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Month: October 2009

Mr Tidy Socks

I was watching Wall-E  again recently. It’s a wonderful film and I’m astonished that something that well made was a mainstream success. I really like the bit when Wall-E is sorting through the day’s interesting items. He finds a spork and goes to put it into his little cutlery collection. At first he goes to put it with the spoons, then the forks, then the spoons again. Eventually he gives up and puts it in the middle by itself. I thought that was sweet and I recognised myself in that.

I’m of the opinion that that sort of thing makes a good developer. The urge or compulsion to sort and categorise things. Is it a spoon? Does it have spoon-like qualities? Could I perform standard spoon operations on it? Or for that matter, where do I file the latest Circus Devils album in my CD collection? C for Circus? P for Pollard, Robert (it’s one of his many bands)? G for Guided By Voices (it is / was his main project band)? Or just bung it in wherever it fits on the shelf like a normal person?

Bean introspection

Spotted this nasty little quirk today – not for the first time. Every time I see it I want to get angry at someone but I’m not quite sure who.

What’s wrong with this list of properties?

private String name;
private String address;
private String eMail;

Nothing immediately obvious perhaps. Here are the standard generated getters and setters (signatures only):

public String getName();
public void setName(String name);

public String getAddress();
public void setAddress(String address);

public String getEMail();
public void setEMail(String eMail);

All perfectly valid. Now, given these auto-generated getters and setters, what names would standard bean introspection derive?


Hang on, what happened there? How did my eMail property turn into EMail?

Why? (Part 1)

Sure, lets start with the big question first. Software Development – why? Why write about it? Why do it for a living?  Why do we need software developers?

True to my nature as a software developer, I’ll divide and conquer. One question at a time please. And true to my nature as a code monkey, I’ll start with the easy bit.

So, easy question first. Why write about software development?

As I was walking home along the Clyde one evening, thinking vaguely about what I’ve done at University and at work I realised something a little worrying:

I’ve forgotten more than you’ll ever know.