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Caffeinated Coder A Grande, Triple Shot, Non-Fat Core Dump by Russell Ball Tools
Vil: Dead as in Doornail?
I spent some time last week working with Vil, a free code analysis tool that can be used to locate potential quality issues and high risk areas in your code. While working on it, I learned all about various code metrics such as cyclomatic complexity, eCouplings, and LCOM (Lack of Cohesion in Methods) and experimented with setting appropriate thresholds for each. I also incorporated all the required command line switches into our Nant script and even dusted off my XSLT skills in order to create a ......

Posted On Thursday, December 20, 2007 11:49 PM

Are You Mocking My Code?
I've been playing around with mock objects using Rhino.Mocks for the last few months, but today was the first time that I had an unfettered coding win and became a true convert. I was introduced to NUnit about five years ago from a co-worker (thanks Dewayne) and gradually became a true believer. Unfortunately, I was a late-bloomer in the area of mocking, so by the time I finished my last big project I had left a suite of about 500 database driven tests that took almost 2 hours to run and were a maintenance ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 19, 2007 12:12 AM

Friends Don't Let Friends Use the Start Menu
I've read and listened to Scott Hanselman sing the praises of SlickRun for a long time, but I just recently got around to using it. For those of you who are as slow to catch on as me, it is essentially just a tricked-out version of the Run window that allows you launch programs much faster than you can through the traditional hide-and-seek start menu approach. This is especially true if you are a tool addict and have a start menu that stretches across your screen. Best of all, it is FREE, which is ......

Posted On Saturday, December 15, 2007 12:35 AM

A Touching VSS Moment
Today it was decided that a bug fix that I recently added to our production branch in Visual Source Safe would not be included in an upcoming hotfix release as originally planned, so I was asked to remove it. My fix only touched 6 files, so my first thought was just to do it manually. Then I saw the rollback button in the 'Show History' window. If I were a betting man, I would have put good money on this functionality not only failing, but also wreaking havoc with our version history. However, I ......

Posted On Thursday, December 6, 2007 11:41 PM

A Couple Firefox Add-On Gems
This week I installed a few nifty Firefox Add-Ons, All-In-One-Gestures and IE Tab. I tried All-In-One-Gestures after watching how fast a co-worker was able to navigate on the web by using this Add-On. It allows you to right-click anywhere on a web page and move the mouse left to go backward or right to go for forward. Navigating this way is definitely much faster than using the browser toolbar buttons and helps me stay in a better flow when trying to quickly scan oodles of google results. For some ......

Posted On Saturday, November 17, 2007 12:21 PM

EditPlus: A Kinder, Gentler Way To Build Nant Scripts
I've been working on Nant scripts this week and the experience has been much more enjoyable since a co-worker showed me how he used EditPlus (thanks Raoul). After a few quick customizations, I was able to not only get syntax highlighting for my build files but also execute Nant from within the tool and see the output from the bottom pane. Anything that decreases context switching when I have a gajillion windows open is pretty nifty in my book. Here's a picture of a build file with my custom button ......

Posted On Thursday, November 8, 2007 8:06 PM

A Poetic Tribute to Visual Source Safe
Recent source control woes have inspired me to write this little poem about my least favorite source control system. VSS, I hate you so And I can not wait to see you go. You have the word safe in your name Yet since you came my IDE has crashed And my files have been trashed. If your integration were not so lame, Then maybe I could do a simple rename; All I wanted was a little bit of history But a few files I did purge and now it's all a mystery. Branching and merging is something we no longer dare ......

Posted On Thursday, November 8, 2007 12:03 AM

Still an Open Source Virgin
I was setting up Cruise Control the other day and trying to figure out why it wasn't working on a certain source control folder. I noticed a strange error in the cruise control log about there being an invalid character in the path, so I decided to take advantage of the fact that it is an open source project and download the source code so I could step through it in the debugger and see what the exact problem was. It wasn't long before I discovered the source of the error, which was a newline character ......

Posted On Tuesday, November 6, 2007 8:10 AM

The Resharper Challenge: What if You Could Only Have 7 Features?
I was working with someone who doesn't have ReSharper today and I noticed for the first time that I have developed some feature addictions because I actually winced when I watched him fully type out a property and then manually do an "extract method" refactoring. This surprised me since I have only really been consistently using ReSharper for the last month and am still far from my goal of becoming a ReSharper Jedi. Nevertheless, the dozen or so keystrokes that I have mastered and consistently use ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 23, 2007 12:28 AM

In Praise of MbUnit
I've played with MbUnit before and was immediately impressed, but I haven't tried using it on a project until today. I was surprised by how quickly and easily I was able to convert all of my NUnit tests. All I had to do was switch the references from NUnit.Framework to MbUnit.Framework and then do a quick find and replace for my using statements. After that everything magically worked. Kudos to the MbUnit team for not pulling an 'MSTest' move and renaming all the attributes and keywords. Best of ......

Posted On Friday, October 19, 2007 5:22 PM

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