Open Source Advantages

There are just some things that *must* be open source. I usually find it’s the automated utility type software. Compilers, browsers, email clients, communication tools: they must just work and if they don’t. Uninstall, install something else. 🙂

But when it comes to software that automates tasks, and in my environment that includes mostly Nant, you can NOT have a black box. And no surprise, there really isn’t a black box alternative worth paying for. NUnit is my another automation machine.

These automation frameworks can be used in so many different ways that to NOT have the source code is just limiting yourself to all sorts of possibilities, the least of which is:
i..quick bug fixes not in main branch
ii.added functionality due to “custom” requirements [circumstances]

Like today for example. is NUnit 2.2.8 backwards compatible with test case method names [first four letters == ‘test’]? Documentation says yes, but i beg to differ…

modified Oct 05: as of 2.2.1 this compatibility was dropped but the documentation remains outdated.. now where has this debate surfaced before 🙂

Now to have your entire migration process bottlenecked by something silly like that… 🙂

The Programmer

In trying to describe what a programmer does, it’s easy to get sidetracked into discussions about compilers, delivery methodologies, design principles and frameworks. And then we try define the attributes of a “good” programmer when we’re really trying to define a “valuable programmer” [or team]. And even then, we can get sidelined into discussions about how a valuable programmer communicates, approaches design, deals with team conflict, translates and can abstract appropriately.

and that’s all good. But there is a less spoken of attribute which is very valuable:
is the programmer a servant?

As a programmer, i believe my existence is [should be] one of servanthood. All my decisions regarding design, implementation, methodologies, conflict- should be underpinned by an attitude of “to serve”.
I have heard programmers [myself included] negate a user request because:
“…the system is not designed to do it that way…”
“…it’s too difficult to implement…”
“…it’s too much effort…”
“…it’ll break the class design…”
“…too much refactoring…”
i do conceded that these may be valid reasons in the right context. As i’ve paraphrased them here, imagine these responses to be expressed void of any attitude to serve.

So… rather, if the class design won’t handle it, change the design.
If it’s a mission… make a plan.
Bottom line, a programmer exists to serve the needs of the user [ note: i say “user” and not necc the whims of the product manager/owner- that’s a different discussion alltogether 🙂 ]

And if you approach your choice of compiler, methodology, framework, team members, or principles; how to deal with conflict resolution, translation, communication… all of the above with attitude to serve, and serve your user well… the rest is mostly detail …

Lord and Saviour

Kinda like a tale of the vicious cycle of debt…

You owe the bank a lot of money and decide to pay it off. But it’s hard going and you could spend a long time trying to pay off that debt. Let’s assume that day eventually does arrive and you square up your account… what then? From that moment on you have the opportunity to live your life starting with zero debt and every decision from then on is a conscious one to either engage in debt, or not. If you choose to not engage in any more debt, you have to think differently. You cannot expect the same style of thinking that got you into debt in the first place to now suddenly keep you out of debt. Remember, before you even started round one, you already had no debt [and sometimes you might even protest, had no choice]. No matter how you try and decide to look at it or convince otherwise, your debt is still your debt.

God makes it easy for us to square the account. In fact, He already paid the debt for our sin. Our sin is against God Himself. But He says No-More-Debt. He paid the price [because someone had to do it] and He shows us, at length and in detail, just how He did it. He explains the What, Why, How, and Who. We need to accept that and when we receive His grace, we start life with a clean slate. Jesus, The Saviour.

Now we’re walking a “Christian” walk- but it’s not just about how we pray, who we pray to, what church we attend [or not], wether we have long hair and tattoos or wear a hat on Sundays. Those are not the primary issues. What is primary is: Is Jesus Lord of your life? Are you obeying what He says? Because you need a new way of approaching life now. You cannot reasonably expect that the mind that sold you into sin is going to now keep you out of it. Listen to someone who knows how to live a debt-free life: listen to Jesus. And Jesus is the Word Of God [John1]

To those in Christ, keep fighting the good fight. the connection between the promises God has for us and our obedience to Him have always been interlinked. We cannot expect to walk in Christ if we do not obey Him. To those who have yet to know Christ… set yourself free. Accept Jesus is Saviour and embark on living your life “new” with a just, loving and mighty Lord!

(Joh 3:36) He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.

(Act 5:32) And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

(Rom 6:16) Know ye not, that to whom ye present yourselves as servants unto obedience, his servants ye are whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
(Rom 6:17) But thanks be to God, that, whereas ye were servants of sin, ye became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto ye were delivered;

(2Co 10:5) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;

(Heb 5:8) though he was a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which he suffered;
(Heb 5:9) and having been made perfect, he became unto all them that obey him the author of eternal salvation;

(1Jo 5:2) Hereby we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and do his commandments.
(1Jo 5:3) For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

(Mat 19:17) And he said unto him, Why askest thou me concerning that which is good? One there is who is good: but if thou wouldest enter into life, keep the commandments.
(Luk 11:28) But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
(Joh 8:51) Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my word, he shall never see death.
(Joh 14:15) If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments.
(Joh 14:23) Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
(Joh 14:24) He that loveth me not keepeth not my words: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me.
(Joh 15:10) If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
(1Jo 2:3) And hereby we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
(1Jo 2:4) He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;

(1Jo 3:22) and whatsoever we ask we receive of him, because we keep his commandments and do the things that are pleasing in his sight.
(1Jo 3:23) And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, even as he gave us commandment.
(1Jo 3:24) And he that keepeth his commandments abideth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he gave us.

(Mat 7:21) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.
(Mat 7:22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works?
(Mat 7:23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
(Mat 7:24) Every one therefore that heareth these words of mine, and doeth them, shall be likened unto a wise man, who built his house upon the rock:

Google vs Microsoft

A bit iffy really that two huge companies war with each other in the way they do… {sigh}
But then again, on the other side of the {sigh} is a…
cool. it’s what makes companies healthy, string.. heck.. everything gets stronger with a little bit of sparring.

But the “war” reached my doorstep with Google’s recent toolbar update. I clicked the OK informational informing it was updated.. and then…

Ad-Watch recorded +4300 events within seconds! Dang! I thought i was under attack until i read the notification [they were all the same]:

Registry modification detected
Key: Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
Value: Search Page
New Data:

IE and Google battling it out to be the default search on my lone little machine.. :D… i had to engage in fairly lo-level advanced user diagnostics to stop my registry from being assualted and my machine slowing down- between IE, Google Toolbar and Ad-Watch, the discussions were getting pretty heavy.

Hey, Google.. How about letting the user decide who wins instead of trying to force your way in? It’s like you think you own my PC just because i chose to use your software? {gggrrrr}

Irritated is all.

FtpWebRequest Part II

.. following on from the first one, the project has now been updated to include some work with the new BackgroundWorker component available in Net 2.0… 😀

Creating responsive UI’s on lengthy processes has never been so easy!

including source code


After looking for a trim Ftp client library for .Net 1.1, .Net 2.0 releases with FtpWebRequest. I completely missed this one in the search to find *something*.

After hacking around with it for a very short while, it proved to be by far the easist “library” to integrate with… the fruits of that freely available here .

There’s not much to the code itself as most of it is just a straightforward copy-paste out of MSDN but it ends up being the very light file dumper i was looking for.