2010-06-15

Re-learning

It is funny how people vehemently argue (usually rightly so) what a bad idea outsourcing is;  then, when  they start their own company, outsource a vital part of their product to save cost, fall flat on their noses and finally re-discover what a bad idea outsourcing can be.

I shall behave myself and not...oh, what the hell: I TOLD YOU SO!

2010-06-14

Suspect job titles

Back in the 90s "web designer" was a cool job title.  For about five minutes.  Then the riffraff from the advertising industry flooded every corner of the business with the same sort of aesthetic sense as the people who make those annoying-as-hell inserts in magazines and newspapers.   You know, the ones that try to sell you discounted poultry -- or some stupid, cheap plastic rubbish to be inflated and then subsequently left in the garden until moss starts to grow on it.

Today, saying that you are a web-designer at a party carries the same social stigma as proudly announcing that you suffer from an infectous disease that is only transmitted by suspect lifestyle choices.  If you have tried to purchase a timepiece lately you'll know what I mean.  The websites of manufacturers of watches are made by people with syphilitic brains.  And I am being polite here.

About a year or two ago all these "social media" types popped up.  People who have a Twitter- or a Facebook account and somehow seem to have missed the irony of affixing the word "social" to professional grade anti-social behavior.  You are an annoying turd whether you stuff my mailbox full of glossy paper or you follow me around on the net to tell me about things I neither need to know or particularly want to know.

If you really want a conversation, let's talk about the fact that your hotel rooms reek, your flight reservation system is buggy, that your customer service is neither about customer nor service and that your staff has all the charm of soviet era gulag prison guards.  Oh yes, we're going to have that conversation if you keep stalking me.

2010-06-03

Your very own meme-amplifier

Want to buy yourself a meme-amplifier?  Just about now should be the right time to buy reddit.com if you have the cash lying around.

Congratulations Reddit.  You are the new Slashdot Digg.

2010-06-02

Logging in Java

One thing I have never understood is why people still insist on complicating logging in Java, now, almost a decade after Java got logging as part of the standard class library.  Logging is that one annoying thing that always means you need to fiddle a bit extra if you are integrating with certain libraries or frameworks.

I've heard a lot of incredibly stupid excuses for not using java.util.logging.  For instance if you object to the naming of the log levels you probably should find a different occupation.  Yes, they are stupid, but not impossibly so and there is nothing stopping you from extending them to something that is meaningful in your project.  To not use the standard mechanism for something because you object to an issue that BY DESIGN you can easily address is just plain un-intelligent.

Another complaint I often hear is that there is a lack of decent log handlers.  For instance log handlers that rotate log files etc.  Well, for eff's sake: write one then.  It takes you perhaps an hour to write a reasonably robust log handler that will rotate files, prune old files and even compress log files you aren't going to write more output to.  I've written a wide variety of log handlers for different uses over the years and the cumulative time it took me to write all of them is dwarfed by the amount of time I've had to spend dicking around with the clashes of differing logging religions.

I am not even going to talk about formatters since formatting an parsing information is beyond most programmers.  (No, really.  Designing formats that are meant to be parsed is generally not something you can expect even most seasoned programmers to do well).

If a fraction of the time spent on trying to make different logging libraries play nice with each other could be spent extending and adding to the standard logging mechanisms we'd have all manner of nice logging infrastructure based around java.util.logging now.

(Illustration in the top right corner is my opinion on the state of current "logging" technology :-)