The Pragmatic Programmers Interview

O’Reilly Network interviews the Pragmatic Programmers Andy Hunt and Dave Thomas in OnLamp. Many nuggets including this one:

Ward Cunningham once told me “With better IDEs, static languages such as Java are almost as easy to program in as dynamic languages.” You’re both fans of the Ruby language, especially when compared to more static languages. Do you think that the potential shift to writing business applications in slightly more dynamic languages such as Java and C# […] is good for programmer productivity and ease, or do those languages not go far enough?
… Java and C# are not really dynamic in any meaningful way. Memory management is a small part of the picture, but the real gains in these more dynamic languages come from different areas, particularly from a flexible type model and from the ability to metaprogram.

Ultimately, it comes down to ease of expression. If I can express myself in code at a level closer to the problem domain, then I’m going to be more effective, and my code is likely to be easier to maintain and extend…I know some companies are using [problem domain code] with great success. And you know — they’re keeping quiet about it.

England rue bad luck

Well what a match!

I blame Motson … he couldn’t resist telling us how England had been in this or that situation before and lost! But I’m not gutted because we played well and went down fighting. Roll on the world cup!

Frank  Lampard, scorer of the extra time equalizer [image (c) BBC]

Summer school blogging exercise kicks off!

In about 45 minutes time (19.00 BST) I will be teaching some Engineering Summer School students how to register for, set up and use a group blog. Should be fun. The title link is to the support site.

The only fly in the ointment is that England’s Euro2004 Quarter Final against host nation Portugal kicks off at 19.45! Still, nanny has given us all permission to leave early, so hopefully we won’t miss much! In the mean-time, here’s the BBCi pre-match report.


Another approach to UML diagramming. This time publicised in Martin Fowler’s Blicki: MF Bliki: UmlSketchingTools. UMLGraph uses a mixure of javadoc tags and pic macros to do the hard work. Dr Spinelis argues for his declaritive approch in “On the Declarative Specification of Models, IEEE Software, 20(2):94-96, March/April 2003 which is on-line in PDF format at Worth a look I think — as is the author’s (Domidis Spinellis) book Code Reading.

Visual Thought

Jeremy Rayner’s June 15 blog entry directed me to another free drawing tool for UML diagrams. Thanks for the link!


p>I mentioned violet a couple of days ago. It is really simple, unfortunately it doesn’t have the ability to move classes around once positioned. This makes it a a bit hard to use. It is open source so that could be fixed of course!


p>Visual Thought is a drawing tool so it has the same advantages as Visio in that it’s not designed for MDA or for code generation, so you can happily use it for agile modelling. As I have some modelling to do over the summer as I rewrite my Client-Server Programming in Java Module, I’ll let you know how it goes!