Food

Pasta sauce

I’m a big fan of pasta and pesto, and combining both into a delicious meal can easily make my day. But most manufacturers tend to deviate from the traditional recipes quite a bit. A good example is using cheap cashew nuts instead of pine nuts or almonds. The same goes for both cheese and oil used in the product, and there is a tendency towards a much higher amount of salt for flavour potentiation. But I’m a purist with those things, and I want my pesto to be what it says on the label. The only valid option short of moving to Italy is therefore, to make my own pesto using the correct ingredients in the correct amounts. Since pesto sauce is a very old tradition, there isn’t… Continue Reading…

Software developmentWPF

Value conversion in WPF

WPF is the top-notch UI technology from Microsoft, that finally enables us to properly separate business logic and UI from each other. There is plenty of material and documentation about it on the internet, so I won’t bother giving a general overview in this article. If you know WPF, then you already know what it is. You may have noticed that the initial learning curve of WPF is crazy steep, since it’s such a huge and powerful framework. Especially the part where backend and frontend are separated cleanly is very hard to get right in the beginning. The concept behind this is called MVVM, where the goal is to design the entire UI in XAML, using as little code-behind as possible. One of the techniques that WPF offers… Continue Reading…

Software development

Weapons of mass construction

Last time I wrote about how to use interfaces to their full potential, but I never really mentioned factories beyond the fact, that we probably need them. This is going to be another chapter to the previous post with a more in-depth look into the matter of encapsulated object creation in C#. Again I will start with what I usually find in a client’s project, and then I will move in small steps towards a progressively more mature implementation. Every step will include a bit of code to demonstrate the changes that were made. Making up a good example to demonstrate factories is surprisingly hard. There is a multitude of possible scenarios available, but most are too complex to be useful in a blog post. I have settled… Continue Reading…

Software development

Interfacing in style

I tend to give the same talks to clients whenever I enter another project, mostly to get everybody up to speed when there are deficits. In writing everything down, I hope to make the knowledge transfer a little easier, so that I can refer to this and other similar articles in the future. Interfaces are a very useful and important construct in C#, and I believe that any developer worth their salt is going to agree. But they can also be one of the biggest flaws behind an error-prone architecture or a hard to maintain code base. I will start by describing the two basic kinds of interfaces and then describe the typical situation in the code base of most clients. The focus will be on how to… Continue Reading…

Software developmentSoftware testing

Nuclear testing done right

This is a post that I had hoped to write for almost a year and that has been burning under my finger nails. It’s about the latest release of my test platform Nuclear.Test, that I uploaded a few days ago. I’m talking about that magic version 2.0, the very first product grade release. Version 1.0 was made available to the public last summer, but that wasn’t much more than a documented prototype. There were bugs and quirks, and it was a quick and dirty state that I just wanted to get out the door quickly before my son was born. But the first public version of a software is hardly ever any good. It’s there to give the project some traction and for getting to know it a… Continue Reading…

E-Mobility

Enhancing E-Mobility

I bought an e-bike for my daily commute to work roughly four months ago. This blog entry is an update on the topic and a little rant on product quality and tubeless wheels on bicycles. First impression I love the bike! It works like a charm, and it keeps my armpits dry, which is exactly what I had in mind when I got it. The bike has seen almost 1,600 kilometres during the first 2 months and I enjoyed all of it. The aluminium frame creaks a little on rougher terrain and on bumps, but that was expected. It’s not exactly a top quality bike, but it’s not bad either. The tires are a different story. It feels as if they slammed the cheapest and crappiest rubbers in… Continue Reading…

Software developmentVisual Studio

Resolving cached NuGet packages at runtime

Roughly seven months ago I came across an odd behaviour of Visual Studio that I thought wasn’t possible and that broke my code at runtime. I asked on Stack Overflow hoping that someone could point me in the right direction, but that didn’t happen and Google wasn’t very helpful either. Curiosity finally made me tackle the issue myself once I found the time for it. This article is basically Helmuth von Moltke’s theory of war set in a programming scenario, and it serves as a good example of how important it is to adapt your design during development. No design or architecture extends with certainty beyond the first encounter with a user or a working prototype. Helmuth von Moltke the Elder (if he had been a nerd) Before… Continue Reading…

CryptographySoftware developmentVisual Studio

A kingdom for a strong name

We all have become increasingly paranoid when dealing with computers and software in any way and most of us run some kind of firewall and antivirus software to feel safer on the internet. I won’t go into details on this very wide subject, but I want to elaborate on what we as the developers of software can do about it. I’ll stick to my little .NET world to demonstrate how we can achieve higher security with applications. As already hinted at by the title, today’s topic is strong name signing. Quick refresher on strong-naming A good resource is the Microsoft page on strong-named assemblies, and you should definitely read that. But I’m going to outline the matter any ways so read on if you wish. Strong-naming an assembly… Continue Reading…

Computers

Random Access Memories

I recently noticed that all the laptops I have owned so far were made by Acer. My guess is that you simply get a bit more bang for your buck when buying those, and I had never been disappointed by the hardware in place at any time. I did however hit a little snag when it comes to software made by Acer that shipped with the devices. Actually ‘a little snag’ isn’t doing the problems any justice since all the laptops I have owned had major issues due to software. My very first model in 2005 was an Acer Extensa 3000 with an Intel Pentium M Single Core CPU, 512 MB of RAM and a dedicated AMD Radeon GPU. Performance was good enough for my early programming needs… Continue Reading…

E-MobilityEnvironment

Enter e-mobility

I have very recently decided to reduce my carbon footprint by not driving to work in my car any more. Instead, I’ve been riding an e-bike every day for the entire month of May and so far I really like it. It’s like having another 40 minutes of quality me-time before and after work to sort through my thoughts in peace, instead of a 10 to 15 minutes quicker drive in the car where you have to watch out for all the crazy people. During rush hour it’ll be more like a 5 to 10 minutes longer drive with the car, since my bike route doesn’t take me past all the traffic heavy places, so I’m actually not losing any time there. Of course, I could also ride… Continue Reading…