Monthly Archives: February 2013

File Path Manipulation

Three guidelines that make sense when handling files and paths.

  • Never Use Backslash in File Paths
  • Don’t use File.pathSeparator
  • Converting slashes from the user

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Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Coding



26 Hints for Agile Software Development

I collect nuggets of wisdom on various topics. Recently I have been going over the topic of Agile software development; what really matters?  Below is a list of 26 key principles to guide an agile software development team. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 22, 2013 in practice


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Exceptions Speak about the Context they are Thrown From

Programmers often make the mistake of assuming that an exception being caught will be an exception that they have seen during testing.  Programmers often underestimate the large variety of exceptions that might occur.  Based on this misunderstanding, programmers will make poor assumptions about what exceptional situation might be occurring, and then jump to an invalid conclusion about the problem the code has encountered, and as a result produce a poor, inaccurate error message. This can easily be avoided if you understand proper usage of exceptions. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on February 21, 2013 in Uncategorized


Catch and Continue @ Apache Chemistry

Guideline #14 is “Never Catch and Continue” referring to the bad habit of catching an exception and then continuing processing as if nothing ever happened.  I ran across some particularly bad examples in the example code at one of the Apache projects.  This is an example of what NOT to do. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 20, 2013 in Coding


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Gathering Error Report Information

In the last post, I clarified the Purpose of Error Reporting is to give user/administrators information to solve the problem that they have encountered.  This post outlines a way to gather the best information together for that error message. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 15, 2013 in Coding, Poor Error Msg


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The Purpose of Error Reporting

Error messages are part of every user experience, but too often these messages are poor, cryptic, and insulting.   Too often programmers do a half-hearted attempt at writing error messages, mostly because they mistakenly assume that users will never see them.  Too often programmers misunderstand the potential that results from writing correct error message.  Error messages can be the key to usability.  Error messages can help train users, and guide administrator.  All you have to do is understand the purpose of error reporting. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on February 14, 2013 in Coding, Design, Poor Error Msg


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Essential CVS

I wrote up these cheat notes about 10 years ago, and I still use them today.  Just a short, brief, introductory instructions to using the CVS source management system.  Essentials that you need to get started. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 13, 2013 in Coding


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