Sunday, June 19, 2005

Choices choices choices...

So work is great. I got transfered into my own department (R&D) and have a lot more influence on future development so far. The "D" in R&D is apparently going to be pretty heavily emphasized since it looks like I'll be writing much of the code for the new stuff myself (along with a friend working in another department). Maybe I can convince 'em to bring in a contractor too to help out.

So basically I'm going to be in charge of rewriting our existing product. Big, scary task. So what do I do? Where do I start?

Well, first things first, Visual Source Safe sucks. I was actually pretty shocked to hear the server the shared repository is on is on the local network. It's so slow I had just previously assumed it was in our backup off-site location. :) I tried Source Gear Vault, but if anything it seems a bit slower, if a lot more stable. Still, the VSS "feel" isn't doin' it for me, and I don't like the lock model particularly. I recently had to install TortoiseSVN to get at the Castle repository, and was blown away by the speed. Since our SGV trial license is about to expire this week, we're going to make the switch to Subversion and see how that goes. I really like the idea that I won't have to check out a project or solution exclusively just to add or remove a file.

Next we need to make a big decision: Beta2 or .Net1.1? I'm thinkin' Beta2. The available memory increase to 90% from 40% alone should be pretty sweet though there's just a ton of advantages obviously. I'll definitely miss Resharper, but I've held off as long as I could. JetBrains, please hurry!

On the other hand, Beta2 doesn't buy this project a whole lot from a pragmatic stand-point. We could easily live without it, and Resharper would definitely help out a lot. I'm conflicted. :) Actually I'm 51/49% leaning towards sticking with 1.1 just to keep R#. Very on the line about it though.

Then we have to decide: CastleProject's MonoRail or WebForms? Definitely leaning towards MonoRail. Not only is it easier to test, and results in much cleaner looking code, but we can also very quickly mock up some HTML pages for review by the clients (the upper management in this case), and once we've got the look and feel nailed down, we'll be well on our way to having written the View(s) involved.

We definitely need a Wiki goin' on, and a better issue tracker than our sad in-house one, so looks like we'll be using Trac to integrate with Subversion for those duties. I like Jira's feel better, but Trac is simpler off the bat (since management will be reviewing this, that's a concern), and it's free, so if it doesn't work out, no harm, no foul.

What else? Well... we were thinking about CruiseControl.Net for scheduled builds/tests, but we're not real firm yet. CC.NET is a little ugly, but it does apparently support MSBuild. Not really sure what we'll do on that front yet.

Definitely need to switch to Cassinni. Messing with permissions with IIS5.1 can be a pain sometimes.

I need a new mouse. My Logitech MX900 never did charge well, and now one of the terminals has cracked plastic around it. Stupid hit&miss Logitech cordless mice... oh well. A simple MS Intellimouse Explorer2 like I use here at home would be better. No drivers to install, and I've only changed the batteries like once in a year. The MX900 wouldn't last more than a day, so if I forgot to charge it it was no bueno. I also need new monitors. The dual 17" LCD's I have now aren't cutting it. Spending a grand on a couple Dell FP2001's doesn't seem like such a big deal to me. I know makin' it happen is probably going to take an act of god though. I love the Samsung 213T though. That's what I use at home. It's long in the tooth I suppose, but it's got good contrast, it's bright, it's big... what more could you want? We'll see what I can pull off I guess.
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