Monday, August 28, 2006

FAGBOK: "Fit for Developing Software - Framework for Integrated Tests" av Rick Mugridge og Ward Cunningham

Fit er et rammeverk for å kjøre tester mot tabeller som inneholder testdata og forventede resultater. Data velikeholdes i HTML- eller Excel-tabeller. Rammeverket bygger sammen tabellene og de deler av systemet som skal testes. Resultatet av en Fit-kjøring presenteres i tilsvarende tabeller med avvik fra forventede resultater markert.
Det er enkelt for en bruker/tester å legge til og endre testdata.

Boken er greit skrevet og beskriver rammeverket på en lettforståelig måte. Den beskriver Fit for både programmerer og ikke-programmerer. Lest av en programmerer så blir den en smule lang....

Kan kjøpes på amazon.

Amazon sier:
Fitness, agility, and balance apply as much to software development as they do to athletic activities. We can admire the movements of a highly skilled dancer, skier, or athlete. Gracefulness comes from wasting no energy on unnecessary tension or balance recovery, so that effort can be focused exactly where it is needed, exactly when it is needed. The expert is continuously making small adjustments to stay aligned and in balance. Agile responses to unexpected changes distinguish the expert from the nonexpert, as their rebalancing adjustments are fluid and subtle and go unnoticed by nonexperts. Injury, pain, distractions, and poor concentration can wreck balance, reducing the expert's ability to respond well in a focused way. Much more effort is required to perform even at a substandard level. A high degree of fitness and practice is needed in order to build the required concentration, balance, agility, and focused power. This, inevitably, is a process of refinement over time, with attention given to more subtle aspects of risk assessment and response as expertise increases. The achievements of athletes have continued to improve over time, sometimes through changes that break assumptions about the activity or how best to train. Big changes are often met with skepticism but will slowly become accepted as the norm as they prove their worth. When we look at the efforts of most software developers, we see a lot of energy being wasted. In the rush to get software completed, there is often little time to reflect on how to improve the way we do things, how to get that special fitness, balance, and agility that allow us to be graceful in our intellectual efforts in order to achieve inspired results with less effort. We get unbalanced when we have to fix old bugs, losing flow. We often have to speculate about what's needed, and feedback is too slow. Our software becomes less than elegant and is difficult to change, with tensions and stresses building up in us and in our software. This book is intended to help improve your fitness and agility in two areas of software development where we can make huge improvements to current practice. First, improving communication between the people who need the software and the people who develop it, as well as show you how to express the business rules that are at the heart of a software solution. Second, how to use automated testing to provide immediate and effective feedback so we can maintain balance and agility and avoid "injury." The book also questions some common assumptions about the way in which software is developed. But we don't expect that you'll make a big leap of faith: We start with current practice and show how you make small yet effective improvements. Just like the dancer and the athlete, you will have to do more than simply read about how to do this. It is also necessary to practice.

Terningkast 4

Sunday, August 20, 2006

FAGBOK: "Agile Software Development with Scrum" av Ken Schwaber og Mike Beedle

En grei innføring i Scrum som altså er en smidig utviklingsmodell for software. Forfatterne virker nesten religiøst overbevist om at Scrum kan løse alle problemer i databransjen. De beskriver metoden ned til minste detalj. Etterhvert synes jeg at det blir litt mye gjentagelser og unødvendig utmaling av detaljer. Så jeg må innrømme at jeg hoppet over siste del av boken. Føler likevel at jeg har fått et godt bilde av metoden.

Kan kjøpes på amazon.

Amazon sier:
This book was written for several audiences. Our first audience is application development managers that need to deliver software to production in short development cycles while mitigating the inherent risks of software development. Our second audience is the software development community at large. To them, this book sends a profound message: Scrum represents a new, more accurate way of doing software development that Is based on the assumption that software is a new product every time that it is written or composed. Once this assumption is understood and accepted, it is easy to arrive at the conclusion that software requires a great deal of research and creativity, and the therefore it is better served by a new set of practices that generate a self-organizing structure while simultaneously reducing risk and uncertainty. Finally, we have also written this book for a general audience that includes everyone involved in a project where there is constant change and unpredictable events. For this audience Scrum provides a general-purpose project management system that delivers, while it thrives on change and adapts to unpredictable events. Software as "new product" as presented in this book, is radically different from software as "manufactured product", the standard model made for software development throughout the last 20 years. Manufacture-like software methods assume that predictability comes from defined and repeatable processes, organizations, and development roles; while Scrum assumes the process, the organization, and the development roles are emergent but statistically predictable, and that they arise from applying simple practices, patterns and rules. Scrum is in fact much more predictable and effective than manufacturing-like processes, because when the Scrum practices, patterns and rules are applied diligently, the outcome is always; 1) higher productivity, 2) higher adaptability, 3) less risk and uncertainty, and 4) greater human comfort. The case studies we provide in this book will show that Scrum doesn't provide marginal productivity gains like process improvements that yield 5-25% efficiencies. When we say Scrum provides higher productivity, we often mean several orders of magnitude higher i.e. several 100 percents higher. When we say higher adaptability, we mean coping with radical change. In some case studies, we present cases where software projects morphed from simple applications in a single domain to complex applications across multiple domains: Scrum still managed while providing greater human comfort to everyone involved. Finally, we show through case studies that Scrum reduces risk and uncertainty by making everything visible early and often to all the people involved and by allowing adjustments to be made as early as possible. Throughout this book we provide 3 basic things: 1) an understanding of why this new thinking of software as new product development is necessary, 2) a thorough description of the Scrum practices that match this new way of thinking with plenty of examples, and 3) a large amount of end-to-end case studies that show how a wide range of people and projects have been successful using Scrum for the last 6 years. This last point is our most compelling argument: The success of Scrum is overwhelming. Scrum has produced by now billions of dollars in operating software in domains as varied as finance, trading, banking, telecommunications, benefits management, healthcare, insurance, e-commerce, manufacturing and even scientific environments. It is our hope that you, the reader of this book, will also enjoy the benefits of Scrum, whether as a development staff member wishing to work in a more predictable, more comforting, and higher producing environment, or as a manager desiring to finally bring certainty to software development in your organization. -- Mike Beedle, Chicago Ken Schwaber, Boston

Terningkast 4

ROMAN: "Eleven on Top" av Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Plum jobber som en uvanlig klossete dusørjeger (bounty hunter). I denne boken prøver hun å bytte til en mere respektabel jobb. Samtidig jages hun av en tidligere kunde....

Dette er en bokserie som nå er kommet til bok elleve (jfr tittelen). Meget upretensiøs og trivelig underholdning. Det er ikke så stor forskjell på de forskjellige bøkene i serien; de følger et ganske fast mønster. En enkel intrige som Stephanie roter seg inn i og som hun får hjelp til å komme ut av av en mye tøffere kollega og sin nesten-kjæreste i politiet.

Kan kjøpes på

Amazon sier:
Stephanie Plum, Trenton's favorite bondswoman, is having a career crisis, which gives Janet Evanovich plenty of opportunities to showcase her series heroine in a variety of alternative vocations, from dry cleaner to factory worker. Most of them don't last a full working day, which is good for the reader, since it plunges Stephanie back into the always seedy, often dangerous, and always colorful world of fugitives who'd rather flee than face their day in court. She may be tired of having her life threatened, her cars torched or blown up, and her apartment broken into, but one thing she can say about her job is that it's never boring... and neither is she. Despite her intentions of going straight at a job with a little more security and a bit less excitement, an old client won't let her--he keeps leaving her threatening notes, stalking and scaring her, and making sure she needs the protection of the two men in her life--Joe Morelli, the sexy cop who's been bedding her since high school, and Ranger, the even sexier tough guy who can take down the meanest fugitive around but has a tender spot in his heart for the plucky Ms. Plum. All Evanovich fans' favorite characters people this sprightly caper novel, including Lula, the fast-food-chomping former hooker who's hot to take over Stephanie's job but really belongs in a WWE Takedown; Grandma Mazur, who'd rather go to a wake than a fancy-dress ball; Grandma Bella, the matriarch of the Corelli family whose evil eye frightens even the indomitable Stephanie; and Valerie, Stephanie's sister, who's about to embark on another trip to the altar. A great beach read, Eleven on Top is a guilty pleasure that will delight readers of the author's 10 earlier novels and should win her even more fans. --Jane Adams

Terningkast 5

Monday, August 14, 2006

FAGBOK: "User Interface Design for programmers" av Joel Spolsky

Idéen er jo god: en bok om konstruksjon av brukergrensesnitt som er myntet på programmereren. Det er nok riktig som det sies på omslaget at mange programmerere ikke liker å lage brukergrensesnitt fordi de føler at dette er et område som egentlig passer best for grafiske designere - kreative og dramatiske folk i svarte klær.
Så forfatteren går gjennom et antall temaer innen brukergrensesnitt og kommer med råd og forklaringer om hvordan de bør utformes. Problemet er at det meste ender opp med å bli eksempler på feil Microsoft har gjort og beskrivelser av hvordan Joel Spolsky ville gjort det istedet. Jeg har før nevnt at Joel Spolsky har et ego som er ganske enormt. Han har dessuten jobbet i Microsoft og det kan virke som om han har et uforløst forhold til dem.

Boken har pene, tykke sider og mange fine fargeillustrasjoner. Dessverre er det det eneste positive som jeg egentlig sitter igjen med.

Kan kjøpes på amazon hvis man absolutt vil sløse bort pengene sine.

Amazon sier:
"Full color guide showing any programmer how to become a good user interface designer. Discusses information programmers need to know, and features examples of what to do and not to do with user interfaces. Poses logical rules that can be used without artistic talent. Softcover."

Terningkast 1

FAGBOK(?): "Consider the Lobster" av Davis Foster Wallace

DFW er den mest gledelige oppdagelse jeg har gjort på lenge. Han er den nålevende forfatter som jeg kjenner som best kombinerer humor med intelligens. Denne essaysamlingen spenner over et stort spekter. To eksempler:
"Big Red Son" er en reportasje fra Adult Video News Awards som altså er pornobransjens Oscar-utdeling. Her minner han litt om Hunter Thompson, men tar den (heldigvis) ikke så langt ut. Jeg har faktisk funnet dette essayet på nettet, så de som vil ha en forsmak på DFW kan se her.
NB: selv ikke den mest ihuga feminist vil betrakte dette som porno (tror jeg).

"Authority and American Usage" er en anmeldelse av siste utgave av "A Dictionary of Modern American Usage". Han går grundig til verks og analyserer forskjellen mellom de som mener at språket skal være statisk og de som mener at språket mest mulig skal tilpasses slik folk faktisk snakker. Dette virker kanskje ikke så veldig spennende, men hvis man har et fnugg av interesse for språk så er dette meget interessant stoff.

DFW skriver langt og med masse detaljer. Så mye detaljer at han ofte velger å bruke fotnoter. I det siste essayet jeg nevnte så tror jeg at det faktisk er mere tekst i fotnotene enn i selve artikkelen.

Kan kjøpes på amazon.

Publishers Weekly sier:
"Novelist Wallace (Infinite Jest) might just be the smartest essayist writing today. His topics are various—this new collection treats porn, sports autobiographies and the vagaries of English usage, among others—his perspective always slightly askew and his observations on point. Wallace is also frustrating to read. This arises from a few habits that have elevated him to the level of both cause célèbre and enfant terrible in the world of letters. For one thing, he uses abbrs. w/r/t just about everything without warning or, most of the time, context. For another, he inserts long footnotes and parenthetical asides that by all rights should be part of the main texts (N.B.: These usually occur in the middle of phrases, so that the reader cannot recall the context by the time the parentheses are wrapped up) but never are. These tricks are adequately postmodern (a term Wallace is intelligent enough to question) to prove his cleverness. But a writer this gifted doesn't need such cleverness. Wallace's words and ideas, as well as a wonderful sense of observation that makes even the most shopworn themes seem fresh, should suffice."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Terningkast 6

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

FAGBOK(?): "French Revolutions" av Tim Moore

Tim Moore er en slags engelsk utgave av "Harald gjør ting han ikke kan". Men han setter ut på mye større prosjekter enn Harald. I denne boken sykler han Tour de France! Han er i dårlig form, vet ingenting om konkurransesykling og kan nesten ikke noe fransk. Så han finner da ut at han skal sykle alle etappene i Tour de France. Ikke i selve konkurransen, men like før, så snart årets rute er publisert.

Tim More skriver lange setninger som er fulle av humor og selvironi. Svært mye å glede seg over på hver eneste side.
For eksempel: "Cycling is the national sport of France, so I'm slightly annoyed with myself for failing to predict that it is consequently impossible to take bicycles on French trains. Or, even more appropriately, that it is possible, but only on randomly selected local services, and on the condition that the bicycle is dismantled, boxed, put on a freight train scheduled to show up seventy-two hours after your own before being thrown into the canal by a mob of opticians protesting about biscuit subsidies."

Kan kjøpes på

Amazon sier:
"With every book, this British writer inches ever closer to mastering Bill Bryson's unique mixture of travelogue and comedy. His latest offering finds the author on the roads and highways of France, Switzerland, and Germany, a 36-year-old novice cyclist trying to complete the Tour de France. Not the actual Tour de France, that is. Moore set off on the course several weeks before the actual race began, just to see if he could finish all 2,256 miles of it. Like his previous books, Frost on My Moustache (2000) and The Grand Tour (2001), this is not so much a travelogue as a travel situation comedy. Like the protagonist of a sitcom, things just keep happening to Moore: he finds himself in the unlikeliest of places, meeting the unlikeliest of people. He charts his tour progress with an impish wit, never taking anything too seriously, and is engagingly honest about his own shortcomings as a Tour de France cyclist. (He cheats, in other words.) Moore, and the reader, develop a greater understanding of what it takes to be a true tour cyclist: equal parts determination, stamina, and lunacy. His descriptions of the places he visits make these small towns and villages seem instantly familiar; the people he encounters become as real as our closest friends. About halfway through the book, we realize that it doesn't really matter whether he finishes the course; getting there is all the fun. A must for fans of offbeat travel books by the likes of Bryson, Calvin Trillin, and Tony Hawks. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Terningkast 6

FAGBOK(?): "Stripper Shoes" av Cheryl S. Bartlett, Ph.D.

Forfatteren mistrives arbeidsmiljøet i sin nye jobb i et konsulentfirma. Hun jobber med datasystemer og har Ph.D. i statistikk. Familien har dårlig råd siden de nettopp har flyttet. Så for å tjene litt ekstra og for å finne et miljø hvor hun blir respektert så begynner hun som stripper(!). Boken beskriver hennes nye yrke, hennes nye kolleger og ikke minst hennes kunder. Interessant og ikke-pornografisk blikk inn et miljø som de fleste av oss kjenner lite til - ihvertfall fra innsiden.

Forfatteren må ihvertfall leve i et meget tillitsfullt og åpent ekteskap. Hennes mann kjente hele tiden til hennes nye deltidsjobb. Barna fikk ikke vite det før litt senere, men det er hennes sønn som har laget omslagsbildet på boken.

Kan kjøpes på amazon.

Terningkast 5