Tacit, a CSS Framework Without Classes

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I've been using Bootstrap for more than two years in multiple projects, and my frustration has been building. First of all, it's too massive for a small web app. Second, it is not fully self-sufficient; no matter how much you follow its principles of design, you end up with your own CSS styles anyway. Third, and most importantly, its internal design is messy. Having all this in mind, I created tacit, my own CSS framework, which immediately received positive feedback on Hacker News.

Class Casting Is a Discriminating Anti-Pattern

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Type casting is a very useful technique when there is no time or desire to think and design objects properly. Type casting (or class casting) helps us work with provided objects differently, based on the class they belong to or the interface they implement. Class casting helps us discriminate against the poor objects and segregate them by their race, gender, and religion. Can this be a good practice?

How AppVeyor Helps Me to Validate Pull Requests Before Rultor Merges Them

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AppVeyor is a great cloud continuous integration service that builds Windows projects. Rultor is a DevOps assistant, which automates release, merge and deploy operations, using Docker containers. These posts explain how Rultor works and what it's for: Rultor.com, a Merging Bot and Master Branch Must Be Read-Only.

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The problem is that Rultor is running all scripts inside Docker containers and Docker can't build Windows projects. The only and the best logical solution is to trigger AppVeyor before running all other scripts in Docker. If AppVeyor gives a green light, we continue with our usual in-Docker script. Otherwise, we fail the entire build. Below I explain how this automation was configured in Takes framework.

JAXB Is Doing It Wrong; Try Xembly

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JAXB is a 10-year-old Java technology that allows us to convert a Java object into an XML document (marshalling) and back (unmarshalling). This technology is based on setters and getters and, in my opinion, violates key principles of object-oriented programming by turning objects into passive data structures. I would recommend you use Xembly instead for marshalling Java objects into XML documents.

Java Web App Architecture In Takes Framework

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I used to utilize Servlets, JSP, JAX-RS, Spring Framework, Play Framework, JSF with Facelets, and a bit of Spark Framework. All of these solutions, in my humble opinion, are very far from being object-oriented and elegant. They all are full of static methods, un-testable data structures, and dirty hacks. So about a month ago, I decided to create my own Java web framework. I put a few basic principles into its foundation: 1) No NULLs, 2) no public static methods, 3) no mutable classes, and 4) no class casting, reflection, and instanceof operators. These four basic principles should guarantee clean code and transparent architecture. That's how the Takes framework was born. Let's see what was created and how it works.

Worst Technical Specifications Have No Glossaries

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I read a few technical specifications every week from our current and potential clients, and there's one thing I can't take anymore; I have to write about it: 99 percent of the documents I'm reading don't have glossaries, and because of that, they are very difficult to read and digest. Even when they do have glossaries, their definitions of terms are very vague and ambiguous. Why is this happening? Don't we understand the importance of a common vocabulary for any software project? I'm not sure what the causes are, but this is what a software architect should do when he or she starts a project—create a glossary.

Don't Create Objects That End With -ER

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Manager. Controller. Helper. Handler. Writer. Reader. Converter. Validator. Router. Dispatcher. Observer. Listener. Sorter. Encoder. Decoder. This is the class names hall of shame. Have you seen them in your code? In open source libraries you're using? In pattern books? They are all wrong. What do they have in common? They all end in "-er". And what's wrong with that? They are not classes, and the objects they instantiate are not objects. Instead, they are collections of procedures pretending to be classes.

Team Morale: Myths and Reality

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There are plenty of books, articles, and blog posts about team morale. They will all suggest you do things like regular celebrations, team events, free lunches, pet-friendly offices, coffee machines, birthday presents, etc. All of these are instruments of concealed enslaving. These traditional techniques turn employees into speechless monkeys, programming under the influence of Prozac. Their existence and popularity is our big misfortune. Let me present my own vision of how team morale can be boosted on a software team—a team that has a good project manager.

Composable Decorators vs. Imperative Utility Methods

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The decorator pattern is my favorite among all other patterns I'm aware of. It is a very simple and yet very powerful mechanism to make your code highly cohesive and loosely coupled. However, I believe decorators are not used often enough. They should be everywhere, but they are not. The biggest advantage we get from decorators is that they make our code composable. That's why the title of this post is composable decorators. Unfortunately, instead of decorators, we often use imperative utility methods, which make our code procedural rather than object-oriented.

A Haircut

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I received a haircut today, and the niceness of my hairdresser led him to fill the appointment with courteous questions about how I wanted my hair cut, what size of clipper he should use, how long the sides should be, and how much should be removed from the front. He also offered me many types of shampoo and a cup of tea. All this reminded me of the work we do as programmers, and I decided to write a short post about it. I've already mentioned before that trying to make a customer happy is a false objective. This hairdresser was a perfect illustrative example of this very mistake. By the way, in the end, I wasn't happy, and he got no tip. How could this happen if he was so friendly and nice?