Blocking Stores

Recently, after an Apple Terms of Service change the Audible and Amazon Kindle apps had to update their apps removing links to their respective online stores. I’m assuming this is to force people to use the iTunes and iBooks stores instead. I think this is anti-competitive in its own right, but there is another problem I see for Apple here…
Apple has deliberately ruined the user experience for me on their devices! I can now buy books easier on other devices than I can on the iPad.
I do not feel compelled to use Apples stores instead because I already use these other services.
I wonder if this will ever cause people to stop using Apple products?

The Mobile Web Browser

Remember back in the days of the browser wars? We chose a browser and that was what defined our web experience. In the end Microsoft won with Internet Explorer. They had the desktop marketshare and IE was integrated into the OS to the point that it was (arguably) the fastest and easiest to use. Eventually sites were just built for IE only, or Netscape Navigator only. But a new browser war is forming. In these “modern times” the web browsers are integrated into the phone’s OS as IE was with Windows 95, and we pretty much live with them the way they are: Safari on iPhone, whatever is labeled “Browser” on the Android and BlackBerry, Internet Explorer on Windows Phone, etc.. But a new battle for browser market-share is forming with Opera and Mozilla drawing battle lines.

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Bored Programmer Syndrome

When a programmer is bored he sometimes over-engineers and under-designs a project. We adopt an attitude like “well, if I have to do this in VS2005 and .NET 2.0 I may as well implement a service-locator and message bus and use all that technology I wanted to learn.

Larry Wall truthfully said the best virtues for a programmer are laziness, impatience and hubris. Sometimes you ignore these virtues when you get bored, you start to do stuff you know you shouldn’t, and your laziness doesn’t balance your hubris.

My new virtue that I’m going to work hard on is, ironically, laziness. 🙂 KISS is the new methodology for me to follow: Keep It Simple, Stupid for design, YAGNI: You Aren’t Gonna Need It for architecture.

This is How Microsoft Sells Windows Phone 7 To Me?

So Microsoft released Windows Phone 7 last week. I’ve talked about the phone before. I was pretty disappointed with their ads though:

YouTube: Season of the Witch

I’m baffled. The way the ad looks to me someone was texting while driving and almost killed everyone in the commercial! And then everyone is too busy texting about it to notice each other…

It’s time for a phone to save us from our phones is the big take-away line. The problem I see with this ad is that it condemns all phones as causing accidents and distracting people.

Microsoft: people love using their phones! I do, even my lousy Storm. Phones are distracting because they’re good. Sell me a phone I want to use and does the things I need. In a way, I think that is what you’re saying, but I’m seeing something different.

Internet Explorer 9 Beta and HTML5

I downloaded the latest Internet Explorer 9 beta this morning and ran it against, and it scored 96 points out of 300. Chrome gets 231 points and even Firefox 3.6 gets 139 (4.0 beta gets 215).
I’m more than a little disappointed. It looks like Internet Explorer is going to continue the tradition of obsolescence and suckage.
Chrome has been my default browser for a long time, and I’m glad that it is! The new IE9 is fast, but that is probably because it doesn’t do anything yet.
Here is hoping that the IE9 team brings in more adoption before IE9 releases.

Windows Phone 7 Thoughts

Yesterday I saw a preview of a Windows Phone 7 (WP7, or #WP7 on Twitter) when Joey deVilla and John Bristowe were in town for a one day coffee and code at a Second Cup in downtown Edmonton.
I’m not going to do a big preview of the phone, I didn’t get that kind of access. I tried out a demo phone running Windows Phone 7 software. Engadget did a great preview with lots of details. Is Windows 7 going to kill the iPhone? I really doubt it. Will it kill Android? I think its likely to take a lot of market from Android, but I’ll talk about that later.
I’m not interested in Apps. WP7 will have Twitter apps, and has Facebook integration built in. Probably a lot of the popular iPhone and Android software will eventually get ported over to WP7. As a web developer I am most interested in the web browsing experience, and it looked pretty good. Continue reading “Windows Phone 7 Thoughts”

How the iPad won me over

I was probably the most skeptical person out the when Steve Jobs was making the announcement about his “magical” iPad. In this day and age you can’t take any salesman seriously when he uses that kind of language. But when I saw one in action surfing the Internet the other day I started to see the potential of the platform.
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NoSQL and the End of Object Relational Models

There is a lot of buzz on the NoSQL track these days, and it is gaining a lot of traction in the blogger world. But in the old school world of big business and big government there isn’t much movement, at least not that I’ve seen. In these industries there is still a lot of entrenchment with database companies like Oracle and Microsoft. These companies have invested a lot of money into their relational database infrastructure.

Its hard to see the “death” of the relational database right now. I don’t think a switch-over from relational databases to non-relational databases is coming – but there is a game changer coming; another new technology getting a lot of buzz and traction in the blog world: Cloud Computing. I think the biggest driver in changing from relational to non-relational databases will be The Cloud.

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Oh Unit Tests? Wherefore Art Thou, Unit Tests?

There are few things that help a developer maintain an application better than Unit Tests. There are a few things that make me nervous when I open a solution from VSS, but nothing makes me more nervous than a lack of unit tests projects.

I know the Unit Testing drum has been beaten for years, so instead of getting on a soap box and berating the Internet for not Unit Testing, I’m going to give you a story about a recent project I worked on, and how unit testing helped me succeed.

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