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Showing posts from September, 2008

Presubmit testing at Google

Here is an interesting blog post from Marc Kaplan, test engineering manager at Google, on their strategy of running what they call 'presubmit tests' -- tests that are run automatically before the code gets checked in. They include performance tests, and they compare the performance of the new code with baselines from the previous week, then report back nice graphs showing the delta. Very cool.

"Unmaintained Free Software" wiki

Thanks to Heikki Toivonen, who left a comment to my previous post and pointed me to this Unmaintained Free Software wiki. Python-related projects on that site are here. Hmmm...RPM is an unmaintained Python project? Don't think so. That site could use some love...maybe it is itself in need of a maintainer? This seems like a good Google App Engine project -- to put together a similar site with a database back-end, showing unmaintained Open Source projects....

Know of any Open Source projects that need maintainers?

I got an email on a testing-related mailing list from somebody who would like to take over an Open Source project with no current maintainer. Here's a fragment of that email:

"Folks,
As I am interested in brushing up on my coding skills, so I would
appreciate your help in identifying an existing orphan/dormant
open-source tool/toolset project who needs an owner/maintainer.

I am especially interested in software process-oriented tools that
fill a hole in an agile development/test/management tool stack."

If anybody knows of such projects, especially with a testing or agile bent, please leave a comment here. Thanks!

Getting around the Firefox port-blocking annoyance

Firefox 3.x has introduced something I'm sure they call a 'feature', but is a major annoyance for any sysadmin and developer -- they block access to ports other than 80. I thought IE was the only browser that was brain-dead that way, but Firefox has proved me wrong. Anyway, here's a simple recipe for getting around this:

1) go to about:config in the Firefox address bar
2) right click, choose new->string
3) enter the name network.security.ports.banned.override and the value 1-65535
4) there is no step 4

Experiences with Amazon EC2 and EBS

I decided to port some of the sites I've been running for the last few years on a dedicated server (running RHEL9) to an Amazon EC2 AMI (which stands for 'Amazon Machine Image'). I also wanted to use some more recent features offered by Amazon in conjunction with their EC2 platform -- such as the permanent block-based storage AKA the Elastic Block Store (EBS), and also the permanent external IP addresses AKA the Elastic IPs.

To get started, I used a great blog post on 'Persistent Django on Amazon EC2 and EBS' by Thomas Brox Røst. I will refer here to some of the steps that Thomas details in his post; if you want to follow along, you're advised to read his post.

1) Create an AWS account and sign up for the EC2 service.

2) Install the ElasticFox Firefox extension -- the greatest thing since sliced bread in terms of managing EC2 AMIs. To run the ElasticFox GUI, go to Tools->ElasticFox in Firefox; this will launch a new tabbed window showing the GUI. From now on, I…