Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Generics in C#

This is reportedly the most exciting new feature in C# 2.0. Just for starters, take this MSDN white paper as an introduction.

Of course, take it with precaution and two aspirins. It's not easy.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Barcelona

It's been almost a complete disaster. Everything, absolutely everything that could gone wrong has gone worst. I've worked like a mule and it wasn't enough, I'll have to do as McArthur and come back. That's life.

On a lighter note, just the other day I was browsing the net and found a website that I thought would be perfect for posting here. Today that website has saved my butt. Save it on your Favorites folder, and remember it, cause it's a very, very good site for a quick reminder: ConnectionStrings.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Comfortable

I've had to go to an old client today. Ok, it's not exactly ancient, I was on that client's offices from last March to last June; but taking into account the recent paradigm shift, my holidays and everything else it seemed to me like a thousand years had passed since I last set foot in their offices.

And that was just my very first (and up to now only one, or at least the only official (read paid) one) project in C#. I had to go today to prepare the installation CD and to modify a migration routine, for the setup tomorrow on the final client at Barcelona. By the way, I don't believe I'll be able to post anything here tomorrow, cause I guess I'll be at Barna City for the better part of the day.

This post title comes about how very comfortable I've felt today crunching C# code and handling VS 2003 IDE after almost two weeks of dealing nakedly with Java, Notepad and the command console.

Ah! Glorious!

That CAPS+CTRL+B key combo for compiling, that F5 for running, that long and meaningful error messages, that step-by-step code debugging, and so on. Amazing.

And I've just realized that, if I keep it this way, I should have to rename this blog: instead of Codecruncher I should call myself the old moaning lady. It's over. This is my very last post groaning about my luck.

Of course, it won't be the last comparing C# with Java.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Good news

AS of right now, both versions of this blog are up to date. So there are no more excuses for not posting, and let's hope that from now on I manage to keep a posting ratio of at least 4 posts a week.

Friday, September 10, 2004

I'm making myself a man...

... with hair on my chest. Well, in my chest, in my face and in mine arse.

It's been two (really, reeeeaaaally long) days (since I've told you that I refused to read that tutorial on Eclipse, Lomboz and JBOSS until I had trhe slightest idea of what I was doing); it's been two days learning Java the hard way: crunching the code with EditPlus and compiling it on Window's command console. As I've said, I'm goint to grow hair in a lot of places.

Because Java compiler is, and of course I wouldn't expect otherwise, just a little cryptic. With concise, very concise error messages such as: cannot resolve symbol, or illegal start of expression. Of course, this is like Bryan Ferry's music: boring like hell but very elegant.

And all the time surfing the web and finding things like this about how Java coders unnecessarily complicate everything.

The thing that bugs me the most about this paradigm change, the most bugging argument (at least in my particular case) is that my firm wants to use GNU technologies because they are free. OK, they are, point taken. But up to the extent of my knowledge, Microsoft .NET Framework is completely free. Not a cent of a euro. Of course you can reply me that let's see who's the tough guy that codes a complete .NET Windows forms application using Notepad and the Frameworks compiler (more or less the thing I'm doing with Java, what the heck). But I could reply you that if you want some IDE and not paying a cent, you can always download WebMatrix for developing Web forms applications or any of the several editions of Express for developing Windows Forms. Not a cent charged. And that only from Microsoft, Im not counting third party initiatives such as Mono or Borland's C# Builder. And excuse all you hardcore Java users, but being all of them free C# Express IDE is so much better than Eclipse and NetBeans, both of them at the same time.

So I guess I'm doing this migration because I have no other option and because knowing another programming language will be good for me in the long run (as soon as I manage to not forget the things I already know); but in my humble opinion this is a step back just when things are getting really interesting.

And you don't have the slightest idea how angry this makes me.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Cursing in Java

Still alive, although up to here with the paradigm change: Java is a jungle!! This last three days I've read more websites, downloading books (legal and free, uh?) and generally soaking myself before starting to work with an specific IDE (and it seems that my firm uses Eclipse, with some plugins as Lomboz, and the application server JBOSS). There's a very good tutorial on using these here and aqui. But frankly, I don't think I could start right away programming a Bean using Eclipse and Lomboz and the rest of the circus: you can't start building a house by the ceiling, no matter the hurry you are in.

That's why I've decided to learn directly from the best, and I've bought via Amazon this book: Thinking in Java, 3rd Edition. Yeah, I know that this book (among others) is avaliable totally for free here.

But even knowing that, and that I'm already reading it on its electronic edition for the last two days, I've spent some $68 on buying it. I still prefer good old paper. But check this out: the book is around $32, I don't remember exactly, and I've payed some $36 only in UPS, because I've asked for the option of a courier service instead of normal postal service: I made my order yesterday (Sept. 7) and I'll get the book tomorrow, the 9th. I've already received a phone call from the courier offices in Spain to confirm it, in fact.

And I haven't asked for this kind of delivery because I'm in so much hurry to get the book (I'm not), or because I have my boss hitting my back with a whip for making me learn faster (I haven't). The thing is that the book price plus the courier service is still cheaper than the cost of an IT book some 1200+ pages on any Spanish bookstore; and that without taking into account that 3rd edition it's still unpublished here, to the extent of my knowledge. So I've made my calculations and I've afford the cockiness.

Plus, it seems that the guys at Sun are giving the finishing touches of the new version of the JDK (1.5), which comes to mean that a new version of the language is coming, which comes to mean that Eckel is finishing the 4th edition of his book. Ergo, as the Architect would say, I've bought a little obsolete book.

On a completely different note (and technology), I was surfing and snorkeling around the web soaking myself in Java and I get this: Anatomy of a software bug. It's an amazing post on Rick Schaut's blog, about how difficult it is to maintain some software projects, by giving us an insider point of view on MS Word's development. Really, really interesting.

Keep on reading.