Monday, January 15, 2007

When moving my blog to from Movable Type, I noticed a handful of posts that were still unpublished. One was a reference to a tool I put together about a year ago. It's a status screen for Cruise Control build results. If you're monitoring more than just one project, lava lamps are a bit of a pain.


Friday, January 12, 2007

You're creating a button that toggles back and forth between two states. You want the button's text to change depending on the state it's in. Ignoring the obvious usability issues involved, how would you go about implementing that? It's a simple problem, so it should have a simple answer:

button.setText(isInWhateverState ? "text 1" : "text 2");

I just ran into some code that works a little different than one might expect. It uses two buttons, each with different text. Each button has a complicated set of lazy initializers and it's own listeners. The two buttons are on a panel with a CardLayout. Pressing either button switches the card layout making the other visible.

Sometimes writing really bad code takes a bit of creativity.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

After 4 years of maintaining Movable Type on my web server, I've decided to switch to Blogger. Moveable Type was just becoming a maintenance nightmare, and it was easier to move than to get it back into working condition. I'm still maintaining my son's blog in Movable Type, but I'm shutting down my photography blog. Since I started using flickr, I really hadn't been maintaining it anyway. I may start posting pictures here instead. My thoughts so far:
  • The author's interface in Blogger is a decade ahead of MovableType. That alone made it worth the switch. The blogger interface is similar to that of most Google services. Very smooth and clean.
  • None of Bloggers templates were wide enough to display landscape flickr images. Altering an existing one to fit took about an hour of tinkering (resizing images, took most of the time). Now I won't be able to switch themes again without sitting back down in front of Photoshop. Kind of a pain.
  • There were a lot more publishing options with Blogger than I expected. I haven't used a free hosting service since before Geocities was bought up by Yahoo. I hadn't expected it to cater to secure-ftp or hosted domains.
  • The help on Blogger is pretty good, but I would have loved a feature matrix showing the pros and cons of each hosting method. I had find out which to use by trial and error.
I'm looking forward to getting rid of this template and putting something together that's a little more personalized, but for now, at least I'm not spending time removing spam from my comments.


Friday, January 5, 2007

Intellij has made their roadmap for version 7 available. I don't see anything real exciting at this point, but I'm usually more impressed by their implementation than their feature list.