Web vs Green Screen Development

Recently, I have been working on some projects requiring traditional green screen development. That is programs that run in telnet windows. In the past, they ran on actual terminals which had green screens which is where the name green screen came from when referencing telnet applications.

I realize how much I enjoy web development over the old style development. With web development, you can easily add fields to a screen and move data around without concerning yourself with the nitty-gritty details. It is much easier than working in a 80 character by 24 row screen. To move a field, you have to be concerned with making sure it will fit in the available space and, it seems like, moving one thing causes a ripple effect of updates to keep everything fitting on the screen. I realize some of these old systems that still use telnet windows have a lot of old data in them, but it really is time to hijack the front end of those systems and implement either web based or windows based data entry.

Siegi’s German Restaurant

My wife and I were in Tulsa a few days ago and decided to try a new restaurant. We ended up going to Siegi’s German Restaurant. It has been around for a while, but we had never been there before. It definitely won’t be the last time. We weren’t sure what to expect and, even after reading the menu, we still weren’t sure what the things were. We don’t have a lot of experience with German food. My wife ordered the Holzfeller which is thin sliced ham and swiss between potato pancakes drizzled with honey. It’s listed under sandwiches, but you will have to use a fork to eat it. I ordered the Kassler Rippchen which is a smoked pork chop, though it was more like a pork steak in size and thickness. Both entrees were great. They also have a meat counter/store which sells fresh made sausages and other meat and German delicacies. As you would expect since they have their own butcher shop, the meat was fresh and well prepared. I would highly recommend trying it out some time.

Knockout.js appreciated

We have been preparing to launch a project to production and I had to go back and rework some features. I realize again how much time Knockout.js saves me. I think the biggest help is the two-way data-binding. I remember in the past implementing my own data-binding and that would add hours to a project and would be tough to maintain. Using Knockout.js has eliminated that from my coding and just provides it out of the box. It has literally saved me hours of time.

It has an active Stack Overflow group as well. I was needing to switch an HTML SELECT to a combo box and found several options on Stack Overflow. Having an active group on Stack Overflow is a must for selecting a viable project to use.

February TAP Meeting

Just went to the TAP (Tulsa Agile Practitioners) Meetup last night. Philip Kin gave a good presentation on Acceptance Test Driven Development. The key is to get the project owner to write the acceptance tests. The acceptance test becomes the development spec so you know what should be developed and, when the tests pass, when it is completed. He showed an example of writing the acceptance tests in SpecFlow/Cucumber. To get this to work you need the project owner to buy in to the concept and participate in writing the tests. This is something I am going to consider, but I don’t think it will work at my current job.

Afterwards, Jason Knight led a great discussion getting everyone’s input on the idea and general discussion regarding agile practices. Jason has also recently started writing the Semper agilis blog. There have been several thought provoking articles already. It is definitely Recommended.

The TAP meetup happens the first Tuesday of every month from 6-8pm. If you are in the Tulsa area, I would recommend making time for it in your schedule. I hope to see you there.