Lightweight Microsoft.NET Process Debugging in Production Environments

Everyone is aware of the problem of discovering the causes of a bug when it’s only present in one environment and, if it’s Production, the problem is even bigger, even if you have a solid error logging system in place.

Recently we faced this same situation and we didn’t have any clues to help us, only that the w3wp process was dying and the ASP.NET session remained locked. After some thought, we arrived at the conclusion that there was an infinite loop somewhere, and we had a vague idea of the “zone” of code where this was happening, but we couldn’t reproduce it in any other environment even after several hours of testing.

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The Italian iPhone Scandal

Just today, on the announced first day of iPhone 3G on the market, the Italian “competitive spirit” has struck again: it seems that Vodafone and TIM have “agreed” to maintain prices of the iPhone ridiculously high; luckily someone has noticed it and reported it to the antitrust agency, which will monitor now possible violations of the law: TLC. I-phone, Antitrust opens pre-inquiry on Tim and Vodafone after the petition submitted by the Movement of Defense of the citizen (MDC).

Many people are protesting (as can be seen looking on search engines), and in particular the site launched the online petition iPhoneAffossato, which should help to disseminate more information to the public.

Despite the cost too high compared to other countries, the iPhone is selling well (at least judging from the numbers of the Vodafone shop, if they are real…) and probably the boycott, suggested by several parties, will not have the necessary effectiveness to lower the rates of the two companies: have we to hope in the Tre offer?

Bilingual Support

From today my blog supports more than a language, English and Italian.

The reason behind this addition is that I felt a bit uncomfortable writing only in English some posts that I would like to be read also in my language, to support the diffusion of technologies and ideas that I think about as important in the country were I live and work.

The preferred language can be choosen selecting it in the top right of the home page. I added the multilingual support to WordPress installing the qTranslate plugin, very well done even if it has some small defects.

So have a good reading!


Recently I noted that I do not have a lot of comments on my blog (around 60 on 120 posts from 2003) but anyway I would like to some more feedback, so I installed the very-well-done plugin WP-PostRatings: now even my lazier reader can rate any post or page with only one click! 😉

Remember: in general, who writes does it because likes it (and likes also having some form of reward), but he/she cannot do better without your help so, if you like some post in some blog, please invest some minutes and do comment it!

A Case of Architectural Refactoring

Some weeks ago one of my customers decided that one of its biggest ASP.NET web intranet projects needed a sort of architectural revision, mainly to support better its customers with built-in fault tolerance but also to unchain development of the various sub-projects through better separation between software modules.

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The analysis phase: time to grow up?

When small software companies get bigger they embark on what can be a bumpy ride of change. One of those changes will probably be to do with the way they tackle the analysis phase of the software development life-cycle (SDL). Just to be clear, when I say “analysis phase”, I mean the part before coding starts i.e. requirements elicitation, analysis and system specification.

Typically (although I am sure that there are plenty of shining examples where this is not the case) small software companies with a handful of developers, where the entire SDL for a project is covered by one or two developers, tend not to have a formalised analysis phase. Why is that?

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Welcome to James Kerr

I welcome James Kerr, a friend of mine and a colleague, on my blog: he’ll write about requirements engineering and systems analysis, i.e. about everything that should be done before starting to write code (in the agile world, too, even if with less rigidity).

It is my hope that more of my friends will follow James and together we can create a place where people can discuss software development problems, and find some good solutions.