Tag Archives: programming

Good Error Messages Can Be Easy

Here is an error message I encountered one day.  It is frustrating, because obviously the code was checking something, but it is frustrating because you get no real clues what the problem really was, and a simple change would make … Continue reading

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What is wrong with this code?

It is code review time, and I offer a sample of Java code for you to critique.   Can you find the problems?

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Eliminate Useless Comments

Be careful what you ask for.   I was reviewing some code that had absolutely no comments. I asked the developer to add some comment.   So, indeed they did, however the comments added no value to the code at all.   There … Continue reading

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Let Me Save Incomplete Files

This is a usability problem that I have run into a number of times.   A programmer writes a UI screen to receive a long list of inputs in order to create an object in system.  Save is enabled only when … Continue reading

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Return Null or Exception?

I am writing a getter function, and the requested object can not be found.  Do I return null?   Or do I throw an exception?  The answer is “it depends.”  Sometimes both options are needed, but how to decide?

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Variable Names & Key Values

Constructing JSON in Java can be a bother.  The most standard JSON library requires objects to be created, and then called to put the members on there.  So much easier in JavaScript, but it is not Java script.  Still, one … Continue reading

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Keep Things the "Same"

This general design principle does not mean to never change anything, but to consciously create a paradigm where the same things have the same names and are accessed in the same way as much as possible.

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Constants and Errors

Still reviewing that code base and finding more bad patterns for use of constants, this time for error messages.   This is another “don’t do this” post.

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Constant Abuse 2

Some programmers believe that constants are the source of all goodness, because it means in the future that everything will be malliable.  Particularly programmers paid by the hour.  This is a mistake.  Readibility suffers if constants are abused.  I am … Continue reading

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The Urge to Merge

Concurrent development of software in a team relies on being able to merge the changes from each person successfully.  Experienced developers will already know this, but there are theoretical limits on how effective merging can be.

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