Doug Setzer on Iron Speed / Code Generators
Thursday, December 14, 2006 11:14:09 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Thanks to Doug Setzer from 27 Seconds Inc for these thoughts, he doesn’t blog (yet) so thought I would be interested in posting it –not sure why as it would seem he’s my only reader…!
I tend to agree with Doug on this one, I remember seeing Code Smith in action at a previous Developer Developer Developer day and although it does look, I have similar concerns as Doug, IMSHO I'm concerned it makes the developer lazy and forget his roots. IIRC many generators offer the ability to make your own templates but again, by doing so, how much time do you really save?
Not being a code generator user* I’m also somewhat biased but I’d be interested to hear other peoples thoughts.
*That said, I do have a number of “tools” that I user to generate the repetitive code but these mainly rotate around Excel and are specific to my coding methods.
The decision to use code generators is a long and tricky decision. I'll admit from the start, my slant on code-generation tools is against them.
For one of my other clients, I use a simple code generation application that they provided to me (the guy wrote it). It does a decent job and for their coding style, it works out fairly well. It takes a very simplistic template and can output (to an extent) customizable code.
The problem that I have with all code generation tools is your ability to make changes. Very rarely do you know all of the data, or the extents of repeating data, or the nuances of the code that you have to develop. So - how does the application handle changes? In my case and this (very) simplistic code generation tool - plain and simple, it doesn't. I have to hand-code changes (.NET, ASP.NET and database procedures).
And the last thing - the nuances of the code that you have to develop. How well does a generic tool handle special situations? Again, I know a free/custom-built tool is a far cry from a $500/$2000 tool - but, anything that is outside of a simple CRUD/1-table procedure and again, I'm hand-coding. I can honestly say, 50% of what I'm doing is "special" and doesn't fit into cookie-cutter boxes.
The code generator that my customer gave me did exactly that - it generated code for a database. It was up to me to build the pages and it just gave me an easy database access API. I like this more than tools like Iron Speed because nothing is being done "for" me, I can control the code it outputs and nothing, nothing is "behind the scenes". With Iron Speed, they're doing a LOT "for" you. My fear is what happens if it breaks? Who do you call? Where do you look? And, the purist in me - what does their code really look like? Are they doing poor-design things that ultimately give you performance woes?
Unfortunately, with tools such as this Iron Speed - the only way to know if it'll work for you is to make the plunge, spend the $500 for the pro. version and see how it goes. You can help get yourself a glimpse, looking under the covers by downloading the trial and putting together some little apps in a month. And, I see that they have a public support forum:
See what people are saying they love? what they hate? etc.
And, of course - Google is our best friend:
I hope this helps - it's a lot to digest, but generally what I'm seeing is that it's good for small/simple apps.
Mazda –pranksters or...?
Thursday, December 07, 2006 10:46:31 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I was missing my GPS manual for the car –no biggie but there were a few functions that I couldn’t figure out (turns out they’re not actually enabled in the car). Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to write a letter to Mazda asking things like “why can’t I fit cruise control in my RX-8” and “why doesn’t the TMC/RDS work in my RX-8”.
Clearly Mazda didn’t like me asking questions –the response? They replied but didn’t attach any postage! –Genius! Don’t believe me? Check these photo...
For those of you interested, Mazda’s official response on the lack of TMC/RDS (traffic announcements linked to the GPS) is it costs a lot to subscribe...
Miss Mays Adult Store finally releases discount voucher
Wednesday, December 06, 2006 11:16:02 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Miss Mays Online Adult Store has finally released it's Christmas discount voucher for your festive fun, check it out -this post is safe-for-work if you don't mind seeing some honies but if your boss is looking over your shoulder, perhaps save this one for home-time ;)
Excel change case -sentance, proper, lower and upper
Tuesday, December 05, 2006 2:38:04 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Have you ever been sorting through a client’s product data and needed to change the case of the text? This is a great little add-in for Excel that can help.
Download the zip file and run the xla file, you’ll then have a new option “Convert Text” under your “Tools” menu:
To use it, select the text you want to change and then choose “Convert Text”, you can then choose from:
- lower case
- UPPER CASE
- Proper Case
- Sentence case
It also has a number of other useful options like removing white space, adding characters etc.
Download the Excel Change Case Add-in here
Police Christmas party fund raising scheme
Friday, December 01, 2006 10:29:11 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I know it's an oldie but it still makes me smile and I haven't seen it for a while (all the more suitable now I drive a car that can go faster than the speed limit)...
Discount codes galore!
Wednesday, November 29, 2006 4:27:10 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Ok seeing as I didn’t get my arse in gear with the 40% discount voucher for the Threshers Group and just about everyone had already seen it, I thought I should post these quickly –hope they’re of use for someone:
And don’t forget to get your naughty adult/sex toys from Miss Mays, I’m still waiting for them to get a code over to me but I’ll update you when I’ve got one…
Update: It's finally here, check out Miss Mays Adult Store finally releases discount voucher
A song about Lovely Birmingham
Wednesday, November 29, 2006 12:18:43 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I'm not a fan of YouTube but I was sent this video this morning and it made me smile, I must find out when the choir's next in town...
Father Christmas of the future?
Wednesday, November 29, 2006 10:45:37 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I saw the new Debenhams Christmas advert this morning which
featured a young father Christmas dancing around what I can only assume was a
modern Santa’s grotto and I couldn’t help wondering whether this will be the
way forward for Santa in the future –no more fat old bearded man…
I hope not anyhow, why should he have to go on a diet and
trim his beard neatly!
40% discount voucher for the Threshers Group
Tuesday, November 28, 2006 10:40:21 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
For those of you who like to dabble in a little festive cheer, I thought I’d share this 40% discount voucher for the Threshers Group. The main catch is you’re only allowed to spend £500 at a time –best get that printer started…
Download the 40% discount voucher for the Threshers Group.
The voucher is valid until 10th December 2006
Update: If you're looking for some naughty fun this Christmas, check out the Miss Mays Adult Store discount voucher