Refactoring by Renaming in Visual Studio .NET 2005

In Visual Studio 2005, the Rename refactoring operation is very straightforward, as described below.

  1. Highlight the identifier that needs to be renamed.
  2. Type the new identifier over the selection.
  3. When the IDE displays a caret underlining the first part of the identifier, press Alt+Shift+F10. The IDE will display a drop-down list of applicable refactoring operations.
  4. Select the Rename operation from the drop-down list.

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Parallels on MacBook Pro

I am very pleased with my decision to run Windows XP in Parallels instead of using a different partition for BootCamp. Not only have I avoided the hassle of having to reboot each time I need to switch between Mac OS X and Windows XP, I also get near-native performance in Windows XP.

I installed Visual Studio .NET 2005 on a virtual machine configured with 8 GB disk space and 512 MB RAM, expecting the performance to degrade when the hefty development environment is running. I was pleasantly surprised when I was able to use it without incurring any performance loss.

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Windows XP on the MacBook Pro

I am running Windows XP within a Parallels on my MacBook Pro. All my software work flawlessly and as fast as on a native installation, which I can only attribute to the excellent virtualisation technology in the Core Duo processor.

I considered installing Windows XP on a separate partition and using BootCamp to boot into it, but dropped the idea when I discovered Parallels. I was so impressed that I did not have to wait for the end of the trial period to purchase a licence. Parallels is one of these must-have software for the Mac.

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How to Parse Dates from Strings

This example shows how to parse dates from strings using the SimpleDateFormat class.

The pattern is specified in the constructor, but could also be done with the applyPattern(String pattern) method.

This example should help ease the difficulty that all beginners seem to face when dealing with formatting dates in Java.



Three Golden Rules to Tackle Complexity

According to Tim Newing, the IT Director of Camelot, there are three golden rules for tackling complexity in IT projects.

  • Do not think of a complex project, but think of a collection of simple solutions.
  • Manage outside the “business as usual”; instead, set up a different business structure so that the project team is not distracted by the normal business.
  • Make sure that people have a good reason to complete the project. This is not the same as motivating them to make the project a success; instead, the objective is to convince them to put the lid on a project when it is time to do so and to prevent feature creep.

Successes in UK IT

The IT industry in the UK has had a couple of much-needed success stories recently. This is a breath of fresh air amidst daily reports of major IT projects failing.

The first success is the completed modernisation of the British Transport Police IT systems.

The second is the positive progress made by the IT department of Camelot in revamping its retail infrastructure, which is the result of adopting the right methods to tackle complexity in such large projects.

Robust Java Exception Handling

Hoa Dang Nguyen and Magnar Sveen published a very interesting paper on building robust Java applications by correctly applying exception handling. They explain how exceptions work in Java, when and how to use them, and provide sample source code to demonstrate their recommendations.

In the past, I have written about exception handling best practice and EJB exception handling.

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