Robert Blackburn

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Top Stories by Robert Blackburn

Have you ever watched actors improvise? It's quite fun; you never know what's going to happen. But imagine if a movie director decided a script wasn't necessary at all. After all, the actors know the plot and know the most about their characters, so why not let them improvise. Wouldn't this lead to a more creative and realistic movie? I think we can all see that this would simply lead to a confusing story with no consistency. The actors are expected to impose their own talents on their roles, but they need a script to guide them along. Developers are no different, yet I see "improv developing" all the time. A project manager will just describe what's needed - the outlines of a plot - and let the developers work it out. The results are often what you'd see with a movie. However, designing an application with UML can act as a script for developers. They're still free ... (more)

Introducing Aptana: An Alternative to Eclipse

A few months ago I stumbled on an IDE named Aptana and I instantly recognized that it was the perfect IDE for developers who have found it difficult to convert to CFEclipse. And why is it such a great replacement? For starters Aptana is actually based on Eclipse. That means it has all the great features that you've heard of about Eclipse, including the ability to use the CFEclipse plug-in with it. You can install CFEclipse the same way you'd install it for Eclipse, and there's almost no difference in how it works. (Figure 1) But why is this any better than Eclipse? Well, the bigg... (more)