TFS: Scenario Coverage Analyzer

We use TFS at work, so I found this blog post on scenario coverage rather interesting.  I especially liked the Project Traceability Matrix which indicates code that can’t be traced back to a requirement.  Using attributes to connect assemblies and the methods they contain to individual requirements is a great idea.

I hope the author does a NCover-based version like he suggests.

I hate ObjectDataSource

They’re ok if all you want to do is display data in a GridView control (and sort it, page it, etc). They become a pain in the neck the moment you actually want to modify data. The only I could get modifications to work is was by naming the parameters of your class methods exactly the same as the table column names (I’m using strongly-typed datasets in this application). I suppose it’s not so bad if you’ve named the table columns sensibly. But the database I’ve inherited doesn’t have this property.

What’s worse is the error messages you get when you haven’t configured something correctly. You get an entirely unhelpful message like “ObjectDataSource could not find a non-generic method that has parameters”. The number of search results for that phrase should have clued me in that this control was sketchy.

That’s one of the drawbacks of these new controls from Microsoft. They’re supposed to be better than code you’d write yourself–but God help you if they don’t work and you have to figure out what’s wrong. It’s not like you can debug them.

A use for XCode that has nothing to do with writing software

I came across an old MacWorld tip while searching for a quick way to compare an iTunes folder on a backup drive with one on my new laptop.  FileMerge turns out to be quite a capable tool for comparing folders as well as files.  It made it a lot easier to figure out what was missing from the laptop and sync it to the backup drive.  It took awhile, since we’re talking about gigabytes of music files, but it worked.

Richard Stallman on Software Patents

I came across this opinion on software patents via the programming reddit.  It makes a great for why software patents are a problem without even mentioning Microsoft’s foray into patent trolling.

Stallman makes an interesting proposal for a new software-only form of intellectual property (IP) at the end of the piece.  Unfortunately, I don’t think it would survive the gauntlet of legislators (and lobbyists) to become law.