Monthly Archive for June, 2010

Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software

Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software is one of the books that you highly anticipate to read, given all the positive feedback in all the book reviews it’s listed. But I beg to differ.

I can not complain about how the book is structured and the case study it starts with. But from that point onward it’s going straight downhill. As I and other colleagues have come to realize after reading it, no sense of gratification is fulfilled, like other good technical books we’ve read. Basically I have finished the book with the same knowledge I’ve dived into it.

The book is too technically verbose, and lacks a simple way to describe the problems that the patterns solve.

If I weren’t familiar with most of the patterns provided in the book, I don’t think I would have managed to make sense of most of them while at the first read, and that is the excuse the book has to offer. The more you read it, the clearer it gets. Unfortunately that is not an excuse, especially for a book… and that is why I clearly wouldn’t make this book a recommendation for any fellow developer. It may have been da funk when it was first published, but it’s content does not shine that much in current days when we all are already used with design patterns, and do not see them as things that mystically solve problems.

Baseline: the easiest way to learn design patterns, is by facing the problems they solve on a daily basis; through programming.

Hamster applet – probably the best time tracking application

And I could say this in both a regretful and joyful voice.

In the last couple of days I was very eagerly looking for a time tracking application to replace the old pen & paper version, which I used in the last 6 months. There where only few requirements for it: simple interface, intuitive and unobtrusive towards my desktop (but that wasn’t a strict requirement). Along with some common sense features for a time tracker:

  • task tracking (doh!) stop and start timer
  • continue and pause task
  • time reports day, week and month
  • overviews of most time consuming tasks, or other features that make you feel warm and fuzzy

Of course before deciding on a single application I did test quite a few alternatives.
Continue reading ‘Hamster applet – probably the best time tracking application’