Kathy Sierra blogs about why Pair Programming is not always a choice.
As is often the case with Kathy's writing, she headed in a completely different direction than I had expected. For me pair programming is often not an option because I work at home most of the time, up on the third floor connected to the rest of the world with DSL, a telephone, and a clock radio. When I write code, I follow most of the XP practices - but I almost never pair. Am I doing XP? I don't know. There is a (possibly false) story about Kent Beck that explains that he is often in a similar work environment and can not pair. He has one of his children walk up to him periodically and say something like "are you sure there isn't another way to handle that".
For me, pair-programming is a wonderful practice that I just don't do (kind of like eating right and exercising). In Kathy's blog Pair Programming is NOT always a choice she talks about people who are truly loners who just need to work on their own. "Loners are the folks for whom being alone is not a condition to be avoided, but relished. For whom a Thanksgiving day spent hiking alone, coding a game, or reading a good book is far preferred to a day spent locked in a house with ten bickering relatives. Yet the Non-Loners of the world find it inconceivable that a holiday spent alone could be anything but a cause for pity. Loners not only don't mind, but in fact have a strong need for, being alone."
The first time I pair programmed was a terrifying experience for me. I am self-taught as a programmer and so when I sat down at a keyboard with someone else I was afraid I would be found out as a fraud. Instead, it helped me in ways I couldn't have anticipated. But despite my enjoying time alone and seeking it out, Kathy recognizes this distinction and writes that "an XP manager should spend time and energy to smoke out which of the reluctant programmers really ARE merely afraid vs. True Loners."
Also in today's Weblogs , Joshua Marinacci writes that The future is vectorized. He's "noticed a growing interest in SVG and vector displays. I'm personally a fan of vector formats since it makes a great base for interesting drawings in Photoshop, but I've started to discover other uses too." His post looks at SVG and desktop Linux.
Also in Java Today, when a web site doesn't respond, what's the first thing you do? You hit the link or button again and see if it responds this time. As Ivelin Ivanov and Kevin Chipalowsky explain in Using a Request Filter to Limit the Load on Web Applications , this is the worst thing that can happen to a web site that is unresponsive because it is under too high a load. Their solution is to "present the design of a filter that synchronizes client requests and restricts the load each user can put on your applications."
Scott Violet "provides an overview of a new look and feel, Synth, which can be completely customized without writing code, enabling even non-programmers to create new look and feels." In The Synth Look and Feel , Violet describes " he core concepts of Synth. It defines a style and a painter for that style, and then binds that style to a set of components. The style element defines a SynthStyle object. SynthStyle is very similar to UIDefaults, in that a SynthStyle consists of a set of style-related properties: fonts, insets, opacity, painters, and so on. Each component becomes associated with at least one SynthStyle. The ComponentUIs for Synth use a SynthStyle to obtain all style-related information."
Bill Dudney has created a project in the Education and Research community to host the source code for his book Mastering JavaServer Faces.
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