programming

Gource: Turning project history into art

There's an interesting project that lets you generate pictures the history of software project.

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Linux paging and the Java JVM

I read something interesting recently when looking at BASE databases implemented on the JVM. The linux kernel will quite aggressively swap out pages from processes when they are not being used. This can conflict with the way that generational garbage collection works in the JVM: garbage collection in particular can cause a lot of page faulting. Here the heap will be scanned for objects to be freed, however linux may have already paged out that memory making collection more expensive.

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Original Mac Paint source gets released to the computer museum

Mac Paint, the program that Knuth asked to study for his Art of Computer Programming has been released to the Computer History Museum. Highly regarded Knuth called MacPaint the "best program ever written". Bill Atkinson, the programmer, was not only a visionary but highly productive. Ahead of his time he later of programming:

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Using XQuery in SoapUI property transfers

I've taken a few frustrating hours trying to work out how to transfer information out of a soap response into another soap request. As it took so long I thought I'd put this in case it helps someone.

It is easy enough to use the Property Transfer step in SoapUI to transfer single values like session keys, but when it comes to a list of result is is a little more challenging. It is possible to script the transfer using Groovy, however I thought it should be possible to use XPath.

The response is something similar to:

...
<results>
  <items>
    <item>
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GWT coming to Spring Roo

One of the problems with starting a new project is the time to set up the project. In recent years some frameworks, like Ruby-on-Rails have created a quick ways to set up projects days are not wasted setting up the project, build system and test environment. Spring Roo provides a way of creating project infrastructure for Spring-based web applications. It was announced in 2009 and produces the basic project layout and a working application connecting through to a database.

A new replacement for the C programming language

Robert Pike and Ken Thompson have been working with others to produce a new system language that aims to bring the fun back into programming by being fast and easy to use. The language is called Go and attempts to merge the best of scripting languages with systems languages like C++.

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What other aliases does my host have?

It is common for hosts to have a number of names on the internet, this can be done for virtual hosting, marketing and other reasons. For I while now I have worked with implementations of webservices, when these webservices are shipped we often provide the client with a vanity URL that is memorable for the service that they wish to access.

Author part of a book

O'Reilly have published a couple of books, one for Architects--- called 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know--- and one for Project Managers--- called 97 things every Project Manager should know. Now they are looking for contributions to a new book. The contributions so far are a pretty good read. There's still time to contribute a article too on their wiki.

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Why do programmers dislike meetings?

Paul Graham has written a interesting explaining why programmers dislike meetings. After reading it it is easy to wonder why the reasons are not explained more often. He explains that development, or the creation of most things, manages time differently. Creation often needs longer periods of concentration where managers generally schedule meetings in hour slots: filling the day with different meetings. Attending meetings costs the programmer more in lost productivity as it can break concentration.

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C++, Object Orientation and Alan Kay

I seem to have a recurring conversation these days about C++, and how badly designed it is. Despite knowing the language quite well I cannot defend it, I’ve been programming long enough to have used pre-template compilers and to remember when compilers went through the “C with objects” phase. However any programmer might feel about the language it is damming is that is has never really supplanted C as a replacement language. New C projects are still being started despite it’s lack of OO. Many a major project is still being written in C.