A night of noise

A thin moaning whisper, hissing through gaps, sputtering through trees and racing over roof tiles, strumming cables. Booming and bursting on buildings, howling and roaring onwards. Thuds and thumps peal from fallen bins, clanging gates fire salvos into the night. The rhythm continues to erratically bang and clunk, knock and pound. A huge throb of air and rain smashing and whirling around, attacking every window with venom. Tossing and turning, earful of drips, of gaps, of damage.

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Ollie update

Seeing as someone asked… He’s doing fine. Ohh you want details? Well he got his booster injection yesterday and didn’t put up too much of a struggle, so he’s now all clear, vaccinated, wormed, flea treatment applied, all ready for his week long holiday in a local cattery. The vet gave him a quick check over and pronounced him fit as a fiddle. Behaviour-wise he’s been much better this past week and we’re almost at 100% success with a simple, firm “No” stopping him from whatever he’s doing. He generally seems much calmer all round, although we still giggle at his mad half hour antics, particularly the cartoon effect squeaking of a cat trying to turn very fast on a …

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Web apps are not products

Matt Haughey is, amongst bloggers, pretty well known and respected. He recently wrote up his thoughts on weblog applications and, as they mirror some of my thinking, I thought I’d expand on this theme here. The title of the post, Bottom line, all weblog apps suck in some way, was borne of frustration and outlines a few points which, reading between the lines, boil down to the same kind of thing. Few web applications are at the point they could be considered a product. Matt talks specifically about weblog applications, one of which I use to power this site (WordPress). I do a little web design in my spare time (there’s an oxymoron if ever I heard one) and have …

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I am ashamed

I’m a grown man. Well, as grown as a man can ever be, and I’m figuring that I’ll never really stop being a small child. Not really. I mean look at the evidence; the toys of our childhood remain but are now called gadgets, as children we were never happier than when we were being looked after and now we use man-flu as an excuse to revert to that behaviour, and of course as babies we fixated on one pair of breasts and as adults, well pretty much anyones will do. And yes, the latter still applies regardless of sexuality. Show me a gay man who doesn’t wonder over a buxom lady and I’ll show you… actually no, let’s leave …

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Agile Source

If you are working in an Agile environment, and don’t have “single source” in mind when you write then you are slowing yourself down. Working in an Extreme Programming environment (an Agile methodology that our Development Group follows) brings a unique set of challenges. During the early stages of a release, we spend a couple of days thinking about what we will be building, writing out the requirements as customer-focussed stories and breaking down those stories into discrete, small, chunks of work each of which has an estimated time for completion. We don’t have a project plan, and as we work in tight iterations with functionality being released on a regular basis, there is always the chance that the scope …

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Bad Salesman

When we bought our house we knew it would take some time to modernise. It’s not been kept in the greatest of care, and we are slowly working our way through the required work. The next big job is a new kitchen, which is getting installed in March, and as we had a little money left over (getting a very good deal on the kitchen) we thought we’d see if we could afford updating the bathroom (the mushroom coloured suite has always been a bugbear). I’ve phoned 4 or 5 different bathroom places, asking each to come out, have a look and a discussion about what is possible. Two of them never showed up, and didn’t phone to say they …

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Recently Read

“Don’t know what I want, but I know how to get it” Jeff Patton revisits the basics of Agile development, and one section leapt out at me. Saying “shippable” to people in the customer role means implies they’d better get the requirements right because that’s the way Agile development works. Now, I believe Agile people had something else in mind when they said it. I think they mean keep code quality very high. Keep the code supported with unit and acceptance tests. Take steps to validate each and every user story. It tells testers to get involved earlier and more continuously. It tells developers to develop with a higher attention to quality. (Apparently developers would be developing crap otherwise?) Which …

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No Docs = No Product

What of agile documentation? It seems like such an old argument that surely, SURELY, doesn’t need revisiting? Alas it seems that the world of software engineering still contains those who think that code = product. Thankfully, in my experience, the numbers are thinning as most practitioners of modern software practices are at least educationally aware of the need for product documentation, even if they don’t fully understand the reasons. However, there are still those who are happy to hack away, and then claim they have a product. If you are such a person let me make one thing clear, you are wrong. Not only are you wrong but as time marches on, you get further and further from being correct, …

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Voyeur

It’s a little over one year since a changed jobs and I’ve loved every minute. I do miss one thing about the old place though, aside from the (most of) the people of course, the location. I spent a few years commuting by train into Glasgow city centre, and I must admit I miss the occasional wander and, more specifically, the people-watching opportunities. Whether observing my fellow commuters, or marvelling at the myriad of shapes, faces, and gestures that issue forth from my fellow (wo)man, I could, and did, spend a little too long sitting in a cafe somewhere, gazing out of the window at the passing parade of everyday people. People everyday. And of course there was the occasional …

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Dump

Dentist this morning, a hygienist visit only thankfully (no I don’t floss enough, I know, I know) then the car goes into the garage this afternoon to get a bump stop replaced. I think. It may be two bump stops. I’m not sure. It’s under warranty and has something to do with the suspension. After that I know nothing, which is exactly how car manufacturers want it these days and I guess I’m quite happy with the state of things too as I’ve not been bothered enough to go and find out what it is (mainly because, hey, it’s free). As such I’m working at home today, which means I get to hear Ollie getting stuck in a large brown …

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