The Blog of Maxim Porges

Archive for July, 2006

  • Useless User Interfaces

    You know, I really have no idea what these guy thought they were doing when they created this user interface. I headed over there to see the 100 WiFi Rabbit Orchestra, and was thoroughly annoyed by the fact that the navigation actively tries to get out of your way.

    This is the kind of stuff that gives Flash a bad name. Hopefully the soon-to-come widespread proliferation of Flex will be lead by programmers who avoid such meaningless bunk.

    I gave up on trying to find the orchestra. I was hoping for some video.

    Do you have a user interface for a site that you hate? If so, tell me about it.

    2006.07.23 / 2 responses / Category: Uncategorized

  • This Is the Stupidest Thing Ever. I Must Have One.

    Sooner or later, mankind is destined to run out of things to create – at which point the universe will end. From my count, there were only two things left to invent before we reached the singularity: the teleport, and the Wi-Fi Bunny.

    I guess we’ve just got the teleport left, then. :)

    John-Paul Ashenfelter was talking about this wacky gadget at CFUNITED 2006, but I didn’t really think about it until I was browsing ThinkGeek today. Like any geek, I want one so I can program it to do amusing/annoying things through the API. Apparently there’s some sort of subscription fee for some of the services that the Nabaztag can subscribe to, but I’ve almost convinced myself that it’s worth it.

    2006.07.22 / no responses / Category: Uncategorized

  • Flex Builder 2 for Mac

    I’m drooling all over my shiny metallic keyboard.

    2006.07.22 / no responses / Category: Uncategorized

  • Conference Presentation and Materials

    I’ve had a few requests for my conference presentation materials, but I can’t find the links on I know they are planning on publishing the videos and conference materials, so I put an email in to Liz at TeraTech to see where they are.

    In the interim, here are the presentation and sample documents for download (7.8 MB) in a web-ready format . Alternatively, you can just look at the presentation online (gotta love Keynote’s export options!).

    Please let me know if there is anything else that anybody is interested in.

    2006.07.22 / 4 responses / Category: Uncategorized

  • Lucky Number 7

    Whenever you speak at an event like CFUNITED, attendees rate your presentation and give you feedback on how you did. Usually, I get a mail out from TeraTech with the CFUNITED surveys so I can see how the audience thinks I did, but this year TeraTech went a step further and sent us all our side-by-side rankings. The reason for this might have been to promote some transparency, considering that the top three rated presenters get a free ride next year to CFUNITED 2007 on TeraTech’s dime.

    First off, congrats to the winners, ranked as follows:

    #1 – Josh Adams with “Benefits of Deploying CFML on .NET Versus Java/J2EE”
    #2 – Dave Ross with “Inversion of Control and ColdFusion: Using ColdSpring”
    #3 – Jeff Tapper with “Event Gateways in CFMX7″

    Well, it turns out that I’m not quite as crappy a presenter as my careless banter on this web site might lead you to believe. :)

    Turns out, I came in #7 out of 74 presentations. My presentation on “Secrets of Top Notch Development Teams” netted me an average attendee rating of 19.42 points out of a possible 20. For reference, this put me only 0.18 points behind Jeff Tapper, so it was a heck of a close race.

    Truth be told, the surveys for five presentations could not be found – and these presentations were given by Joe Rinehart, Sean Corfield, John-Paul Ashenfelter, and Selene Bainum. No disrespect to the other presenters, but having seen the first three of these guys in action, I’d be surprised if the results of these talks wouldn’t tip the balance. I’ve got tremendous respect for everybody who presents at CFUNITED and other CF conferences, but Joe, Sean, and John usually give the most interesting and highly attended presentations when they take the stage.

    Well, regardless of the outcome, it’s always a pleasure to be a presenter at a community event, and I very much look forward to continuing to present at (or at the very least attend) TeraTech conferences in the future. Many thanks to everybody who attended my presentation, and for taking the time to give me feedback on my performance.

    I’ll see you all there again next year!

    2006.07.20 / 2 responses / Category: Uncategorized

  • 2006 IBM/Rational Software Conference

    I was lucky enough to attend the 2006 IBM/Rational Software Conference, which was fantastic. One of the things that struck me was just how many people there are out there trying to practice IT craft the right way.

    There were 13 tracks covering everything from Requirements Analysis to Architecture, Portfolio Management to Software Quality. There was so much good stuff happening in each time slot that I would literally narrow my options down to three or four sessions, and still not be able to decide which ones to go to.

    Luckily, I found a way to almost attend the whole thing.

    Having been blown away by the experience level of the presenters, I dropped $150 on the conference audio CDs, which arrived yesterday as a 6 CD set. Coupled with the presentation materials (downloadable from the conference web site, thoughtfully pre-converted to PDF), this gives me access to the entire conference. Not quite as good as being in all the sessions, but light years ahead of not having any access at all.

    I think my favorite sessions of the conference were as follows.

    Agile Requirements Management with Use Cases (by Ian Spence, Chief Scientist at Ivar Jacobson Consulting)
    Ian did a great job presenting how to cut the crap and get down to details with requirements management. Something I’m becoming increasingly frustrated with at CFI is the amout of ceremony involved in getting our projects/enhancements rolling. We spend so much time talking about and documenting the problem that we never seem to get anything done. I’m dying to get in to my software architecture role full time so that I can experiment with some of the agile techniques that Ian covered. I’m also picking up a copy of Practices of an Agile Developer (highly recommended by my CF conference buddy John Paul Ashenfelter) to see what other clues I can glean for getting things done quickly while maintaining a responsible level of lifecycle and documentation.

    Managing the Service Lifecycle with IBM Rational Software Architect (W. David Pitt, Research Director at Number Six Software)
    This session was great because it covered some useful techniques for managing services in a SOA environment using Rational tools (which we have at CFI). Truth be told, the techniques applied to any SOA shop regardless of tooling, so it was great stuff either way. One of the things I liked the most about this session was that the David validated my plans for setting up our SOA and abstraction layers. It was nice to have somebody to talk to from experience about this sort of stuff. No disrespect to my peers, but many of them are relying on me to make the right decisions in this area (obviously, because it’s my job), but I don’t have that many people at work to bounce these sort of ideas against.

    Overall, I’m really looking forward to getting all the conference materials downloaded, after which I’m going to burn them on DVD as a kind of cohesive record of the entire conference. Amazingly, this conference takes place annually in the consistent location of my current ‘hood of Orlando, FL (at the Swan & Dolphin resorts on Disney property), so I’m definitely planning on attending the conference again next year.

    2006.07.12 / no responses / Category: Uncategorized