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Being evil is expensive

April 5, 2006 by Artem Marchenko

Once upon a time in a continent far-far away (from Europe) there was a mighty spreadsheet software vendor called Lotus Development Corporation. Their product Lotus 1-2-3 dominated the niche with its almost 100% market share. There was a neglectibly small competitor product named Microsoft Excel. The Microsoft's product better met user needs, integrated well with the word processor and in general was a good product. Unfortunately the Lotus'es overwhelming user base left not a lot of chances for any competitor whatever good he was.

The Microsoft worked real hard to lower the enry barrier. They mailed demo packages by post, built the Lotus-to-Excel convertors, even created a special version of the Windows OS, that could be started without the installation and could run the MS Excel trial only - pretty much everything, that could eliminate the trialing efforts. And the most cunning trick of the Microsoft generals was to introduce the really good Excel-to-Lotus convertor. Yes, you heard it right, Microsoft released the tool that customers could use to switch back to their old good Lotus 1-2-3 whenever they decide that Excel isn't worth any further trials.

Performancing Metrics Module

March 25, 2006 by Artem Marchenko

Performancing.com lately launched a beta of the very cool blog statistics service. It is created especially for bloggers with the AdSense click and comment counter. I don't like modifying the theme templates just to include the yet another statistics counter. So I created a small and simple Drupal module for PMetrics. And decided to share it with everybody interested :)

If you are running Drupal, simply upload the PMetrics module to your modules directory and enable it in the admin/modules. That's it. No extra settings required. Register at Performancing and analyze your logs.

Waterfall 2006

March 19, 2006 by Artem Marchenko

A great sample of satire: Waterfall 2006 conference.

After years of being disparaged by some in the software development community, the waterfall process is back with a vengeance. You've always known a good waterfall-based process is the right way to develop software projects. Come to the Waterfall 2006 conference and see how a sequential development process can benefit your next project. Learn how slow, deliberate handoffs (with signatures!) between groups can slow the rate of change on any project so that development teams have more time to spend on anticipating user needs through big, upfront design.

Error handling

March 11, 2006 by Artem Marchenko

Check out the post on error handling by Mika Raento, the researcher at the University of Helsinki, Forum Nokia Champion and the author of the huge amount of free source code examples for Symbian.

Mika talks on the ways of error handling in software and how the developer can aid the error handling:

  • You may need to document specific errors and supply additional information to the immediate caller.

Compilable Symbian Code Examples

February 7, 2006 by Artem Marchenko

SymbianExample.com is eventually up and running. It took quite some time to restart it, but I am very much pleased with the results. It is build on the Drupal CMS 4.7 Beta 4. As it is still beta, I disabled comments - they work ok, but display error-like messages, when you post. They will be enabled whenever Drupal community releases the next Beta or RC of the 4.7 (sometime in February)

Nevertheless, the site looks great (as for me) and I am extremely pleased with the customization possibilities, to be enabled one by one in the close future.

And by the way.



Series 60 examples

November 22, 2005 by Artem Marchenko

Today I've spent several hours trying to locate a simple example for the Nokia's Series 60 3rd edition. And miserably failed.

At the moment I am developing my first 3rd edition application. It is also the first app, where I am going to use vector icons in the svg format (introduced in Series 60 2nd edition Feature Pack 3). Somehow in all my previous projects I did the non-UI components only and never bothered about the application wrap-up.

Today in the morning I found that even though I have access to a lot of 3rd edition applications, I don't have a single simple example. As you might guess the attempts to "intelligently copy" the existing code failed.

Welcome to SymbianExample.com

October 17, 2005 by Artem Marchenko

www.SymbianExample.com is up and running. In perfect accordance to the Agile Manifesto's "Working software over comprehensive documentation", design is far from perfect, e-mail is not functioning, no forum installed, but it is up and running. You can already find there a launcher of ExeDll projects and sample code for global key capturing (including a tricky case of long key press capturing).

Second Agile Finland seminar

September 8, 2005 by Artem Marchenko

On the 7th of September I was visiting the Nokia Research Center in Helsinki, where the Second Agile Finland seminar was hosted.

The popularity of the Agile methods among the software developers is growing all over the world. My first university degree was focused on the ways of constructing large software systems. So I've been always curious about different trends in the design methodologies. I could not miss a chance to discover more about this area.

The presentations were very impressive. What particularly excited me was the great amount of statistical and historical background presented by Craig Larman from Valtech. You all know, that "waterfall" is a devastating way to go. It was amazing to discover, that it was considered harmful from the very first time it was mentioned (!). But not so many readers of the article, where the waterfall was introduced and thoroughly described bothered themselves to read to the part, where it was criticized and iterative methods were offered instead.

2nd and 3rd presentations were devoted to the success stories about using Scrum methodology  - lightweight iterative way to design software. It proved to be really simple, controllable and effective.
If you want to improve the software development at your company, have a look at Scrum. I will definitely try using some elements of it - its backlog and burndown chart seem to be very simple and at the same time effective and even fun tools to use.

Craig Larman starting the seminar






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