Thursday, February 10, 2005

Increasing coverage and refactorability for code with no unit tests

Note to self: I have some new ideas about improving test coverage and refactorability for a legacy codebase with few existing unit tests where writing tests is extremely hard due to high coupling. Hopefully more to come on this soon...

11:02:47 PM      comment []  trackback []
Tagging, metadata and folksonomies

I feel like I should weigh in on this briefly. The web is all abuzz about "folksonomies", tagging (both and Technorati) and loose classifications. As Dan Bricklin, Dave Winer, Dare Obasanjo and others are pointing out, there are lots of reasons why these tags don't scale, and I agree with all of them:

  • Semantically incorrect (multiple meanings)
  • Content authors too lazy to properly tag content
  • Author-driven tagging error-prone and incoherent as a whole
  • Not how the majority of us probably think (my own conclusion).

Now some will point out that there are socially interesting overlaps and serendipitous events that occur when similarly tagged information is displayed together. Point granted. But the web as a whole is not going to grow up around this kind of system. Looking for patterns in the ways that individuals categorize and tag their own information is like assuming that all people respond to a Rorschach test in the same way.

In the end, I think as Dave points out most of us are too lazy to take the time to painstakingly categorize our work beyond a certain point. Perhaps that's why search as a means of organizing information seems to be eclipsing hierarchical organization. Rather than spend the time up front organizing our information, it's easier to be lazy, simply save an impression in our heads and recall the full details later with a few keywords. If only there was a Google for all the paper and clutter in the physical world!

10:14:56 PM      comment []  trackback []
Some good ones from IT Conversations

IT Conversations is a fantastic site with a huge archive of audio shows containing thoughtful commentary on contemporary technical and popular culture issues. If you're just hopping on the podcasting trend, or just want to hear a couple of good podcasts without subscribing, here are a few shows worth listening to on your walk, in your car, or even while sitting at your computer:

And for the more technically inclined, a couple software/IT-related items:

9:32:21 PM      comment []  trackback []
ProxiDate, meet singles over Bluetooth


You'd have to seriously believe in love against all odds and possibilities to think your future significant other has a cellphone with Bluetooth, knows how to operate said phone and Bluetooth, has ProxiDating installed, and happens to be within range of you at that moment....

While we're at it, maybe it's time to review all our old EUNUCH manuals lest the Bluetooth interaction get too messy...

3:27:46 PM      comment []  trackback []
Google Map Queries in XML

As Jon Udell points out via proxy from elsewhere, Google maps are XML. Check out this query for pizza near Eden Prairie. I wonder how long this feature will remain open to public consumption?

10:07:11 AM      comment []  trackback []