Category Archives: software

Book Review: Dealers of Lightning

Michael Hiltzik wrote his account of Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) years ago, but Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age never seemed to get as much attention as it should have, and it’s … Continue reading

Posted in ruminations, software | 3 Comments

Introduction to Amazon’s SimpleDB

Amazon’s SimpleDB is a NoSql datastore with a whole lot of no: no sql, no datatypes (except utf-8 strings), no transactions, no joins, no indexes, no schema, no administration, and no cost for minimal usage. But when you google it, … Continue reading

Posted in cloud, java, software | Tagged | 7 Comments

Asynchronous testing with events in Flexunit

Testing of actionscript code is not very useful if your tests can’t wait for and react to events. Flexunit is the main unit testing framework for Flex and it has some nice tools for setting up asynchronous tests. The code … Continue reading

Posted in flex, software | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Java Code Coverage: Cobertura vs. Emma vs Clover

The last time I looked for free java code coverage tools, I found EclEmma for Eclipse and Cobertura for automated builds through ant or maven. They’re both good tools, but they come up with slightly different numbers. Maybe I just … Continue reading

Posted in java, software | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Google’s guava java: the easy parts

Google’s guava is one of the best, most useful all-purpose java libraries to come out in a long time. It’s surprising that it isn’t standard in most projects now. Maybe there’s too much in there. If the functional and concurrency … Continue reading

Posted in java, software | Tagged | 11 Comments

How to set up a flex unit test with ant and Hudson

I’ve done a lot of unit testing in java before, but none in actionscript and not really much on front-end code in general, so I thought I’d give it a try. Before I tried anything too tricky, I wanted to … Continue reading

Posted in flex, software | Tagged | 4 Comments

What is the Cognos SDK?

The Cognos SDK occupies a strange position in the Cognos development ecosystem. It gets thrown around as a solution to a number of problems, but a lot of people who work all the time in Report Studio or Framework Manager … Continue reading

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How to make custom-shaped tabs in Flex

Flex gives you decent tab components that are simple to use, but if you want a shape more interesting than a rectangle with rounded corners, it takes a little extra work. Start with a basic TabBar: which gets you this… … Continue reading

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Developers’ Learned Helplessness

In the 1960s, psychologists experimenting on dogs found that subjects given electric shocks with no hope of relief learned to be helpless. Even in subsequent experiments that did provide a means of escaping the pain, the dogs passively submitted without … Continue reading

Posted in ruminations, software | Tagged | 5 Comments

Cognos won’t save you from needing a dba

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could let non-technical users query useful information and create reports from your data without getting your technical people involved? A big part of the appeal of business intelligence tools like IBM Cognos is the … Continue reading

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