Groovy DSL

The gap between language-driven requirements and code is getting smaller, but for some reason it is taking us all a while to realise that programming languages have to become more readable. If you look a piece of any code, you will dereive things that you understand. If you remove all that you understand from the program and paste it in another doc, the chances are you will have (more of less) a description of what the code is doing, that you (and others) can understand.
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droid draw

The excellent DroidDraw is now available as standalone application (Linux included!). Java programmers may sniff, but the history and evolution of web development is ongoing creation of accessible tools for people to build on the web. It doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a basic android application designer. If you want to do something more complex, then try more heavyweight method.

droid draw

Flash by name …

Who are the most insecure developers from a QA point of view? Flash developers without a doubt. This is mostly down to fact they know testers are disnterested with how pretty something looks – site style and look is important, but that is not an area of testing that raises many issues (mainly compromises to design or user flow requirements, if they exist on flash projects – they rarely do). Flash developers came primarily from design backgrounds, not programming and therein lies problem. The reaction of a flash developer to functional issues is stress and indignation – a very temperamental artist reaction in fact.

Any website done in flash can be done with Java, or simply javascripts/jQuery. But that would require a programmer mindset. Adobe Flex/Air has generated a new breed of flash developer that has more code competence, but still the same paranoia exists. This is a new-ish area to formal QA, but it will be all the better for it. Once flash development world acknowledges it cant live in its own walled garden, flash based sites will generally improve. Presently, if I come across a pure flash based site, I immediately switch to HTML versions, and if not available I will move on to another site. It doesnt matter how good it looks, to me flash sites always have the code equivalent of a huge band-aid to hold the fucntionality together. And it doesnt have to be that way, as long as flash development is approached with proper project management and development principles.

Code is still ultimately 1’s and 0’s – you can try and reinvent the software engineering rules, but ultimately it will bite you on your collective UI behinds.

Adobe carry the MS torch

I have come to conclusion there is a curse surrounding project developed in Adobe Air/Flex. Developers in this area have usually come from Flash background, and no matter how expert they are, they struggle to resolve issues. Adobe has provided a very good platform to develop prototypes very quickly. This is part of the problem – they look too good too soon. Good for a company just concerned about revenue in the next quarter, as it is easier to sell. Bad news for the project team who will see a series of regressed issues that seem to pop out of nowhere. Largely Adobe Flex/Air is not a decision made by the technology department – it has been sold to someone higher up the chain. Adobe have done well in their market – holding companies to ransom with their proprietary technology. Emotions run high, as it does come in for a lot of slating.

When defending Adobe Air/Flex development, I hear the same old “I can do more with less code” – when I would rather be hearing how efficient and future proof and robust the code is. If I didn’t know better (and I do, as I have met good solid programmer types who work on these projects), Adobe attracts the lazier and less competent developers. Dev’s have moved on from flash development to play with the big boys and make larger scale applications in their familiar territory. Its a false economy – java development is currently cheaper, and would provide a more stable and efficient application. Java developers are also inherently more “code-y” types of people. Whatever can be developed in Adobe, can be developed in Java – and much better.

Is Scrum Evil?

scrum1SCRUM was designed with a particular purpose in mind, and it has suffered with too close an association with Agile (which is broader methodology).

At best, SCRUM is a sub-Agile method, which assumes all project memebers are dedicated, and in same location.  The Product Owner is CRITCAL component on a SCRUM project.  And this is where SCRUm can go awry – if the project has a Product Owner who is not sufficiently enaged with the project, or lacks skills to make good judgement calls on user stories.

Scrum is an Agile development framework that Jeff Sutherland invented at Easel Corporation in 1993. Jeff worked with Ken Schwaber to formalize Scrum at OOPSLA’95. Together, they extended and enhanced Scrum at many software companies and helped write the Agile Manifesto.

“Is Scrum Evil?” Beyond our session at XP Day Paris « Eric Lefevre-Ardant on Java & Agile