Thursday, July 05, 2007

When the Pattern Is Its Own Anti-Pattern


I'm totally digging Alex Miller's "Patterns I Hate" series.  So far he's taken down Singleton and Template Method.  I love to study patterns and "best practices" in general, but I realize they can do harm when slavishly copied in inappropriate contexts.

While on the topic of Patterns, I must give a shout out to my co-worker Geff Ivey.  I mentioned my liking of Design Patterns Explained as an alternative to the GoF, and Geff convinced me to finally take a look at Head First Design Patterns.  I'm sure this book isn't for everyone, but it was useful to me.  They finally helped me to wrap my head around Model View Controller.  They did it better than the Pragmatic Programmers, or Martin Fowler, although Fowler has more context on the evolution of the design.

Anyway, Alex appears to be a fan of dependency injection, which will soon be promoted by agile practitioners, as a cure for cancer, or at least cancerous code.  Alex has some excellent, thoughtful comments.  You should read them, highly recommended.



VSX - Slow Progress


I'm still working on the tutorials, but the holiday has offered a nice break from technology.  It's good to be reminded that I have other roles in life, like "Dad" and "friend".  Here's the latest I have to report.

After ranting about the annoying CTC files, I learned about the new VSCT file format.  There is also a prerelease compiler for the new file format.  This looks like a major improvement to VSX, but it isn't part of the tutorials, so I'll plow ahead.

I looked over the VSSDK Assist site, and decided this was a tool I wanted to use.  Unfortunately, it failed to install for me.  I've reported the bug.  I'll try it on an XP box and see if I have more luck.


VSX    Comments [2]

Fun With New Macbook video drivers on Vista


I run Vista on my Macbook.  It's a great machine, but some of the drivers are flaky, because they were intended for XP.  Until Apple updates Boot Camp for Vista, you must use the XP drivers.

Today, I noticed a Windows Update for the chipset drivers.  I was feeling bold, so I let it install.  I hadn't noticed a difference until a few moments ago while surfing a web page.  I wanted to return to the top of the page, so I pressed "fn+ctrl+left arrow" (which is the equivalent of ctrl+home), or so I thought. 

Actually, I pressed "ctrl+alt+left arrow" and my display rotated 90 degrees to the right!  I realized what I had done, and tried "ctrl+alt+right arrow" to remedy the situation.  That put the display 90 degrees rotated to the right.  Finally, I tried "ctrl+alt+up arrow" and the screen returned to normal.  Can you guess what I tried next? :-)