Sam Newman's site, a Consultant at ThoughtWorks

Archive for ‘June, 2004’

“Rome”: is another Java API which provides RSS parsing capabilities. Unlike the more mature “Informa”: it also supports Atom. Their comparison with Informa makes interesting reading – they state that Informa is hard to use! The mind boggles – here is how you can parse a feed:

FeedManager feedManager = new FeedManager();
FeedIF feed = feedManager.addFeed(getUri());

What is complicated about that? It’s true that Informa doesn’t support Atom yet, but that is a trivial task and support should be in soon (Niko is working on it now). Their only other complaint seems to be that Informa can only 1.0 and 0.91 in output – this is a valid criticism but RSS output never core to Informa’s goals. In any case adding support for other export mechanisms is trivial but to my knowledge has never been requested by anyone.
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I have on occasion been bitten by online retailers. A recent nasty experience has prompted me to list a few bits of advice to people thinking about buying online. Needless to say my recent bad experience was caused by not following my own advice…

If they don’t have a contact phone number on their website, don’t use them

If nothing goes wrong, all well and good – but if it doesn’t, you don’t want to be dealing with customer support via email if you don’t have to.

If their website looks more stale than last weeks doughnuts, don’t use them

Last update times of 2001 are a nasty sign that a company can’t afford to update its website, which can speak volumes about what they do have money for.
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In a recent trend of technologies being used as verbs (think _googling_, and err, well something else) of late I have been mostly Naked Objecting. For those who don’t know, “Naked Objects”: is a framework which allows the developer to quickly roll an application which provides both a UI and persistence layer simply by coding a domain model (for a better overview see ” Introduction To Naked Objects”: over at Thats the good side.

That bad side is that the built in default ‘lightweight’ UI just plain sucks. It makes heavy use of drag and drop which is not in itself a bad thing, however its a jolt for those users more used to a standard UI, and no non-drag and drop alternatives are provided. It is also ugly, and not that intuitive. Luckily, Naked Objects make it fairly easy to roll your own UI for it, something I’ve been playing around with over the last few days.
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