming != parallel computing Thread level paralleism vs instruction level Not orderly more like a stream of cars on a busy road that soldiers in lock step. Scheduling ...
Ruby on Rails 2010 notes part 1
Mildly incoherent, but here they are: Culture of Testing Jon Yurek, Thoughtbot, @jyurek Testing & version control not taught in school, no reason not to. Java testing getters and setters – insane. Culture of Ruby is to test/TDD. Coming of age blog Then framework Contrib factory_girl/shoulda. Out the box very limited. Then we found cucumber. Didn’t like at first, but then having a story....
Seecodez - a code review manager
Seecodez is a project I’m working on in amongst the million other things I’m doing at the moment. I’ve decided to set up a Rails 3 project on my little Evo machine that I can take with me and work on when I’m waiting for things. I use the Evo rather than my MacBook when I don’t want to lug the damn thing about or worry about it getting stolen as the Evo only cost me a few quid. It’s interesting...
Moving to a Rails-based blog engine, Enki
Blog City, who used to host this blog, decided that they’d had enough but didn’t seem to tell anyone who had a subscription that was about to lapse. Thanks guys, I’ve been a customer of yours for over 7 years! I was planning on moving to another site eventually, but not right now because I’ve got too much to do. I was concerned that I was going to lose all that effort, and potentially useful...