I had this idea about an underground house. Not an original idea I am certain! However I had a small twist on it. It would be cool if the house were built off site!?
Thursday, 31 March 2011
Wednesday, 30 March 2011
After listening to .Net Rocks with Scott Millett this week I felt a renewed enthusiasm for trying out some BDD. I downloaded Specflow and got straight on with the screen cast they have on their website. The video acts as a good introduction into how to get up and running in Specflow. Interestingly it also gave me a better insight into how bowling works. I have never really thought about it. I normally just wang the balls down the lane until the game is over!
Specflow introduces the idea of writing the specification first. It uses a specific language called Gherkin which comes from Ruby land. You will need NUnit installed as well. An example of it is:
[edit: NUnit is what I have used up to now but Specflow is compatible with other testing frameworks aswell. See the comments section below.]
In order to have a strong password
As a new user or existing user changing my password
I need to check if my password is alphanumeric and is greater than 6 characters
Scenario: Password only comprises of characters
Given I have entered "nottinghamforest" as my new password
When I press save
Then the system should reject the password
And say "The password must be alphanumeric and greater than 6 characters"
It's a fairly straight forward language. Although I really want to use it for a new asp.net mvc project I have in mind and I am not quite sure how to write out features and scenarios for things like "The user clicks on the drivers link and can then view a list of current drivers on the system...". I am currently cruising the Google Group for Specflow though and have spotted a couple of examples that might help me. I have previously been doubtful of Specflow and this specification malarky before, favouring just writing unit tests in a certain way instead. For example WhenCreatingANewPassword.ThePasswordMustBeAlphaNumeric. However after messing about with this for 2 days I can really see where this might come in useful.
I had a go at my own clean version of BDD using Specflow by making a very simple password strenght checker project. The winning thing about it? I wrote the spec on my netbook in notepad++ last night whilst watching Terminator 2. No coding was done. I then brought it into work this morning, put the feature file in. Added the steps file (which was very short because I reused them with regex helpers) and then implemented what I needed to do. I could really see the benefit if you had a client that had a domain expert that was also a bit of a power user. They could easily get into the rythm of writing / amending features for your project.
I have uploaded it to GitHub (which is also a first for me!). So you can check it out there.
Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Received another call today from a company interested in my Cab Control Software. Basically it's taxi management . The software needs a re-write to get it from Windows Forms onto the web. I have great hopes for the software. It really just needs to time and ingenuity pouring into it. I have loads of ideas for it but just have so little time.
- Add drivers and Taxis and keep track of their contact details, addresses, licence details, CRB checks and eligibility to work in the UK.
- Basic account management functions, such as creating a customer account and putting the account on hold.
- Add Bookings for drivers and customers
- Creating reports for customer accounts that could be exported as a CSV file for billing purposes.
- Creating reports for drivers to know how many pickups the drivers had made.
- Query the bookings for enquiries and police check up reports.
- Provide management tools to check MOT and Service details on Taxis
- Improved booking facility so when making a booking the booking administrator can see which drivers are currently working and which are not currently on a call or are nearby for a pickup.
- Ability for drivers to be booked in when they are signing on and off a shift.
- Customer facing interface so that companies and potentially individuals can sign up with a taxi firm, make bookings, change contact details and monitor the usage of their account with taxi firms.
- Improved ability to query, monitor and report on Taxi condition and MOT/Service dates and expiry.
- Improved ability to query driver details and report on licence expiries and other details such as points on licence and subs paid owed to the firm.
- Ability for taxi firm to track and report on drivers and any that currently owe subs.
There are many other improvements that could be added in the future. These are just some initial ideas. Another area in the future that would be interesting to take Cab Control Online into would be to develop handheld software (either for Windows Phone 7 or Android) so that both taxi drivers can keep track of their next booking and that customer accounts could book a taxi.
Monday, 28 March 2011
We have a new PDA in town now. As a replacement for the army of MC9000 and MC70s that are in the field and are being discontinued, we now are moving up to the Motorola MC65. I have had the new handheld for about a week now and have been impressed so far. It's a great improvement over the MC70. I have no idea how the numbering system of the Symbol / Motorola devices works. I assume there must be several ranges such as the 50s 60s and 70s.?
Me.AutoScaleDimensions = New System.Drawing.SizeF(96.0!, 96.0!) Me.AutoScaleMode = System.Windows.Forms.AutoScaleMode.Dpi
Friday, 25 March 2011
I noticed this video by Beth Massi on the asp.net video tutorials page. It's a great peek at xml literals in visual basic. If you are committed to VB.NET then this is a most excellent boon. One concern I may have is that if I am looking at changing over to C# in the future then dealing with a load of xml literals is going to make like that little bit harder. But if/by the time it comes round to that there may be a bigger and better way of lording it up over xml anyway.
Worth a watch. -> xml literals in VB.Net I would have embedded the video but silverlight didn't seem to work correctly on Posterous so you will have to just follow the link.
Thursday, 24 March 2011
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
This video is from a company called Rusty Monkey about their design process. I think it makes a great example of how too many cooks made the food taste like feet.
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/9891013 w=400&h=300]
One other quick thing whilst I am thinking about it. The blog also pointed me towards this Paul Irish article. 10 things I learned from the JQuery source. Interestingly my boss had actually pointed me towards this site last week but I hadn't taken a proper look and had just saved the page for later. Thought I would post it on here so I didn't forget to watch the video later.
[vimeo 12529436 w=400 h=225]
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
An article on LifeHacker gave this widget which highlights code in your google chrome browser. https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/ljgkhjkajfkphkgndbhokcoglecihaia
Ah but hold on, it requires the following permissions: Your data on all websites
I am sure it needs to do this for a genuine reason but I just don't like this message. Notepad++ carries out syntax highlighting without going off to a server somewhere I would hope it could be done in a Chrome extension. Anyway, don't like the message. I think I will avoid for now.
After pointing a colleague to the Processing language (which I had begun to look at after reading about it in the book - Making Things Talk) they in turn pointed me towards this site -> http://ejohn.org/blog/processingjs/
History of the world, via Wikipedia
Saw this on Gizmodo, not sure if the information is just taken from the English speaking Wikipedia or not. Goes to show how little involvement Africa seems to have had on in terms of creating Wikipedia articles though!
[vimeo 19088241 w=400 h=200]