Posts about photography, contract bridge, astrophotography, astronomy, Java development, internet systems.

“Why didn’t you just …”

Here’s one post that’s equally valid for bridge and computer programming.

Have you ever accomplished some task and had someone say “Why didn’t you just” do it some other way? Usually their suggestion is assumed to be the obvious or simpler way to do something.

In bridge, maybe you misplayed the hand, or chose a different lead on […]

Ruby gem problems around libv8, therubyracer, mac vs. linux, native extensions

I haven’t done a techie blog post for a while, and this “solved problem” keeps raising its head at work, so here goes.

Here’s the situation:

A ruby web app
Develop on Mac OS X
Deploy on Linux
Using bundler to control gem versions
Using therubyracer and libv8

You build your app on your Mac, install your bundle of gems using bundler, and […]

Moving Whiteoaks.com — Building a mail server

Don’t do this. This is stupid. Running a mail server is a pain in the ass.

If your startup or family or organization needs a domain and email, just point your domain at Google and use their great mail, calendar, and shared documents tools. Avoid all the battles with spammers, black lists, hackers and security updates.

So why […]

Finding the test that corrupts the suite

(Finally a tech blog post …)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before!

The web application has excellent coverage in unit tests and integration tests that run continuously, but some time ago (weeks actually) some number of tests began failing with strange state errors. In our case, out of 138 test classes and 1176 tests, 82 […]

Perfect wallpaper from digital photos using Linux and Netpbm

The world is full of wallpaper managers for every operating system out there. I enjoy wallpapers taken from some of my digital photography, such as this trip to Yosemite last year.

On nice modern monitors, you can really enjoy the full resolution of your pictures. Jane and I just replaced our old Viewsonic CRT monitors with some […]

“Bean Validation” Emmanuel Bernard

Registration lobby at Caesar's Palace

Notes from TheServerSide Java Symposium March 2009

What’s the point of a bean validation framework? I’ve been wondering that for a while now. Emmanuel points out that it’s mostly to keep from repeating yourself in code.

Validation itself is obvious … keep crap out of the database, apply constraints to data fields, give […]

“Building Next-Generation Web Applications with the Spring 3.0 Web Stack” Jeremy Grelle

Notes from TheServerSide Java Symposium March 2009

Jeremy is going to help us battle complexity in web applications. (It’s hard to find a web framework that isn’t its own layers of complexity.) He’s the lead for Spring Faces, Spring JavaScript, and a JSF 2.0 expert group member, and he’s a former “rock star.”

The Spring Web stack is […]

“Building Server Platforms with OSGi and Equinox” Rob Harrop

BIRTExchange at TheServerSide (not related to the talk)

Notes from TheServerSide Java Symposium March 2009

Rob wrote his talk for EclipseCon which is next week, so we get an early peek. He’s the lead developer from dm Server at SpringSource.

I’m a complete noob to OSGi, so I’m not familiar enough to see what’s really important or significant […]

“The Keys to Agile Software Development” Jon Kern

The tech crew enjoys some breakfast before the morning keynote.

Notes from TheServerSide Java Symposium March 2009

Jon’s a fine fellow, but his talked (to me) seemed mostly to be stating the obvious.  I’ll just provide his “Rules to Code By:”

It’s the Business, Stupid
Not all shiny new toys should be fondled
A fool with a tool is still […]

“The Amazing Groovy Weight-Loss Plan” Scott Davis

Notes from TheServerSide Java Symposium March 2009

Scott Davis was the perfect presenter for the deadly “after lunch” session period. Interesting that his Groovy introduction is in a breakout room rather than the main ballroom, and there is not an empty seat in the house. Everyone is fascinated by these new powerful JVM languages, including me.

Scott started […]