The Nightingale and the Rose: Oscar Wilde

"She said that she would dance with me if I brought her red roses," cried the young Student; "but in all my garden there is no red rose."

From her nest in the holm-oak tree the Nightingale heard him, and she looked out through the leaves, and wondered.

"No red rose in all my garden!" he cried, and his beautiful eyes filled with tears. "Ah, on what little things does happiness depend! I have read all that the wise men have written, and all the secrets of philosophy are mine, yet for want of a red rose is my life made wretched."


Distributed Source Control popularity

The change-over to distributed Source-code control seems to be only a matter of time. Dispite the hype subversion makes many jobs harder, it might help with renaming files but it doesn't. The battle has really already been won my distributed systems in many organisations. There are a few factors that have prevented wholesale takup of distributed source-code control:

  • Maturity of tools. Many of the existing systems exist as extended research projects. They are scripts on top of other systems written in perl or python. Where they might work very well they are slow.

Industrial XP: a take on scaling XP

One of the criticisms XP which is often questioned is its ability to be used in large groups and projects. Many have suggested ways to overcome this, from system architecture through to communities of practice. A particularly interesting take on though is Industrial XP, some thought has been given into making this a complete practice.
The approach taken is to have multuple XP teams providing some new practices for managing these teams:


Developments in Configuration Management tools

Like many I cannot wait for a better configuration management tool. Possibly the most widely used tool up until recently was CVS (on UNIX at least) and the even worse SourceSafe (on windows). You cannot be overly critical of CVS--- to my mind anyway, it is a child of the eighties, and as so is more than a grandfather to most systems out there. Its popularity has remained because it's free and relatively easy/maintain. Also there is a large body of knowledge from people who have been using it for all these years. In the last few years Subversion has arrived as a CVS replacement--- why subversion should be considered a CVS replacement when no other is is anyone's guess. Little is similar to CVS. There are notable improvements like atomic commits and versioned directories. All make people who have used it not want to convert back to CVS. However, it looks like a product of the 90's. Current research and other systems are much better at handling change and are more suited the way modern teams work. There have been some interesting developments in recent years, that might mean that Subversion will either have to adapt or it will be supplanted by a newer system--- one more suitable to how development is performed now. Two of the most interesting developments are:


Wiki Patterns

I've worked in a number of places that use wikis to store project information. Often they can work well, at other times they seem to break and be completely useless. I notice there is now a Wikipatterns site documenting some of the patterns in wiki use. Most of these patterns originate or are documented in a form on but having this site helps establish a best practice. Looking at the history the site is less than a month old, hopefully it will turn into a useful resource for mentors who want


New Avalanche safety Design Concept wins Red Dot Design award

Avalanches are enormously dangerous. In the sixteen year period ending in 2001 over 82% of fatalities in avalanches were during recreational activity: skiing, climbing, snowboarding or snowmobiling.

The majority of victims that are buried are still alive. Little time is available to rescue buried victims, off-piste skiers carry avalanche equipment for this reason: the best chance of survival is for your buddy to dig you out. People die quickly buried in snow: research shows that in only half an hour chances of survival are decreased to 50%.

New aids for mountain enthusiasts are needed. A promising new design concept in the Red Dot design awards might be just the aid. It won first place in the Life Science category.



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