Archive for March, 2007

Ahh..recovering from the 1st sunburn of the season…

Looking to work as an embedded engineer in Ireland?  Ralph Depping points out a few resources available.

10 signs your software project is doomed.  Item #4 strikes a cord. (via The Daily Grind).

Hacknot has reached his boiling point with the Dynamic Language oopla going on.  An article in IEEE’s software magazine sent him over the edge into a 8000 word essay.  Well worth a read :-)   You might also want to download the Hacknot Book; a free collection of Hacknot essays

Brian Button has a nice article on How to come up with a good list of test when doing TDD.

Chris Morris points out to a less that useful discussion on architecture his project had.

Since the web is crying out for yet another news aggregation blog, I feel compelled to fill the void. Actually, in keeping with the original intent of this blog (oh, where have we gone wrong? The siren songs of .NET and software design at large have struck) we will limit the content of these posts to things closely related to embedded systems. Expect a large dose of hardware related news and some embedded stuff.

Due to manpower issue and lack of readily re-syndicated sources (meaning, I’ll be reading dead trees), I expect this to be a weekly issue.

Rick Merritt has a nice piece in EE Times about the looming shortage of programmers. This is a big concern to address the next computing challenge: parallelism in the multi-core era.

Rick also has a side article about TechFest 07.  Microsoft Research’s Showcase of project.  Displays made of MEMS instead of LCDs is what got my attention.

Jeff Bier points out that if you’re going to market a new embedded processor,  provide good tools and reference designs.  Amen to that!

electronic engineering has been around for a long time…close to a century.  The early engineers drew much of their practices from the more established engineering disciplines…civil engineers (bridges, buildings, etc…) chief amongst them.

The conventional way to do things was to create your blueprint and have your builders build what you specified.  Sure, sometimes adaptations need to be made, the blueprints revised, etc… But generally speaking, the blueprint was a pretty reliable document to describe the end design.

Most hardware designs still follow that model: come up with the high level design and specifications then implement it.  Note that hardware includes both board level designs and also FPGA/ASICS, etc…

Software design essentially followed the same model.  Everyone is familiar with the waterfall model, even though the way it is commonly used is NOT what the original author had in mind. In the recent past, inroads have been made to change this.  The 90s brought us iterative design, and the new century ushered in Agile.  Both of these having a primary goal of speeding up the feedback loop to insure that we are solving the correct problem.  Often, at the inception of a project, we don’t actually know what the end product should be like.  We have an idea, but the actual concrete implementation, with all it’s corner cases and exceptions is far from the idea.

It turns out that the same problem is present in Hardware design.  EE Times has an article by Rishiyur S. Nikhil pointing to an EDA trend towards design-by-refinement.  Sounds like incremental design to me…

How sweet the sound…Hardware engineers finally taking a page from the software guys playbook…

Who knew #10 would come so quickly?


Eric Gunnerson has a first impressions of WPF with Visual Studio and Blend working together.  Bottom line: Recommended.


Doug Gaff talks about what it takes to have a successful open source add-in project for eclipse.  Quite a bit different than your typical corporate project.

Ryan over at Rally muses about the downside of agile: No big release party every 18 months.  His solution:  Just win the Jolt award two years in a row!

An open letter to Scott Guthrie: Microsoft, why do you reinvent the wheel? Play nice with open source! (via The Daily Grind)

Sam Gentile has a great News and Notable 151 with Agile & Good Software Design practices. Just go read it.

Download the latest Hanselminute for an interview with Raymond Chen (of the Old New Thing).  Don’t pass an occasion to hear about MS Bob.

Neil Ford has a great podcast on Domain Specific Language (via Scott Bellware)

Tim Ottinger talks about Solution Probleming…looking for a way to shoehorn that new technique (he’s talking about design patterns) you learned into your project.

Tim Ottinger is being prolific this week. He expands on his original post about the only significant numbers in software design: Zero, One and Many.  Here are the expanded entries: Zero, One and Many.

Owen Taylor talks about the SpaceFacade pattern.  I don’t know enough about the technology to know what I’m talking about, but this seems to be more SOA. Looks like it’s tied to the GigaSpace service, but hey they have a .NET API.

I would dearly love to add an embedded category…help…please.

Scott Hanselman has found a cure for his “Why doesn’t FireFox support ClickOnce deployment” ailment.  If you like FireFox and want to do ClickOnce, go read his article.

Scott Bellware thinks the Entity Framework gets in the way of Behavior-Driven Design.  He’s grumbling about it.

Sam Gentile has come out with New and Notable #150.  Go give him some love!


Michael at The Braidy Tester is now a lyricist.  Move over Weird Al, this one is a keeper! It should shoot to the top of the Charts.

Talking about Michael, he has an older post about stepping back from your urgent tasks and spending some time on items with longer term payback.  Well worth doing…if you can find the time.