Saturday, July 19

On Second Thought: Naming Conventions

About five years ago, I wrote a rant about naming conventions inspired by my pet peeve of the redundancy between package names and the names of their contained classes. Essentially, I didn't like seeing things like recipe.RecipeList and proposed that recipe.List was a better choice.

The problem with this convention rears its ugly head in Java. If you need to reference two or more different classes with the same names in a block of Java, you have to fully qualify all but one of them. For example, you might be declaring variables like com.spumco.recipe.List recipeList = new com.spumco.recipe.List(). That's a tad verbose.

Dot Net made this a little more elegant, only requiring you to provide as much prefix as necessary for the compiler to differentiate the classes. For example, if you had com.spumco.recipe.List and com.cyberdyne.exercise.List you only need to reference them as recipe.List and exercise.List.

Therefore, on second thought, I have changed my spots when working in an environment that doesn't make it easy or elegant to differentiate between same-named classes, such as Java.

Wednesday, July 16

On Second Thought

On the drive into the office this morning, I was listening to one of the bazillion technology news/interview/round-table podcasts to which I subscribe, and the gentlemen on the microphones were going on and on and back and forth about an age old tech topic that has been beaten to death and then some. The particular topic isn't pertinent to my story; what matters is that I thought to myself, "I was dealing with that issue ten years ago, and I'm sure I've blogged about it long ago." And as an afterthought I wondered to myself, "What was my stance on the issue so many years ago? And, has it changed?" That inspired me to pull up some old posts from long ago, re-read them, and reconsider their tone. I was surprised to find that I had indeed changed my tune on an issue or two, so in the unforeseeable future I hope to pen a handful of "On Second Thought" posts where I revisit my former younger self and try to analyze the rhyme and reason of my flip flops.

Sunday, July 6

Book Review: Secrets of the Rock Star Programmers

Not many secrets revealed in this book, more-so just a collection of formulaic interviews. The author sits down with a little over a dozen industry celebrities and presents them with a thematic collection of questions, which are conveniently cataloged and charted by interview in an appendix. Admittedly I didn't know half the subjects in the book - I knew of their accomplishments, their companies, their products, but this was my first exposure to the people behind the curtain. The author peppers each interview with side notes comparing and contrasting one subject's response with another's - I liked that. It kept things more grounded to see that even though some two guys are considered experts in their field and they both speak very authoritatively, they completely disagree on some matters, reminding the reader that some topics are quite subjective and simply a matter of opinion or personal experience and not necessarily the law of the jungle. The questions asked and the people selected for the asking weren't entirely my cup of tea, but I enjoy a good interview with a smart person as much as the next programming geek, so I would recommend this book. My only major gripe is that it's not available in e-book form; I would have gladly paid for a digital copy but instead had to borrow the dead-tree version from the local library.