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David S. Cargo's (escargo's) Home Page

New and somewhat improved!


Over the years I have a few articles, papers, and books published.

Some of these are so far back I don’t have details any more. Some will be somewhat more enduring.

I remember contributing to a paper at an IEEE testing conference in Orlando, Florida. I was presenting information on a project at Honeywell where we had microprogrammed some compiler instructions into a PDP-11 with a writable control store (WCS). The instructions were callable from an editor, and ensured that the program text being edited would be compiled.

CBI Oral Histories

I was an early adopter for the Icon programming language. I was invited to two Icon programming language conferences. At the time, my wife-to-be worked for the Charles Babbage Institute.

I thought the story of Icon ought to be recorded, so I proposed to the director of CBI that I ought to record some oral history interviews about the history of Icon.

My proposals was accepted, and I did five interviews that are now part of the CBI Oral History Database.

Professional Java Custom UI Components

Ken Krutsch, a gentleman I have worked with at multiple companies, taught Java classes at Saint Paul Technical College (now Saint Paul College).

He had a contract with Wrox Press for a book on Java custom UI components. He asked me to review a draft outline of the book.

I told him that if the book was really to be “professional” it should deal with some topics he had not covered. His publisher agreed, and I was put under my own contract to write a chapter (later split into two chapters) that covered material that I thought needed to be covered.

My chapters were “real world” chapters, talking about issues both before and after coding.

In many respects, these chapters form part of my resume, since they clearly state many of my beliefs about software development in general, not just in the context of Java, user interfaces, or custom UI components.

Custom User Interface Design

Chapter 10 was called, “Custom User Interface Design.” It tried to make clear that software is not just coded, it’s designed and designed for users performing specific tasks. If a user interface does not help users to do their jobs, then it is inadequate for its intended purpose.

  • The product specification document, and how to put it together
  • The planning phases of the project
  • The role of users
  • The processes involved behind the scenes
  • Constraints that may be placed upon development
  • Testing
  • Maintainability

Component Maintenance

Chapter 11 was called, “Component Maintenance.” It dealt with life cycle issues beyond code’s original creation.

“No code is ever truly finished.” Some studies show that more money is spent on code maintenance than code development, but seldom does an organization stress design for maintainability.

I’ve asserted that if code is easy to maintain, then all the other desirable characteristics of code will either be already present or can be easily added.

If code is not easy to maintain, a business could be threatened by brittle infrastructure.

With Java, there are several ways to improve code maintainability. The chapter covered several topics relating to maintainability and maintenance.

  • What refactoring is, and how it ties into code maintenance
  • Why reflection is a useful method for gaining flexibility
  • How we extended sample code from earlier chapters to take advantage of reflection
  • How our program evolved in response to unexpected use patterns
  • How we adapted the code to take flaws in the framework into account

Web Links

I started using the internet in 1978 (while at Honeywell). I started using the World Wide Web while at Cray Research in the early 1990s.

I have kept track of my bookmarks from various browsers over time, and posted them on my skypoint account. People have found them and used them as specialized indexes to the web. (Some people have called those bookmarks their own Yahoo.)

Here are links to various editions of my bookmarks.