What's In Chris' Brain: November 2008 Issue

My apologies for the slowdown in posting. I have a Side Project For Money That Will Not Die and it is occupying almost all my spare time outside of work and family commitments. In the aftermath of the most historic election ever in the United States of America, here is what I've been thinking about:

  • Komodo 5 is out. If you've been looking for an IDE that lets you work with multiple languages, do not waste any more time looking. Go and check it out. (Disclaimer: I am in Activestate's good books and received a free upgrade to Komodo 5). I have been playing with it (currently I use a different IDE because I am a masochist) but I do use it when I need to break out a debugger for some nasty code. It was weird using Komodo and finding my fingers trying to type all the keystrokes that vim uses
  • The Side Project For Money That Will Not Die has really pushed my coding skills forwards by reinforcing the notion to embrace the conventions of the framework your application has been built with. Nothing sharpens the skills up like taking old code and figuring out how to duplicate the functionality under the constraints of a different system. While it is an exercise in coding masochism, I highly recommend everyone doing it at least once.
  • Giles Bowkett is a guy you should pay attention to. Sure, he's a Ruby guy but he's *very* different from the rest of the Ruby community. Follow his blog and follow him on Twitter too.
  • Returning to IDE's for a second, if you do settle on an editor for your day-to-day use (Komodo, stop poking me in the ribs! Vim is laughing at me now) please, PLEASE, learn what you need to learn to master it. Otherwise you end up like me: typing :V, scrolling down and typing Y in Komodo, then wondering why nothing got copied. Yes, I know there are vim keybindings for it but muscle memory is a very nasty thing.
  • It's all over but the shouting: \ has been chosen as the new separator / indicator for namespaces in PHP 5.3+. My own opinion on this doesn't really matter, I'm just glad that they have decided.
  • Something I saw a few weeks ago in a screencast of a talk that Obie Fernandez gave about the proper way to about being a consultant has totally stuck with me: do exceptional work. Three simple words that a lot of people should pay attention to no matter the environment they happen to be working in. Of course, easier said than done.
  • Selenium + PHPUnit + CodeIgniter is helpful, but really, really slow.
  • PHPUnit + CodeIgniter is good because I am tired of fixing bugs that would've been caught if I had written tests.