On the subject of version control – moving to github

When I started programming, we considered ourselves lucky to have a filesystem… Well, ok, I’m not quite that old, but up til now, git was something that had eluded me. CVS and svn have served me fine so far in my career (let’s not talk about Visual SourceSafe). As I commented to a friend, I […]

Peppa Popper

I was inspired by a children’s TV show Peppa Pig visits Daddy Pig’s Office and the fact that my daughter (aged 16 months) has been taking marginally more interest in the computer. So I did a quick hack to write a program like Mrs Cat uses in the show. It shows a white screen, and […]

what’s in a name

In some conversations recently, I found that some other people were interested in a little tool I have written. I started wondering about setting up a Google Code project for it, since that makes it easier to ‘expose’ in some ways. The first hurdle is that it would need to have a unique name. I […]

web testing with curl

It happened again. You have an annoying bug with your Java web application, and you’re stepping through with your debugger, and… whoops! looks like you just missed an important line. You fire off the same request again, so you go back to your browser and go through the steps to that point – did I […]

random dabbling roundup

I seem to be in a phase where I play with lots of new software things without creating a whole lot in any of them. Google App Engine is interesting due to the promise of getting massive distribution/scaling for ‘free’. I started trying to put together a Java application to try it out, but it […]

screen grab logging

This is more of a short-term workaround than a solution, but it’s kind of fun. I’m doing some performance testing of one of our java servers, and I want my test to run in the night while I’m asleep. The test has previously been run using jconsole to get graphs of memory and thread usage. […]

args4j – command line option parsing in Java

I was a bit sceptical about args4j to start with, but it has grown on me. There is an initial extra step you have to make to add it to a program, but this is mostly boilerplate like this: @Option(name = "—help", usage = "Show option help", aliases={"-?", "-h"}) boolean showHelp = false;   private […]

running to stand still

I spent a busy evening working on updates and fixes to Giggle, with the end result of several hours hacking being… no apparent change as far as the user is concerned. Sigh. The motivation for this seemingly pointless exercise was when I started trying to run the development version of the system locally and it […]

JNI hacking

For some reason this week I decided it would be handy to learn something about how JNI works. And when I say learn, I mean write something that would work. The Linux event interface is fairly fresh in my mind, due to working with buffalo’s ruby library for it recently so I decided to re-implement […]

not sure? write a test

I learned this lesson from a colleague some years ago, but it’s worth reiterating. If you have a question about how a certain aspect of a programming language or library behaves, then it’s usually quicker to write and run a small test which demonstrates, than it is to read the documentation to try and figure […]