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June 2009

Fluently NHibernate

Fluent NHibernate is an extension of the widely used and very popular NHibernate framework for Microsoft .NET. It is an open source framework that sits on top of the NHibernate layer and utilises all the core NHibernate methods. This framework provides an alternative to the standard XML based mappings (.hbm xml files) of NHibernate. It lets you define the NHibernate mappings in strongly typed and concise C# code.  Fo
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Digging a Hole and Covering it with Leaves — The Software Development Version

photo credit: Marco Arment Whenever I hear the plan uttered (and in my Wall Street consulting days, I heard this a lot), that we should build an HTML (or Flash) prototype, impress the client and then fill in the back end, an unwanted image comes to mind. We’re digging a hole (the missing 80% of the back end) and covering it with leaves (the HTML prototype) in the hopes that the client will fall in (impressing t
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The Importance of User Experience – Do You Understand It in Your Bones?

Business Week had an article earlier this week on Cloud Computing that made a complete hash of the subject. However, there was one paragraph that was right on the money: Apple and Google understand in their bones that simplicity and ease of use are essential to broad adoption of products and services. That lesson doesn’t come so naturally to Microsoft and IBM. That’s why we integrate user experience desig
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Writing Your Own Protocol With NSURLProtocol

I have a native iPhone application in development which requires me to interact with a server that uses a stateful protocol over a persistent connection to transfer messages over the wire. This is definitely not a trivial application to write, even though the UI itself is very simple. The Problem Stateful protocols and persistent connections are often interrelated, but not by design. My first problem was to divide th
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What's In Your Dock: iPhone edition

It’s been a while since I’ve been desparate enough to had a chance to do a nice “what’s in your toolbox” kind of post. In honor of the iPhone 3.0 upgrade, and Steve Jobs’ liver, let’s do an iPhone-toolbox post. I’m unabashedly happy with my phone, because it’s strengths and weaknesses mesh pretty well with my actual needs. It’s not that great a phone, but I
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Feature Fatigue

photo credit: stuartpilbrow Your project is going along fine. After the initial bumps, the team has reached max velocity and is running through story points like there’s no tomorrow. The demos are a success, with the client loving how everything is coming together. Communication between the team members and the client is working well, with enough give and take that all sides feel like they have a genuine stake in the
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ChicagoRuby meeting 'Test Prescriptions' recap

The ChicagoRuby users group (not to be confused with chirb.org another great Chicago Ruby user group) held their second meeting at their downtown location. While the meetings out in Elmhurst are always informative and helpful,  the downtown location may allow for a bigger crowd, and the weekday time might work better for more people. Plus, the Illinois Technology Association – Tech Nexus is right next to Union
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Mowing the grass, Revisited

photo credit: great_sea A few weeks ago Alice Toth and I had a conversation about how we can better serve our clients, and while we normally delve into project efficiencies like communication, developer training, and good QA practices, this time we both concluded that we need to do a better job of helping our clients reach their goals in the most efficient way possible, and sometimes that means talking them ‘do
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Agile Fundamentals: The Feedback Loop

When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. — John Wooden photo credit: mister b 1138 A few weeks ago I had a discussion with some colleagues on the adoption of Agile within large corporations. The consensus was that Agile was almost always adapted rather than adopted — that is, companies exclude those practices that conflict with corporate culture, modify those that seem too impracti
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Why I love the Internet, part 87

Check out the reader comment on this characteristically astute Dvorak screed from 2007. Kudos to MarketWatch for giving readers a voice equal in visual prominence to the headline of the column. Click to view in all its full-sized glory. via Daring Fireball.
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