Buggy Software Liability

CNN.com – Spread of buggy software raises new questions – Apr. 27, 2003 – While I think getting into product liability lawsuits for software will likely put a major dent in the industry, I do think that better software quality is not only possible but is cheaper. Test Driven Development, combined with other solid practices, has the power to reduce the number of defects in software and prevent the defects from coming back. There are a lot of people still developing software “the old fashioned way”, but I do think that TDD will only grow in popularity from where it is now.

The joys of CSS

For the past couple of years, nearly all of the work I’ve done has been concerned with what’s going on on the server. My new group is a small one, so we have to be generalists. This has given me a chance to pick up on what is happening in browser-based user interfaces. Thankfully, things are a lot more pleasant than they were a few years back, particularly if you don’t care about compatibility with older browsers. At work, my group has an internal customer, so browser compatibility is not an issue there. For my blog, I do this more for myself than for anyone else… so as long as it’s compatible with my browser, I’m happy. Thankfully, creating a nice layout for both Moz and IE using CSS is not very difficult.

Java GUIs

Through some strange turn, I suddenly found myself reading about Java GUI programming. I’ve been considering writing a small, fun program and debating about doing it in Java or Python. Python has some advantages: smaller memory footprint and runtime size, faster development time, more fun :), wxPython provides native look and feel. Java has some advantages over Python: huge collections of libraries that are fairly well structured, Eclipse IDE, GCJ to compile to native executable (apparently not for Windows yet). It’s that last one that’s the kicker. Generally, I’m a fan of native widgets, because I want my programs to look like Windows programs if they’re running under Windows. Swing does this to an extent, but SWT/JFace actually uses native widgets, just like wxPython. GCJ cannot compile Swing apps yet, but you can compile SWT apps using GCJ.
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Network Computing Picked ANS As Editors Choice

From December 1994 to March 1999, I worked for ANS Communications (which was independent, then part of AOL, then part of WorldCom while I was there). I just received a link to a Network Computing review of ISPs that picked ANS as Editor’s Choice and talked about how great the ANS NOC was. I’ve got very fond memories of working in that NOC, and it’s great to see how people in the outside world perceived it.