Showing posts from May, 2007

Consulting opportunities

If you're a Django or Selenium expert and live in the Los Angeles area (or even if you live in a different area, but can meet periodically with clients in Los Angeles), please send me an email at grig at I know of a couple of great consulting gigs.

Dilbertian Information Dashboard

Do NOT do this :-)

Eliminating dependencies with regenerative build tools

This just in from Michael Feathers of "Working Effectively with Legacy Code" fame: a blog post on regenerative build tools. In the post, Michael describes an eye-opening practice related to continuous integration. Some smart people had the idea of running a script as part of a continuous build system that would comment out #include lines, one at a time, and then run the build. If the build succeeded, it meant that the include line in question was superfluous and thus could be deleted. Very interesting idea.

I bet this idea could be easily applied to Python projects, where you would comment out import statements and see if your unit test suite still passes. Of course, you can combine it with snakefood, a very interesting dependency graphing tool just released by Martin Blais. And you can also combine it with fault injection tools (aka fuzzers) such as Pester -- which belongs to the Jester family of tools also mentioned by Michael Feathers in his blog post.

Brian Marick has a new blog

If you're serious about testing, you need to read Brian Marick's blog, which he recently moved to from the old URL. Brian says:

" This is the another step in my multi-decade switch from to "Exampling", though not a verb, is a better description of what I do now. It includes testing, but has a larger scope."

And by the way, the style of technical writing that Brian describes in his latest post bugs me no end too...

Resetting MySQL account passwords

I recently needed to reset the MySQL root account password. Here are the steps, for future reference:
1) Stop mysqld, for example via 'sudo /etc/init.d/mysqld stop'
2) Create text file /tmp/mysql-init with the following contents (note that the file needs to be in a location that is readable by user mysql, since it will be read by the mysqld process running as that user): SET PASSWORD FOR 'root'@'localhost' = PASSWORD('newpassword');
3) Start mysqld_safe with following option, which will set the password to whatever was specified in /tmp/mysql-init: $ sudo /usr/bin/mysqld_safe --init-file=/tmp/mysql-init &
4) Test connection to mysqld: $ sudo mysql -uroot -pnewpassword
5) If connection is OK, restart mysqld server: $ sudo /etc/init.d/mysqld restart

Also for future reference, here's how to reset a normal user account password in MySQL:

Connect to mysqld as root (I assume you know the root password):

$ mysql -uroot -prootpassword

Use the SET PASSWORD comman…

Apache virtual hosting with Tomcat and mod_jk

In a previous post I talked about "Configuring Apache 2 and Tomcat 5.5 with mod_jk". I'll revisit some of the topics in there, but within a slightly different scenario.

Let's say you want to configure virtual hosts in Apache, with each virtual host talking to a different Tomcat instance via the mod_jk connector. Each virtual host serves up a separate application via an URL such as This URL needs to be directly mapped to a Tomcat application. This is a fairly important requirement, because you don't want to go to a URL such as to see your application. This means that your application will need to be running in the ROOT of the Tomcat webapps directory.

You also want Apache to serve up some static content, such as images.

Running multiple instances of Tomcat has a couple of advantages: 1) you can start/stop your Tomcat applications independently of each other, and 2) if a Tomcat instance goes down in flames, it w…

JRuby buzz

I wish I could put "Jython buzz" as the title of my post, but unfortunately I can't seem to detect any Jython buzz anywhere. JRuby though seems to generate a lot of it, judging by this InfoQ article on Mingle, a commercial application based on JRuby and created by ThoughtWorks Studios.

One thing I found very interesting in the InfoQ article was that ThoughtWorks preferred to develop Mingle with JRuby (which is the JVM-based version of Ruby) over writing it on top of Ruby on Rails. They cite ease of deployment as a factor in favor of JRuby:

"In particular, the deployment story for Ruby on Rails applications is still significantly more complex than it should be. This is fine for a hosted application where the deployment platform is in full control of a single company, but Mingle isn't going to be just hosted. Not only is it going to need to scale ‘up’ to the sizes of Twitter (okay, that's wishful thinking and maybe it won't need to scale that much) but it…

Michael Dell uses Ubuntu on his home laptop

Found this on Planet Ubuntu, which is buzzing with the news that Dell will be offering laptops preloaded with Feisty Fawn. I still use Edgy on my Inspiron 6000, but I'll probably upgrade to Feisty soon. Or maybe I'll just wait for a Gutsy Gibbon to burst on the scene :-)