Danny Smith

Danny Smith Logo

blues musician · web geek · designer  &c…

danny smith

blues musician · web geek · designer & cetera…

I love the way these guys convince you to sign up. ‘Less than your lunch’ and then why not save 20%? The small size of the boxes helps to make signing up less of a big deal.

The way we dealt with this complexity was by pushing the burden of knowledge onto a few experts within the company. These folks distilled customer desires into features and wrote up a implementation plans. When they vetted this with the others on the business-side, they gave what amounted to a very specific todo list to engineering.

This is harmful because, as a business, you’re trying to hire the best and brightest folks across your organization. By not allowing your employees to operate on the same data across the organization, you breed a culture of assembly-line workers: folks who don’t ask questions, just do what they’re told. This is not what you want the best and brightest to be doing!

The key behind solving this issue is sharing the whys behind decision. By coloring in some of the context around why a feature is necessary, you allow lateral thinking among your employees. If I, as an engineer, can accomplish the same “why” for a given story but with dramatically less work than the proposed implementation plan, that’s better for everyone involved.

sprint.ly: The omission of “why?” 

This talk is bloody fantastic for anyone working in sofrware development, but particularly for anyone in a big organisation.

Broken windows are the reason most large software projects suck to work on. A little technical debt here, a few shortcuts there, and pretty soon you’ve got a codebase so full of broken windows that no one even cares if they throw another pile of broken glass on the heap.

But just as broken windows are contagious, so is a dedication to quality. Carve out a little piece of a messy codebase and clean it up. Sharpen the edges, polish the surface and make it shine.

Relentless Quality · by Kyle Neath
Every piece of knowledge must have a single, unambiguous, authoritative representation within a system.

Applescript and MOD Email Subjects

The work I do with the RAF and Army requires me to send emails with the date and security classification included, like this: “20130628-The Subject-U”. Here it is explained:

I must do this at least 30 times a day, and earlier on I was that fed up with copy/pasting dates that I decided to write a script to do it for me. I did try this once before, but Mail.app’s API wasn’t very robust at the time and the action relied upon simulating keypresses which wasn’t exactly reliable.

The following script adds the date and PM to the subject of the foremost Compose Mail Window. It’s a little smarter than my previous attempt too, in that it replaces the date if it’s already there and leaves the PM alone if it exists already.

This one opens a reply to the selected message, with the “Re:” in the right place

Using Applescript is awkward to say the least - Russell Beattie puts it quite neatly:

using AppleScript is like being tied down in a black leather gimp-suit at a dominatrix convention, and losing the safety word… The syntax is like Erlang and ancient Greek got somehow mixed together with Visual Basic, and was translated back into English by mentally-challenged ESL students

I did try to make a plugin for Mail.app to add some buttons to the menubar, but after discovering how difficult it is working with Mail.app’s undocumented API, I gave up, created a Service using Automater and added some workflows to Alfred 2.

As I have to rename files in a similar manner, this script renames the currently selected file in finder: