I get ideas for blog posts all the time. As you could guess by the number of posts here (currently at 56), the majority are toyed with and then ignored. Here are three that I’ve come up in the last few days, but I couldn’t make anything of them. I figured if I wrote them down, it would help me triage a little better in the future.

#1 Throwing generic exceptions in Java
Abstract: In my current project, I’m using JEE with a classic lasagne architecture. Because validation is occurring at multiple levels, I came up with a mechanism that could throw generic exceptions into a standardised layer.

The core of it was a factory (hey, it’s Java) of

public interface ExceptionFactory
{
    T create(String message);
}

and a usage that basically defines

public static  void someValidationMethod(Map params, ExceptionFactory exceptionFactory) throws T
{
   // ...
}

One of these days, I may get around to writing it up, but the sad truth is that is was a hell of a lot easier to write and use the code than write about it. I don’t want to write something forced, so this got pushed into the fridge.

#2 Robots will probably not kill us all
One of my shameful pleasures is reading the comments made on the website of the UK newspaper The Daily Mail. The majority of the people are…well, I’m not going to go into my opinion of them, but distastefully colourful should pretty much cover it. There was a hilarious comment a few days ago where someone claimed that AIs are very close to eclipsing human intelligence and will soon make everyone on the planet unemployed. Simultaneously, having been accepted into the NAO Developer Program, my next gen NAO has arrived. It’s amazing, but I sleep soundly in the knowledge that it’s not likely to enslave me.

Now I think about it, this abstract pretty much encompasses the entire blog post that would have resulted from it.

#3 Catholic school girls
My five year old daughter attends a catholic school. Both I and my wife are atheists, but the school was highly recommended. Additionally, she started attending in September 2010, just over a month after we all moved to Belgium, and at the time didn’t speak Flemish (it’s since become her first language). The new school year starts tomorrow, and she’s very excited to be going back – and this is fantastic. She’s happy there, has friends there and is learning a lot there. She’s also learning elements of religion (no prizes for guessing which one) which I was initially worried about, but then got over it. I didn’t have a religious upbringing, but my parents were happy to let me find my own way. I attended a local church as a child, but then decided it was a crock of shit and stopped going – my own decision. My niece had a similar upbringing, and decided at age 8 to get baptised – her own decision. My conclusion was that if you shield your children from the experiences other children are having, you’re asking for trouble.

Wrap-up
I think I couldn’t have spun any of these into blog posts that a) would interest me or, b) not sound like a rant, and so I’m glad they never became first-class citizens here. I am, however, glad that I’ve noted them down simply to keep track of what I’m keeping and what I’m discarding.

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