Friday, November 13, 2009

Not a fan of Apple's new Magic Mouse

I recently purchased the new Apple Magic Mouse and after about a week of on and off use, I'm not a fan of it. For me, the laser tracking is terrible. I thought it might be the desk so I bought a mouse pad (remember those) and though the mouse pad made tracking a bit better, the Magic Mouse laser tracking performance is irritatingly poor on both the desk and mouse pad surfaces. It's a beautiful device, but it's basic performance is just terrible from my experiences with it. I'm going to hang onto it for a while and see if the driver support gets better over time.

Anyone else seeing issues with the basic laser tracking performance?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Using argument matchers in EasyMock and mockito

I spent some quality time with EasyMock today while coaching some developers on building tests around an existing codebase. We were mocking a dependency of our SUT and the method call that we wanted to mock had two parameters. When we wrote the expectation, we used the anyObject() matcher for the first parameter and tried to perform an exact match on the second parameter, a Boolean. Here is an example of what we were trying to do in EasyMock (NOTE: we statically imported EasyMock so we could reduce the amount of code noise by not prefacing our expect, matcher, replay and verify invocations with EasyMock.):


expect(mockObject.retrieveSomething((String) anyObject(), false)).andReturn(someObject);


Unfortunately, EasyMock and mockito do not like this. They both want you to use matchers for all parameters if you use matchers for any parameters. However, the two libraries react quite differently when this situation occurs. EasyMock complains with a somewhat confusing message that at first blush makes it seem like we declared the expectation for multiple invocations. It really threw us off for a while (at least an hour) trying to figure out what was wrong with our expectations. Here is how we fixed it in EasyMock:


expect(mockObject.retrieveSomething((String) anyObject(), eq(false))).andReturn(someObject);


Mockito does a much better job of stating that when you use a parameter argument matcher in your expectation, you have to use parameter argument matchers for all of the parameters of the method call participating in the expectation. I find it interesting that mockito retains the behavior of EasyMock (mockito is a fork of EasyMock) with regards to argument matching, but mockito improves on the error messaging when something goes wrong with the mock object setup. Further reinforces my decision to forego EasyMock in favor of mockito.

Getting a handle on code quality with Sonar

I've been working with a client recently who uses Sonar, an open source code quality management platform hosted at Codehaus. I'm thoroughly impressed with this tool. If you want to see what the tool can do without investing the time in installing it, take a look at the various screencasts. They also have a live version of Sonar up so you can play with it without installation.

We've been working on getting unit tests built around a legacy code base and Sonar has been a big help in identifying classes that are the biggest code coverage offenders. We used the Clouds feature, a word cloud that weights the class names in the cloud based on code coverage and complexity. The less test coverage on the class and/or the more complex the class, the larger the weight of that class name word in the word cloud. It really helped us focus on where to direct our testing efforts.

I have yet to get this tool up and running in one of my own projects, but things are finally starting to simmer down now with consulting and training activities that I hope to focus on building out a CI environment using Hudson and hooking in Sonar to that environment. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Promoting keystroke use in Eclipse

If you want to promote key mappings use in Eclipse, MouseFeed might be your ticket. This Eclipse plugin monitors your mouse usage, and when you click on a UI component (button, menu, etc.) that can be invoked by key stroke, the MouseFeed plugin will pop up a small notification window stating that the action has a key mapping. The notification window disappears after a few seconds, but it's power is obvious. Very similar to the Key Promoter plugin in IntelliJ IDEA. Very cool Eclipse plugin.

Here is a screencast of the MouseFeed plugin in action:

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Completed another Test Driven and Refactoring course for DevJam

This time using C# and the .NET platform. The course went over really well, though we did have some small snafus with the training area in the DevJam office. Nothing that can't be tweaked. I had 15 participants in this class. All participants pair programmed when completing the hand-on exercises and again, I'm totally amazed at how well pair programming goes over when you get people away from their normal work environment. Everyone really grooved on the pair programming thing.

One area that we will need to work on is the mock objects content. We don't have any hands-on exercises for using mock objects and we heard about it in the reviews of the course. I did walk everyone through a demonstration of using mock objects in your unit tests, but I mis-gauged how much interest the participants had in mock objects and the desire to get their feet wet with mock objects. Some of the class participants stay after the course ended and we did another 40 minutes of live coding demos on the use and features of mock objects (using moq for the mocking framework in .NET).

All in all, an awesome two days for me and hopefully for the course participants.