Softwire Blog


Google Code Search is dead


3 February 2012, by

One of the best online tools for programmers, Google Code Search, is now dead. This amazing tool was very useful for looking through open source code. You could just type in a class name, or an error string, and be taken instantaneously to a hyperlinked, browseable source listing. This search engine was one of my most used bookmarks.

So what can we use instead?

  • In many cases your IDE debugger will provide the information you want – and often in a more useful fashion.
  • Otherwise, there are plenty of other search engines you can try.

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Web Development in 2012


31 January 2012, by

It’s 2012 and we’ve seen a lot of new changes in web development in the last year or two. So here’s my quick overview of some of the highlights and some examples from the best of the web, along with lots of links!

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User Experience: Flow


28 July 2011, by

What was the last thing you did that totally engaged your mind and made you forget about everything else?

Watching a film maybe? Or reading a book? Playing Tennis? Eating Filet Mignon? Filling in a survey? Tweaking your social networking privacy settings?

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User Experience: Size Matters


7 July 2011, by

There are a lot of messy desks in the world. But I’d guess that desks are becoming less messy these days, especially compared to the days when computers didn’t exist and paper was plentiful. Most of us today won’t have experienced working in an office without computers.

Using desk space

Desks are often nice and big compared to the average computer screen, and it’s easy to push stuff out of the way for later and make space for what’s important now. Or if I want, I can lay stuff out easily if I need to look at lots of things at once. Compare that to most computer screens which are only big enough to display one or two applications at a time.

In the future though, screens will be bigger, and we’re not too far away from having giant monitors that span our entire desks. But screen sizes aren’t just getting bigger. A lot of screens now fit in our pockets. In fact, mobile is so pervasive that even Google are advocating creating for mobile first.

So how do we cater for such a wide range of screen sizes, from mobiles to tablets, laptops, desktops and even 50-inch HD TVs being used as monitors? Developing the same application multiple times, potentially in multiple programming languages is annoying and expensive.

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