Users Don’t Care How It Was Written

In over 30+ years of software development and programming I have come to one conclusion. It may alarm some programmers and developers, especially the newer ones on the scene. End users do no really care how you wrote the software they are using, they don’t care what language, what methods, what tools, or even what OS it was written on. What they do care about is does it work like they want it to and does it do what it is supposed to do when all the dust settles.

Let me give you an example of what I mean. Here is a little program that I wrote just a few weeks ago. Take a quick look at the screenshot below:

mines_no_window

Do you see anything spectacular? Its a clone of minesweeper right? We all know how to play the game and we all know kinda what it looks like. If this were all you had to look at on your screen you could still play the game and it would be fun, assuming you like this style of game.

Just by looking you cannot tell what operating system I wrote this on. You can’t tell what software development tools and methods I used to develop the software with. You cannot even tell what computer or operating system it is running on right now either. Right?

That is my point, neither can the end user. They see the game, they play it, it performs as they expect it to, they are entertained for a period of time and that is pretty much it.

So, why do software developers get all in a tizzy when it comes to developing software?

Please don’t get me wrong here there are merits to working with something you are familiar with. A favorite language, a favorite IDE, or OS but in the end, setting aside your own personal preferences and productivity, does it really matter to the end user?

At the end of the day using your favorite tools make you feel more productive and accomplished. This is great and has it merits. I love it too. Perhaps this is where the strong feelings come from. That is understandable too.

The point I would like to make, and I need to follow as well, is to use what you like and are most comfortable with that will enable you to get your work done in a fashion that you are satisfied with.

Who cares what other developers are using. You are not them and they are not you. It is great that we are passionate about what we use but don’t go overboard to the point of stepping on others’ for their preferences.

Oh, back to the game screenshot. I wrote this little game clone using Pygame and Python and I developed it on a Mac using OS X and the editor that I used, wait for it, was IDLE. In the screenshots it is running on Max OS X El Capitan.

mines_window

In the end the users of our software just want it to work and do what they expect. So don’t fret about what other developers are using and feel you have to jump on the bandwagon. Certainly don’t contribute to the flame wars.

Until next time, God bless, have fun, and enjoy coding.

 

Carcassonne – More Board Game Fun

5591941_orig
Another great board game. My second board game purchase turns out to be as great as the first one. This one is called Carcassonne. We played it for hours this weekend. Even my dog got involved. Well, not in a good sort of way. He tried to eat one of the pawns so now I have to see if I can locate a set to purchase.

This is a great family game too. I would highly recommend it.

Fate – Still Very Fun After All These Years

Fate_Coverart

I have found myself going back to play this great little rpg game. It is based on the game Diablo by Blizzard so it must be fun, right? Well, it is in fact. I love the graphics and the game play is pretty solid.

I have spent several hours playing this game over the past few weeks. This time I am determined to complete the game. Why?  So I can play the sequels of course. 🙂

Some people are claiming to have trouble running this on Windows 10 but I have not had any trouble at all and I have not done anything special. Just load the game up from the CD and start playing.

Try it out if you get a chance, I love it, you might too.

Family Fun Night

I received a great new board game for Christmas this year that I have had my eye on for sometime. It is called “Catan – Family Edition“.

catan-family-square-right
My family and I sat down last night and learned how to play it and in about thirty minutes we were hooked. The game lasted till the wee hours of the morning. We were laughing and having a great time just being with each other and enjoying this great classic board game.

Merry Christmas – 2015

I know everyone is very busy this time of year with work, school, family, and other things but I would like to give pause and wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Jesus is our Lord and he longs for us to come to him.

I hope you and your family have a great holiday season and live and laugh much.

God bless you.

Web Safe Code Cleaner In Python

This is a simple Python 3 script that I wrote to strip out the symbols that cause the web browsers to go crazy when you are trying to display your code.


 from tkinter import *
 from tkinter import ttk


 # Create the event handler first
 def btnConvert_Click():
    temp = tbSource.get('1.0', 'end')
    temp = temp.replace('<','<')
    temp = temp.replace('>','>')
    tbOutput.insert('1.0',temp)

 def btnClear_Click():
  tbSource.delete('1.0','end')
  tbOutput.delete('1.0','end')


 # Create the top level window/frame
 top = Tk()
 top.title("Web Safe Code Converter 1.0.0")

 fra = ttk.Frame(top)
 fra.pack(expand="true")

 # Now the frame with the two text widgets
 fraEntry = ttk.Frame(fra, border=1)
 tbSource = Text(fraEntry, width=40, height=20)
 tbOutput = Text(fraEntry, width=40, height=20)
 fraEntry.pack(side="top", expand="true")
 tbSource.pack(side="left", expand="true")
 tbOutput.pack(side="right", expand="true")

 # Finally the frame with the buttons.
 fraButton = Frame(fra)
 btnConvert = ttk.Button(fraButton, text="Convert", command=btnConvert_Click)
 btnClear = ttk.Button(fraButton, text="Clear", command=btnClear_Click)
 btnConvert.pack(side="left", padx=5, pady=6)
 btnClear.pack(side="left", padx=5, pady=6)
 fraButton.pack(side="top", expand="true")

 # Run the event loop
 fra.mainloop()

Java – A Web Site Launcher Class

Here is a simple Java class that I wrote that will launch a default web browser:


// A simple and easy-to-use class that will launch a default browser.
// Noble D. Bell, June 5, 2015

public class LaunchWebBrowser {
 
 public String webUrl = ""; 
 
 // Initialize Object with data. If none is supplied then default to my web site.
 public LaunchWebBrowser(String url) {
  
  if (url.isEmpty())
   webUrl = "http://www.noblesoftware.com";
  else
   webUrl = url;
 }
 
 // Display the web site in the system's default web browser.
 public void GotoWebsite() {

  try {
   java.awt.Desktop.getDesktop().browse(java.net.URI. create(webUrl));
  } catch(java.io.IOException e) {
   javax.swing.JOptionPane.showMessageDialog(null, e.getStackTrace().toString());
  }
 }
}

Some Spring Fun

Here are some of the things that I have been doing lately. I thought I would share some of them with you.

Currently I have been spending some time reading Robert Jordan’s “The Wheel of Time” series. I am currently on book 2 of 14. I suspect this will keep me busy for quite awhile. During my schooling days I was not much on reading at all. Now, I seem to enjoy it much more.

Our family is in countdown mode to our trip to Disney. We are all looking forward to it. I am especially looking forward to it because my son and his wife will be joining us there.
IMG_1343
In April I attended the SOKY Book Fest to sit in on a panel discussion about fantasy and science fiction. The main attraction, and highlight for me was meeting my favorite fantasy author, Mr. Terry Brooks.
If it were not for my little sister, I would not have known about him being there nor the yearly event at all. So, I thank you little sis.

HP Windows 8.1 Laptop BIOS Setup

I just found out something interesting about my somewhat new HP Windows 8.1 laptop. If I want to get into the BIOS I have to follow a little procedure that does not have to be done on laptops that are not running Windows 8 evidently.

To get into the BIOS I have to do the following:

1. Hold down the <left shift> key will selecting shut down on the computer. (This is to temporarily disable the hybrid boot.)

2. When you push the power button on the laptop start hitting the <esc> key until you get a boot menu.

3. Press <F10> from the menu to get into the BIOS.

Sounds like a lot of work just to get to a BIOS but I will take it.

The Mind Games of Choosing Developer Tools

There are so many different languages, platforms, frameworks, and IDE’s to choose from out there in the wild that picking the one or ones that you would like to use could drive you absolutely crazy. Everyone has their favorites and they try and entice new users into their camp and way of thinking.

I want to tell you first hand, if you start allowing all this noise to get into your brain you will not be able to think clearly and you most certainly will not be able to find solutions to your problems and be able to develop any useful code.

The best way you can battle this kind of onslaught for your attention and money is to look at the offerings, try them out for yourself, and do not, I repeat, do not look at other developer’s posts, or reviews. You have to pick for yourself. Your choices should be based on what makes you happy and what makes your more productive.

In closing, keep in mind, that the user of your software does not really care that much, if at all, about how you developed it or what wiz-bang language or technology you used. They just want to see their requested results.

With all of that being said remember that you are a developer for a reason. You like to solve problems and write code. Lots of it. If you are always sorting through the what and the why of using some tool or technology then you are not doing what you love.

It is tough out there, use what you like.

Until next time, God bless and have a great day.