The Mozilla Platform’s Catch-22 Problem

Starting with Netscape 4.5, I’ve used Netscape, then Mozilla, then Thunderbird for email. I have a similar relationship with Firefox. I’ve watched with great hope and been disappointed over the years as Thunderbird bugs that really annoy me just… stay. I think I know why. It’s because Firefox and Thunderbird are built in such a way as to create a catch-22 situation — one that actually discourages new contributors.
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Bruce Tate on learning J2EE

I’ve been listening to the Ruby on Rails Podcast over the last month or so, starting with the first episode from way back in July 2005 and now I’m up to the March 10, 2006 episode with Bruce Tate. There’s a great section in this podcast where Bruce describes the immense amount of information that programmers have to learn in order to approach J2EE.
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Ubuntu Linux 7.04 “Feisty Fawn” upgrade report

7.04 (meaning “the major release planned for 2007/04”, not meaning “the minor release following 7.03”) was released on April 19th. I upgraded today and it went pretty well, with a bit of manual cleanup required. More details after the jump. Continue reading “Ubuntu Linux 7.04 “Feisty Fawn” upgrade report”

Console, a Windows console replacement

I’m not using Windows currently, but when I do use it and I need a command prompt, I’m suddenly reminded of the weakest link in the whole Windows user experience: the atrocious console window thing.

Many times I have searched for a replacement. It looks like there finally is such a thing, and its ultra creative name is Console. I haven’t tried it out, but if you need it, there it is.

(via Ben Kittrell)

Ad Hoc Software Planning with Graphviz

I’ve been playing around with Graphviz this weekend. I first used it a few years ago with a Perl script that sorta kinda knew Cold Fusion and JavaScript syntax and could output the Graphviz .dot file format, as a means of visualizing all the dependencies between source code files in a project with no compilation phase and no automated tests. It helped me answer a few questions that I had about the code: What should I write tests for first? What should I leave alone, because breaking it breaks a bunch of pages? What pages do I need to test in order to make sure that changes to a deeply-buried chunk of included code didn’t break anything? Having a simple tool that draws graphs of nodes in a fairly clean form can be really useful.
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