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The word of the day is iatrogenic which means "they are sick because the doctor fucked up". Nice.
My ankle has been bothering me for a bit and it wasn't getting any better. Rest wasn't helping, so I tried exercise today. Not my fastest run by any stretch of the imagination, but good. And my ankle feels okay.
One reason I want to get back to running soon is that I have entered in the CIBC run for a cure which is on Sunday Oct. 3rd. It'll be good to do another event, and a bunch of people that I know are doing it (Laura and Liz). Yay! Running event! The funny thing (to me) is this event's route is more or less my favourite lunch route. Nice. ;-)
One of the things that I feel I differ to others is how I perceive the word "hacker" when referring to people who write code. My mental image of a hacker is someone who sits in a room alone, pounding away at a dirty keyboard eating food from the vending machine while saving the day for the whole company / project. This person is someone who if left the project, it would fail. They can solve any problem in a matter of minutes and have an ego the size of a baseball stadium. They follow no process that is apparent to anyone "outside" and lack communication skills. Not a "team player".
Now other people hold hackers in high esteem. They are the demigods of the software world. Everyone should be more like them. If you can't think in cryptic code and obscure, complicated methods, you're just a lowly code monkey only ever to update the software that they wrote.
Well, like Ryan said, I'd rather be a great Software Engineer. I guess it's like in baseball I'd rather have a team of people who always go out and hit singles, than having a so-so team with one star player who hits home runs. I think that it's a better investment to teach people how to hit singles all the time rather than to point to the person hitting home runs and say "be like them!".
Maybe I'm just too new the the software world, I don't know. But the software world is pretty new itself. We'll see how it plays out, but I hope that the focus is about everyone being well trained and capable of producing stable, consistent sw that solves the customer's problem. Sure, the industry still have it's stars, but if you don't need to have a star to deliver a well made product, I'll be happy. We'll have the tools to be able to manage and monitor the work (not the people!) to ensure that we are doing what we should.
I'm blogging about this in the hope that this will help other people and save them the time that I have wasted tracking this down.
Like I have blogged about before, using labels in html forms is a good thing. It makes the form easier to use, and over all is much nicer. I think that this is especially true for checkboxes and radio buttons.
Now, we are using struts for our app, and as recomended we are using a multibox to manage a group of related check boxes. Now the trouble is that I could not figure out how to add a html label. The spec says that you don't have to use the "for" attribute, but I found that it didn't seem to work this way in IE (works in Firefox of course). And the example that everyone points to didn't use labels.
Now, using the example, for it to work I had to add in a cast and use some java code (not tags!) to get it to work. Here is the modified example:
<logic:iterate id="item" property="items">
<label for="selectedItems.<bean:write name="item" property="label"/>">
styleId='<%="selectedItems." + ((org.apache.struts.util.LabelValueBean)item).getLabel()%>'>
<bean:write name="item" property="value"/>
<bean:write name="item" property="label"/>
The changes are the styleId and the label tags. Not the best experience, but I hope that this will save someone else the time that it has cost me.
Update: I changed the id to point to the label and not the value. The label is more likely to be unique on the page. My bad.
Update 2: I made the changes that I mentioned in the post to ensure that the label is unique in the form. ;-)
One thing that I found myself to be a sucker for over the years: star wars games. I have recently gotten my hands on Star Wars Battlefront and it looks great. There's just one tiny problem: I can't play it on my laptop. There is no way that my box even comes close to having the requirements for this game, and this is a game where you would want to have no lag in any way. So now I find myself with a reason to actually upgrade my computer after so many years. Strange.
I have my linux box sitting next to me right now, so I think that I'll check that out. I think that it's only at 800 MHz though, so I might have to do a few things before I have a "gaming box". Like 1) get a graphics card that can handle the game 2) Make sure I have enough RAM and hd space for it 3) make it a dual boot so that I can still have a linux box to play around with? and 4) I would probably need a better monitor, but that's farther down the road.
The whole reason why I made a linux box was so that I could play around with having a nice stable computer that I could use as a file server. Well, it is stable, but that's mostly because I never turn it on. And a file server? Well, I could never figure out how to get samba working so I just got an external USB drive for my laptop with a 120 G drive. I would like to be able to work from home, and it would be a good idea to have something that would allow me to do this....
One suggestion that was made to me today was to just a couple of removable drives and just swap out to the OS that I want to run. This sounds good, but 1) I would have to get another drive (not a problem) and 2) I would have to get a couple of the swappable drives bays. So many decisions... I think that I'll mull this over eating supper.
Anyone have the hardware to be able to run Star Wars Battlefront? Is it any good?
Somehow this past weekend while going up to the cottage and closing up the boats, dock, etc. I slightly twisted my ankle. Now it's not bad enough to cause me to go out and get crutches, but it's annoying in that I walk with a bit of a limp. *sigh* I couldn't go for a run this morning. I think that I'll just have to be careful. Ah well. Damn.
I was trying something that I had the cd image for the other day, but I didn't really want to go to the trouble of burning the CD's just so I could do that. Then I found daemon tools that lets you create a virtual cd rom drive. I had no problems with it, everything went smoothly. It's free for personal use, but if you had a business (internet cafe) you could use it to have a bunch of virtual cd roms on your server and just change what image is in that drive. I found it's faster to change what iso / cab file is in there compared to changing a physical cd rom. Cool. ;-) And I guess this would work for you if you had a dvd image, but no dvd burner.... ;-)
Well, I think that I am finally in the market for a digital camera. Right now I am thinking about something with 4-5 M px, 3x optical zoom, lots of memory, and small-ish. ;-) Another requirement that I have (because my dad's sucks at this) is speed. There is nothing worse than seeing the perfect picture, clicking the button, and having it take 2 seconds to take the shot while you missed that perfect moment.
So, I'm going to shop around for a while. Anyone has anything good / bad to say about any camera or other advice?
They got me good here at work today. Very good. Well thought out and executed plans. I'll update this entry later when I get the pictures.
Update: right now I don't plan to post the photos... they were taken with a cell phone and don't really do it justice at all. So disappointing, but what can you do?
Stolen from slashdot:
The real trouble with reality is that there's no background music.
Today I went for my earliest run ever. We started at 6:30 am. I didn't even know that other people were out at that time... crazy. I think that I'll take a nap now...
Sometimes life is like a box of chocolates: tasty, sweet, and wonderful. Other times you end up getting the bad ones that leave a nasty taste in your mouth. Today my friends is one of those days. *sigh* Ah well. Time to roll with the punches and just make the best of the options that I have.
Update: What I was upset about was all a joke. My boss got me good. Revenge will be sweet though. :-P
One of the best things that I feel I took away after working on our 4th year project at school was software process. I think that was the whole point, so I feel good about my experience. Not only have I been using test driven development for a while now, but I'm starting to use other "tricks" that have been picked up. Like keeping 2 test suites, one that is always green, one where developers can put tests that they want to pass, but don't have time to work on a special case of a feature right now. This really comes from discussions and posts with Ryan (here, here, and here).
I just think that I am able to apply so much from one "class" to what I am doing in the real world. I think that I have had too many classes where I don't think that I will ever use anything that was taught to me in there. I think that I just like practical things. ;-)
Well, it's been almost a month since we've moved out, and we are getting our bed exchanged tonight. I just can't sleep on a firm bed. Needless so say, I'm really looking forward to getting a softer bed and hopefully being able to sleep.
It's really interesting how large an affect having / not having a good night's sleep can have on your whole day. Maybe now I won't need my morning coffee. Probably not though.
Just after I installed Firefox, they have come out with a new version. I like the new one. I don't think that I even need the google toolbar for firefox since there is a google search area in the browser, and it has highlighting with the new find. Sweeeet!
One thing that I love about unit tests is the fact that they allow you to be a bit experimental. There are parts of code that I understand why they were written in a certain way (I could have written them!) but I don't like it. They just have a bad, icky feeling about them. So I think of a new way to write the code, comment out the old code, play around, and as long as my new, cleaner, simpler solution passes all the tests, it gets checked in.
There is such a freedom that you feel when you have tests that you can't get without. I often wonder how other people (and me) programmed without having a test suite. How did we make changes? I still can't believe how simple unit tests are, and just how powerful they are. Crazy.
Update: Ryan had some excellent comments about this. I totally agree with the "if it an't broke, don't fix it" approach. In the case that I talked about above, it was because of a requirement change that I allowed myself to change the code, not because I felt like it. That's one thing that I find about XP: nothing is new or super "cutting edge", it seems to take a lot of best practises and common sense. But like a lot of other things, it becomes more than the sum of its parts. I can see that as being one of the road blocks for adopting XP, but that's another blog post altogether.
Anyone else think it's a little funny that at first OS's came free with your computer hardware; then as costs of hardware dropped (i.e. fell like a stone), they started to charge for the OS and other sw; now "free" sw is gaining ground again but instead of just making money off the sw, it's all subscription packages? I just think that it's interesting...
[end of random thought]
Well, with increased visibility comes increased spam. Today I was hit with my first big attack of blog spam. It was definally over 300, but I would guess that it was closer to 500 spam. Really nasty stuff too. People are sick. I'm just really disgusted right now. Time for a run.
Some interesting comments from Matthew Langham. That's one thing that I have not thought of before. The 'net as a medium allowing us not only to communicate faster and more open, but it is also distributing the information, our information, out of our control. This goes back to comments from Ryan about when you publish your blog (and everything else), you loose control over it. There are copies out there floating around that you would have no idea that they exist, let alone the ability to remove them, edit them, or choose who will see them.
I can see this as being a huge change to our society and I bet we won't even have noticed it till it's all done. In a couple of generations, I bet it will be a strange thought that you will not be able to find what used to be considered very personal info / data in a public forum. Imagine that your grandkids will be able to check out when you were blogging about that hot chick or getting really drunk last night.
All the data will still be personal to someone, but not most people. I think that the effect of this will be just that society will get more relaxed (which I think is a good thing). Maybe it will also mean that people will behave more consistently in different groups because members of each group will be able to see how the person behaves in the other group, but I doubt it. That's too much of a change.
I guess that in a way this is what we have been taught to do since we were children: share with others.
My computer downloaded WinXP SP2, but I'm a little leery of installing it. Has anyone else done it, and if so, has anyone had any troubles with it? God, I should make backups...
After being frustrated with mozilla 7.2 not having a spell checker (for forms) anymore, I finally made the move to firefox. Then I installed spellbound and the Noia 2.0 theme. It's only been about 5 minutes, but I think that I like it. It actually does seem faster, but maybe it's all in my head. Either way, I can spell check things again. (and my browser seems mac-like, which is a strange feeling).
I think that gmail accounts are starting to flood "nerd" circles. There were services that are no longer running where you would be able to offer gmail invites. The last time that I saw it running, there was just 20+ just sitting there... Nerds only have so many friends you know. Well, maybe just so many that are gmail worthy. A lot of people are like "what? Another email account? No thanks.". What they don't understand is how nice the interface is.
A co-worker of mine keeps on giving them away, but then they keep on bumping him back up to 6. One day it will go out of bata, but there will not really be a flood of new accounts 'cause everyone will already have them. I think that their strategy is really smart, but I guess that's why they employ mostly PhD's...
Well, I think for the first time ever I can be found on google. Other searches bring up this page too. Weird. Does this now mean that I should be insightful, witty, and spel thigns rigth? Naaa... ;-P
To everyone starting school again, whether it is grade 2, grade 19, or somewhere in between, I wish you all the best. ;-)
Knowing that it can happen, and after reading Ryan's "Blogging Might Get You Fired" post, I feel a bit more nervous posting. Why? I don't think that I am saying anything that could reflect poorly on my employer or would reveal secrets. But I don't think that the other bloggers that got fired felt that way also. We keep on looking at those examples and saying "they never got warned at all, just fired". I guess the bloggers that do get warned never post "Hey look at me! This could get me fired! Let's see how far I can go. Weeee!!!"
It's a big deal now I guess... what's the fun in being able to blog if you can't talk about what's happening with your life? Not giving details is cool, but in general. *sigh*
The one that got me was the story where someone got fired for talking about moving from JSP's to PHP. Now, I would never have thought that was a secret in any way. Wouldn't you be able to tell from looking at the webpage? Yikes. To protect myself, do I have to pretend that I don't even go to work? Or should I use a level of secrecy like if I was working for csis or something?
The thing that I don't understand about that last example about revealing moving from one tech to another, does that mean you can't put on your resume what you have been doing?
I'm a bit confused. I'm not sure if I will mention work anymore. But I want to, damnit. Maybe I'll just become a secret agent man and have a nice clear line of what I can / cannot say.
Not that I haven't soaked my running clothes before, but I still need practise. I took my white shirt and black shorts (which I have soaked before together) and decided to add in my red towel and some other black clothes. *sigh* Wrong. I ended up with a pink shirt and socks. I (with direction from Laura) was able to get the shirt white again (with some black spots) but the socks are pretty pink. Ah well. Lesson learned (hopefully). :-P
A couple of times over the last couple of months I've thought that events would unfold a certain way (badly) and in the time coming up to these events have prepared for the worse. Then the even happens, and it goes fine, without problems.
Now, this by itself is good news. The bad part is the wasted emotion and anxiety before the event. But in a way it is good, in that it teaches me (and hopefully I'll learn) how to better predict the likely outcome for an event. Really, it's just studying human nature / behaviour more.