Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Design Pattern "Flash Cards"

I was reading up on design patterns a couple days ago after reading this scathing piece. The author is expressing his disappointment that so many software developers are generally ignorant of design patterns.

The article inspired me to search for some good flash cards for studying design patterns. Of course, nothing replaces a good reference like the Gang of Four, but still, study aids are nice. As it happens, a few years back Jason McDonald did put together an attractive set of cards based on the GoF patterns. These were nice, but I wanted something more extensible. So, I decided (or rather, was compelled) to spend a-whole-heaping-lot of time that I really didn't have over the last couple of days to stand up a mobile web app based on McDonald's files.

The app is located at — just point your sufficiently capable mobile browser at that address. It was written with jQTouch (which wasn't too bad to learn, coming from some familiarity with jQuery), and my guess is that it'll only work on iOS, Android, and WebOS. Possibly in Opera Mobile, but I wouldn't take that bet. On iOS, if you tap the '+' button in your browser, you can add the app (with a cute little icon, courtesy of M.C. Escher) to your home screen. I imagine you can do something similar on other systems. The source is available on my github. You need Python and Django to generate the app.

The "cards" are meant to accompany a good reference. Many things could be better about the app, but it's time for me to put it away for a while. I have work to do.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Africa ... states of independence

Even though it appears that the world has not yet heard of it (at the time I am writing this, all Google can tell me is that there is a 15 second say-nothing promotional video, and that I and one other person have tweeted it), I'm looking forward to checking this out:

Seventeen African nations gained their independence in 1960, but the dreams of the independence era were short-lived. Africa ... states of independence tells the story of some of those countries - stories of mass exploitation, of the ecstasy of independence and of how - with liberation - a new, covert scramble for resources was born.

I'll try not to be confused by the GMT air times.