Introducing FogBugzMiddleware

June 3, 2009 | programming
While I alternate between loving it and hating it, the web framework I use the most is Django. By default, when your deployed Django application encounters a 500 error (and, optionally, an internal 404 error), it sends an email to everyone in the ADMINS sections of your Since I don’t like using my email client as my bug tracker, and I take advantage of FogBugz Student and Startup Edition to get a free and awesome bug tracker, I had long ago told Django to take advantage of FogBugz’...

Your Language Features Are My Libraries

May 20, 2009 | programming
At lunch today, we had a lengthy discussion about the merits of various .NET technologies, including LINQ. I complained that, although I like LINQ, and I like C#, I cannot help but be annoyed that many of these “cool” language features in C# are nothing more than libraries in Smalltalk. Joel responded that the comparison wasn’t fair; C# allows you to invent more syntax than those languages permit, and afford greater flexibility. Without disagreeing, let’s visit some specific examples. The code...

When to Use Seaside Components

May 8, 2009 | programming
Although, for the past couple of years, I’ve largely stopped doing development in Squeak, I’ve still kept an eye on the Smalltalk community, including looking for Smalltalk questions on StackOverflow. It’s a good way to learn, keep up-to-date, and occasionally earn some easy reputation. Today, I saw that Julian Fitzell, one of the original authors of the Seaside web framework, had posted an outstanding answer explaining when and how to use components in Seaside. If you’re just learning Seaside,...

FogBugz 7 Goes Beta

April 20, 2009 | programming, technology
I’m thrilled to say that, after two years of heavy development, my colleagues have released FogBugz 7 Beta. If you’re interested in joining, head on over to the signup page to request to have your license or FogBugz On Demand account upgraded. The existing beta already adds a heavily revamped interface and tons of new features, but I have a hunch that there may be even bigger surprises in store. Keep an eye on the FogBugz team in the weeks to come.

Rebasing in Mercurial

November 25, 2008 | programming
So, you’ve adopted git. Or maybe Mercurial. And you’ve started to use it. The problem is, every other commit reads some variant of, “Merged with stable,” “merged with base,” or some such. These commits convey no useful information, yet completely clutter your commit history. How do you make your history more useful? The answer lies in rebasing. Rebasing is a technique made popular by git where you rewrite your not-yet-pushed patches so that they apply against the current remote tip, rather than...

Why QA is Important

November 24, 2008 | programming
QA’s one of the most important parts of any software development project, so I’m profoundly saddened by how often it’s overlooked. Thankfully, Copilot has a solid QA process, so when we release software, I can generally be confident that it will work as-advertised.

Tricks with mq

November 24, 2008 | programming
NOTE: You almost certainly don’t want to do anything in this article. I wrote this in 2008; Mercurial has improved a lot since then. While everything’s still accurate (as far as I know), using MQ is pain-ridden and unnecessary. Instead, you should use histedit (which is bundled with Mercurial) or the evolve extension (which is not yet, but may be soon). Either will get you to the same place, but they’re both easier, safer, and more powerful than MQ—a rare triple. That said, if you’re curious how...

Why I Love Meetings

November 22, 2008 | programming
I love meetings. That’s a pretty heretical statement. I suspect most diehard bureaucrats just tolerate meetings, and Joel—who I might emphasize has more than a passing relationship with Team Copilot—has spoken rather strongly against them in the past. Hell, I grew up hating meetings, and I’d be lying if I said that part of why I loved the idea of working at Fog Creek wasn’t that the company has traditionally had a strong anti-meeting culture. That’s not to say Fog Creek doesn’t ever have...

Guide to Deploying Seaside on Linux

November 21, 2008 | programming
While I’ve gotten pretty good at deploying Squeak and Seaside behind Apache, I remember that the first time I tried it, I got horribly confused and frustrated by the lack of any simple, easy-to-follow guide. Well, if your virtual host runs a Debian-based distro, now you’ve got one: Peter Osburg has provided a step-by-step guide to deploying Seaside apps behind Apache using reverse proxies. The directions should be mostly applicable to other Linux distributions as well.

Free Books on Programming Linux

November 19, 2008 | programming
When I was a junior at Duke, we had to make some changes to the Linux kernel for my OS class. Unfortunately, I was the only one who’d had much experience in Linux before, and our professor seemed to think that providing any instruction about how Linux’ kernel worked—or even how Unix programs in general worked—would be overkill. Even great coders will fail if not provided any guidance how to solve a problem. At the time, our options were to spend serious cash on books, or to struggle along...