General nonsense

World’s biggest mouse pointer

No idea what it’s about because I don’t speak Japanese, but this is pretty cool (in a ‘completely useless but…’ kind of way).

Via Ok/Cancel.

Agile BT

BT Agile Awards final

The CSAM-n team receiving our trophy

Wednesday night saw the end-of-year BT Agile Awards dinner, with all the recipients of the various quarterly awards gathering at the Royal Horseguards Hotel to eat, drink, and find out who’d won the overall team and individual awards for the year. It was a good night, made even better by the fact that we won the team award! Our prize is that we’re off to the Agile 2007 conference in Washington DC in August.

Congratulations also to Gregg Wyburn for winning the individual award, and to our current colleagues from the .NET SDK team, who picked up their quarter three award for best application of the BT agile values.

More photos from the night on Flickr (see also photos tagged with btagileawards – hopefully some more people will post and tag photos, but BT’s webfilter blocking Flickr doesn’t help).

Web 2.0

Jakob Nielsen on Web 2.0

According to the BBC, Jakob Nielsen claims that “Hype about Web 2.0 is making web firms neglect the basics of good design.” As you would expect, he makes some good points, but I’m not so sure about this bit:

“That was just bad,” he said. “The idea of community, user generated content and more dynamic web pages are not inherently bad in the same way, they should be secondary to the primary things sites should get right.”

“The main criticism or problem is that I do not think these things are as useful as the primary things,” he said.

Well-established patterns of user involvement with sites also led Mr Nielsen to question the sense of adopting Web 2.0 technologies.

Research suggests that users of a site split into three groups. One that regularly contributes (about 1%); a second that occasionally contributes (about 9%); and a majority who almost never contribute (90%).

By definition, said Mr Nielsen, only a small number of users are likely to make significant use of all the tools a site provides.

To my mind, one of the key things about “Web 2.0” – think Flickr, Twitter, Wikipedia etc, not just sites with AJAX and trendy colours – is that community and user generated content are at the heart of the site, not just an add-on. That means that those 1% who regularly contribute are absolutely central, and vital to the site’s success.

General nonsense Web21C

JohnMac and psd: the real story!

According to Twitter, anyway:

John’s one friend


Java Rails

Hi, I’m Ruby on Rails…

The guys over at Rails Envy have created an excellent J2EE vs Rails parody of Apple’s Get a Mac adverts:

Apparently there are more coming over the next few days.

General nonsense




The Way of Testivus

From the slightly-odd The Way of Testivus, via InfoQ:

The pupil asked the master programmer:
“When can I stop writing tests?”

The master answered:
“When you stop writing code.”

The pupil asked:
“When do I stop writing code?”

The master answered:
“When you become a manager.”

The pupil trembled and asked:
“When do I become a manager?”

The master answered:
“When you stop writing tests.”

The pupil rushed to write some tests.
He left skid marks.

If the code deserves to be written,
it deserves to have tests.

Agile Rails Ruby

Are we spending more and more time writing tests?

A while ago I wrote about testing trivialities, and claimed that no matter how simple the piece of code is, it still ought to have a test. I followed it up with some thoughts on using a helper to simplify writing specs for common validations. Even using the helper, the actual test code for a single validation outweighs the production code by a factor of more than three:


I hate British Summer Time

No, not the season – the clock change. The bizarre anachronistic ritual of spending six months of the year pretending that it’s an hour later than it really is.

General nonsense

Shutdown Day

Shutdown Day Tomorrow is Shutdown Day.

Can you survive for 24 hours without switching on your computer?

[Update] I managed. Did you?