Day: October 31, 2002

  • Richard Caetano:

    I posted some snap shots of my NUnit setup.


  • I don’t understand why a Pentium 133 notebook still costs hundreds of dollars.

  • Paul Evans on Dealing with User Input in Python:

    You probably won’t be using Python long before writing a program which needs user input. As a wide-eyed, innocent new Python programmer, you may naively expect that you can simply ask users for input and they will just give it to you….[via trick-or-treat into mark]

  • Charles Miller:

    Dear Sun. By your own coding conventions, it should be arrayCopy, not arraycopy. Bastards.

  • has a nice list of free web services.  Cape Science also has a list of services that they offer. also has a listing of services.  I want more.  I want a minimalistic CSS-driven portal that will link to free or more importantly “open” services.  I might have to get off my butt on this one.

  • Some free to use web services that I’ve played with this evening include Web Services Tip of the Day:

    Another favorite is xmethods’ Weather Temp service, tho it’s for testing only:

    It’s a bit nippy here in Maryland right now.  The name TemperatureXP comes from a vb class I took.  I named every program that I turned in WhateverApplicationXP and it kept me amused.

  • The Need for Open (Web) Services

    I’ve been looking around the xmethods website looking for web services to interface in VB.NET.  There are a few test services, such as the temperature service, but not a whole lot that you can use in a production environment.  This made me think about what the BSD/Linux/Open Source solution to web services might be: open services.

    Open Services might be something trivial, such as a weather service, stock ticker, or similar service, or it might be something more complex.  A provider of an Open Service would (perhaps) unleash the service on the world in an open fashion.  He or she might release source code to the service in BSD or *GPL, or they might keep the source private.  What they might do next is taking things to their logical conclusion: have a web service running somewhere that is publicly accessible, and point to it for all to use free of charge.

    This might not make sense in an economical way, (some would argue that open source software doesn’t make any sense either), but what’s stopping people from doing it anyway?  It could be a box in a dorm room, a server connected to cable or dsl, or some spare bandwidth on a colocated box somewhere.

    I’d love to see open source software and web services converge.  Who knows if it’ll happen.  I’ll try to do my part and set up a box, create some services, and unleash them on the world.  Perhaps we need a web site to point to these Open Services.  Perhaps we need an Open Service License (OSL?).  Maybe we need several (GPL-style OSL, BSD-style OSL, etc)  I’ll do my best to gather things together in the next couple of days.  Looking at the list of web services at xmethods, it appears that many of the published services are homegrown.  What’s the next step?

    I’d love to hear what people think about this.

  • Richard Caetano on unit tests:

    “Unit tests. There’s nothing like doing drastic refactoring to the implementation of a class when you trust the unit tests to be solid. It’s so much easier. [Jon Shute’s Weblog]  Yes!! That’s the key.” [Sam Gentile]

    I concur with that statement!  I must admit, I have been half hearted with my unit test attempts in the past.  Mainly because I haven’t put the time into arranging the pieces to make it happen.  But with my last project, one that involves multi-threading, I went in with both feet.  Do you know what I found?  I found I was able to move along much faster.  I felt confident with my code.  The code was better organized because when I wrote my tests the organization of code was centered around “units”.  I used NUnit 2.0 and setup my VS.NET project with two targets one that ran the unit test and the other that ran my code in user mode.  I’m on my way to finishing this project but I can say that I will be using unit tests a lot more in the future.

  • Leo Laporte:

    There’s nothing more depressing than a luxury leather interior with burl wood accents that is totally immobilized.

  • John Robb:

    Chris Heilman has an interesting weblog.  Better living through constant reference to the periodic table.  Also, an interesting expiriment fermenting raisins.

    I don’t know what to say, other than subscribed.  It’s like a train wreck, I can’t help it.

  • RPC::XML 0.45 is out.  RPC::XML is a Perl module implementing XML-RPC.  As with most lightweight XML-RPC implementations, creating a server is just a few lines:

    require RPC::XML;
    require RPC::XML::Client;
    $cli = RPC::XML::Client->new(‘url_to_service’);