Pencils Down

This weblog is about my experiences in software development

Ok, so the Spring Framework allows for a high level of code re-use.  Great.

You use simple XML files to layout the flow of applications in Spring.  This allows for easy configuration of systems.  Great.

You now have a high amount of very atomic code/routines that are put together as needed to implement specific functions.  However, if something goes wrong you can not easily find the problem.  Again, due to the large amount of atomic, small routines that have been pasted together.

Log files are likely useless, as they will point out what happens at the lower level.

The only thing we have found is to log ‘events’ as specially executed code functions at the XML, config layer so we trap the higher level functions attempted to be performed at a specific time.

Other ideas would be great.

We have been (completely) rewriting a fairly large Java app using the Spring framework.  One of the developers had previous experience that became the core for the new system.

As one of the developers working on the existing systems I have subsequently been added on to the swarm working on the new app.

At first look, Spring reminds you of older IBM configuration files: every step is laid out in an XML file.  I guess that works, as most systems are very XML cogniscent.  I was somewhat overwhelmed by the amount of detail, at first.  I had though this to be a very complex undertaking.

Then talking this over with the architect, it became apparent that Spring really just breaks down your code into very atomic units.  What is at first overwhelming becomes more apparent to be a complete specification for an application: every step, function is laid out in explicit detail.

That becomes tha ‘Aha’ moment.  Any developed code fits into the xml ‘path’ of the application.  I still think it’s amazing seeing that much of the guts of an application laid out so cleanly.

It looks like the deal may go through.  Many people are talking about how this is a MS attempt to compete with Google; admitting that MSN is not getting enough traction to do so.

No one seems to be bothered by the oligopolistic/monoplistic implications of this:  You have the parent of MSN with x % of the search space buying Yahoo with y % of the same market, isn’t this a bad idea for the end users/consumers/businesses that advertise?

As an end user, I like having the choice of MSN vs vs. Yahoo.  They may overlap, but mostly do not.

As an advertiser I dread the increase in advertising costs since the whole will be munged together into one target audience size and higher fees.  Someone will have to pay for Yahoo besides MS.

Overall, this merger appears to be the latest in a series of oligopolistic advances taken by business where no one seems to be throwing up a flare.  Maybe people are reminiscing about the robber barons of the early 20th century and have decluded themselves into thinking that was a good thing.

At what point does a billion dollar fine not matter?  How much money are you making to think this is just a cost of doing business?  MS didn’t even issue a press release about the fine.

Is it just arrogance that MS thinks they will eventually win the suit, so the intermediate fines are meaningless?  I am assuming they aren’t actually paying the fine(s) (The amount has been building steadily since they lost the dissemination suit a few years ago)

Isn’t this arrogance the real reason the suit was brought in the first place?  Does Ballmer or Gates actually think about the issue?

Welcome to the Pencils Down blog.  I worked with a great developer once who coined the term “pencils down” programming – where a team keeps coding up to ship date.  This blog is about my experiences and thoughts about the software development world, where I think pencils down programming is the standard operating procedure.