Monthly Archives: December 2008

Blog changes

14 Dec 2008
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  Comments Off

Due to a screwup at a domain registrar (not godaddy — more in another post), I decided to move my blog to a new domain:!  Please let me know if you find any issues.

The old feed is hosed, but will hopefully come back when the registrar pulls their head out of their ass. :-\ 

new feed

Update: 12/14/2008 @ 8:01 pm (Eastern): Old feed is up.

Twittering build status from

11 Dec 2008
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  2 Comments

A few weeks ago, for no other reason than I had a few minutes to spare, I decided to setup a new twitter account that would be used to report build status on one of my projects.  I initially wanted to post the build status to my primary twitter account, but after mentioning it in a tweet (and receiving some negative feedback), I decided a separate account would be better.  After a quick search, I found this post by Thomas Freudenberg which described exactly what I needed: a twitter build publisher for CruiseControl.NET.  I did find a couple others in my search, but none as simple as ‘ccnet.TwitterPublisher.plugin’.

After downloading the source, building it, copying the required assembly to my ccnet folder and adding the relevant section to my ccnet.config file, I was up and running.  I realized pretty quickly that I’d need to make some changes because out of the box, the tweet contains the project name and a link back to the ccnet dashboard.  Since this is tied to a client project I’m working on, all I really wanted to display was “build was successful” or “build failed”.  If this was for a more public project, I’d definitely leave those other pieces of information in place.  I would like to add more information to the tweet, but I haven’t quite figured out how to get the information I want.  For example, I’d love for the tweet to include # tests run / # tests passed.

Changing the code was actually really simple and if people care, I can post my changes. :-)

My build status twitter account.

Anyway, I’ve found that I’m definitely more careful before commit’s because the last thing I want is to see “build failed” come across on twitter. :-)

Balsamiq rocks!

03 Dec 2008
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  Comments Off

I’ve heard about Balsamiq Mockups, but after seeing this tweet (“FYI, Balsamiq rocks for UI mock ups. Thanks @joeybeninghove for showing it to me!“) by Joel, I had to take a look.

I spent about 15 minutes using it and love it!  I was in analysis paralysis last night and needed to break out of it.  Basically, I created a screen that sucks – it’s fugly and not intuitive at all and I needed to fix it.  Instead of hacking around in Visual Studio trying to figure out what I wanted to do, I hit the Balsamiq site and very quickly laid out what I think I want the screen to be.  The cool thing is that the output looks like I sketched it in pencil. :-)

I’ve always been a big fan of pencil and paper for initial screen design because it helps me focus.  My problem with that method is that if I want to show anyone, I need to scan the paper and then email it — this was no big deal up until my scanner died about a month ago. :-)   With Balsamiq, I can quickly and easily save the design to an image file.

I plan on using over the next couple of weeks to produce some prototypes for another client.

Check it out if you get some time!

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Raleigh Code Camp – wrap-up

01 Dec 2008
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  1 Comments

On Friday, November 14th, my family and I made the crazy 720 mile drive to Raleigh, North Carolina for the Code Camp.  We left around 5:30am and finally arrived at our hotel around 7pm.  The drive itself wasn’t too bad until we hit some major fog somewhere in the southern part 100_1041of West Virginia/northern part of North Carolina.

After getting settled into our hotel, I headed to the speakers dinner where I hung out for a few hours with James, Justin, Kevin, Jayme, Dave, Nate, Derik, Dugald and many more super-smart developers.

Nate picked me up Saturday morning for the short ride to the venue.  I skipped the keynote to check out the open spaces area and catch up with friends I haven’t seen for awhile (Mike Neel and Corey come to mind).  Since I was in the 2nd time slot of the day and Alan was giving his talking in the same room during the 1st time slot, I decided to hang out and see what he had to say about the DLR.  Due to 100_1046some hardware issues, he ended up giving his talk on someone else’s system, so some of the demos weren’t quite ready, but overall, it was an outstanding talk.  I still don’t “get” what dynamic languages buy me, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out at some point.

My “Introduction to Castle ActiveRecord” talk went extremely well.  I had some excellent questions and it appears I inspired at least a few people to take a deeper look at Castle ActiveRecord.  Since that was the final event of the year for me, I’m going to find the time to screencast the session and post it.100_1049

The open spaces turned out really well.  The venue itself kinda sucked and the open spaces room required some reconfiguration, but the topics were solid and the conversations were top-notch.  I was a bit bummed to see the event come to an end because we were involved in a very passionate discussion about software estimation.  After the give-aways, a group of us ended up at a small irish pub for dinner and drinks.  It was here that the mother of all “name drop” 100_1050events took place. ;-)   Between Alan and Rachel, I think I heard more names dropped than at all other events combined.  ;-)

Around 9pm, a group of us headed over to Jayme’s house where we talked, played some Xbox and hung out.  Good times and I really want to thank Jayme and his wife for allowing everyone to come over.  Since I knew I had a long drive the next day, Nate and I bailed around midnight.

We left for home around 9:30 Sunday morning and arrived home around midnight.  If I attend the next Raleigh Code Camp, I’m going to make sure I extend the trip and extra day or two so I can actually explore the area a bit. :-)

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