Friday, July 16, 2010

Anniversary – 5 years and counting

Just a real quick note. Today marks five years since my wife and I got married. Smile
We are heading off to Atlantic City today, and I will be out of touch for the remainder of the weekend. (Yes, I know this presumes that I would be in touch any other time, but let’s not go there…)
I actually have all of next week off as well, so I will probably be online much more frequently than usual. So I will see you all on Monday.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Windows Script Host Build System

Not a very big project, but this was something I needed for work. I have to maintain a number of Access databases at work that the company will not allow us to upgrade to full blown applications.  Some of these are becoming fairly non-trivial. As such I wanted a simple build system in place to automate tasks such as compiling MDE/ADE files, updating version numbers, and deploying to targets.
I know I could have used any of a number of build systems, and honestly, I really wanted to use psake, but unfortunately we run Windows XP without PowerShell at work (and corporate will not allow me to install it). Most of the other systems out there (like Nant, Ant, MSBuild, etc.) don’t offer any support for Office automation. So I wrote this very basic build system in VBScript using Windows Scripting Host. It allows easy access to automation so I can do tasks like compacting/repairing databases and compiling.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Did you ever get the feeling your doing it wrong?

I am well aware that I am not the best application developer in the world. I have a driving need to learn, but I’m not a professional programmer. As such, I have no mentors other than those I find online. I also have only limited time to devote to both learning and actually putting that learning in to practice.
Where am I going with this? I’ve come to the conclusion today that I am trying to do my testing all wrong. I am trying to use test first development with Cucumber style tests (using NBehave) for the ASP.Net MVC version of Yabe.  Trouble is, I’m trying to unit test in this manner. And that is just not working. So I’m going to scrub my existing tests (note: not the test specifications, just the actual tests). The plan is to convert my existing specification tests into integration level tests and start a whole new collection of unit tests using the simpler arrange/act/assert within a fixture style testing.
The new structure will hopefully allow me to reuse some of my existing code (just rearranging it somewhat).  The biggest thing is going to be having to find a framework that will allow me to actually spin up ASP.Net and test it. I am thinking of possibly using IIS Express or Cassini to spin up a web server, then use WatiN to actually run the tests.