Project idea: Commit safety for developers

The problem

Programmers are like bad criminals in cop movies.  We just like to leave clues everywhere.  Most of the time, we work much like writers, from the outside in.  Develop an outline, stub out the parts which we might get to, and then fill in the core pieces, followed by the extremities.  If you're lucky you get a quick review and edit and then off to the press.  

Often though, we leave in little todo messages like "@todo: Actually write this function" or "@todo: make sure you check for a security hole here".  Or unprofessional error messages like "oops, something didn't work" or even worse "idiotic user doesn't know how to read instructions and forgot to use lower case".  And sometimes, I've been guilty of leaving debug code in which is there for me to look at what is happening in the code, but should never be accessed by others.

In my 13 years of reading other peoples' code, I don't think I'm alone here.

Ever seen "An unexpected error has occurred" or "Oops, shouldn't have gotten here" in an application... yeah, the dev needed this.

The proposal

An extension to your version control system of choice and/or your continious integration tool which checked code for various


Google Drawings is pretty cool, now what is it for?

Google released a new product in its app suite, Google Drawings.  It's kinda like Adobe Illustrator, Visio and Microsoft Paint decided to have a baby and it got the so called genetic short end of the stick.

I'm not saying it isn't impressive, it's massively impressive given that it provides real-time collaborative drawing in JavaScript.  I'm just not sure what it's good for yet.  

A couple things which really impressed me:

  • Nice collection of shapes and arrow heads
  • The integrated google image search is nice
  • Intuitive interface for adding text (double click)
  • You can copy drawings into docs

A couple things I noted which didn't impress me:

  • There is no "snapping" of arrows.  It looks like you can build flow chart style diagrams, but the arrows don't stay attached to shapes.  This basically makes it like Visio, without the part worth paying $200 for.
  • Adding shapes is a chore.  Compare to balsamiq which has a keyboard based interface for this, or visio with the stencils

Here's my take:

If your whole team has styluses (styli) and likes to use them, this might be a neat tool for collaborative white board experience for remote teams.

Another option: If you just want to quickly add some


Review: Sequel Pro

I've been using PhpMyAdmin since I switched to a Linux desktop about 7 years ago.  Before that I was a big fan of Mascon for windows.

I'm not sure why I tolerated the lousy web interface of PhpMyAdmin for so long.  Fully aware there were more usable solutions out there.  I guess it's just a case of "whatever, I don't use it that much".  But I think a good DB browser can really improve workflow in some situations.  Now that I'm a sellout and use a mac, I was expecting to spend $30 for some silly GUI app, but was pleasantly surprised to find SequelPro.


Sequel Pro


Nice right?  And it is really easy to use.  I can edit data, it's got a SQL editor that is smooth to work with and a table designer with all the fixins.  Supports local and remote DBs as well.

While I still support phpMyAdmin (as a stalwart x-platform FOSS citizen) this one is just too easy to use and pretty (and also Free software).

Check it out!


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