Oído en la radio, origen desconocido:

Un paciente sano es un paciente no suficientemente explorado


Grandmothers and designers' expectations

Bruce MacIsaac:

Systems often outlive the assumptions of their original designers. The millenium bug is a classic example. Assuming that the software would be replaced by 1999, early designers used two-digit dates. That assumption cost billions to correct. My own grandmother was the victim of a similar false assumption. When my grandfather passed away in the 1970s, she bought a dual headstone, precarved with her name and "19__". At the age of 112, Mary MacIssac, like many legacy systems, continues to outlive the designer's expectations.
From the Leverage Legacy Systems chapter of Agility and Discipline Made Easy. Practices from OpenUP and RUP (amazon.com,amazon.co.uk ,safari), by Per Kroll and Bruce MacIsaac.

Bruce dedicates the book to his grandmother.


Analogies and Connections

The RTP Scrolls is a place where Denilson Nastacio and his readers have some fun drawing analogies from unexpected sources, borrowing examples from Mother Nature, mathematics, physics, biology, politics and on occasion, metaphysics.

Denilson's unexpected jumping often makes me think about James Burke's Connections (an alternative view of change) , one my my favourite TV shows ever (that I haven't had the chance to watch it in 20?! years). The great news for me is that, while googling to write this post, I have learned that I'll be able to watch some of the episodes.



Ajax i Rich Internet Applications, Microsoft, IBM, Adobe i atSistemas

Web 2.0: la revolución de RIA en el desarrollo de aplicaciones web. Un enfoque práctico: al World Trade Center de Barcelona el primer de febrer, i a Madrid el 8 de febrer.

Organitzat per atSistemas, Business Partner Premier de IBM.

Ups! Inscripcions al 91 640 76 20 o per mail a Isabel Hueso (ihueso at atsistemas.com)


My browser, my rules, my chrome

Summary: there are times when Firefox security gets in your way. Having a directory where you can place xul, html and scripts to run with chrome privileges enables you to shoot yourself in the foot and to create nice and handy hacks.

The itch that called for scratching: I wanted to hack something to let me upload several files at once to googlepages [1]. The problem is that, for very good reasons, you can not use JavaScript to change the value of input fields of type file: you usualy don't want scripts reading files in your disk. So, a bookmarklet, that to the browser looks as if it were part of the page, wouldn't cut it. Greasemonkey userscripts do run sandboxed, but not under chrome privilege [2], so I did not try that. I tried to give the page UniversalFileRead privilege [3][4], but failed.

A chrome folder. From Under chrome's influence, slightly modified,

In the browser's installation directory, create a new file chrome/mychrome.manifest and put a single line into it:
content mychrome file:///D:/whatever/mychrome/
Note that the trailing slash is significant. Then create the file D:\whatever\mychrome\hello.txt and add some text:
hello world!
After a complete restart of your browser, you can open that file using chrome://mychrome/content/hello.txt.
You need to keep in mind that chrome is catched, so you may not see the changes you make immediately. Setting nglayout.debug.disable_xul_cache to true [5] or the Extension Developer's Extension ability to reload chrome without restarting the browser are helpful here.

Future plans:
  • the bulk upload to googlepages is working nicely; needs some docu before uploading it.
  • I want to have a browser window with chrome privileges so that I can have more freedom of what I can do with some file: urls. Specifically
    • have known tiddlywikis granted UniversalXPConnect privilege without having to grant it to everything from file: and without having to mess with the capability.principal.codebase annoyance.
    • have local files use a script loaded from the web, or have a remote file load a script from my disk, so that I don't have to upload files while writing/debugging javascript.
[1] googlepages: yeah, I know, I'm cheap!
[2] Mark Pilgrim's slides on sandboxing greasemonkey have a wonderful "how to become an expert" detour. Don't miss it.
And, just in case you are a powerpoint author, consider S5 (a Simple Standards-Based Slide Show System), the tool used for Mark's slides.
[3] UniversalFileRead: I added to my user.js
user_pref("capability.principal.codebase.googlepages1.granted", "UniversalFileRead");
user_pref("capability.principal.codebase.googlepages1.id", "http://pages.google.com/");
but still got a security exception.
[4] Highlighted link thanks to http://citebite.com.
[5] nglayout.debug.disable_xul_cache: I haven't tried it. As I write this,I realize that my user.js sets it to true while my prefs.js ignores it and keeps it to false. I'm clueless here. Update: A ";" was missing at the end of its user_pref line. Life is much better with this setting enabled!

¿Cómo he llegado hasta aquí?

Si te instalas esta extensión de Firefox podrás saber cómo llegaste por primera vez a una página: How'd I Get Here?.

Otra pequeña joya de Jesse Ruderman, uno de los mayores expertos en seguridad del Firefox y familia.


Adolescentes envidiables

Giles Tremlett, antropólogo y corresponsal de The Guardian en España, en La Contra (de Ima Sanchís) de La Vanguardia de hoy (no encuentro el link?!):

(En Inglaterra,) los niños aprenden que no deben fiarse de los adultos, y cuando llegan a la adolescencia siguen sin fiarse. Aquí, sin embargo, todavía existe el respeto intergeneracional.
A los ingleses nos sorprende mucho que en las encuestas, a la pregunta de qué es lo más importante en su vida, los adolescentes españoles contesten que su familia.
Nosotros somos muy estrictos con los niños pequeños, queremos que se porten bien en todas las situaciones. Aquí están mimadísimos, pero luego se transforman en adolescentes más sanos que los nuestros.


Planning Poker

I'm reading Mike Cohn's Agile Estimating and Planning (amazon.com amazon.co.uk); so far, a great book. Jim Highsmith's foreword is well worth reading.

On the chapter of techniques for estimating, Cohn describes Planning Poker, something that feels so simple and effective that you almost have to run to join your team and give it a try. You can read the description at http://www.planningpoker.com/detail.html. The site hosts a tool to enable distributed teams to play Planning Poker. Disclaimer: I still haven't played poker nor checked the tool.

One the nice things of Planning Poker is that it is not tied at all to software development: projects from other domains that have to be sized by guestimates (like writing a complex report) fit nicely in this approach.