Sharp Blue: The Carnival of Software Development, number 2


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Welcome to the second edition of the Carnival of Software Development. This time around there were many more submissions than for the first edition, but some of them were fairly liberal in their definition of “software development”…

Carnival regular Mark Levison’s contribution is Online Code Reviews suck - even Guido van Rossum can’t fix that. I think he’s absolutely right that the bandwidth of technologically mediated communication is much lower than that of face-to-face conversation, and that this can’t be fixed by any amount of clever design. Furthermore, specific tasks such as code reviews are only a small part of what developers get out of talking to each other in person. In a world of distributed development teams this is going to become an increasingly serious problem.

Scott Sehlhorst also has interesting things to say on the subject of the development process. His entry is How To Use Timeboxes for Scheduling Software Delivery, a discussion of the management of tradeoffs between resources, time, functionality and quality through the use of timeboxes, which are units of developmental capacity. I think that anything that makes clear to non-developers that these four quantities cannot be abitrarily varied by fiat is a good thing.

Magnus’ advice is to Choose your distributed component name wisely. While I’ve put a lot of thought into naming things clearly for other developers, I certainly hadn’t considered that end users might react so strongly to shared library names!

mamcx contributed two entries to the Carnival - Velocidad turbo (“Informaci├│n sobre las nuevas versiones Turbo de Delphi. Delphi para .NET y C++ Builder.”) and El extra├▒o mundo de Mamcx: Pa’afuera y no pa’adentro! (“Como afrontar correctamente el desarrollo de una aplicacion.”) - but I must admit that my linguistic talents and BabelFish’s translation algorithms are not good enough to allow me to add any further comment to either.

In Problems with learning through code reuse posted at A C# Coder’s World, Simple Guru argues that becoming too reliant on reuse of other developers’ code might speed up development in the short term but it also gets in the way of truly learning new skills. I think that it’s probably true that many programmers don’t ever acquire an understanding of what their code actually does at anything other than a superficial level, and that this can lead to serious problems with efficiency. For example, I’d imagine that many developers could get through their whole careers without delving deeply enough into the machine to understand endianess. Which brings me to the first of OpenAsthra’s contributions to the Carnival: Little, Big endianess explained.

(OpenAsthra’s other two entries are Pelt: Posix Wrapper for Windows Threads and PoTerm - A Serial Terminal Shell. The former is about an implementation of POSIX threads that uses native Windows threads. The latter is an open-source shell for sending commands over serial ports.)

Moving away from the development of software itself to the broader issue of the development of software products, another regular, Pawel Brodzinski, tells us a story about Logo and Website Design. I found his earlier article on logo design interesting too. Pawel’s articles aren’t directly about this problem, but balancing aesthetics and usability in web applications is an interesting challenge.

(There were several entries only tangentially related to software development. In the first, Corey muses about Web 2.0 and its effects of communication. I still pretty much think that Web 2.0 is just an attempt to hype Bubble 2.0 so those of us who missed out on zillionairedom the first time around can have another shot. The second only tenuously on-topic article was Why you should use google from Exchange Ingredients. Is there anyone who doesn’t use Google?)

And finally, Avant News reports the amusing news that Windows Vista Startup Music Was Designed on Macs: “The first time a PC ever got close to the Windows Vista ditty was when the first prototype was booted up, and even then it crashed before we could hear the final chime.”

That concludes this edition. If you’d like to submit an article to the next edition of the Carnival of Software Development, please use the carnival submission form. if you’d like to host a future edition of the Carnival, please email me.

Hey, I just wanted to say thanks for including us in this edition of the carnival! I would like to welcome all of your readers to come check out our stuff - there's a ton that's related to software development - after all, our motto is "Software Product Success". And please, let us know what you think of the articles!

Thanks for dropping by, Scott

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