Category: Personal

Good comments, bad comments

As developers from our first years we are taught by our masters: “Comment your code you should, my young apprentice”. I even found this article, that outlines 13 rules, on how you should comment your code. I only have two rules for that:

  1. Don’t comment what your code is doing. If you find it necessary, it’s a code smell, and you should start thinking about refactoring it, so that it’s obvious.
  2. Do comment why your code does what it does.

Other than that, merry Christmas and happy new year everybody.

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Subtext – ‘Item with the same key has already been added’ error fixed (hopefully)

Many people visiting my site (myself included) have stumbled upon this error message:


I took some time yesterday and, since Subtext is an open source project, I looked into the code trying to find what’s causing it, and fixed it. I don’t know Subtext’s architecture all that well, so I may have broken something on the way. My error log shows no exceptions (as compared to quite a few a day before the fix), so either people stopped visiting my site, or I fixed it smile_regular without breaking anything else.

If I’m wrong, and you do find any errors on the site, please leave a comment under this post.

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See you in two weeks.

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overwhelmed I really need to come up with filtering strategy, or get some long vacations to go thorough all the good stuff that’s there. Any ideas? How do you handle the discussion groups?


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The Lord of the Rings live in Kraków

I just love living in Kraków. There are so many incredible things going on here all the time. Yesterday I went to Błonia, to see one of the most spectacular shows I’ve ever seen.

As a part of the 1st Film Music Festival, Błonia were changed to giant open-air cinema, where Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was screened. The best part however, is that the complete soundtrack was performed live during the movie. The orchestra + choirs summed up to total of almost 300 people on stage. You can get a taste of how it looked like on this video.


This video however, does not give the awesomeness of the spectacle.  The difference is I’d say comparable to playing a racing game, and driving a racing car. It was so incredibly breathtaking that I lack words to express it.


The music was so precisely synchronized with the movie, it was so… alive, it took the movie to whole new dimension. I’ve seen the movie like, four or five times before (once in cinema when it first came out, and then on DVD), but this was by far the greatest movie experience of my life. To say that I’m deeply impressed would be a huge understatement.


Globalization issues

Globalization is a serious issue if you create a software that is to be used worldwide. You may for example take into account that people have non a-z letters in their names, like for example ‘ź’. If you don’t consider that, your users may come across windows like this one, I saw while registering to Windows Live Spaces.


So what should I do? Lie about my last name? And the funniest thing is: there’s no ‘ź’ on the list of forbidden characters.

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This week I received my most recent purchase from Amazon. (HINT: You can use the wl-btn-74-b._V46774601_  link to see some more books I’d love to have… and even buy some for me smile_regular).

Here’s what I bought:


  • Code Complete 2nd edition. With Jeff Atwood advocating it so much, it was not a hard choice. I actually wanted to purchase a book that would generally provide proven practices, and high level overview of programming in a language agnostic way. This seems to be it, and even more. The book is said to be one of all-time-classics of computer science, and so far (I’m in the 6th chapter) it lives up to this promise.
  • CLR via C# 2nd edition. That’s the only platform specific book I bought. However, it’s not yet another “learn C#” or “Learn TreeView Control in .NET 2.0 sp1” kind of book with very narrow scope. This kind of books tends to get out of date very quickly. CLR via C# is a comprehensive insight into inner workings of CLR. It’s the book to read, to get thorough understanding of various aspects of the platform.
  • I also wanted a book about agile development methodologies. That’s the topic of my master’s thesis, and also something I’m deeply interested in. The problem with most books on the topic however, is that they contain a lot of hype, and little real-life advice. The Art of Agile Development, seems to stand out from the crowd promising sober look at introducing and practicing Extreme Programming.

All in all, I’ve only skimmed through all the books, so I can’t say much about each of them yet, but I am content with the choice I’ve made. I’ll share more insight as soon as I read them.

So. What would you recommend for the next time? smile_wink

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Is Subtext project… dead?

I’ve been using Subtext for this blog since its very beginning 10 months ago. Back then I installed what was the latest version (1.9.5 with later security-fix). I was pretty happy with it. I don’t have high needs: it is supported by Windows Live writer, is stable and just works.

opera_errorHowever I’ve been receiving emails from people complaining that they cant post comments to my blog. I checked the issue, and I was able to reproduce it, with error message presented on the screenshot. I googled for it, but I didn’t find out anything useful. I decided to upgrade my blog installation to latest build hoping, that this would fix the issue. Meanwhile I wanted to backup by blog to BlogML, in case something went wrong, and it turned out, that this function is broken as well. I received error message complaining that operation can not be continued, because it couldn’t find some .png image. Anyway, I upgraded to latest 1.9.6 build, but it didn’t fix any of the issues. All it changed, was that now, while exporting to BlogML I get other error, saying that my connection string is wrong. This got me mad, because now I’m tied to Subtext, and there’s no other easy way to migrate to other blog engine without loosing my content.

While I was poking around, looking for solution, I discovered few things. With Phil moving to be the PM of Microsoft’s MVC framework, it looks like Subtext may be a dead project now.

Last Phil’s contribution was 5 months ago, and his last contribution to trunk was 9 months ago (roughly the time he announced he will join Microsoft). There are other contributors as well, but still, the project hasn’t incremented from 1.9.5. to 1.9.6 yet, and it’s been almost a year since last release. Fast look at their build server, reveals yet another issue: there hasn’t been a successful build of Subtext 2.0 for almost 6 months. This all makes me think, that while Phil apparently doesn’t have the time to contribute to the project, it will soon share it predecessor’s (.TEXT) fate.


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Get free Introducing Microsoft LINQ e-book

As Paulo Morgado brought to my attention, Microsoft published absolutely for free, full pdf e-book version of new Introducing Microsoft LINQ book, by Paolo Pialorsi and Marco Russo. Its got average Amazon rating, but hey – don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. You can get the book (and some free chapters of two other) here.

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Anything unusual?

Ok, seriously – I might be just the only blogger in Poland that hasn’t written anything about in the passing year. It’s basically social networking site where you write all schools you went to, and it helps you find people from the same school, the same class and so on. It’s been a huge success here in Poland, and everyone is talking about it, even my mom knows what it is, and that’s quite an achievement.

Well, anyway – my wife seems to like it, and she spends quite a lot of time there, and she found this on their main site (image not shown, as you may not want to see it. I warn you, don’t open it when you have kids around). I find it hilarious on one hand, and striking on the other hand, that although they seem to have no filtering whatsoever, they still allow this to their front page, where claimed four millions of their users can see it.

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