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Showing posts from December, 2011

T4 templates: the lazy programmer’s friend

Text Template Transformation Toolkit (T4 templates) are a very powerful asset when used appropriately. Their main advantage is their ability to generate large amount of repetitive code over and over, at the click of a button and with a Swiss watchmaker’s precision.My current project, Responder, an Outage Management System, contains dozens of xml files to define its data model and for configuration. Until a few months ago, adding a new column to a data table was a several hours process. It involved a lot of manual editing of XML files, updating SQL scripts, updating of code classes used to manipulate data, etc.. Errors were frequent and the simplest typo could prove dramatic if not caught on time by manual testing.This all started changing with a T4 template. By generating all the necessary code straight out of the XML file, we removed most of the hand-coding, making the code (our RxDb.* and ArchivesDb.* structures for those who know) a perfect translation of the content of the origina…

Let’s get blogging!

Hello dear visitor. This will officially be my first blog post. I know, not that exciting, but I have been posting a bit on our internal blogs for the past few months, sort of getting my feet wet. But I decided it was time to take my posting to a larger audience. Not that the world has been missing what I have been saying, but because I want to get more feedback from the software engineering community at large.For years, I have been following and admiring Jeff Atwood from his Coding Horror days to Stack Overflow. On multiple occasions, he reminded us that sometimes, you just need to get out there, and get started. You won’t be an internet superstar overnight, but overnight success does not happen overnight. That goes for writing software, to writing blogs and many other aspects of our lives. And recently, my coworker Shawn Kendrot decided to take that step also and start blogging to the world on Visually Located. I actually borrowed his disclaimer.To get started, I am going take a ver…