Monday, 3 May 2010

Some Observations...

Sorry for neglecting this blog, I'm in the throes of delivering a large mobile application, which has consumed all my waking hours.

In our big push to get this product out the door, we've brought on-board additional developers.  Unfortunately,  they were not sufficiently grooved in to our architecture and coding standards.  As you can imagine, the result was less than expected.  One of the purposes of having a known architecture, in my opinion, is that it serves as a point of agreement within the team.  It defines where things are located, what function it performs, what its relationship is to other parts of the system.  In short, it establishes order and structure to a large number of projects and should bring about simplicity.

When someone does not adhere to the agreed upon architecture they can be counted upon to introduce complexity.  To the uninitiated faced with a solution with 40-50 projects, all is complex.  Any changes they introduce will undoubted contain that complexity.

On a similar note, regarding WPF....

Whenever I see Xaml loaded up with Alignment, dimension attributes, etc, or StackPanels within StackPanels within Grids within nauseum, I know what the developer was experiencing.  He is using more and more settings and properties to force the Xaml to behave a certain way.  This brute force approach always bloats your code and is always inefficient.  If the UI does not bend to your will, the compulsion is to add more settings - this is almost always a mistake.

My golden rule when working with Xaml is:  Less is More.

If I'm faced with sorting out some misbehaving Xaml, the first thing I do is delete all the unnecessary properties and work with the core object.

Anyway...just some observations.  I'm hoping to be more active on this blog once I've completed this current project.

One new development effort I've been working on in the evening, is creating a Win 7 Media Center Add-in using Visual Studio 2010 and the Media Center SDK.  It's my first attempt, so I hope to have something worthwhile to report.

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