UML tooling

Love it, or hate it, eventually every software developer has to create some documentation. UML (Unified Modeling Language) diagrams are a common, but sometimes neccesary evil, in this line of work. While there are many commercial packages (Rational Rose, for example) available for enterprise use, it’s often easier to use one of the many free offerings available.

MSIE CSS zoom (and -ms-zoom) property

Even when you’ve used conditional includes, there are often cases where MSIE just will not cooperate with your CSS manipulations. In those cases, it can often be attributed to the hasLayout property of the element. To correct this quirk, setting zoom:1; will often “convince” MSIE to work in the way you expect it to (like other browsers!)

<style type="text/css">
.someclass {
/* your CSS definitions */


MVC from a Java perspective.

I’ve been asked to explain this concept on a pretty regular basis by non-programmers… to a visual ‘presentation’ developer, this is essentially the same reason a person would chose to use CSS with HTML (to seperate data from presentation), only it goes a bit further…

  • Controller – extends HttpServlet, acts as the point of entry into the application, and delegates to various worker classes to fulfill a request. In particular, the Controller is a user of Model and View objects
  • Model – data-centric classes encapsulating problem domain objects. Each class corresponds roughly to the rows of a database table. Model objects can be constructed from a ResultSet of a database query, from user input, or from user request parameters.
  • View – implemented as Java Server Pages (or a similar tool), primarily concerned with presentation and formatting of Model objects which have been placed in scope by the Controller (or its delegate)