Rants

November 22nd, 2014

The RESTafarian flame wars – common disagreements over REST API design

Debates on the finer points of REST can bring out the worst in people as they seek to define what is and is not “RESTful”. In most cases the debate is unlikely to make the difference between success and failure for an API.

October 3rd, 2014

The problem with GUIDs…

GUIDs do solve an important problem. It’s just rarely the problem that developers are trying to address…

July 9th, 2014

The problem with tiered or layered architecture

An architecture based on tiers or layers is too inflexible to deal with the more flexible demands of modern systems, particularly when you working with high-volume systems that require distributed processing.

April 21st, 2014

Hackable URIs may look nice, but they don’t have much to do with REST and HATEOAS

Structured and “Hackable” URIs are a staple part of SEO-friendly websites. Although developers generically expect to see them in HTTP-based APIs, they should be irrelevant to consumers of a fully RESTful API that leverages HATEOAS.

March 27th, 2014

Here’s the truth about CMS selection: It doesn’t really matter…

A lot of hot air is wasted on CMS selection. Having lived through many implementations, it’s not the platform decision that determines whether or not you will be successful.

February 21st, 2014

Lean development’s “last responsible moment” should address uncertainty, not justify procrastination

Deferring decisions to the “last responsible moment” can help you to adapt to the inevitable uncertainty that comes with agile development. The risk is that it can become an excuse for uncertainty that undermines development velocity.

September 8th, 2013

Progressive enhancement still matters: Getting the JavaScript balance right

In the last ten years browsers have evolved from document viewers to advanced application runtime engines. Does this mean that we should abandon progressive enhancement and server-based processing for fat client applications built with JavaScript?

August 12th, 2013

Agile velocity is not a measure of productivity

Agile does not necessarily lend itself to management reporting. The few metrics it exposes are designed to support internal planning rather than external measurement. It can be tempting to re-purpose velocity as a measure of productivity, though this will only distort team planning without saying anything meaningful.

February 22nd, 2013

A shared database is still an anti-pattern, no matter what the justification

Shared databases risk turning into performance bottlenecks that encourage close-coupling and create a single point of failure. There’s no justification for using them to integrate processes and applications.

June 19th, 2012

The Umbraco 5 debacle proves that even a free CMS needs effective governance

Having to pull the plug on a new version of your product is unfortunate. Scrapping it months after it’s been released is just plain careless.

July 3rd, 2011

Why you should never use a proof of concept in development projects

A proof of concept is often proposed as a way to quickly demonstrate viability. In most cases it does nothing of the sort and merely delivers a quick hack that can undermine good system design.

April 21st, 2011

Neither neither “web” nor “mobile” but “multi-screen”…

Have we reached a tipping point where mobile devices will replace the web, or are we just moving into a “multi-screen” future of increasingly diverse devices and contexts?

May 25th, 2010

The Times Online doesn’t need content to make its paywall a success…

The success or otherwise of the Times Online’s imminent paywall shouldn’t be judged on the number of subscribers. After all, content isn’t the only source of revenue.

January 14th, 2010

Forget the Kindle and iPad: Paper remains a superior technology

Despite the predictions that Apple’s tablet computer will be a game-changer I wouldn’t be writing off paper-based media for a while yet…

November 29th, 2009

What’s wrong with the Digital Economy Bill?

The intention of the Digital Economy Bill is a noble one. However, it’s been undermined by a lack of ambition, vague definition and muddled thinking.