Skip to main content

The Pragmatic Bookshelf | PragPub May 2012 | What Makes an Awesome Command-line Application?

Media_httpapragprogco_hmejd

I thought this was a great article. It hit a chord with me as I have had to tackle some foolish command line apps recently where the devs have just dreamt up new commands and ways of working for themselves instead of just using the normal heuristics. Very annoying.

Something that I have just found and annoys me is setting up command line programs for schedules tasks. If you don't do this right, you end up with a complete mess! Like a list of emailers for different programs and clients:

- Emailer_01
- Emailer
- Emailer_New
- emailer_March2012

This is just annoying. I know you can still tell what the programs are if you look into them or work it out from the other columns but it's still a pain.

- The arguments the scheduled tasks take should be documented.
- The scheduled task itself should log to the event log.
- The error messages logged to the event log should be sensible (for example - give a list of the possible params if an incorrect one was given, if there are too many, wtf?).
- When you create a scheduled task, name the task nicely with something like - "company.program.program instanceName" so it's apparent what the scheduled task is for, this type of naming should apply to the source of the event log as well so they're easily filtered when trying to find information out about the program.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Motorola MC65

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.? Anyway the?PDA?has windows mobile 6.5.3, a better touch screen and is faster. Much faster. The skin that has been put on the OS has also applied to our software and I think it makes it look much cooler. We had several problems in adjusting our software so it would work with the new MC65. First was the change in resolution. The MC70 has a much lower resolution than the MC65s and as some of our screens were not using the auto scale settings in the form and some of the buttons on our forms were created at run time rather than design time, this posed

Accessing the UI Thread with Tasks in F#

I have a Windows Forms program written in F# that can deploy a code base to n number of sites at once (you select the sites you would like to deploy to and it goes off and completes a number of tasks (backing up current sites, various unpacking and moving of files etc... ). Once you start it, it begins it's merry journey and begins to update the UI with what has happened. At the moment this method of updating the UI is not pretty because the threads I am doing the work on can't update the UI so I perform some fiendery to make that happen (don't ask). I knew there was a better way using some newer .NET features but I just hadn't got round to having a fiddle yet. I have now found that if you use the built in Task class but break your code up in a nicer way and then chain the tasks together you can then pass the correct context into the task that you want to talk to the UI. Here's a little script to give you a feel for it. You can press the "start" butt

Cab Control

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.  It currently has this functionality which I'll need to get across:  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