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Feature flags revisited

Feature flags have always made me feel ambivalent. On one hand, I can relate to the need for having a mechanism to easily enable or disable particular features, while on the other hand, being a software engineer I pretty much loathe this concept, since feature flags make your code ugly more often than not. Especially if such a flag is left in place even after its corresponding feature has become fully operational, eliminating any practical need to be turned off on demand.

Cliché ahead in 3,2,1: not everything in life is black and white, and sometimes, even in the face of feature flags, we can still, well, save face.

4 reasons to move to IntelliJ and bail on Eclipse

Same JAR, different version.If you have multiple projects in your workspace depend on different versions of the same JAR, Eclipse will hand out all of them the same version, which is the one it happened to load first. Uncool. IntelliJ handles this case properly.Spring support. IntelliJ is capable of certain tractability between your Java and your spring XML context. For instance, if you refactor a class name, its bean will be renamed accordingly. You can also navigate from your Java class name to its corresponding spring bean. How cool is that?Static imports. Because I simply hated looking for the proper import for every Hamcrest static mather I needed. IntelliJ suggests to add them for you.Out of the box SVN integration.IntelliJ supports SVN right out of the box, no need to download any SVN plugins or tweak any configuration files. Not a biggy, but it's nice nonetheless.

Two Cents on Prezi

PowerPoint and presentations have been synonyms for over a decade, recently I've had the opportunity to "leave the comfort zone" (as life and career coaches mentor nowadays) and try Prezi for one of my talks. Looks like my next presentation is going to be in Prezi as well.

Installing Nvidia drivers on W530 with Ubuntu 12.04

I'm not sure if it's the particular laptop model (Lenovo W530) or the particular Ubuntu version (12.04 LTS) or perhaps the fact I'm a complete and utter Linux newbie, but getting this show on the road has been quite a bumpy ride, to say the least (just shoot me would probably describe it more accurately, all I wanted was to set up a dual monitor environment).

5 things to consider when moving from Windows to Ubuntu

1.
You'll have to download utilities to perform even the most basic tweaking (tool tip color, anyone?). Don't worry, there's an apt-get for that.
2.
If you didn't apt-got it, the chances of it to actually work drop exponentially with the number of *.sh files in its bin directory.
3.The true meaning of an "Open Source" project is that you can't get it to work unless you open its source. C'est la vie.
4. Even when software is commercial, the sooner you leave your "things should work after you install them" assumption behind, the less you'll want to bang your head against the wall when they don't, which is a most considerable amount of time.
5.Sometimes doing stuff with your bear arms and the shell is actually more productive. Linux shell is pretty awesome, the force is strong with this one.

The var stereo[type]

For quite some type I'd been strongly against using C#'s var keyword. I thought it was counter intuitive, that it was a sign of weakness, a way of saying you were not sure of the type of the variable you had used. But then it hit me, the power that lied within this simple construct had finally sunk in.