If A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words, What About A Comic Strip?

First there was Dilbert. Then xkcd. Now we have Feature Injection Comics.

Actually good, useful, serious stuff.

I wonder if trainee Gen-Y Brain Surgeons use comics? "Hey dudes, don't cut through the white stuff, m'kay?"

…and then there's Google's 40-page comics interpretation of key engineering decisions.

Tags: Books

Scrum and SVO-p

A call for clear language:

…Language directly influences thinking and perception. Syntax that is consistently direct encourages responsibility and clear thinking. Indirect forms of syntax can often obscure the subject and encourage the dodging of direct responsibility…

SVO-p stands for Subject-Verb-Object, Present Tense…

SVO-p discourages "passive voice". Passive forms tend to conceal the subject and avoid responsibility. This is a problem because of a much higher likelihood that the receiver of the message may misunderstand the statement. The use of active voice in the present tense supports immediate action in the present moment. The subject-verb-object form tends to support direct and clearly articulated responsibility.

NewSpeak for Scrum?

Let's try the technique out…

Instead of:
"It has been noticed that this project's progress is sub-par with respect to time and money."
"This Project Is Sucking Badly."

Instead of:
"Remuneration continues to be less than optimal."
"I Need To Put Up My Contract Rates."

Hey! This SVO-p thing works!


Tags: Agile

Swing Explorer

…a tool for Swing developers intended for visual exploring of a Swing-based application internals. It finds all the windows in the explored Swing application and displays their component hierarchies as a tree. Each component in the tree can be displayed in the Swing Explorer's work area and visually inspected. Swing Explorer helps to determine sub-components when user moves mouse over them and provides additional information about currently selected component (layout, size, coordinates, border and other things). Additionally it allows to view basic graphical operations used to draw swing components like DebugGraphics does, but in more convenient way

Available here.

Apparently, Oracle's sadly oft-overlooked JDeveloper has the same facility.

Don't know why such a thing wasn't part of Swing from day one…DebugGraphics never seemed to do it for me…

Tags: Tools

SOA Source Book

The Open Group's SOA Source Book is a collection of source material for use by enterprise architects working with Service-Oriented Architecture.

Useful grist for the mill…

Tags: Books, SOA

Windows 7

I bit the bullet!

Spurred on by the promise of actually using all the RAM I paid for, I backed up my 32-bit Vista system, downloaded the 64-bit Windows 7 RC and gave it a whirl.

Imagine my surprise! It works!

I like the way that al the files from my previous installation was kept. This REALLY helped. I pretty much just moved my cygwin and Java DEVTOOLS directory back into place (no installers/registry entries required, thank you) and was ready to go back to work. All my project files were still on disk, too. In fact, this has been so effective that so far I haven't gone back to my backup to retrieve anything; it's all still in my filesystem.

Most (not all: I'm looking at YOU, HP…) drivers and other bits and pieces have re-installed happily…many vendors now have developed 64-bit versions of their product for Vista and these seem to be perfectly acceptable.

It seems quite stable.

It boots quite quickly.

It feels snappier than Vista.

Copying files no longer takes an age.

Look at all that RAM :-)

I LIKE the new "Libraries" feature in Explorer.

On the whole, a positive experience. I'm looking forward to the real product release.

Now, if only M$ would do something about getting rid of all the draconian DRM rubbish…sadly, the epithet "Defective By Design" still applies to this aspect of the OS :-(

Brilliance, Or…?

(This is probably a male oriented posting!)

'They' say "All Publicity is Good Publicity."

Don't know who 'they' are but that's apparently what 'they' say.

I wonder what 'they' would make of this…
(sqeamish people: look away now…)

I went to the movies tonight (X-Men Wolverine…'nuff said). At the end I was feeling rather 'full', so off I go to the little men's room. While I am splashing around, what do I spy but this:

Can you grok it?

An in-urinal drain-cover advertisement!

This is either a brilliant advertising ploy or a really poor, desperate idea.

I wonder: have 'they' really thought this one through? Subliminal associations, and all that…

Let me see…

CON: piss-poor; taking the piss; piss-ant; piss off; piss-artist; couldn't organize a piss-up in a brewery
PRO: it was a piece of piss to use; piss easy

Seems to me like the CONs have it…

Hopefully someone at the responsible ad agency will read this and consider whether this was a bridge that just shouldn't have been crossed.

Once again, I am reminded of The Space Merchants.

Oh no! There's more out there ("If you're a marketer who is trying to capture a male audience is a way no one else has, urine luck.")!

Tags: Rant

GroovyMag May Issue…Now With Added Bob Brown

Have you read GroovyMag?

The current (May 2009) issue has an article by yours truly in it: Solving the Enterprise Integration Puzzle…Getting Started with Spring Integration.

At US$4.99 it's a bargain!

Tags: GroovyMag

Just Not As Cute

According to http://www.statbrain … m/transentia.com.au/, this site gets as many hits as The Kleenex Puppy site.

Hmmm. If the puppy club does it for Kleenex, maybe the "transentia club" would bring the dosh in for me?

I could use my cat as the mascot!

Beyond Budgeting

Dipping into Larman & Vodde's "Scaling Lean & Agile Development" (I mentioned I was reading it a Beyond Budgeting Round Table:

The BBRT is an international shared learning network of member organizations with a common interest in transforming their management models to enable sustained, superior performance. BBRT helps organizations learn from world-wide best practice studies and encourages them to share information, past successes and implementation experiences to move beyond command and control.

The BBRT promotes a set of principles that lead to more dynamic processes and front-line accountability. Organizations that follow this approach transform their management model in line with these principles, which are outlined in Beyond Budgeting: How Managers Can Break Free from the Annual Performance Trap, published by Harvard Business School Press.

The BBRT is at the heart of a new movement that is searching for ways to build lean, adaptive and ethical enterprises that can sustain superior competitive performance. Its aim is to spread the idea through a vibrant community.

In the software world, we are beginning to see how destructive BDUF is, so it is nice to see that the suits actually are thinking about how destructive the current practice of Big Yearly Budget Up Front is.

It has never failed to amaze me that as one approaches the end of a financial year, projects get put on hold or cancelled merely because their allocated-up-front-big-bang-style budget was out of whack with a changing reality while-at the exact same time-groups go around buying crazy stuff just to use up their other pots of cash "in case it gets taken away next year."

There is a nice Learning Byte available (courtesy of Business Sculptors; hope I'm not breaking any copyright or "deep linking" rules…).

This goes a teeny, tiny way toward making me feel less cynical abut Agile (for large organisations, that is); who know, maybe it could be possible to get HR and Facilities Managment and the Unions (and…) on board ;-)

Tags: Agile

Works As Advertised…But It's Not Grails

Skyway Builder.

An Eclipse-based code generation tool for the Spring Framework.

Grails-like functionality for creating pure Java Spring applications

Similar to Grails, Skyway Builder allows developers to quickly scaffold a CRUD application, but unlike Grails, the generated code isn't Groovy - it's pure Java and Spring.

A few years ago, I was wishing for such a tool…now that Grails is here, it somehow seems redundant.

Tags: Grails, Programming, Tools