Lunatech blog retrospective - 2009

06 June 2014

Peter Hilton

by Peter Hilton

In 2009, we continued to fight JSF, win (usually), write about it, and tell our war stories at JBoss User Group events. However, the most interesting blog posts were about other topics.

Chrimble cocktail

Programming

What every web developer must know about URL encoding is probably the most popular article on the Lunatech blog, and still getting a lot of attention years later. This is not just because Stéphane’s article does what it says on the tin (it explains in detailed what every web developer must know about URL encoding), but because there aren’t enough other ways to learn this stuff and because so many pervasive web application bugs are due to these issues. This is the basis of web development, which is already more than twenty years old, and these issues aren’t going away any time soon, so it’s never too late to catch up.

Support for original language in Accept-Language header continues along similar lines, in which Francisco writes about an HTTP request header that is perhaps less important to most people, who aren’t constantly doing (natural) language negotiation In Real Life. Lunatech is perhaps different, though, having a disproportionate number of staff who are tri-lingual.

Generating scalable barcodes with iText and Seam, by comparison, is a much more practical kind of article and even has pictures (or bar codes) as well as code. This is still my favourite kind of blog post, because software library documentation and books can never go into detail on every possible practical use case, so a well-written article on a niche topic can easily be the definitive reference (i.e. the only good Google search result). This is great for those development tasks that you only ever have to do once, but still take a long time to figure out if you haven’t done it before and can’t find a description on-line.

Architecture

Decision service architecture with JBoss Rules was a rare digression into the higher-level territory of software architecture, which we don’t usually bother talking about because it always sounds so vague. (That’s probably not a good thing.) It’s worth doing for niche enterprise libraries and frameworks, though, because it’s usually not obvious when and how to use them. In more recent years, we have had similar discussions and learning experiences with other technologies, such as Activiti and Apache Camel, but sadly no blog posts.

And now for something completely different

Chrimble cocktail is an altogether different kind of tutorial, which has nothing much to do with programming or even beer. Christmas, however, is a good time to be a polyglögg programmer as well as a polyglot programmer. It’s a good idea to try a new cocktail every year as well as a new programming language. It’s just too bad I didn’t get around to writing the follow-up blog post: Do TDD-ers drink mocktails?