When Tools Becomes Shackles

When writing software you will end up using frameworks and libraries to make your life easier. Even if you don’t use any frameworks or libraries you still have the language itself that can evolve over time. A nice example of this is the recent release of Java 9 which did introduce some changes that might break your software.

All of these dependencies could become a hell if you are too tight coupled to them, as they restrict you from upgrading or changing when required. It is essential that you take this into account when writing software but as always it is easier said than done.

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Managing Coordinate Systems

Coordinate systems is maybe not something you are faced with every day, and might lead you more to the gaming industry, but nevertheless are coordinate systems something you will face sooner than you think. The pixels of your screen for instance already define a coordinate system. This system has the zero point in the left top corner which is similar to how we read in standard languages such as English. We start at the top and go to the bottom, and on each line we read from left to right.

The coordinate system of your screen is a bit special, as it does not allow for negative values and works only with natural numbers. Because of this implicit coordinate system something as simple as showing something on the screen already requires a conversion or mapping. In this blog post I will go into more detail as to what problems can arise and what you should take into account.

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The Hard Part Of Automation: Manual Interaction

As more and more things are being automated, our daily life becomes easier. In many cases however we have a mix of automation and manual actions, or we want to be able to intervene or correct when automation goes wrong. Whatever reason, a fully automated system is often still not feasible, and thus manual interactions needs to be allowed and taken into account during design and implementation. But what exactly are the implications of this?

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Java Interface Default Implementations

An interface is often just an implicit definition as every class defines an Interface. An interface just defines the contract of the class by specifying the methods that can be invoked. Java however also has an explicit interface type which until recently adhered to this idea, but since Java 8 an interface can have a ‘default’ implementation. This idea breaks completely with what an interface is supposed to be and fades the line between an interface and an abstract class. So what is still the point of defining an interface and using default implementations?

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Web vs Native Applications

We are looking into replacing some operations tool and we have been questioning whether this should be a web application (as it is now) or a native application. For this I did some investigation and made a clear comparison between the advantages and disadvantages of each solution. The application we have could actually be split up in two parts, one for the operations and a more advanced for diagnostics. This was key in my investigation as both serve a different audience.

My analysis is of course focused on this purpose and on the situation in which this application has to run. This may not be applicable for your situation, but I hope that my explanation and arguments are clear enough so you can filter out which ones are relevant for you.

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Angular Material Design vs Bootstrap

When re-working an existing application I was wondering whether I should continue using Angular Material Design or just switch to Bootstrap. While I have used Bootstrap in the past when working with normal HTML web pages, I never used Material Design. The only experience I had was how the application looked like, and that was horrible. My first reaction was to just start over and use Bootstrap instead of Material Design, but the decision was not that easy as I hoped it would. In this blog post I will compare Material Design and Bootstrap.

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Pre/Post Conditions

Crucial to good Object Orientation, is the separation of concerns and capsulation. This means your objects need a clear API that limits the way the internal state can be changed. The object itself must be responsible for the state and must guard its integrity. While the API defines what operations are allowed, these methods have restrictions of their own. It is essential that the parameters provided to these methods are within the limitations. The only solid way of checking these values is by using preconditions.

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