Category Archives: Anecdotes

Writing unmaintainable code in five easy steps

I have recently had to modify some code that, to say the least, was very hard to maintain — or refactor, for that matter. The following are a few, firmly tongue-in-cheek, steps to make sure your code is thoroughly frustrating … Continue reading

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Eliminating waste as a way to optimize

I recently had a chance to work on an implementation of an Arachnida-based web server that had started using a lot of memory as new features were being added. Arachnida itself is pretty lean and comes with a number of … Continue reading

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The story of “Depends”

Today, I announced on behalf of my company, Vlinder Software, that we would no longer be supporting “Depends”, the dependency tracker. I think it may be worthwhile to tell you a by about the history of Depends, how it became … Continue reading

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Bayes’ theorem in non-functional requirements analysis — an example

I am not a mathematician, but I do like Bayes’ theorem for non-functional requirements analysis — and I’d like to present an example of its application.1 I was actually going to give a theoretical example of availability requirements, but then … Continue reading

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Why I didn’t buy a new iPad today

Behavioural economists will tell you that the “happy high” you get from buying a new toy, a new device, a new computer, a new car or a new house usually wares off within three months. It’s called the ever-receding horizon … Continue reading

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Radical Refactoring: Breaking Changes

One of the most common sources of bugs is ambiguity: some too-subtle API change that’s missed in a library update and introduces a subtle bug, that finally only gets found out in the field. My answer to that problem is … Continue reading

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Radical Refactoring: Have the compiler to (some of) the reviewing

One of the most common sources of bugs is ambiguity: some too-subtle API change that’s missed in a library update and introduces a subtle bug, that finally only gets found out in the field. My answer to that problem is … Continue reading

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Looking for bugs (in several wrong places)

I recently went on a bug-hunt in a huge system that I knew next to nothing about. The reason I went on this bug-hunt was because, although I didn’t know the system itself, I knew what the system was supposed … Continue reading

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