Make up your mind Gmail

Gmail seems to be unable to make up its mind. I did not join Gmail at the beginning so I don’t know how it was before, but ever since I joined there has been three changes to the description of the option to delete an email.

First it was “Move to Trash”, then a few months back it changed to “Delete” which I like. Then today it changes again to “Move to Deleted Items”.

I can understand ‘Trash’ not being common terms outside North America but I think “Delete” is pretty obvious what it does. Talk about being verbose…

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FUD on MacBook Pro price

So The Register has another FUD headline for the new MacBook Pro, "Intel Macs stay at non-Intel prices".

Yes, $2500 for the 1.83GHz version is expensive but is it really?

Look! The Acer’s TravelMate 8200 has similar spec and the same price!

Bad code, part 2

Last Friday I was, half-jokingly, called a code snob. That was probably due to my continuous bitching of bad code in our project throughout Thursday and Friday. I know it is true so I will wear that label with pride! I just don’t understand developers who will write bad code that works but not refactor them later. I can understand write bad code initially to get a understanding of how the code needs to work first, then afterward refactor into nice clean code. I did that many times myself. But just leaving those badly written code once it is working? ARRRRGGGHHH!

Leah made a comment about my previous post about bad code before she jetted off to London. She said even though she didn’t understand what I was talking about she thought it must be like an English literature graduate reading a badly put together English sentence.

I think that is a rather good analogy for the non-programmers out there.

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Bad Code

Early last week we delivered a build of our application to the “customers” that has all of the planned features. Not a big bang release of course, since we practice TDD and XP so we release often. Sometimes too often for our liking but that’s another story!

So we all were in bug fixing mode but the bug list is moderated by our domain expert so there are times when all the bugs are being worked on and no new bugs are in the tracker.

The standard practice when that happens is to look for code to refactor. The amount of code we have and the uneven level of skills in the team meant there are plenty of opportunity for refactoring. After I did some light refactoring on some UI code, I came across this piece of gem:

if (someText.Length > 0)


if (someText.Length == 0)


Needless to say phrases such as, “WTF?”, “You are fired!” (in Donald Trump style), and many others came to my mind. I knew who wrote this piece of code and it amazes me that someone who has years of programming experience produces this kind of sloppy code. Even college students won’t make mistake like this.

Perhaps it is a one-off, you say? Try another piece of code that I’ve seen from the same developer at another time:

string fooString = new myForm().MyTextBox.Text;

string fooString2 = new myForm().MyTextBox2.Text;

I could immediately see three problems here. First, using a TextBox’s text property to store a default string for later use? Should have used constants. Second, exposing a TextBox as public property? Third and most important, instantiating a form just to get access to some data inside the form that has nothing to do with the form? How expensive is that!

So this developer violated some of the most fundamental rules/concepts of programming (Encapsulation in Object Oriented Programming, anyone?) for what, I don’t know and I don’t want to know.

Anyway, I showed the first piece of code to another team member who I know is discreet but even he shouted “What?” rather loudly after reading the code. I didn’t dare to show it (let alone the second one) to the team lead or the boss because I knew Donald Trump will definitely make an appearance!

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Urbanite vs. The Rest

I’ve been trying to write this post for awhile, partly because I am lazy but mainly because I found (and still find) it difficult to articulate my thoughts on the subject.

The more I get to know the people I work with or the friends we make here in New York, the more I find that I (and to large extent Leah as well) am very different to all of them. So what is the issue? Well, the issue is multi-facet and it boils down to the following questions:

1. City vs. Suburban/countryside
2. Apartment vs. House
3. Rent vs. Buy

As you can see, although they are all inter-related there is no single defining issue that you can pin point. So let me tackle it one by one.
Continue reading “Urbanite vs. The Rest”