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Robert's Blog ideas about design and development
You might wonder what *nix administration has to do with maker culture. Plenty, if *nix is your automation platform of choice. I am using Ubuntu, Exim, and Ruby as the supporting cast of characters for my reminder service. Being able to send yourself an email with some data or a link at a pre-selected time is a pretty handy thing to be able to do indeed. ......

I've got TortoiseBazaar installed on my Windows laptop, and I was trying to branch a repository hosted on my VPS to another directory on my VPS, and I got this lovely error: bzr: ERROR: Unknown branch format: 'Bazaar Branch Format 7 (needs bzr 1.6) That lead me to this mailing-list archive: http://osdir.com/ml/bazaar/... Then I tried ......

Tonight I met with Cody Marx Bailey, Roby Fitzhenry, Stephanie Leary, Wendy Wolfington, Mike Abney, Allen Hurst et al to talk about the next BarCampBCS I originally thought. We did do that eventually, but along the way we talked about several issues near and dear to my heart, namely localism, continuous improvement, and community development. I've always ......

The Sins of Our Education System As we all know, Agilists tend to frown on specialization. I am no exception. I tend to think that I take that sentiment a bit further though. I believe that designers should program and that programmers should draw wireframes. Before you dismiss me out of hand as a crackpot, hear me out. Hopefully by now, most UX designers ......

The following quotes are exerpted from Cargo Cult Methodology. "[M]anagement demanded that we estimate—and commit to—a schedule and budget" "[B]ut 'making a delivery' ... required additional effort. There was no scheduled time for that either" "[A]s the months went by, we learned more about the problem, and we had changes requested; that meant more ......

Is it really that important? I've seen too many applications meet their end because people got caught up in the tripe. I've personally lost development time to "Go back and use that font" or "Make it that color blue instead". In my personal experience, managers and customers (and it gets worse as you go higher up the food chain) defer to you on all ......

I've tried Use Cases and seen them not work. The main reason? They are really heavy handed and developers hate updating them. Customers don't even want to see them. A manager telling me to update the use cases or the functional spec is akin in my mind to someone I don't know telling me to take my medicine. I am one of those annoying developers who is ......

If you've ever been a programmer in a bureaucratic environment, you've surely thought of yourself as the spawn of the red-headed step child and the family mule. Performing heroic acts in a bureacracy is patently a bad idea. Why? Because if you've jumped the Grand Canyon on a motorcylce once, surely you can do it again or anything else for that matter. ......

Documents don't kill understanding. Documents in our American culture kill understanding. Why do people who specialize in bending words forget to transfer meaning? The problem with lengthy requirements documents are They never tell the whole story no matter how much you write The users of these documents (programmers) never ask any questions because ......

In the Agile thought-space, Big Up Front Design (BFUD) is a four letter word. There is a reason for this. Many times people who envision projects (usually the guy with the biggest wallet unfortunately) don't realize that they don't know everything. More to the point, they don't know how little they actually know about the end user. So they envision ......

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