Archive for May, 2008

RadCombobox & WATIN

May 30, 2008 Leave a comment

Recently we ran into the problem of selecting an item from a RadCombobox using WATIN. I had shared Ayende’s blog post which pointed to the execScript API earlier with my team. For some reason I didn’t pursue it further on the possibilities of using execScript to select an Item in RadCombobox. Today I thought of giving it a try after seeing the response from Telerik support & Elena Tosheva’s blog entry. I do not like the idea of fiddling with the RadCombobox rendering internals. Telerik does provide a client side object model to manipulate a RadCombobox. I decided to use that in combination with execScript to select an Item in the RadCombobox. Here is the code snippet.

        public static void SelectItemByValue(IE ie, string dropDownName, string valueToSelect)
string javascript = string.Format(@"
var dropDownClientObject = $find('{0}');
var itemToSelect = dropDownClientObject.findItemByValue('{1}');
alert('Unable to find Item with value {1}');
alert('Unable to find DropDown with ID {0}');
", dropDownName, valueToSelect);
ie.HtmlDocument.parentWindow.execScript(javascript, "javascript");

I am open to inputs on any other better way of doing this. Hope this helps someone who is in need of this

Categories: Others


May 30, 2008 Leave a comment

When does design happen in agile? – Ian Cooper

"…Most agile teams recognize that there is a nebulous conception or inception phase when you gather user stories, organize and understand them, do just-enough modelling,  set up build servers etc. It is the great unspoken step of many agile methodologies…"

"…Any ‘up-front’ modeling, before coding, is high-level, not low i.e. we care about classes, roles, responsibilities, and collaborators, but not attributes, methods etc…"

"…The conversation is more important than the artifacts the conversation produces…"

Read on… via Arjan’s World

How to Take Notes Like an Alpha-Geek

"…I trust the weakest pen more than the strongest memory, and note taking is—in my experience—one of the most important skills for converting excessive information into precise action and follow-up…"

How it helps?

  • Review book highlights in less than 10 minutes
  • Connect scattered notes on a single theme in 10 minutes that would otherwise require dozens of hours
  • Contact and connect mentors with relevant questions and help I can offer
  • Impose structure on information for increased retention and recall

What to do?

  • Create an indexing system
  • Choose the Proper Pad for the Job:

Read on…

Krypton Toolkit – Free Windows Forms Controls


Krypton Ribbon


Krypton Navigation Controls


Read on… via Casey Charlton via A Continuous Learner’s Weblog

SysInternals Live

"…This will allow you to run these tools from any computer connected to the Internet without having to navigate to a webpage, download and extract the zip file…"

Read on… via Jigar Mehta via A Continuous Learner’s Weblog

IE Tester

"…IETester is a free WebBrowser that allows you to have the rendering and javascript engines of IE8 beta 1, IE7 IE 6 and IE5.5 on Vista and XP, as well as the installed IE in the same process…"

Read on… via Ajaxian via Jason Haley

Pex – Automated Exploratory Testing for .NET


Read on… via Brent Strange

Why Agile Doesn’t Really Work?

"…a couple of things need to be true beyond showing software at the Sprint review.

  1. If an organization has a product it can ship, it must actually ship it (gasp).
  2. If a vendor has made a product available to you, your organization must actually be able to receive the update without tipping over…"

"…Sure, Google can roll out a new version of GMail in 24 hours, but just ask how any many past versions of their product APIs they are standing up because customers have deeply embedded into their system in non-portable ways.

The key here is that Google actually releases small increments of functionality that don’t freak users out. Small, incremental changes in a SaaS model can work. I still believe it…"

"…Build your business practices to embrace change just like your Agile development practices do. Embrace continuous integration of the enterprise, not just your source code…"

Read on… via Arjan’s World

Patterns in Practice: Open Closed Principle

Jeremy Miller starts of new series in MSDN Magazine.

Read on… via Matt Hinze

Categories: Great Links


May 27, 2008 Leave a comment

Management/Employee Training Topics – Resource Listing

Prakash shared this resource listing with me on "Management/Employee Training Topics". A very useful one maintained by "Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives".

Agile Imposition

I just happened to re-read another old blog entry by Fowler on Agile Imposition. "…But agile methods aren’t the best for all situations, and personally I’d rather have a team work in a non-agile manner they chose themselves than have my favorite agile practices imposed upon them…"

"…As a methodology or design approach becomes fashionable, then we see a lot people using it, or teaching it, who are focusing on the fashion rather than the real details. This can lead to reports of things done in agile’s name which are a polar opposite to the principles of movement’s founders…"

"…There’s nothing that can be done to prevent the agile name being applied to very un-agile behaviors – there’s no agile police enforcing RigorousAgile. All we can do is for those of us who care to keep trying to explain what agile is really about. And I prefer to explain than convince…"

I couldn’t understand the depth of Martin’s bliki entry then, but today it made perfect sense.

Read on…

Microsoft Source Analysis Tool

Source Analysis, also known as StyleCop, analyzes C# source code to enforce a set of best practice style and consistency rules.

"…FxCop performs its analysis on compiled binaries, while Source Analysis analyzes the source code directly. For this reason, Code Analysis focuses more on the design of the code, while Source Analysis focuses on layout, readability and documentation. Most of that information is stripped away during the compilation process, and thus cannot be analyzed by FxCop…"

"…Source Analysis does not allow its rules to be very configurable. Source Analysis takes a one-size-fits-all approach to code style, layout, and readability rules. It is highly likely that you will not agree with all of the rules and may even find some of the rules annoying at first! However, the majority of teams using this tool within Microsoft have found that after a short adjustment period, they came to appreciate the rules enforced by Source Analysis, and even began to find it difficult to read code not written in this style…"

I use Resharper which can auto-fix & allows configuration as well using a code cleanup profile. Be warned that I have not tried this tool.

Windows Server 2008 Software Certification

"The Windows Server 2008 Software Certification program is designed to help you build and market solutions your customers can deploy with confidence immediately on the new platform.
Take advantage of the comprehensive step-by-step process guides and development resources located within this website to help you meet the technical bars for the Certified for Windows Server 2008 logo or the Works with Windows Server 2008 designation.
Whether or not you certify or validate your solution, you can still use the downloadable test tools to confirm compatibility and compliance with recommended practices for security, stability, availability, and Windows fundamentals."

Read on… via Srini

Categories: Great Links

I was interested in attacking what was being thought rather than learning from it

May 27, 2008 Leave a comment

"I was an outsider who seemed more interested in attacking what was being thought rather than learning from it." – From "Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance" by "Robert M. Pirsig". I started liking this book.

Categories: Others

Three phases of work / doctrine, Three kinds of men – Quotable quotes

May 27, 2008 Leave a comment

Each work has to pass through these stages—ridicule, opposition, and then acceptance. Those who think ahead of their time are sure to be misunderstood.

– Swami Vivekananda

What reminded me of this quote was,

Earlier in the day Prakash showed me another funny one along similar lines from "The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility" , "Chapter 14. How Will I Work with Other Teams Who Aren’t Agile?"

The new one is funny & very relevant today 🙂

"A new doctrine goes through three stages. It is attacked and declared absurd; then it is admitted as true and obvious but insignificant. Finally, its true importance is recognized and its adversaries claim the honor of having discovered it."

—William James

Update: Another funny quote which Prakash had shared earlier. 

“There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers

Categories: Others

Resharper – Code Browsing & Code Editing Screencasts

May 27, 2008 4 comments

I just happened to try my hand @ screencasting last week.

I managed to do a couple of them, the ideas shamelessly stolen from James Kovacs’ ‘Becoming a Jedi Part 1 of N’.

James Kovacs uses the IntelliJ Keyboard scheme, which seems to be the most popular amongst the Resharper community. (A special thanks to Santhosh for helping me to see the opportunity)

I (& my team as well) use the Visual Studio .NET Keyboard scheme.

I have always used CTRL + N for new file, CTRL + SHIFT + N for new project and so on.

Hence I saw that as an opportunity to get my hands dirty on screencasting.

In the process I learnt a lot about the wonderful tool Resharper.

If you still are coding in Visual Studio .NET without Resharper you probably should give a try, I wouldn’t be surprised if you like it.

(Disclaimer: I am in no way related to the Resharper team 🙂 and I am not part of any affiliate program of theirs).

Now to the screencast links

Resharper – Code Browsing – Duration: 4 minutes &15 seconds, Size: 3.71 MB

Resharper – Code Editing – Duration: 6 minutes and 13 seconds, Size: 4.82 MB

Feedback is always welcome & this is my first screencast, so you will find a lot of inputs to share with me.

Thanks in advance for your time & inputs.

Yours Truly.

Categories: Tools


May 23, 2008 1 comment

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Developers

  1. Passionate
  2. Able to Learn, Unlearn and Re-learn
  3. Balance Principle and Practice
  4. Keep It Simple Software (KISS)
  5. If You Don’t Know the Answer, Know Someone Who Does
  6. Focus on Value
  7. Puts the Needs of the Many Before the Needs of the One

I like the list really, its a good read.

Read on via A Continuous Learner’s Weblog

Firebug 1.2 Beta (for those of us who are using Firefox 3.0 RC1)

Firebug 1.2 Beta is out via Jason Haley

Categories: Great Links


May 22, 2008 Leave a comment

What should you look for from your manager?

  • Choose somebody smart. 
  • Find somebody who is not merely smart, but "emotionally smart".
  • Find somebody who is not merely smart, but wise.
  • Choose a person from whom you can learn.

    On Ethics

    "When it comes to ethics, most people treat themselves loosely and other strictly.  Instead, try being strict with yourself and gracious toward others.  You’ll get along a lot better with the world."

    Read on… via Arjan’s World

    An agile task board photograph

    From Mike Cohn’s blog

    C# 3.0 Implicitly typed declarations (In contrast to what resharper folks recommend)

    "Remarks: Overuse of var can make source code less readable for others. It is recommended to use var only when it is necessary, that is, when the variable will be used to store an anonymous type or a collection of anonymous types."

    Read on… via ? (I forgot who I got this one from, I am definitely not having Dare’s feed in my OPML)



  • Categories: Great Links

    Fragile Tests

    May 22, 2008 Leave a comment

    In the thoughtworks geek night yesterday there was a discussion on "Fragile Tests". There was a lot of discussion around the causes & solutions. At the end of the discussion there was no structured summary, which left me as confused as I was @ the beginning of the discussion. I thought of looking into it today in the xUnit Patterns book to clear my mind a bit on the topic.

    From "xUnit Patterns"

    Fragile Test: A test fails to compile or run when the system under test (SUT) is changed in ways that do not affect the part the test is exercising.

    Trouble-shooting advice

    Read more here

    Thoughtworks geeknights

    May 22, 2008 1 comment

    I went to attend a Thoughtworks geek night session yesterday.

    The samosas were really good 🙂

    Categories: Entertainment