Testing mobile apps: Xamarin goes live with Test Cloud for iOS and Android (but no Windows Phone)

Testing a mobile app is challenging, thanks to operating system fragmentation combined with diversity of hardware. In April 2013 Xamarin acquired a company called LessPainful, specialists in functional testing for mobile apps, which had created a mobile app testing tool called Calabash. Calabash is based on Cucumber, and lets you define test steps and then

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Brief reflections on 50 years of BASIC

Beginner’s All-Purpose Symbolic Code (BASIC) has turned fifty, as reported on The Reg and by Jack Schofield on ZDNet. A great moment in computer history, or would we have been better off without it?

My first computer (a Commodore PET) ran Basic from ROM, and without it you could do nothing, though developers bypassed it

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Notes on styling a Windows Store app ListView to vary item appearance according to the data

Problem: You have a ListView containing data. You want to vary the appearance of items in the ListView according to the value of the data.

I spent some time on this in relation to a panel for a game I am writing. For example, you have a ListView containing numbers. How can you have negative

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Embarcadero pre-announces AppMethod cross-platform development tool: Delphi repackaged?

Embarcadero is spilling the beans on a new development tool called AppMethod, which has its own site here and a little more information on TechCrunch. A fuller reveal is promised at SXSW, which kicks off on March 7 in Austin, Texas.

But what is AppMethod? The IDE looks very like Delphi, the languages are

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Why you cannot prove software correctness: report from QCon London

I’m at QCon London, an annual developer conference which is among my favourites thanks to its vendor-neutral content.

One of the highlights of the first day was Tom Stuart’s talk on impossible programs. Using a series of entertaining and mostly self-referential examples, Stuart described why certain computing problems are uncomputable. He also discussed the “Halting

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Microsoft improves its web app builder for Windows Phone, but where is it going with this?

Microsoft has improved its browser-based Windows Phone App Studio beta and added the ability to generate Windows Store apps. The changes are described here.

First, a quick tour. App Studio is carefully described as a tool for building “content-based apps”. The personal use case is an app to show off your recent holiday, favourite band,

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What’s on at the QCon London software development conference (and a discount for readers)

The QCon London conference is on in early March (5-7). It is always a conference I look forward to since it is vendor neutral, though with an agile flavour. Although it covers high scale systems it is not the place to go if you think heavyweight Enterprise middleware from a big name vendor will solve

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Microsoft and mediocrity in programming

A post by Ahmet Alp Balkan on working as a developer at Microsoft has stimulated much discussion. Balkan says he joined Microsoft 8 months ago (or two years ago if you count when he started as an intern) and tells a depressing tale (couched in odd language) of poor programming practice. Specifically:

Lack of documentation

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RAD Studio XE4 with Delphi for iOS is here. Who will use it?

Embarcadero has released RAD Studio XE4, its suite of development tools for Window, Web and for the first time, Apple iOS. iOS support first appeared in an earlier release, but in preview, and the current effort works using a new LLVM-based ARM compiler so is somewhat unlike the preview. Individual products such as Delphi XE4

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How to test and debug an app on Surface RT in a hotel room

I wanted to test an app on Surface RT this morning, though I am out of the office with just a Samsung Slate (has Visual Studio), the Surface, and hotel wi-fi.

You can do remote debugging on Surface RT as explained here, however you need a private network.

I set up an ad-hoc network from

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