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  • Crashing when pushing a XIB based view controller onto navigation controller stack

    - by Michael
    I was attempting to clean up the implementation for a sub-panel on a navigation controller stack, so that the navigation bar could be customized in the XIB instead of doing it manually in the viewDidLoad method. The original (working) setup had the XIB set up with the "File's Owner" class set to the view controller class, and then the view at the top level. This works fine. In the "Interface Builder User Guide", p. 71, it describes the recommended way to build the XIBs for sub-panels ("additional navigation levels"). This approach leaves the "File's Owner" class as NSObject, but adds a UIViewController at the top level, and nests the view (and navigation item) underneath it. The UIViewController's view automatically gets connected to the contained view. When I try to push the controller init'd with this new XIB, the app crashes because of a missing view: SettingsViewController *controller = [[SettingsViewController alloc] initWithNibName:@"SettingsView" bundle:nil]; [self.navigationController pushViewController:controller animated:YES]; 2010-04-23 11:17:37.135 xxxx[1173:207] * Terminating app due to uncaught exception 'NSInternalInconsistencyException', reason: '-[UIViewController _loadViewFromNibNamed:bundle:] loaded the "SettingsTestView" nib but the view outlet was not set.' I've double checked everything, and tried building a clean XIB from scratch, but get the same result. I looked through a number of the code sample projects, and NONE of them use the documented/recommended approach--they all use the File's Owner class and manually set up the navigation bar in viewDidLoad like I originally had it. Is it possible to get it working the "recommended" way? Thanks! Michael

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  • jQuery .each() function. Resetting the index?

    - by Michael
    Hi there, I have multiple lists with the same class. I'd like to loop each list and its LI's and prepend the current number before each. The current code I have is: $jQuery(".numberList li").each(function(i) { var index = i + 1; $jQuery(this).prepend("<span>" + index + "</span>"); }); The problem is, is that the index doesn't restart back at 0 for each list it goes through, it just keeps going up. For example, the output I get now is: First list 1. item 2. item 3. item Second list 4. item 5. item 6. item Second list should start at 1 again by having the index back at 0. Could someone point out where I'm going wrong? I'm not a jQuery expert or anything...clearly :) Many thanks, Michael.

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  • Question about using adaptive layout + print style sheet

    - by Michael
    Hey everyone, In my web design class, we looked at creating different style sheets for different window sizes and using a javascript that detects the window size and loads the right style sheet. In the head, I'm linking to three external style sheets, as well as a link to the javascript file. So the adaptive layout works fine. However... I also need to be able to use a print style sheet with this particular webpage (it's the requirement for this project). The problem is this that the way the javascript was written makes it so that it ignores the print style sheet. When I go to print preview, it ignores the print style sheet and the preview shows me all of my webpage unstyled. It looks like just the html when opened in a browser. I am using the javascript by Kevin Hale at ParticleTree, and I'm sure there are those familiar with this :] http://particletree.com/examples/dynamiclayouts/ I would like to know what needs to be changed so that the print style sheet isn't ignored. I've shown this to my professor. However, her email wasn't clear enough, but I understand that somehow the script is ignoring the print.css and that's why the print preview shows a css-less preview. Since it's the weekend, I won't be able to get an answer until Monday, and I was hoping someone can help me out. Thank you very much! Michael

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  • ODBC and NLS_LANG

    - by Michael S.
    Let's say that I've created two different program executables, e.g. in C++. For some reason, the two programs internals representation of text are different from each other. Let's say the first program is using text representation A and the other text representation B. It could be a specific 8-bit ANSI codepage, Unicode/UTF-8 or Unicode/UTF-16 or whatever. Now each program want to communicate text (add/retrieve data) to/from the same database table on a (database) server. Each program communicates with the database through ODBC. So the programs do not know what database system they they are communicating with. In this specific case through the database is actually a Oracle RDMS database and the database server administrator has setup the database to use UTF-8. On the system on which the programs are running an appropriate ODBC driver is available, so that the programs can connect through ODBC. Each program will treat and convert from the ODBC data type SQL_C_CHAR to its internal text representation appropriately. I assume that the programs cannot do no other than to assume a specific encoding returned for SQL_C_CHAR text. If not the programs has to be told which encoding that is. For Oracle, I know that the NLS_LANG environment variable can be used on the client. I assume it affects the ODBC driver (related to SQL_C_CHAR) to convert from a specific encoding (as given by NLS_LANG) to the internal encoding of the database (in this example UTF-8) and vice-versa. If the machine running my programs are having a NLS_LANG this setting will affect the byte sequences returned for SQL_C_CHAR so my programs cannot suddenly assume a specific encoding for the text returned via SQL_C_CHAR. Is it possible to setup the ODBC connection (preferably programmatically at runtime), so that it takes care of text conversions appropriately for the two programs, i.e. from/to representation to/from UTF-8 and from/to representation B to/from UTF-8? Regards, /Michael PS. As the programs are connecting through ODBC I don't think it would be nice that they should now anything about NLS_LANG as this is a Orcacle specific environment variable.

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  • Need to close a popup after javascript completes image upload then load new page

    - by Michael Robinson
    I got a problem. I have a image upload script that runs on a popup up when you select "upload button", after it is complete instead of closing it stays in the uploader.html window. I need it to close and go to a new page. Here is some of the xml that the script uses, can I change the "urlOnUploadSucess" line to close the popup and load a new page on the original page I came from? .....<upload preload="Preloading images:" upload="Uploading images to server:" prepare="Processing and image compression:" of="of" cancel="Cancel" start="Start" warning_empty_required_field="Warning! One of the required fields is empty!" confirm="Will be uploaded:"/> <urls urlToUpload="upload.php?" urlOnUploadSuccess="http://www.baublet.com/purchase.html" urlOnUploadFail="http://www.baublet.com/tryagain.html" urlUpdateFlashPlayer="http://www.baublet.com/flashalternative.html" useMessageBoxesAfterUpload="false" messageOnUploadSuccess="Images were successfully uploaded!" messageOnUploadFail="Error! Images failed to upload!" jsFunctionNameOnUpload=""/> ..... Thanks, Michael

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  • IE7 div floating bug

    - by Michael Frey
    I have the following <div id="border" style="width:100%; border:8px solid #FFF"> <div id="menu" style="width:250px; float:left;" > Some menu </div> <div id="content" style="padding-left:270px; width:520px;" > Main page content </div> </div> This gives me a left aligned menu and the content to the right of it, all surrounded by a border. On all browsers including IE8 it displays correctly. But on IE7 the content only starts below the menu, and leaves a big open space to the right of the menu. I have searched all kind of solutions and tried all kinds of combinations of right, left, none for float. clearing left right both. It always displays different on the browsers. Any help is appreciated. Michael

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  • BPEL, initialize variable and repeating onAlarm eventHandler

    - by Michael
    I have a little problem I can't solve so far. In BPEL I want to create an onAlarm eventHandler which fires immediatly (i.e. the "for" element is set to 'PT0S') and repeats every 2 seconds. This eventHandler shall contain a counter which increments every time the alarm fires. The question is: How to initialize the counter? If the variable will be initialized within the onAlarm scope the value would not increment anymore. In the "normal" control flow the value also cannot be initialized, because it is not defined if the process or the onAlarm scope runs first. So I would get every now and then an uninitializedVariable exception. My solution would be to not initialize the variable neither in the process scope nor in the onAlarm scope, but create a faultHandler wherein the variable will be initialized and afterwards the onAlarm flow will be executed. Problem is every uninitializedVariable execution will be caught now by this faultHandler and there may be another too. So is there another possibility to deal with this problem or can I somehow find out which variable wasn't initialized properly so the faultHandler can get two control flows? The solution should work on every BPEL engine. Thanks, Michael

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  • Concatenate 2 text elements on a line with full-width border using CSS only

    - by Michael Horne
    Okay, I'm a newbie to CSS3, so please be gentle. ;-) I'm working with some Wordpress code (Woocommerce plugin, to be exact), and I'm trying to format a line of code in a sidebar so that 2 separate text items (one in an <a, the other in a <span are all on the same line, the full width of the column, and with a bottom border. It looks something like this (except the bottom border on each text do not go all the way across the enclosing sidebar box): http://www.dalluva.com/temp/browse-catalog.JPG (sorry, I'm new and can't post inline images yet) Here's the code fragment I'm trying to live with (i.e. I don't want to change it): <div class="widget"> ... <ul class="product-categories"> <li class="cat-item"> <a href="http://localhost/dalluva/shop/product-category/books/">Books</a> <span class="count">(5)</span> </li> ... And here's the CSS I have now: .widget ul li a { border-bottom: 1px solid #e9e9e9; line-height:1.0; padding: 5px 0 5px 22px; display: inline-block; } .widget ul li span { border-bottom: 1px solid #e9e9e9; line-height: 1.0; padding: 5px 0 5px 0; display: inline-block; } The output in the image above looks right for this CSS code, but when I change the 'span' CSS to include a width:100%, it causes the span element to wrap to the next line, looking like this: http://www.dalluva.com/temp/browse-catalog-2.JPG I've played with white-space:nowrap, overflow:hidden, etc, but I can't seem to find a way to have both the <a and the <span text on the same line with the border extending the full width of the column. Any suggestions on getting the desired effect through CSS only? Thanks. Michael

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  • ListView causing OutOfMemory Error

    - by Michael
    So I am not really given a reason to the right of this error message. I am not exactly sure why this is happening but my guess though is that it has to do with the fact that there are around ~50 good quality drawables. Upon scrolling really fast, the app crashes. I feel as if I am mitigating most common issues with ListView and crashing such as using View Holders as well as only initiating the inflater once. Process: com.example.michael.myandroidappactivity, PID: 20103 java.lang.OutOfMemoryError at android.graphics.BitmapFactory.nativeDecodeAsset(Native Method) Here is the code public class ImageAdapter extends BaseAdapter { private Context context; private ArrayList<Integer> imageIds; private static LayoutInflater inflater; public ImageAdapter(Context _context, ArrayList<Integer> _imageIds) { context = _context; imageIds = _imageIds; } @Override public int getCount() { return imageIds.size(); } @Override public Object getItem(int position) { return null; } @Override public long getItemId(int position) { return 0; } static class ViewHolder{ ImageView img; } @Override public View getView(int position, View convertView, ViewGroup parent) { ViewHolder holder = null; View rowView = null; if(rowView==null) { LayoutInflater inflater = (LayoutInflater) context .getSystemService(Context.LAYOUT_INFLATER_SERVICE); rowView = inflater.inflate(R.layout.listview_layout, parent, false); holder = new ViewHolder(); holder.img = (ImageView) rowView.findViewById(R.id.flag); rowView.setTag(holder); } else { holder = (ViewHolder) rowView.getTag(); } holder.img.setImageResource(imageIds.get(position)); return rowView; } }

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  • C#: System.Collections.Concurrent.ConcurrentQueue vs. Queue

    - by James Michael Hare
    I love new toys, so of course when .NET 4.0 came out I felt like the proverbial kid in the candy store!  Now, some people get all excited about the IDE and it’s new features or about changes to WPF and Silver Light and yes, those are all very fine and grand.  But me, I get all excited about things that tend to affect my life on the backside of development.  That’s why when I heard there were going to be concurrent container implementations in the latest version of .NET I was salivating like Pavlov’s dog at the dinner bell. They seem so simple, really, that one could easily overlook them.  Essentially they are implementations of containers (many that mirror the generic collections, others are new) that have either been optimized with very efficient, limited, or no locking but are still completely thread safe -- and I just had to see what kind of an improvement that would translate into. Since part of my job as a solutions architect here where I work is to help design, develop, and maintain the systems that process tons of requests each second, the thought of extremely efficient thread-safe containers was extremely appealing.  Of course, they also rolled out a whole parallel development framework which I won’t get into in this post but will cover bits and pieces of as time goes by. This time, I was mainly curious as to how well these new concurrent containers would perform compared to areas in our code where we manually synchronize them using lock or some other mechanism.  So I set about to run a processing test with a series of producers and consumers that would be either processing a traditional System.Collections.Generic.Queue or a System.Collection.Concurrent.ConcurrentQueue. Now, I wanted to keep the code as common as possible to make sure that the only variance was the container, so I created a test Producer and a test Consumer.  The test Producer takes an Action<string> delegate which is responsible for taking a string and placing it on whichever queue we’re testing in a thread-safe manner: 1: internal class Producer 2: { 3: public int Iterations { get; set; } 4: public Action<string> ProduceDelegate { get; set; } 5: 6: public void Produce() 7: { 8: for (int i = 0; i < Iterations; i++) 9: { 10: ProduceDelegate(“Hello”); 11: } 12: } 13: } Then likewise, I created a consumer that took a Func<string> that would read from whichever queue we’re testing and return either the string if data exists or null if not.  Then, if the item doesn’t exist, it will do a 10 ms wait before testing again.  Once all the producers are done and join the main thread, a flag will be set in each of the consumers to tell them once the queue is empty they can shut down since no other data is coming: 1: internal class Consumer 2: { 3: public Func<string> ConsumeDelegate { get; set; } 4: public bool HaltWhenEmpty { get; set; } 5: 6: public void Consume() 7: { 8: bool processing = true; 9: 10: while (processing) 11: { 12: string result = ConsumeDelegate(); 13: 14: if(result == null) 15: { 16: if (HaltWhenEmpty) 17: { 18: processing = false; 19: } 20: else 21: { 22: Thread.Sleep(TimeSpan.FromMilliseconds(10)); 23: } 24: } 25: else 26: { 27: DoWork(); // do something non-trivial so consumers lag behind a bit 28: } 29: } 30: } 31: } Okay, now that we’ve done that, we can launch threads of varying numbers using lambdas for each different method of production/consumption.  First let's look at the lambdas for a typical System.Collections.Generics.Queue with locking: 1: // lambda for putting to typical Queue with locking... 2: var productionDelegate = s => 3: { 4: lock (_mutex) 5: { 6: _mutexQueue.Enqueue(s); 7: } 8: }; 9:  10: // and lambda for typical getting from Queue with locking... 11: var consumptionDelegate = () => 12: { 13: lock (_mutex) 14: { 15: if (_mutexQueue.Count > 0) 16: { 17: return _mutexQueue.Dequeue(); 18: } 19: } 20: return null; 21: }; Nothing new or interesting here.  Just typical locks on an internal object instance.  Now let's look at using a ConcurrentQueue from the System.Collections.Concurrent library: 1: // lambda for putting to a ConcurrentQueue, notice it needs no locking! 2: var productionDelegate = s => 3: { 4: _concurrentQueue.Enqueue(s); 5: }; 6:  7: // lambda for getting from a ConcurrentQueue, once again, no locking required. 8: var consumptionDelegate = () => 9: { 10: string s; 11: return _concurrentQueue.TryDequeue(out s) ? s : null; 12: }; So I pass each of these lambdas and the number of producer and consumers threads to launch and take a look at the timing results.  Basically I’m timing from the time all threads start and begin producing/consuming to the time that all threads rejoin.  I won't bore you with the test code, basically it just launches code that creates the producers and consumers and launches them in their own threads, then waits for them all to rejoin.  The following are the timings from the start of all threads to the Join() on all threads completing.  The producers create 10,000,000 items evenly between themselves and then when all producers are done they trigger the consumers to stop once the queue is empty. These are the results in milliseconds from the ordinary Queue with locking: 1: Consumers Producers 1 2 3 Time (ms) 2: ---------- ---------- ------ ------ ------ --------- 3: 1 1 4284 5153 4226 4554.33 4: 10 10 4044 3831 5010 4295.00 5: 100 100 5497 5378 5612 5495.67 6: 1000 1000 24234 25409 27160 25601.00 And the following are the results in milliseconds from the ConcurrentQueue with no locking necessary: 1: Consumers Producers 1 2 3 Time (ms) 2: ---------- ---------- ------ ------ ------ --------- 3: 1 1 3647 3643 3718 3669.33 4: 10 10 2311 2136 2142 2196.33 5: 100 100 2480 2416 2190 2362.00 6: 1000 1000 7289 6897 7061 7082.33 Note that even though obviously 2000 threads is quite extreme, the concurrent queue actually scales really well, whereas the traditional queue with simple locking scales much more poorly. I love the new concurrent collections, they look so much simpler without littering your code with the locking logic, and they perform much better.  All in all, a great new toy to add to your arsenal of multi-threaded processing!

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  • C#: System.Lazy&lt;T&gt; and the Singleton Design Pattern

    - by James Michael Hare
    So we've all coded a Singleton at one time or another.  It's a really simple pattern and can be a slightly more elegant alternative to global variables.  Make no mistake, Singletons can be abused and are often over-used -- but occasionally you find a Singleton is the most elegant solution. For those of you not familiar with a Singleton, the basic Design Pattern is that a Singleton class is one where there is only ever one instance of the class created.  This means that constructors must be private to avoid users creating their own instances, and a static property (or method in languages without properties) is defined that returns a single static instance. 1: public class Singleton 2: { 3: // the single instance is defined in a static field 4: private static readonly Singleton _instance = new Singleton(); 5:  6: // constructor private so users can't instantiate on their own 7: private Singleton() 8: { 9: } 10:  11: // read-only property that returns the static field 12: public static Singleton Instance 13: { 14: get 15: { 16: return _instance; 17: } 18: } 19: } This is the most basic singleton, notice the key features: Static readonly field that contains the one and only instance. Constructor is private so it can only be called by the class itself. Static property that returns the single instance. Looks like it satisfies, right?  There's just one (potential) problem.  C# gives you no guarantee of when the static field _instance will be created.  This is because the C# standard simply states that classes (which are marked in the IL as BeforeFieldInit) can have their static fields initialized any time before the field is accessed.  This means that they may be initialized on first use, they may be initialized at some other time before, you can't be sure when. So what if you want to guarantee your instance is truly lazy.  That is, that it is only created on first call to Instance?  Well, there's a few ways to do this.  First we'll show the old ways, and then talk about how .Net 4.0's new System.Lazy<T> type can help make the lazy-Singleton cleaner. Obviously, we could take on the lazy construction ourselves, but being that our Singleton may be accessed by many different threads, we'd need to lock it down. 1: public class LazySingleton1 2: { 3: // lock for thread-safety laziness 4: private static readonly object _mutex = new object(); 5:  6: // static field to hold single instance 7: private static LazySingleton1 _instance = null; 8:  9: // property that does some locking and then creates on first call 10: public static LazySingleton1 Instance 11: { 12: get 13: { 14: if (_instance == null) 15: { 16: lock (_mutex) 17: { 18: if (_instance == null) 19: { 20: _instance = new LazySingleton1(); 21: } 22: } 23: } 24:  25: return _instance; 26: } 27: } 28:  29: private LazySingleton1() 30: { 31: } 32: } This is a standard double-check algorithm so that you don't lock if the instance has already been created.  However, because it's possible two threads can go through the first if at the same time the first time back in, you need to check again after the lock is acquired to avoid creating two instances. Pretty straightforward, but ugly as all heck.  Well, you could also take advantage of the C# standard's BeforeFieldInit and define your class with a static constructor.  It need not have a body, just the presence of the static constructor will remove the BeforeFieldInit attribute on the class and guarantee that no fields are initialized until the first static field, property, or method is called.   1: public class LazySingleton2 2: { 3: // because of the static constructor, this won't get created until first use 4: private static readonly LazySingleton2 _instance = new LazySingleton2(); 5:  6: // Returns the singleton instance using lazy-instantiation 7: public static LazySingleton2 Instance 8: { 9: get { return _instance; } 10: } 11:  12: // private to prevent direct instantiation 13: private LazySingleton2() 14: { 15: } 16:  17: // removes BeforeFieldInit on class so static fields not 18: // initialized before they are used 19: static LazySingleton2() 20: { 21: } 22: } Now, while this works perfectly, I hate it.  Why?  Because it's relying on a non-obvious trick of the IL to guarantee laziness.  Just looking at this code, you'd have no idea that it's doing what it's doing.  Worse yet, you may decide that the empty static constructor serves no purpose and delete it (which removes your lazy guarantee).  Worse-worse yet, they may alter the rules around BeforeFieldInit in the future which could change this. So, what do I propose instead?  .Net 4.0 adds the System.Lazy type which guarantees thread-safe lazy-construction.  Using System.Lazy<T>, we get: 1: public class LazySingleton3 2: { 3: // static holder for instance, need to use lambda to construct since constructor private 4: private static readonly Lazy<LazySingleton3> _instance 5: = new Lazy<LazySingleton3>(() => new LazySingleton3()); 6:  7: // private to prevent direct instantiation. 8: private LazySingleton3() 9: { 10: } 11:  12: // accessor for instance 13: public static LazySingleton3 Instance 14: { 15: get 16: { 17: return _instance.Value; 18: } 19: } 20: } Note, you need your lambda to call the private constructor as Lazy's default constructor can only call public constructors of the type passed in (which we can't have by definition of a Singleton).  But, because the lambda is defined inside our type, it has access to the private members so it's perfect. Note how the Lazy<T> makes it obvious what you're doing (lazy construction), instead of relying on an IL generation side-effect.  This way, it's more maintainable.  Lazy<T> has many other uses as well, obviously, but I really love how elegant and readable it makes the lazy Singleton.

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  • C# 4: The Curious ConcurrentDictionary

    - by James Michael Hare
    In my previous post (here) I did a comparison of the new ConcurrentQueue versus the old standard of a System.Collections.Generic Queue with simple locking.  The results were exactly what I would have hoped, that the ConcurrentQueue was faster with multi-threading for most all situations.  In addition, concurrent collections have the added benefit that you can enumerate them even if they're being modified. So I set out to see what the improvements would be for the ConcurrentDictionary, would it have the same performance benefits as the ConcurrentQueue did?  Well, after running some tests and multiple tweaks and tunes, I have good and bad news. But first, let's look at the tests.  Obviously there's many things we can do with a dictionary.  One of the most notable uses, of course, in a multi-threaded environment is for a small, local in-memory cache.  So I set about to do a very simple simulation of a cache where I would create a test class that I'll just call an Accessor.  This accessor will attempt to look up a key in the dictionary, and if the key exists, it stops (i.e. a cache "hit").  However, if the lookup fails, it will then try to add the key and value to the dictionary (i.e. a cache "miss").  So here's the Accessor that will run the tests: 1: internal class Accessor 2: { 3: public int Hits { get; set; } 4: public int Misses { get; set; } 5: public Func<int, string> GetDelegate { get; set; } 6: public Action<int, string> AddDelegate { get; set; } 7: public int Iterations { get; set; } 8: public int MaxRange { get; set; } 9: public int Seed { get; set; } 10:  11: public void Access() 12: { 13: var randomGenerator = new Random(Seed); 14:  15: for (int i=0; i<Iterations; i++) 16: { 17: // give a wide spread so will have some duplicates and some unique 18: var target = randomGenerator.Next(1, MaxRange); 19:  20: // attempt to grab the item from the cache 21: var result = GetDelegate(target); 22:  23: // if the item doesn't exist, add it 24: if(result == null) 25: { 26: AddDelegate(target, target.ToString()); 27: Misses++; 28: } 29: else 30: { 31: Hits++; 32: } 33: } 34: } 35: } Note that so I could test different implementations, I defined a GetDelegate and AddDelegate that will call the appropriate dictionary methods to add or retrieve items in the cache using various techniques. So let's examine the three techniques I decided to test: Dictionary with mutex - Just your standard generic Dictionary with a simple lock construct on an internal object. Dictionary with ReaderWriterLockSlim - Same Dictionary, but now using a lock designed to let multiple readers access simultaneously and then locked when a writer needs access. ConcurrentDictionary - The new ConcurrentDictionary from System.Collections.Concurrent that is supposed to be optimized to allow multiple threads to access safely. So the approach to each of these is also fairly straight-forward.  Let's look at the GetDelegate and AddDelegate implementations for the Dictionary with mutex lock: 1: var addDelegate = (key,val) => 2: { 3: lock (_mutex) 4: { 5: _dictionary[key] = val; 6: } 7: }; 8: var getDelegate = (key) => 9: { 10: lock (_mutex) 11: { 12: string val; 13: return _dictionary.TryGetValue(key, out val) ? val : null; 14: } 15: }; Nothing new or fancy here, just your basic lock on a private object and then query/insert into the Dictionary. Now, for the Dictionary with ReadWriteLockSlim it's a little more complex: 1: var addDelegate = (key,val) => 2: { 3: _readerWriterLock.EnterWriteLock(); 4: _dictionary[key] = val; 5: _readerWriterLock.ExitWriteLock(); 6: }; 7: var getDelegate = (key) => 8: { 9: string val; 10: _readerWriterLock.EnterReadLock(); 11: if(!_dictionary.TryGetValue(key, out val)) 12: { 13: val = null; 14: } 15: _readerWriterLock.ExitReadLock(); 16: return val; 17: }; And finally, the ConcurrentDictionary, which since it does all it's own concurrency control, is remarkably elegant and simple: 1: var addDelegate = (key,val) => 2: { 3: _concurrentDictionary[key] = val; 4: }; 5: var getDelegate = (key) => 6: { 7: string s; 8: return _concurrentDictionary.TryGetValue(key, out s) ? s : null; 9: };                    Then, I set up a test harness that would simply ask the user for the number of concurrent Accessors to attempt to Access the cache (as specified in Accessor.Access() above) and then let them fly and see how long it took them all to complete.  Each of these tests was run with 10,000,000 cache accesses divided among the available Accessor instances.  All times are in milliseconds. 1: Dictionary with Mutex Locking 2: --------------------------------------------------- 3: Accessors Mostly Misses Mostly Hits 4: 1 7916 3285 5: 10 8293 3481 6: 100 8799 3532 7: 1000 8815 3584 8:  9:  10: Dictionary with ReaderWriterLockSlim Locking 11: --------------------------------------------------- 12: Accessors Mostly Misses Mostly Hits 13: 1 8445 3624 14: 10 11002 4119 15: 100 11076 3992 16: 1000 14794 4861 17:  18:  19: Concurrent Dictionary 20: --------------------------------------------------- 21: Accessors Mostly Misses Mostly Hits 22: 1 17443 3726 23: 10 14181 1897 24: 100 15141 1994 25: 1000 17209 2128 The first test I did across the board is the Mostly Misses category.  The mostly misses (more adds because data requested was not in the dictionary) shows an interesting trend.  In both cases the Dictionary with the simple mutex lock is much faster, and the ConcurrentDictionary is the slowest solution.  But this got me thinking, and a little research seemed to confirm it, maybe the ConcurrentDictionary is more optimized to concurrent "gets" than "adds".  So since the ratio of misses to hits were 2 to 1, I decided to reverse that and see the results. So I tweaked the data so that the number of keys were much smaller than the number of iterations to give me about a 2 to 1 ration of hits to misses (twice as likely to already find the item in the cache than to need to add it).  And yes, indeed here we see that the ConcurrentDictionary is indeed faster than the standard Dictionary here.  I have a strong feeling that as the ration of hits-to-misses gets higher and higher these number gets even better as well.  This makes sense since the ConcurrentDictionary is read-optimized. Also note that I tried the tests with capacity and concurrency hints on the ConcurrentDictionary but saw very little improvement, I think this is largely because on the 10,000,000 hit test it quickly ramped up to the correct capacity and concurrency and thus the impact was limited to the first few milliseconds of the run. So what does this tell us?  Well, as in all things, ConcurrentDictionary is not a panacea.  It won't solve all your woes and it shouldn't be the only Dictionary you ever use.  So when should we use each? Use System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary when: You need a single-threaded Dictionary (no locking needed). You need a multi-threaded Dictionary that is loaded only once at creation and never modified (no locking needed). You need a multi-threaded Dictionary to store items where writes are far more prevalent than reads (locking needed). And use System.Collections.Concurrent.ConcurrentDictionary when: You need a multi-threaded Dictionary where the writes are far more prevalent than reads. You need to be able to iterate over the collection without locking it even if its being modified. Both Dictionaries have their strong suits, I have a feeling this is just one where you need to know from design what you hope to use it for and make your decision based on that criteria.

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  • The entity type String is not part of the model for the current context error [migrated]

    - by Michael V
    I am getting the following error in my controller after the view submits the collection: The entity type String is not part of the model for the current context. Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code. Exception Details: System.InvalidOperationException: The entity type String is not part of the model for the current context. Source Error: Line 51: foreach (var survey in mysurveys) Line 52: { Line 53: db.Entry(survey).State = EntityState.Modified; Line 54: Line 55: // db.Entry(survey).State = EntityState.Modified; Here is the code ` [HttpPost] public ActionResult UpdateTest(FormCollection mysurveys) { System.Diagnostics.Debug.WriteLine("iam in test post" + mysurveys.Count); foreach (var survey in mysurveys) { db.Entry(survey).State = EntityState.Modified; } db.SaveChanges(); return View(mysurveys); } `Similar code with one record only (no foreach) works fine

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  • When should I use Areas in TFS instead of Team Projects

    - by Martin Hinshelwood
    Well, it depends…. If you are a small company that creates a finite number of internal projects then you will find it easier to create a single project for each of your products and have TFS do the heavy lifting with reporting, SharePoint sites and Version Control. But what if you are not… Update 9th March 2010 Michael Fourie gave me some feedback which I have integrated. Ed Blankenship via @edblankenship offered encouragement and a nice quote. Ewald Hofman gave me a couple of Cons, and maybe a few more soon. Ewald’s company, Avanade, currently uses Areas, but it looks like the manual management is getting too much and the project is getting cluttered. What if you are likely to have hundreds of projects, possibly with a multitude of internal and external projects? You might have 1 project for a customer or 10. This is the situation that most consultancies find themselves in and thus they need a more sustainable and maintainable option. What I am advocating is that we should have 1 “Team Project” per customer, and use areas to create “sub projects” within that single “Team Project”. "What you describe is what we generally do internally and what we recommend. We make very heavy use of area path to categorize the work within a larger project." - Brian Harry, Microsoft Technical Fellow & Product Unit Manager for Team Foundation Server   "We tend to use areas to segregate multiple projects in the same team project and it works well." - Tiago Pascoal, Visual Studio ALM MVP   "In general, I believe this approach provides consistency [to multi-product engagements] and lowers the administration and maintenance costs. All good." - Michael Fourie, Visual Studio ALM MVP   “@MrHinsh BTW, I'm very much a fan of very large, if not huge, team projects in TFS. Just FYI :) Use Areas & Iterations.” Ed Blankenship, Visual Studio ALM MVP   This would mean that SSW would have a single Team Project called “SSW” that contains all of our internal projects and consequently all of the Areas and Iteration move down one hierarchy to accommodate this. Where we would have had “\SSW\Sprint 1” we now have “\SSW\SqlDeploy\Sprint1” with “SqlDeploy” being our internal project. At the moment SSW has over 70 internal projects and more than 170 total projects in TFS. This method has long term benefits that help to simplify the support model for companies that often have limited internal support time and many projects. But, there are implications as TFS does not provide this model “out-of-the-box”. These implications stretch across Areas, Iterations, Queries, Project Portal and Version Control. Michael made a good comment, he said: I agree with your approach, assuming that in a multi-product engagement with a client, they are happy to adopt the same process template across all products. If they are not, then it’ll either be easy to convince them or there is a valid reason for having a different template - Michael Fourie, Visual Studio ALM MVP   At SSW we have a standard template that we use and this is applied across the board, to all of our projects. We even apply any changes to the core process template to all of our existing projects as well. If you have multiple projects for the same clients on multiple templates and you want to keep it that way, then this approach will not work for you. However, if you want to standardise as we have at SSW then this approach may benefit you as well. Implications around Areas Areas should be used for topological classification/isolation of work items. You can think of this as architecture areas, organisational areas or even the main features of your application. In our scenario there is an additional top level item that represents the Project / Product that we want to chop our Team Project into. Figure: Creating a sub area to represent a product/project is easy. <teamproject> <teamproject>\<Functional Area/module whatever> Becomes: <teamproject> <teamproject>\<ProjectName>\ <teamproject>\<ProjectName>\<Functional Area/module whatever> Implications around Iterations Iterations should be used for chronological classification/isolation of work items. This could include isolated time boxes, milestones or release timelines and really depends on the logical flow of your project or projects. Due to the new level in Area we need to add the same level to Iteration. This is primarily because it is unlikely that the sprints in each of your projects/products will start and end at the same time. This is just a reality of managing multiple projects. Figure: Adding the same Area value to Iteration as the top level item adds flexibility to Iteration. <teamproject>\Sprint 1 Or <teamproject>\Release 1\Sprint 1 Becomes: <teamproject>\<ProjectName>\Sprint 1 Or <teamproject>\<ProjectName>\Release 1\Sprint 1 Implications around Queries Queries are used to filter your work items based on a specified level of granularity. There are a number of queries that are built into a project created using the MSF Agile 5.0 template, but we now have multiple projects and it would be a pain to have to edit all of the work items every time we changed project, and that would only allow one team to work on one project at a time.   Figure: The Queries that are created in a normal MSF Agile 5.0 project do not quite suit our new needs. In order for project contributors to be able to query based on their project we need a couple of things. The first thing I did was to create an “_Area Template” folder that has a copy of the project layout with all the queries setup to filter based on the “_Area Template” Area and the “_Sprint template” you can see in the Area and Iteration views. Figure: The template is currently easily drag and drop, but you then need to edit the queries to point at the right Area and Iteration. This needs a tool. I then created an “Areas” folder to hold all of the area specific queries. So, when you go to create a new TFS Sub-Project you just drag “_Area Template” while holding “Ctrl” and drop it onto “Areas”. There is a little setup here. That said I managed it in around 10 minutes which is not so bad, and I can imagine it being quite easy to build a tool to create these queries Figure: These new queries can be configured in around 10 minutes, which includes setting up the Area and Iteration as well. Version Control What about your source code? Well, that is the easiest of the lot. Just create a sub folder for each of your projects/products.   Figure: Creating sub folders in source control is easy as “Right click | Create new folder”. <teamproject>\DEV\Main\ Becomes: <teamproject>\<ProjectName>\DEV\Main\ Conclusion I think it is up to each company to make a call on how you want to configure your Team Projects and it depends completely on how many projects/products you are going to have for each customer including yourself. If we decide to utilise this route it will require some configuration to get our 170+ projects into this format, and I will probably be writing some tools to help. Pros You only have one project to upgrade when a process template changes – After going through an upgrade of over 170 project prior to the changes in the RC I can tell you that that many projects is no fun. Standardises your Process Template – You will always have the same Process implementation across projects/products without exception You get tighter control over the permissions – Yes, you can do this on a standard Team Project, but it gets a lot easier with practice. You can “move” work items from one “product” to another – Have we not always wanted to do that. You can rename your projects – Wahoo: everyone wants to do this, now you can. One set of Reporting Services reports to manage – You set an area and iteration to run reports anyway, so you may as well set both. Simplified Check-In Policies– There is only one set of check-in policies per client. This simplifies administration of policies. Simplified Alerts – As alerts are applied across multiple projects this simplifies your alert rules as per client. Cons All of these cons could be mitigated by a custom tool that helps automate creation of “Sub-projects” within Team Projects. This custom tool could create areas, Iteration, permissions, SharePoint and queries. It just does not exist yet :) You need to configure the Areas and Iterations You need to configure the permissions You may need to configure sub sites for SharePoint (depends on your requirement) – If you have two projects/products in the same Team Project then you will not see the burn down for each one out-of-the-box, but rather a cumulative for the Team Project. This is not really that much of a problem as you would have to configure your burndown graphs for your current iteration anyway. note: When you create a sub site to a TFS linked portal it will inherit the settings of its parent site :) This is fantastic as it means that you can easily create sub sites and then set the Area and Iteration path in each of the reports to be the correct one. Every team wants their own customization (via Ewald Hofman) - small teams of 2 persons against teams of 30 – or even outsourcing – need their own process, you cannot allow that because everybody gets the same work item types. note: Luckily at SSW this is not a problem as our template is standardised across all projects and customers. Large list of builds (via Ewald Hofman) – As the build list in Team Explorer is just a flat list it can get very cluttered. note: I would mitigate this by removing any build that has not been run in over 30 days. The build template and workflow will still be available in version control, but it will clean the list. Feedback Now that I have explained this method, what do you think? What other pros and cons can you see? What do you think of this approach? Will you be using it? What tools would you like to support you?   Technorati Tags: Visual Studio ALM,TFS Administration,TFS,Team Foundation Server,Project Planning,TFS Customisation

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  • Enterprise SharePoint 2010 Hosting, SharePoint Foundation 2010 Hosting, SharePoint Standard 2010 Hos

    - by Michael J. Hamilton, Sr.
    Enterprise SharePoint 2010 Hosting, SharePoint Foundation 2010 Hosting, SharePoint Standard 2010 Hosting, Michigan Sclera, a Microsoft Hosted Services Provider Partner, is offering key Service Offerings around the Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 stack. Specifically – if you’re looking for SharePoint Foundation, SharePoint Standard or Enterprise 2010 hosting provisions, checkout the Service Offerings from Sclera Hosting (www.sclerahosting.com) and compare with some of the lowest prices available on the web today. I wanted to post this so you could shot around and compare. There are a couple of the larger on demand hosting agencies (247hosting, and fpweb hosting) – that charge outrageous fees  - like $350 a month for SharePoint Foundation 2010 hosting. The most incredible part? This is on a shared domain name – not the client’s domain. It’s hosting on something like .sharepointsites.com">.sharepointsites.com">http://<yourSiteName>.sharepointsites.com – or something crazy like that. Sclera Hosting provides you on demand – SharePoint Foundation, SharePoint Server Standard/Enterprise – 2010 RTM bits – within minutes of your order – ON YOUR DOMAIN – and that is a major perk for me. You have complete SharePoint Designer 2010 integration; complete support for custom assemblies, web parts, you name it – this hosting provider gives you more bang for buck than any provider on the Net today. Now – some teasers – I was in a meeting this week and I heard – SharePoint Foundation – 2010 RTM bits – unlimited users, 10 GB content database quota, full SharePoint Designer 2010 integration/support, all on the client’s domain – sit down and soak this up - $175.00 per month – no kidding. Now, I do not know about you – but – I have not seen a deal like that EVER on the Net – so – get over to www.sclerahosting.com – or email the Sales Team at Sclera Design, Inc. today for more details. Have a great weekend!

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  • 26 Days: Countdown to Oracle OpenWorld 2012

    - by Michael Snow
    Welcome to our countdown to Oracle OpenWorld! Oracle OpenWorld 2012 is just around the corner. In less than 26 days, San Francisco will be invaded by an expected 50,000 people from all over the world. Here on the Oracle WebCenter team, we’ve all been working to help make the experience a great one for all our WebCenter customers. For a sneak peak  – we’ll be spending this week giving you a teaser of what to look forward to if you are joining us in San Francisco from September 30th through October 4th. We have Oracle WebCenter sessions covering all topics imaginable. Take a look and use the tools we provide to build out your schedule in advance and reserve your seats in your favorite sessions.  That gives you plenty of time to plan for your week with us in San Francisco. If unfortunately, your boss denied your request to attend - there are still some ways that you can join in the experience virtually On-Demand. This year - we are expanding even more up North of Market Street and will be taking over Union Square as well. Check out this map of San Francisco to get a sense of how much of a footprint Oracle OpenWorld has grown to this year. With so much to see and so many sessions to learn from - its no wonder that people get excited. Add to that a good mix of fun and all of the possible WebCenter sessions you could attend - you won't want to sleep at all to take full advantage of such an opportunity. We'll also have our annual WebCenter Customer Appreciation reception - stay tuned this week for some more info on registration to make sure you'll be able to join us. If you've been following the America's Cup at all and believe in EXTREME PERFORMANCE you'll definitely want to take a look at this video from last year's OpenWorld Keynote. 12.00 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii- mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi- mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} Important OpenWorld Links:  Attendee / Presenters Toolkit Oracle Schedule Builder WebCenter Sessions (listed in the catalog under Fusion Middleware as "Portals, Sites, Content, and Collaboration" ) Oracle Music Festival - AMAZING Line up!!  Oracle Customer Appreciation Night -LOOK HERE!! Oracle OpenWorld LIVE On-Demand Here are all the WebCenter sessions broken down by day for your viewing pleasure. Monday, October 1st CON8885 - Simplify CRM Engagement with Contextual Collaboration Are your sales teams disconnected and disengaged? Do you want a tool for easily connecting expertise across your organization and providing visibility into the complete sales process? Do you want a way to enhance and retain organization knowledge? Oracle Social Network is the answer. Attend this session to learn how to make CRM easy, effective, and efficient for use across virtual sales teams. Also learn how Oracle Social Network can drive sales force collaboration with natural conversations throughout the sales cycle, promote sales team productivity through purposeful social networking without the noise, and build cross-team knowledge by integrating conversations with CRM and other business applications. CON8268 - Oracle WebCenter Strategy: Engaging Your Customers. Empowering Your Business Oracle WebCenter is a user engagement platform for social business, connecting people and information. Attend this session to learn about the Oracle WebCenter strategy, and understand where Oracle is taking the platform to help companies engage customers, empower employees, and enable partners. Business success starts with ensuring that everyone is engaged with the right people and the right information and can access what they need through the channel of their choice—Web, mobile, or social. Are you giving customers, employees, and partners the best-possible experience? Come learn how you can! ¶ HOL10208 - Add Social Capabilities to Your Enterprise Applications Oracle Social Network enables you to add real-time collaboration capabilities into your enterprise applications, so that conversations can happen directly within your business systems. In this hands-on lab, you will try out the Oracle Social Network product to collaborate with other attendees, using real-time conversations with document sharing capabilities. Next you will embed social capabilities into a sample Web-based enterprise application, using embedded UI components. Experts will also write simple REST-based integrations, using the Oracle Social Network API to programmatically create social interactions. ¶ CON8893 - Improve Employee Productivity with Intuitive and Social Work Environments Social technologies have already transformed the ways customers, employees, partners, and suppliers communicate and stay informed. Forward-thinking organizations today need technologies and infrastructures to help them advance to the next level and integrate social activities with business applications to deliver a user experience that simplifies business processes and enterprise application engagement. Attend this session to hear from an innovative Oracle Social Network customer and learn how you can improve productivity with intuitive and social work environments and empower your employees with innovative social tools to enable contextual access to content and dynamic personalization of solutions. ¶ CON8270 - Oracle WebCenter Content Strategy and Vision Oracle WebCenter provides a strategic content infrastructure for managing documents, images, e-mails, and rich media files. With a single repository, organizations can address any content use case, such as accounts payable, HR onboarding, document management, compliance, records management, digital asset management, or Website management. In this session, learn about future plans for how Oracle WebCenter will address new use cases as well as new integrations with Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle Applications, leveraging your investments by making your users more productive and error-free. ¶ CON8269 - Oracle WebCenter Sites Strategy and Vision Oracle’s Web experience management solution, Oracle WebCenter Sites, enables organizations to use the online channel to drive customer acquisition and brand loyalty. It helps marketers and business users easily create and manage contextually relevant, social, interactive online experiences across multiple channels on a global scale. In this session, learn about future plans for how Oracle WebCenter Sites will provide you with the tools, capabilities, and integrations you need in order to continue to address your customers’ evolving requirements for engaging online experiences and keep moving your business forward. ¶ CON8896 - Living with SharePoint SharePoint is a popular platform, but it’s not always the best fit for Oracle customers. In this session, you’ll discover the technical and nontechnical limitations and pitfalls of SharePoint and learn about Oracle alternatives for collaboration, portals, enterprise and Web content management, social computing, and application integration. The presentation shows you how to integrate with SharePoint when business or IT requirements dictate and covers cloud-based (Office 365) and on-premises versions of SharePoint. Presented by a former Microsoft director of SharePoint product management and backed by independent customer research, this session will prepare you to answer the question “Why don’t we just use SharePoint for that?’ the next time it comes up in your organization. ¶ CON7843 - Content-Enabling Enterprise Processes with Oracle WebCenter Organizations today continually strive to automate business processes, reduce costs, and improve efficiency. Many business processes are content-intensive and unstructured, requiring ad hoc collaboration, and distributed in nature, requiring many approvals and generating huge volumes of paper. In this session, learn how Oracle and SYSTIME have partnered to help a customer content-enable its enterprise with Oracle WebCenter Content and Oracle WebCenter Imaging 11g and integrate them with Oracle Applications. ¶ CON6114 - Tape Robotics’ Newest Superhero: Now Fueled by Oracle Software For small, midsize, and rapidly growing businesses that want the most energy-efficient, scalable storage infrastructure to meet their rapidly growing data demands, Oracle’s most recent addition to its award-winning tape portfolio leverages several pieces of Oracle software. With Oracle Linux, Oracle WebLogic, and Oracle Fusion Middleware tools, the library achieves a higher level of usability than previous products while offering customers a familiar interface for management, plus ease of use. This session examines the competitive advantages of the tape library and how Oracle software raises customer satisfaction. Learn how the combination of Oracle engineered systems, Oracle Secure Backup, and Oracle’s StorageTek tape libraries provide end-to-end coverage of your data. ¶ CON9437 - Mobile Access Management With more than five billion mobile devices on the planet and an increasing number of users using their own devices to access corporate data and applications, securely extending identity management to mobile devices has become a hot topic. This session focuses on how to extend your existing identity management infrastructure and policies to securely and seamlessly enable mobile user access. CON7815 - Customer Experience Online in Cloud: Oracle WebCenter Sites, Oracle ATG Apps, Oracle Exalogic Oracle WebCenter Sites and Oracle’s ATG product line together can provide a compelling marketing and e-commerce experience. When you couple them with the extreme performance of Oracle Exalogic, you’ll see unmatched scalability that provides you with a true cloud-based solution. In this session, you’ll learn how running Oracle WebCenter Sites and ATG applications on Oracle Exalogic delivers both a private and a public cloud experience. Find out what it takes to get these systems working together and delivering engaging Web experiences. Even if you aren’t considering Oracle Exalogic today, the rich Web experience of Oracle WebCenter, paired with the depth of the ATG product line, can provide your business full support, from merchandising through sale completion. ¶ CON8271 - Oracle WebCenter Portal Strategy and Vision To innovate and keep a competitive edge, organizations need to leverage the power of agile and responsive Web applications. Oracle WebCenter Portal enables you to do just that, by delivering intuitive user experiences for enterprise applications to drive innovation with composite applications and mashups. Attend this session to learn firsthand from customers how Oracle WebCenter Portal extends the value of existing enterprise applications, business processes, and content; delivers a superior business user experience; and maximizes limited IT resources. ¶ CON8880 - The Connected Customer Experience Begins with the Online Channel There’s a lot of talk these days about how to connect the customer journey across various touchpoints—from Websites and e-commerce to call centers and in-store—to provide experiences that are more relevant and engaging and ultimately gain competitive edge. Doing it all at once isn’t a realistic objective, so where do you start? Come to this session, and hear about three steps you can take that can help you begin your journey toward delivering the connected customer experience. You’ll hear how Oracle now has an integrated digital marketing platform for your corporate Website, your e-commerce site, your self-service portal, and your marketing and loyalty campaigns, and you’ll learn what you can do today to begin executing on your customer experience initiatives. ¶ GEN11451 - General Session: Building Mobile Applications with Oracle Cloud With the prevalence of smart mobile devices, companies are facing an increased demand to provide access to data and applications from new channels. However, developing applications for mobile devices poses some unique challenges. Come to this session to learn how Oracle addresses these challenges, offering a simpler way to develop and deploy cross-device mobile applications. See how Oracle Cloud enables you to access applications, data, and services from mobile channels in an easier way.  CON8272 - Oracle Social Network Strategy and Vision One key way of increasing employee productivity is by bringing people, processes, and information together—providing new social capabilities to enable business users to quickly correspond and collaborate on business activities. Oracle WebCenter provides a user engagement platform with social and collaborative technologies to empower business users to focus on their key business processes, applications, and content in the context of their role and process. Attend this session to hear how the latest social capabilities in Oracle Social Network are enabling organizations to transform themselves into social businesses.  --- Tuesday, October 2nd HOL10194 - Enterprise Content Management Simplified: Oracle WebCenter Content’s Next-Generation UI Regardless of the nature of your business, unstructured content underpins many of its daily functions. Whether you are working with traditional presentations, spreadsheets, or text documents—or even with digital assets such as images and multimedia files—your content needs to be accessible and manageable in convenient and intuitive ways to make working with the content easier. Additionally, you need the ability to easily share documents with coworkers to facilitate a collaborative working environment. Come to this session to see how Oracle WebCenter Content’s next-generation user interface helps modern knowledge workers easily manage personal and enterprise documents in a collaborative environment.¶ CON8877 - Develop a Mobile Strategy with Oracle WebCenter: Engage Customers, Employees, and Partners Mobile technology has gone from nice-to-have to a cornerstone of user engagement. Mobile access enables users to have information available at their fingertips, enabling them to take action the moment they make a decision, interact in the moment of convenience, and take advantage of new service offerings in their preferred channels. All your employees have your mobile applications in their pocket; now what are you going to do? It is a critical step for companies to think through what their employees, customers, and partners really need on their devices. Attend this session to see how Oracle WebCenter enables you to better engage your customers, employees, and partners by providing a unified experience across multiple channels. ¶ CON9447 - Enabling Access for Hundreds of Millions of Users How do you grow your business by identifying, authenticating, authorizing, and federating users on the Web, leveraging social identity and the open source OAuth protocol? How do you scale your access management solution to support hundreds of millions of users? With social identity support out of the box, Oracle’s access management solution is also benchmarked for 250-million-user deployment according to real-world customer scenarios. In this session, you will learn about the social identity capability and the 250-million-user benchmark testing of Oracle Access Manager and Oracle Adaptive Access Manager running on Oracle Exalogic and Oracle Exadata. ¶ HOL10207 - Build an Intranet Portal with Oracle WebCenter In this hands-on lab, you’ll work with Oracle WebCenter Portal and Oracle WebCenter Content to build out an enterprise portal that maximizes the productivity of teams and individual contributors. Using browser-based tools, you’ll manage site resources such as page styles, templates, and navigation. You’ll edit content stored in Oracle WebCenter Content directly from your portal. You’ll also experience the latest features that promote collaboration, social networking, and personal productivity. ¶ CON2906 - Get Proactive: Best Practices for Maintaining Oracle Fusion Middleware You chose Oracle Fusion Middleware products to help your organization deliver superior business results. Now learn how to take full advantage of your software with all the great tools, resources, and product updates you’re entitled to through Oracle Support. In this session, Oracle product experts provide proven best practices to help you work more efficiently, plan and prepare for upgrades and patching more effectively, and manage risk. Topics include configuration management tools, remote diagnostics, My Oracle Support Community, and My Oracle Support Lifecycle Advisors. New users and Oracle Fusion Middleware experts alike are guaranteed to leave with fresh ideas and practical, easy-to-implement next steps. ¶ CON8878 - Oracle WebCenter’s Cloud Strategy: From Social and Platform Services to Mashups Cloud computing represents a paradigm shift in how we build applications, automate processes, collaborate, and share and in how we secure our enterprise. Additionally, as you adopt cloud-based services in your organization, it’s likely that you will still have many critical on-premises applications running. With these mixed environments, multiple user interfaces, different security, and multiple datasources and content sources, how do you start evolving your strategy to account for these challenges? Oracle WebCenter offers a complete array of technologies enabling you to solve these challenges and prepare you for the cloud. Attend this session to learn how you can use Oracle WebCenter in the cloud as well as create on-premises and cloud application mash-ups. ¶ CON8901 - Optimize Enterprise Business Processes with Oracle WebCenter and Oracle BPM Do you have business processes that span multiple applications? Are you grappling with how to have visibility across these business processes; how to manage content that is associated with these processes; and, most importantly, how to model and optimize these business processes? Attend this session to hear how Oracle WebCenter and Oracle Business Process Management provide a unique set of integrated solutions to provide a composite application dashboard across these business processes and offer a solution for content-centric business processes. ¶ CON8883 - Deliver Engaging Interfaces to Oracle Applications with Oracle WebCenter Critical business processes live within enterprise applications, and application users need to manage and execute these processes as effectively as possible. Oracle provides a comprehensive user engagement platform to increase user productivity and optimize overall processes within Oracle Applications—Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle’s Siebel, PeopleSoft, and JD Edwards product families—and third-party applications. Attend this session to learn how you can integrate these applications with Oracle WebCenter to deliver composite application dashboards to your end users—whether they are your customers, partners, or employees—for enhanced usability and Web 2.0–enabled enterprise portals.¶ Wednesday, October 3rd CON8895 - Future-Ready Intranets: How Aramark Re-engineered the Application Landscape There are essential techniques and technologies you can use to deliver employee portals that garner higher productivity, improve business efficiency, and increase user engagement. Attend this session to learn how you can leverage Oracle WebCenter Portal as a user engagement platform for bringing together business process management, enterprise content management, and business intelligence into a highly relevant and integrated experience. Hear how Aramark has leveraged Oracle WebCenter Portal and Oracle WebCenter Content to deliver a unified workspace providing simpler navigation and processing, consolidation of tools, easy access to information, integrated search, and single sign-on. ¶ CON8886 - Content Consolidation: Save Money, Increase Efficiency, and Eliminate Silos Organizations are looking for ways to save money and be more efficient. With content in many different places, it’s difficult to know where to look for a document and whether the document is the most current version. With Oracle WebCenter, content can be consolidated into one best-of-breed repository that is secure, scalable, and integrated with your business processes and applications. Users can find the content they need, where they need it, and ensure that it is the right content. This session covers content challenges that affect your business; content consolidation that can lead to savings in storage and administration costs and can lower risks; and how companies are realizing savings. ¶ CON8911 - Improve Online Experiences for Customers and Partners with Self-Service Portals Are you able to provide your customers and partners an easy-to-use online self-service experience? Are you processing high-volume transactions and struggling with call center bottlenecks or back-end systems that won’t integrate, causing order delays and customer frustration? Are you looking to target content such as product and service offerings to your end users? This session shares approaches to providing targeted delivery as well as strategies and best practices for transforming your business by providing an intuitive user experience for your customers and partners. ¶ CON6156 - Top 10 Ways to Integrate Oracle WebCenter Content This session covers 10 common ways to integrate Oracle WebCenter Content with other enterprise applications and middleware. It discusses out-of-the-box modules that provide expanded features in Oracle WebCenter Content—such as enterprise search, SOA, and BPEL—as well as developer tools you can use to create custom integrations. The presentation also gives guidance on which integration option may work best in your environment. ¶ HOL10207 - Build an Intranet Portal with Oracle WebCenter In this hands-on lab, you’ll work with Oracle WebCenter Portal and Oracle WebCenter Content to build out an enterprise portal that maximizes the productivity of teams and individual contributors. Using browser-based tools, you’ll manage site resources such as page styles, templates, and navigation. You’ll edit content stored in Oracle WebCenter Content directly from your portal. You’ll also experience the latest features that promote collaboration, social networking, and personal productivity. ¶ CON7817 - Migration to Oracle WebCenter Imaging 11g Customers today continually strive to automate business processes, reduce costs, and improve efficiency. The accounts payable process—which is often distributed in nature, requires many approvals, and generates huge volumes of paper invoices—is automated by many customers. In this session, learn how Oracle and SYSTIME have partnered to help a customer migrate its existing Oracle Imaging and Process Management Release 7.6 to the latest Oracle WebCenter Imaging 11g and integrate it with Oracle’s JD Edwards family of products. ¶ CON8910 - How to Engage Customers Across Web, Mobile, and Social Channels Whether on desktops at the office, on tablets at home, or on mobile phones when on the go, today’s customers are always connected. To engage today’s customers, you need to make the online customer experience connected and consistent across a host of devices and multiple channels, including Web, mobile, and social networks. Managing this multichannel environment can result in lots of headaches without the right tools. Attend this session to learn how Oracle WebCenter Sites solves the challenge of multichannel customer engagement. ¶ HOL10206 - Oracle WebCenter Sites 11g: Transforming the Content Contributor Experience Oracle WebCenter Sites 11g makes it easy for marketers and business users to contribute to and manage Websites with the new visual, contextual, and intuitive Web authoring interface. In this hands-on lab, you will create and manage content for a sports-themed Website, using many of the new and enhanced features of the 11g release. ¶ CON8900 - Building Next-Generation Portals: An Interactive Customer Panel Discussion Social and collaborative technologies have changed how people interact, learn, and collaborate, and providing a modern, social Web presence is imperative to remain competitive in today’s market. Can your business benefit from a more collaborative and interactive portal environment for employees, customers, and partners? Attend this session to hear from Oracle WebCenter Portal customers as they share their strategies and best practices for providing users with a modern experience that adapts to their needs and includes personalized access to content in context. The panel also addresses how customers have benefited from creating next-generation portals by migrating from older portal technologies to Oracle WebCenter Portal. ¶ CON9625 - Taking Control of Oracle WebCenter Security Organizations are increasingly looking to extend their Oracle WebCenter portal for social business, to serve external users and provide seamless access to the right information. In particular, many organizations are extending Oracle WebCenter in a business-to-business scenario requiring secure identification and authorization of business partners and their users. This session focuses on how customers are leveraging, securing, and providing access control to Oracle WebCenter portal and mobile solutions. You will learn best practices and hear real-world examples of how to provide flexible and granular access control for Oracle WebCenter deployments, using Oracle Platform Security Services and Oracle Access Management Suite product offerings. ¶ CON8891 - Extending Social into Enterprise Applications and Business Processes Oracle Social Network is an extensible social platform that enables contextual collaboration within enterprise applications and business processes, providing relevant data from across various enterprise systems in one place. Attend this session to see how an Oracle Social Network customer is integrating multiple applications—such as CRM, HCM, and business processes—into Oracle Social Network and Oracle WebCenter to enable individuals and teams to solve complex cross-organizational business problems more effectively by utilizing the social enterprise. ¶ Thursday, October 4th CON8899 - Becoming a Social Business: Stories from the Front Lines of Change What does it really mean to be a social business? How can you change our organization to embrace social approaches? What pitfalls do you need to avoid? In this lively panel discussion, customer and industry thought leaders in social business explore these topics and more as they share their stories of the good, the bad, and the ugly that can happen when embracing social methods and technologies to improve business success. Using moderated questions and open Q&A from the audience, the panel discusses vital topics such as the critical factors for success, the major issues to avoid, how to gain senior executive support for social efforts, how to handle undesired behavior, and how to measure business impact. It takes a thought-provoking look at becoming a social business from the inside. ¶ CON6851 - Oracle WebCenter and Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition to Create Vendor Portals Large manufacturers of grocery items routinely find themselves depending on the inventory management expertise of their wholesalers and distributors. Inventory costs can be managed more efficiently by the manufacturers if they have better insight into the inventory levels of items carried by their distributors. This creates a unique opportunity for distributors and wholesalers to leverage this knowledge into a revenue-generating subscription service. Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition and Oracle WebCenter Portal play a key part in enabling creation of business-managed business intelligence portals for vendors. This session discusses one customer that implemented this by leveraging Oracle WebCenter and Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition. ¶ CON8879 - Provide a Personalized and Consistent Customer Experience in Your Websites and Portals Your customers engage with your company online in different ways throughout their journey—from prospecting by acquiring information on your corporate Website to transacting through self-service applications on your customer portal—and then the cycle begins again when they look for new products and services. Ensuring that the customer experience is consistent and personalized across online properties—from branding and content to interactions and transactions—can be a daunting task. Oracle WebCenter enables you to speak and interact with your customers with one voice across your Websites and portals by providing an integrated platform for delivery of self-service and engagement that unifies and personalizes the online experience. Learn more in this session. ¶ CON8898 - Land Mines, Potholes, and Dirt Roads: Navigating the Way to ECM Nirvana Ten years ago, people were predicting that by this time in history, we’d be some kind of utopian paperless society. As we all know, we’re not there yet, but are we getting closer? What is keeping companies from driving down the road to enterprise content management bliss? Most people understand that using ECM as a central platform enables organizations to expedite document-centric processes, but most business processes in organizations are still heavily paper-based. Many of these processes could be automated and improved with an ECM platform infrastructure. In this panel discussion, you’ll hear from Oracle WebCenter customers that have already solved some of these challenges as they share their strategies for success and roads to avoid along your journey. ¶ CON8908 - Oracle WebCenter Portal: Creating and Using Content Presenter Templates Oracle WebCenter Portal applications use task flows to display and integrate content stored in the Oracle WebCenter Content server. Among the most flexible task flows is Content Presenter, which renders various types of content on an Oracle WebCenter Portal page. Although Oracle WebCenter Portal comes with a set of predefined Content Presenter templates, developers can create their own templates for specific rendering needs. This session shows the lifecycle of developing Content Presenter task flows, including how to create, package, import, modify at runtime, and use such templates. In addition to simple examples with Oracle Application Development Framework (Oracle ADF) UI elements to render the content, it shows how to use other UI technologies, CSS files, and JavaScript libraries. ¶ CON8897 - Using Web Experience Management to Drive Online Marketing Success Every year, the online channel becomes more imperative for driving organizational top-line revenue, but for many companies, mastering how to best market their products and services in a fast-evolving online world with high customer expectations for personalized experiences can be a complex proposition. Come to this panel discussion, and hear directly from online marketers how they are succeeding today by using Web experience management to drive marketing success, using capabilities such as targeting and optimization, user-generated content, mobile site publishing, and site visitor personalization to deliver engaging online experiences. ¶ CON8892 - Oracle’s Journey to Social Business Social business is a revolution, one that is causing rapidly accelerating change in how companies and customers engage with one another and how employees work together. Oracle’s goal in becoming a social business is to create a socially connected organization in which working collaboratively across geographical locations, lines of business, and management chains is second nature, enabling innovative solutions to business challenges. We can achieve this by connecting the right people, finding the right content, communicating with the right people, collaborating at the right time, and building the right communities in the right context—all ready in the CLOUD. Attend this session to see how Oracle is transforming itself into a social business. ¶  ------------ If you've read all the way to the end here - we are REALLY looking forward to seeing you in San Francisco.

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  • SEO question, getting info about websites

    - by michael
    I don't know much about SEO. I have a csv file with 200,000 links to websites i want to add another field (or maybe couple of them) to each link in the csv file with page ranking of each link and maybe other interesting metrics and info about the link. I saw a free API from http://apiwiki.seomoz.org/ i can maybe use to build a simple script, but it's limited to 3 links for second which will roughly take 1100 minutes or 18 hours to run any other ideas how to get this kind of simple metrics about each link ? thanks !

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  • Using Web Services from an XNA 4.0 WP7 Game

    - by Michael Cummings
    Now that the Windows Phone 7 development tools have been out for a while, let’s talk about how you can use them. Windows Phone 7 ( WP7 ) has two application types that you can create, either Silverlight or XNA, and you can’t really mix the two together. The development environment for WP7 is a special edition of Visual Studio 2010 called Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone. This edition will be installed with the WP7 tools, even if you have a full edition of VS2010 already installed. While you can use your full edition of VS2010 to do WP7 development, this astute developer has noticed that there are a few things that you can only do in the Express for Windows Phone edition. So lets start by discussing WP7 networking. On the WP7 platform the only networking available is through Web Services using WCF or if you’re really masochistic, you’ll use the WebClient to do http. In Silverlight, it’s fairly easy to wire up a WCF proxy to call a web service and get some data. In the XNA projects, not so much. Create WCF Service First, we’ll create our service that will return some information that we need in our game. Open Visual Studio 2010, and create a new WCF Web Service project. We’ll use the default implementation as we only need to see how to use a service, we are not interested in creating a really cool service at this point. However you may want to follow the instructions in the comments of Service1.svc.cs to change the name to something better, I used DataService and IDataService for the interface. You should now be able to run the project and the WCF Test Client will load and properly enumerate your service. At this point we have a functional service that can be consumed by our XNA game. Consume the WCF Service Open Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone and create a new XNA Game Studio 4.0 Windows Phone Game project. Now if you try to add a service reference to the project, you’ll notice that the option is not available. However, if you add a Silverlight application to your solution, you’ll notice that you can create a service reference there. So using the Silverlight project, we can create the service reference. Unfortunately you can’t reference the Silverlight project from the XNA Game project, so using Windows Explorer copy the Service References folder from the Silverlight project directory to the XNA Game project directory, then add the folder to your XNA Game project. You’ll need to set the property Build Action to None for all the files, except for Reference.cs, which should be Build. Truely, we only need Reference.cs but I find it easier to copy the whole folder. If you try to compile at this point, you’ll notice that we are missing  a couple of references, System.Runtime.Serialization, System.Net and System.ServiceModel. Add these to the XNA Game project and you should build successfully. You’ll also need to copy the ServiceReference.ClientConfig file and add it to your project. The WCF infrastructure looks for this file and will complain if it can’t find it. You’ll need to set the Copy to Output Directory property to Copy if Newer. We now need to add the code to call the service and display the results on the screen. Go ahead and add a SpriteFont resource to the Content project and load it in the Game project. There’s nothing here that’s changed much from 3.1 other than your Content project is now under the Solution node and not the Project node. While you’re at it, add a string field to store the result of the service call, and intialize it to string.Empty. Then in the Draw method, write the string out to the screen, only if it does not equal string.Empty. Now to wrap this up, lets create a new field that’s of the type DataServiceClient. In the Initialize Method, create a new instance of this type using its default contructor, then in the LoadContent we can call the service. Since we can only call the GetData method of our service asynchronously we need to set up a Completed event handler first. Thankfully, Visual Studio helps out a lot there just create, using the tab key whatever VS says to. In the GetDataAsyncCompleted event handler assign the service result ( e.Result) to your string field. If you run your game, you should get something like this : Enjoy!

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  • Access Insurance Company Wins 2010 Technology Innovation Award at IASA

    - by [email protected]
    Helen Pitts, senior product marketing manager for Oracle Insurance, is blogging from the 2010 IASA Annual Conference and Business Show this week. For the second time in two weeks an Oracle Insurance customer has earned recognition at an insurance industry event for its innovative use of technology to transform their business. Access Insurance Company received the 2010 Technology Innovation Award during the 2010 IASA Annual Conference and Business Show this week in Grapevine, Texas. The company earned the recognition for its "Instant Access" application, which executes all the business rules and processes needed to provide a quote, bind, and issue a policy. CIO Andy Dunn and Tim Reynolds stopped by the Oracle Insurance Booth at IASA to visit with the team, show their award, and share how the platform has provided a strategic advantage to the company and helped it increase revenue by penetrating new markets, increasing market share and improving customer retention. Since implementing Instant Access in 2009 - a platform that leverages both Oracle Insurance Insbridge Rating and Underwriting and Oracle Documaker - the carrier has: Increased policies in force by 22%, from 140,185 to more than 270,000 Grown market share by 4.6% Increased 2009 revenue by 26.5% Increased ratio of policyholders per CSR by 30% Increased its appointed independent producers by 43 percent Now that's true innovation! You can learn more about the company's formula for success by reading Access Insurance Holdings CEO and president Michael McMenamin's interview with Insurance & Technology, Data Mastery Drives Access Insurance's 'Instant Access' Business Technology Platform. Congratulations to Michael, Andy, Tim and the entire team at Access Insurance on this well deserved honor - and for your role as a technology leader for the industry. Helen Pitts is senior product marketing manager for Oracle Insurance.

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  • Parsing Extended Events xml_deadlock_report

    - by Michael Zilberstein
    Jonathan Kehayias and Paul Randall posted more than a year ago great articles on how to monitor historical deadlocks using Extended Events system_health default trace. Both tried to fix on the fly the bug in xml output that caused failures in xml validation. Today I've found out that their version isn't bulletproof either. So here is the fixed one: SELECT CAST ( xest.target_data as XML ) xml_data , * INTO #ring_buffer_data FROM     sys.dm_xe_session_targets xest    INNER...(read more)

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  • Dual Boot issues with Windows 7 and Ubuntu

    - by Michael
    I'm finding myself in a rather unique situation. I've read through just about every resource I can find about this and while things have helped me understand some background, I haven't yet been able to find a solution. So I'm asking here. I originally had just a Windows 7 64-bit OS installation on my desktop. Learning that I couldn't do anything with Apache, PHP and MySql from within a 64-bit system, I did some research and found out that I could use Ubuntu. I've installed the latest version: 11.04. I created a CD to install Ubuntu from and the install went just fine. I installed it side-by-side with Windows 7. I can boot into Ubuntu just fine through the dual-boot option. When I reboot to load Windows though, the Grub2 list shows Windows 7 (loader) and when I select this option the Windows System Recovery loads instead of the actual OS. I haven't made it past there because I didn't know what to do. I just shut the computer down and rebooted into Ubuntu. I've been working for the last hour and a half to try to figure out how to boot into the Windows 7 OS and I haven't got a clue. While I'm somewhat proficient with Windows 7, I'm totally new to Ubuntu, so if you do know what needs to happen, please keep it simple enough that I'll be able to understand. Thanks for all your help in advance. Here's the results after using the Boot Info Script: Boot Info Script 0.55 dated February 15th, 2010 ============================= Boot Info Summary: ============================== => Grub 2 is installed in the MBR of /dev/sda and looks on the same drive in partition #5 for cbh. => Windows is installed in the MBR of /dev/sdb => Grub 2 is installed in the MBR of /dev/mapper/pdc_bdadcfbdif and looks on the same drive in partition #5 for cbh. sda1: _________________________________________________________________________ File system: ntfs Boot sector type: Windows Vista/7 Boot sector info: No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block. Mounting failed: fuse: mount failed: Device or resource busy fuse: mount failed: Device or resource busy sda2: _________________________________________________________________________ File system: ntfs Boot sector type: Windows Vista/7 Boot sector info: No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block. Mounting failed: fuse: mount failed: Device or resource busy fuse: mount failed: Device or resource busy fuse: mount failed: Device or resource busy fuse: mount failed: Device or resource busy sda3: _________________________________________________________________________ File system: ntfs Boot sector type: Windows Vista/7 Boot sector info: No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block. Mounting failed: fuse: mount failed: Device or resource busy fuse: mount failed: Device or resource busy fuse: mount failed: Device or resource busy fuse: mount failed: Device or resource busy fuse: mount failed: Device or resource busy fuse: mount failed: Device or resource busy sdb1: _________________________________________________________________________ File system: ntfs Boot sector type: Windows Vista/7 Boot sector info: No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block. Operating System: Boot files/dirs: /bootmgr /Boot/BCD sdb2: _________________________________________________________________________ File system: ntfs Boot sector type: Windows Vista/7 Boot sector info: No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block. Operating System: Boot files/dirs: sdb3: _________________________________________________________________________ File system: ntfs Boot sector type: Windows Vista/7 Boot sector info: No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block. Operating System: Boot files/dirs: /bootmgr /boot/BCD sdb4: _________________________________________________________________________ File system: Extended Partition Boot sector type: - Boot sector info: sdb5: _________________________________________________________________________ File system: ext4 Boot sector type: - Boot sector info: Operating System: Ubuntu 11.04 Boot files/dirs: /boot/grub/grub.cfg /etc/fstab /boot/grub/core.img sdb6: _________________________________________________________________________ File system: swap Boot sector type: - Boot sector info: pdc_bdadcfbdif1: _________________________________________________________________________ File system: ntfs Boot sector type: Windows Vista/7 Boot sector info: No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block. Operating System: Boot files/dirs: /bootmgr /Boot/BCD pdc_bdadcfbdif2: _________________________________________________________________________ File system: ntfs Boot sector type: Windows Vista/7 Boot sector info: No errors found in the Boot Parameter Block. Operating System: Windows 7 Boot files/dirs: /bootmgr /Boot/BCD /Windows/System32/winload.exe pdc_bdadcfbdif3: _________________________________________________________________________ File system: Boot sector type: Unknown Boot sector info: Mounting failed: fuse: mount failed: Device or resource busy fuse: mount failed: Device or resource busy fuse: mount failed: Device or resource busy fuse: mount failed: Device or resource busy fuse: mount failed: Device or resource busy fuse: mount failed: Device or resource busy mount: unknown filesystem type '' =========================== Drive/Partition Info: ============================= Drive: sda ___________________ _____________________________________________________ Disk /dev/sda: 750.2 GB, 750156374016 bytes 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 91201 cylinders, total 1465149168 sectors Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes Partition Boot Start End Size Id System /dev/sda1 * 2,048 206,847 204,800 7 HPFS/NTFS /dev/sda2 206,911 1,440,372,735 1,440,165,825 7 HPFS/NTFS /dev/sda3 1,440,372,736 1,464,856,575 24,483,840 7 HPFS/NTFS Drive: sdb ___________________ _____________________________________________________ Disk /dev/sdb: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders, total 1953525168 sectors Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes Partition Boot Start End Size Id System /dev/sdb1 * 2,048 206,847 204,800 7 HPFS/NTFS /dev/sdb2 206,911 1,342,554,688 1,342,347,778 7 HPFS/NTFS /dev/sdb3 1,930,344,448 1,953,521,663 23,177,216 7 HPFS/NTFS /dev/sdb4 1,342,556,158 1,930,344,447 587,788,290 5 Extended /dev/sdb5 1,342,556,160 1,896,806,399 554,250,240 83 Linux /dev/sdb6 1,896,808,448 1,930,344,447 33,536,000 82 Linux swap / Solaris Drive: pdc_bdadcfbdif ___________________ _____________________________________________________ Disk /dev/mapper/pdc_bdadcfbdif: 750.0 GB, 749999947776 bytes 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 91182 cylinders, total 1464843648 sectors Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes Partition Boot Start End Size Id System /dev/mapper/pdc_bdadcfbdif1 * 2,048 206,847 204,800 7 HPFS/NTFS /dev/mapper/pdc_bdadcfbdif2 206,911 1,440,372,735 1,440,165,825 7 HPFS/NTFS /dev/mapper/pdc_bdadcfbdif3 1,440,372,736 1,464,856,575 24,483,840 7 HPFS/NTFS /dev/mapper/pdc_bdadcfbdif3 ends after the last sector of /dev/mapper/pdc_bdadcfbdif blkid -c /dev/null: ____________________________________________________________ Device UUID TYPE LABEL /dev/mapper/pdc_bdadcfbdif1 888E54CC8E54B482 ntfs SYSTEM /dev/mapper/pdc_bdadcfbdif2 C2766BF6766BEA1D ntfs OS /dev/mapper/pdc_bdadcfbdif: PTTYPE="dos" /dev/sda1 888E54CC8E54B482 ntfs SYSTEM /dev/sda2 C2766BF6766BEA1D ntfs OS /dev/sda3 BE6CA31D6CA2CF87 ntfs HP_RECOVERY /dev/sda promise_fasttrack_raid_member /dev/sdb1 20B65685B6565B7C ntfs SYSTEM /dev/sdb2 B4467A314679F508 ntfs HP /dev/sdb3 6E10B7A410B77227 ntfs FACTORY_IMAGE /dev/sdb4: PTTYPE="dos" /dev/sdb5 266f9801-cf4f-4acc-affa-2092be035f0c ext4 /dev/sdb6 1df35749-a887-45ff-a3de-edd52239847d swap /dev/sdb: PTTYPE="dos" error: /dev/mapper/pdc_bdadcfbdif3: No such file or directory error: /dev/sdc: No medium found error: /dev/sdd: No medium found error: /dev/sde: No medium found error: /dev/sdf: No medium found error: /dev/sdg: No medium found ============================ "mount | grep ^/dev output: =========================== Device Mount_Point Type Options /dev/sdb5 / ext4 (rw,errors=remount-ro,commit=0) =========================== sdb5/boot/grub/grub.cfg: =========================== # # DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE # # It is automatically generated by grub-mkconfig using templates # from /etc/grub.d and settings from /etc/default/grub # ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/00_header ### if [ -s $prefix/grubenv ]; then set have_grubenv=true load_env fi set default="0" if [ "${prev_saved_entry}" ]; then set saved_entry="${prev_saved_entry}" save_env saved_entry set prev_saved_entry= save_env prev_saved_entry set boot_once=true fi function savedefault { if [ -z "${boot_once}" ]; then saved_entry="${chosen}" save_env saved_entry fi } function recordfail { set recordfail=1 if [ -n "${have_grubenv}" ]; then if [ -z "${boot_once}" ]; then save_env recordfail; fi; fi } function load_video { insmod vbe insmod vga insmod video_bochs insmod video_cirrus } insmod part_msdos insmod ext2 set root='(/dev/sdb,msdos5)' search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 266f9801-cf4f-4acc-affa-2092be035f0c if loadfont /usr/share/grub/unicode.pf2 ; then set gfxmode=auto load_video insmod gfxterm fi terminal_output gfxterm insmod part_msdos insmod ext2 set root='(/dev/sdb,msdos5)' search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 266f9801-cf4f-4acc-affa-2092be035f0c set locale_dir=($root)/boot/grub/locale set lang=en_US insmod gettext if [ "${recordfail}" = 1 ]; then set timeout=-1 else set timeout=10 fi ### END /etc/grub.d/00_header ### ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ### set menu_color_normal=white/black set menu_color_highlight=black/light-gray if background_color 44,0,30; then clear fi ### END /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ### ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/10_linux ### if [ ${recordfail} != 1 ]; then if [ -e ${prefix}/gfxblacklist.txt ]; then if hwmatch ${prefix}/gfxblacklist.txt 3; then if [ ${match} = 0 ]; then set linux_gfx_mode=keep else set linux_gfx_mode=text fi else set linux_gfx_mode=text fi else set linux_gfx_mode=keep fi else set linux_gfx_mode=text fi export linux_gfx_mode if [ "$linux_gfx_mode" != "text" ]; then load_video; fi menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.38-8-generic-pae' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os { recordfail set gfxpayload=$linux_gfx_mode insmod part_msdos insmod ext2 set root='(/dev/sdb,msdos5)' search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 266f9801-cf4f-4acc-affa-2092be035f0c linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.38-8-generic-pae root=UUID=266f9801-cf4f-4acc- affa-2092be035f0c ro quiet splash vt.handoff=7 initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.38-8-generic-pae } menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.38-8-generic-pae (recovery mode)' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os { recordfail set gfxpayload=$linux_gfx_mode insmod part_msdos insmod ext2 set root='(/dev/sdb,msdos5)' search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 266f9801-cf4f-4acc-affa-2092be035f0c echo 'Loading Linux 2.6.38-8-generic-pae ...' linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.38-8-generic-pae root=UUID=266f9801-cf4f-4acc-affa-2092be035f0c ro single echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...' initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.38-8-generic-pae } ### END /etc/grub.d/10_linux ### ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/20_linux_xen ### ### END /etc/grub.d/20_linux_xen ### ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/20_memtest86+ ### menuentry "Memory test (memtest86+)" { insmod part_msdos insmod ext2 set root='(/dev/sdb,msdos5)' search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 266f9801-cf4f-4acc-affa-2092be035f0c linux16 /boot/memtest86+.bin } menuentry "Memory test (memtest86+, serial console 115200)" { insmod part_msdos insmod ext2 set root='(/dev/sdb,msdos5)' search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 266f9801-cf4f-4acc-affa-2092be035f0c linux16 /boot/memtest86+.bin console=ttyS0,115200n8 } ### END /etc/grub.d/20_memtest86+ ### ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ### menuentry "Windows 7 (loader) (on /dev/sdb1)" --class windows --class os { insmod part_msdos insmod ntfs set root='(/dev/sdb,msdos1)' search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 20B65685B6565B7C chainloader +1 } menuentry "Windows Recovery Environment (loader) (on /dev/sdb3)" --class windows --class os { insmod part_msdos insmod ntfs set root='(/dev/sdb,msdos3)' search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 6E10B7A410B77227 drivemap -s (hd0) ${root} chainloader +1 } ### END /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ### ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/40_custom ### # This file provides an easy way to add custom menu entries. Simply type the # menu entries you want to add after this comment. Be careful not to change # the 'exec tail' line above. ### END /etc/grub.d/40_custom ### ### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/41_custom ### if [ -f $prefix/custom.cfg ]; then source $prefix/custom.cfg; fi ### END /etc/grub.d/41_custom ### =============================== sdb5/etc/fstab: =============================== # /etc/fstab: static file system information. # # Use 'blkid -o value -s UUID' to print the universally unique identifier # for a device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name # devices that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5). # # <file system> <mount point> <type> <options> <dump> <pass> proc /proc proc nodev,noexec,nosuid 0 0 # / was on /dev/sdb5 during installation UUID=266f9801-cf4f-4acc-affa-2092be035f0c / ext4 errors=remount-ro 0 1 # swap was on /dev/sdb6 during installation UUID=1df35749-a887-45ff-a3de-edd52239847d none swap sw 0 0 =================== sdb5: Location of files loaded by Grub: =================== 900.1GB: boot/grub/core.img 825.0GB: boot/grub/grub.cfg 688.7GB: boot/initrd.img-2.6.38-8-generic-pae 688.0GB: boot/vmlinuz-2.6.38-8-generic-pae 688.7GB: initrd.img 688.0GB: vmlinuz =========================== Unknown MBRs/Boot Sectors/etc ======================= Unknown BootLoader on pdc_bdadcfbdif3 =======Devices which don't seem to have a corresponding hard drive============== sdc sdd sde sdf sdg =============================== StdErr Messages: =============================== ERROR: dos: partition address past end of RAID device hexdump: /dev/mapper/pdc_bdadcfbdif3: No such file or directory hexdump: /dev/mapper/pdc_bdadcfbdif3: No such file or directory ERROR: dos: partition address past end of RAID device

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  • Cut Caseload Costs, Speed Service Delivery For Social Services

    - by michael.seback
    Lower Caseload Costs, Speedier Service Delivery with New Oracle Social Services Solution Oracle has just introduced a new solution for social services agencies that's designed to help case workers address the challenges of rising workloads and growing demands by citizens for additional services. In the past, IT departments developed custom software in an effort to meet program outcomes. "Because this capability is out of the box with the Oracle solution, there's less complexity for organizations and an overall lower total cost of ownership," says Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, Oracle's executive director of health and human services. "Self service brings costs down to just pennies per interaction and makes it possible for clients to receive government services more quickly," Ellison-Taylor says. read more

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  • C#: Adding Functionality to 3rd Party Libraries With Extension Methods

    - by James Michael Hare
    Ever have one of those third party libraries that you love but it's missing that one feature or one piece of syntactical candy that would make it so much more useful?  This, I truly think, is one of the best uses of extension methods.  I began discussing extension methods in my last post (which you find here) where I expounded upon what I thought were some rules of thumb for using extension methods correctly.  As long as you keep in line with those (or similar) rules, they can often be useful for adding that little extra functionality or syntactical simplification for a library that you have little or no control over. Oh sure, you could take an open source project, download the source and add the methods you want, but then every time the library is updated you have to re-add your changes, which can be cumbersome and error prone.  And yes, you could possibly extend a class in a third party library and override features, but that's only if the class is not sealed, static, or constructed via factories. This is the perfect place to use an extension method!  And the best part is, you and your development team don't need to change anything!  Simply add the using for the namespace the extensions are in! So let's consider this example.  I love log4net!  Of all the logging libraries I've played with, it, to me, is one of the most flexible and configurable logging libraries and it performs great.  But this isn't about log4net, well, not directly.  So why would I want to add functionality?  Well, it's missing one thing I really want in the ILog interface: ability to specify logging level at runtime. For example, let's say I declare my ILog instance like so:     using log4net;     public class LoggingTest     {         private static readonly ILog _log = LogManager.GetLogger(typeof(LoggingTest));         ...     }     If you don't know log4net, the details aren't important, just to show that the field _log is the logger I have gotten from log4net. So now that I have that, I can log to it like so:     _log.Debug("This is the lowest level of logging and just for debugging output.");     _log.Info("This is an informational message.  Usual normal operation events.");     _log.Warn("This is a warning, something suspect but not necessarily wrong.");     _log.Error("This is an error, some sort of processing problem has happened.");     _log.Fatal("Fatals usually indicate the program is dying hideously."); And there's many flavors of each of these to log using string formatting, to log exceptions, etc.  But one thing there isn't: the ability to easily choose the logging level at runtime.  Notice, the logging levels above are chosen at compile time.  Of course, you could do some fun stuff with lambdas and wrap it, but that would obscure the simplicity of the interface.  And yes there is a Logger property you can dive down into where you can specify a Level, but the Level properties don't really match the ILog interface exactly and then you have to manually build a LogEvent and... well, it gets messy.  I want something simple and sexy so I can say:     _log.Log(someLevel, "This will be logged at whatever level I choose at runtime!");     Now, some purists out there might say you should always know what level you want to log at, and for the most part I agree with them.  For the most party the ILog interface satisfies 99% of my needs.  In fact, for most application logging yes you do always know the level you will be logging at, but when writing a utility class, you may not always know what level your user wants. I'll tell you, one of my favorite things is to write reusable components.  If I had my druthers I'd write framework libraries and shared components all day!  And being able to easily log at a runtime-chosen level is a big need for me.  After all, if I want my code to really be re-usable, I shouldn't force a user to deal with the logging level I choose. One of my favorite uses for this is in Interceptors -- I'll describe Interceptors in my next post and some of my favorites -- for now just know that an Interceptor wraps a class and allows you to add functionality to an existing method without changing it's signature.  At the risk of over-simplifying, it's a very generic implementation of the Decorator design pattern. So, say for example that you were writing an Interceptor that would time method calls and emit a log message if the method call execution time took beyond a certain threshold of time.  For instance, maybe if your database calls take more than 5,000 ms, you want to log a warning.  Or if a web method call takes over 1,000 ms, you want to log an informational message.  This would be an excellent use of logging at a generic level. So here was my personal wish-list of requirements for my task: Be able to determine if a runtime-specified logging level is enabled. Be able to log generically at a runtime-specified logging level. Have the same look-and-feel of the existing Debug, Info, Warn, Error, and Fatal calls.    Having the ability to also determine if logging for a level is on at runtime is also important so you don't spend time building a potentially expensive logging message if that level is off.  Consider an Interceptor that may log parameters on entrance to the method.  If you choose to log those parameter at DEBUG level and if DEBUG is not on, you don't want to spend the time serializing those parameters. Now, mine may not be the most elegant solution, but it performs really well since the enum I provide all uses contiguous values -- while it's never guaranteed, contiguous switch values usually get compiled into a jump table in IL which is VERY performant - O(1) - but even if it doesn't, it's still so fast you'd never need to worry about it. So first, I need a way to let users pass in logging levels.  Sure, log4net has a Level class, but it's a class with static members and plus it provides way too many options compared to ILog interface itself -- and wouldn't perform as well in my level-check -- so I define an enum like below.     namespace Shared.Logging.Extensions     {         // enum to specify available logging levels.         public enum LoggingLevel         {             Debug,             Informational,             Warning,             Error,             Fatal         }     } Now, once I have this, writing the extension methods I need is trivial.  Once again, I would typically /// comment fully, but I'm eliminating for blogging brevity:     namespace Shared.Logging.Extensions     {         // the extension methods to add functionality to the ILog interface         public static class LogExtensions         {             // Determines if logging is enabled at a given level.             public static bool IsLogEnabled(this ILog logger, LoggingLevel level)             {                 switch (level)                 {                     case LoggingLevel.Debug:                         return logger.IsDebugEnabled;                     case LoggingLevel.Informational:                         return logger.IsInfoEnabled;                     case LoggingLevel.Warning:                         return logger.IsWarnEnabled;                     case LoggingLevel.Error:                         return logger.IsErrorEnabled;                     case LoggingLevel.Fatal:                         return logger.IsFatalEnabled;                 }                                 return false;             }             // Logs a simple message - uses same signature except adds LoggingLevel             public static void Log(this ILog logger, LoggingLevel level, object message)             {                 switch (level)                 {                     case LoggingLevel.Debug:                         logger.Debug(message);                         break;                     case LoggingLevel.Informational:                         logger.Info(message);                         break;                     case LoggingLevel.Warning:                         logger.Warn(message);                         break;                     case LoggingLevel.Error:                         logger.Error(message);                         break;                     case LoggingLevel.Fatal:                         logger.Fatal(message);                         break;                 }             }             // Logs a message and exception to the log at specified level.             public static void Log(this ILog logger, LoggingLevel level, object message, Exception exception)             {                 switch (level)                 {                     case LoggingLevel.Debug:                         logger.Debug(message, exception);                         break;                     case LoggingLevel.Informational:                         logger.Info(message, exception);                         break;                     case LoggingLevel.Warning:                         logger.Warn(message, exception);                         break;                     case LoggingLevel.Error:                         logger.Error(message, exception);                         break;                     case LoggingLevel.Fatal:                         logger.Fatal(message, exception);                         break;                 }             }             // Logs a formatted message to the log at the specified level.              public static void LogFormat(this ILog logger, LoggingLevel level, string format,                                          params object[] args)             {                 switch (level)                 {                     case LoggingLevel.Debug:                         logger.DebugFormat(format, args);                         break;                     case LoggingLevel.Informational:                         logger.InfoFormat(format, args);                         break;                     case LoggingLevel.Warning:                         logger.WarnFormat(format, args);                         break;                     case LoggingLevel.Error:                         logger.ErrorFormat(format, args);                         break;                     case LoggingLevel.Fatal:                         logger.FatalFormat(format, args);                         break;                 }             }         }     } So there it is!  I didn't have to modify the log4net source code, so if a new version comes out, i can just add the new assembly with no changes.  I didn't have to subclass and worry about developers not calling my sub-class instead of the original.  I simply provide the extension methods and it's as if the long lost extension methods were always a part of the ILog interface! Consider a very contrived example using the original interface:     // using the original ILog interface     public class DatabaseUtility     {         private static readonly ILog _log = LogManager.Create(typeof(DatabaseUtility));                 // some theoretical method to time         IDataReader Execute(string statement)         {             var timer = new System.Diagnostics.Stopwatch();                         // do DB magic                                    // this is hard-coded to warn, if want to change at runtime tough luck!             if (timer.ElapsedMilliseconds > 5000 && _log.IsWarnEnabled)             {                 _log.WarnFormat("Statement {0} took too long to execute.", statement);             }             ...         }     }     Now consider this alternate call where the logging level could be perhaps a property of the class          // using the original ILog interface     public class DatabaseUtility     {         private static readonly ILog _log = LogManager.Create(typeof(DatabaseUtility));                 // allow logging level to be specified by user of class instead         public LoggingLevel ThresholdLogLevel { get; set; }                 // some theoretical method to time         IDataReader Execute(string statement)         {             var timer = new System.Diagnostics.Stopwatch();                         // do DB magic                                    // this is hard-coded to warn, if want to change at runtime tough luck!             if (timer.ElapsedMilliseconds > 5000 && _log.IsLogEnabled(ThresholdLogLevel))             {                 _log.LogFormat(ThresholdLogLevel, "Statement {0} took too long to execute.",                     statement);             }             ...         }     } Next time, I'll show one of my favorite uses for these extension methods in an Interceptor.

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  • Red Gate Coder interviews: Alex Davies

    - by Michael Williamson
    Alex Davies has been a software engineer at Red Gate since graduating from university, and is currently busy working on .NET Demon. We talked about tackling parallel programming with his actors framework, a scientific approach to debugging, and how JavaScript is going to affect the programming languages we use in years to come. So, if we start at the start, how did you get started in programming? When I was seven or eight, I was given a BBC Micro for Christmas. I had asked for a Game Boy, but my dad thought it would be better to give me a proper computer. For a year or so, I only played games on it, but then I found the user guide for writing programs in it. I gradually started doing more stuff on it and found it fun. I liked creating. As I went into senior school I continued to write stuff on there, trying to write games that weren’t very good. I got a real computer when I was fourteen and found ways to write BASIC on it. Visual Basic to start with, and then something more interesting than that. How did you learn to program? Was there someone helping you out? Absolutely not! I learnt out of a book, or by experimenting. I remember the first time I found a loop, I was like “Oh my God! I don’t have to write out the same line over and over and over again any more. It’s amazing!” When did you think this might be something that you actually wanted to do as a career? For a long time, I thought it wasn’t something that you would do as a career, because it was too much fun to be a career. I thought I’d do chemistry at university and some kind of career based on chemical engineering. And then I went to a careers fair at school when I was seventeen or eighteen, and it just didn’t interest me whatsoever. I thought “I could be a programmer, and there’s loads of money there, and I’m good at it, and it’s fun”, but also that I shouldn’t spoil my hobby. Now I don’t really program in my spare time any more, which is a bit of a shame, but I program all the rest of the time, so I can live with it. Do you think you learnt much about programming at university? Yes, definitely! I went into university knowing how to make computers do anything I wanted them to do. However, I didn’t have the language to talk about algorithms, so the algorithms course in my first year was massively important. Learning other language paradigms like functional programming was really good for breadth of understanding. Functional programming influences normal programming through design rather than actually using it all the time. I draw inspiration from it to write imperative programs which I think is actually becoming really fashionable now, but I’ve been doing it for ages. I did it first! There were also some courses on really odd programming languages, a bit of Prolog, a little bit of C. Having a little bit of each of those is something that I would have never done on my own, so it was important. And then there are knowledge-based courses which are about not programming itself but things that have been programmed like TCP. Those are really important for examples for how to approach things. Did you do any internships while you were at university? Yeah, I spent both of my summers at the same company. I thought I could code well before I went there. Looking back at the crap that I produced, it was only surpassed in its crappiness by all of the other code already in that company. I’m so much better at writing nice code now than I used to be back then. Was there just not a culture of looking after your code? There was, they just didn’t hire people for their abilities in that area. They hired people for raw IQ. The first indicator of it going wrong was that they didn’t have any computer scientists, which is a bit odd in a programming company. But even beyond that they didn’t have people who learnt architecture from anyone else. Most of them had started straight out of university, so never really had experience or mentors to learn from. There wasn’t the experience to draw from to teach each other. In the second half of my second internship, I was being given tasks like looking at new technologies and teaching people stuff. Interns shouldn’t be teaching people how to do their jobs! All interns are going to have little nuggets of things that you don’t know about, but they shouldn’t consistently be the ones who know the most. It’s not a good environment to learn. I was going to ask how you found working with people who were more experienced than you… When I reached Red Gate, I found some people who were more experienced programmers than me, and that was difficult. I’ve been coding since I was tiny. At university there were people who were cleverer than me, but there weren’t very many who were more experienced programmers than me. During my internship, I didn’t find anyone who I classed as being a noticeably more experienced programmer than me. So, it was a shock to the system to have valid criticisms rather than just formatting criticisms. However, Red Gate’s not so big on the actual code review, at least it wasn’t when I started. We did an entire product release and then somebody looked over all of the UI of that product which I’d written and say what they didn’t like. By that point, it was way too late and I’d disagree with them. Do you think the lack of code reviews was a bad thing? I think if there’s going to be any oversight of new people, then it should be continuous rather than chunky. For me I don’t mind too much, I could go out and get oversight if I wanted it, and in those situations I felt comfortable without it. If I was managing the new person, then maybe I’d be keener on oversight and then the right way to do it is continuously and in very, very small chunks. Have you had any significant projects you’ve worked on outside of a job? When I was a teenager I wrote all sorts of stuff. I used to write games, I derived how to do isomorphic projections myself once. I didn’t know what the word was so I couldn’t Google for it, so I worked it out myself. It was horrifically complicated. But it sort of tailed off when I started at university, and is now basically zero. If I do side-projects now, they tend to be work-related side projects like my actors framework, NAct, which I started in a down tools week. Could you explain a little more about NAct? It is a little C# framework for writing parallel code more easily. Parallel programming is difficult when you need to write to shared data. Sometimes parallel programming is easy because you don’t need to write to shared data. When you do need to access shared data, you could just have your threads pile in and do their work, but then you would screw up the data because the threads would trample on each other’s toes. You could lock, but locks are really dangerous if you’re using more than one of them. You get interactions like deadlocks, and that’s just nasty. Actors instead allows you to say this piece of data belongs to this thread of execution, and nobody else can read it. If you want to read it, then ask that thread of execution for a piece of it by sending a message, and it will send the data back by a message. And that avoids deadlocks as long as you follow some obvious rules about not making your actors sit around waiting for other actors to do something. There are lots of ways to write actors, NAct allows you to do it as if it was method calls on other objects, which means you get all the strong type-safety that C# programmers like. Do you think that this is suitable for the majority of parallel programming, or do you think it’s only suitable for specific cases? It’s suitable for most difficult parallel programming. If you’ve just got a hundred web requests which are all independent of each other, then I wouldn’t bother because it’s easier to just spin them up in separate threads and they can proceed independently of each other. But where you’ve got difficult parallel programming, where you’ve got multiple threads accessing multiple bits of data in multiple ways at different times, then actors is at least as good as all other ways, and is, I reckon, easier to think about. When you’re using actors, you presumably still have to write your code in a different way from you would otherwise using single-threaded code. You can’t use actors with any methods that have return types, because you’re not allowed to call into another actor and wait for it. If you want to get a piece of data out of another actor, then you’ve got to use tasks so that you can use “async” and “await” to await asynchronously for it. But other than that, you can still stick things in classes so it’s not too different really. Rather than having thousands of objects with mutable state, you can use component-orientated design, where there are only a few mutable classes which each have a small number of instances. Then there can be thousands of immutable objects. If you tend to do that anyway, then actors isn’t much of a jump. If I’ve already built my system without any parallelism, how hard is it to add actors to exploit all eight cores on my desktop? Usually pretty easy. If you can identify even one boundary where things look like messages and you have components where some objects live on one side and these other objects live on the other side, then you can have a granddaddy object on one side be an actor and it will parallelise as it goes across that boundary. Not too difficult. If we do get 1000-core desktop PCs, do you think actors will scale up? It’s hard. There are always in the order of twenty to fifty actors in my whole program because I tend to write each component as actors, and I tend to have one instance of each component. So this won’t scale to a thousand cores. What you can do is write data structures out of actors. I use dictionaries all over the place, and if you need a dictionary that is going to be accessed concurrently, then you could build one of those out of actors in no time. You can use queuing to marshal requests between different slices of the dictionary which are living on different threads. So it’s like a distributed hash table but all of the chunks of it are on the same machine. That means that each of these thousand processors has cached one small piece of the dictionary. I reckon it wouldn’t be too big a leap to start doing proper parallelism. Do you think it helps if actors get baked into the language, similarly to Erlang? Erlang is excellent in that it has thread-local garbage collection. C# doesn’t, so there’s a limit to how well C# actors can possibly scale because there’s a single garbage collected heap shared between all of them. When you do a global garbage collection, you’ve got to stop all of the actors, which is seriously expensive, whereas in Erlang garbage collections happen per-actor, so they’re insanely cheap. However, Erlang deviated from all the sensible language design that people have used recently and has just come up with crazy stuff. You can definitely retrofit thread-local garbage collection to .NET, and then it’s quite well-suited to support actors, even if it’s not baked into the language. Speaking of language design, do you have a favourite programming language? I’ll choose a language which I’ve never written before. I like the idea of Scala. It sounds like C#, only with some of the niggles gone. I enjoy writing static types. It means you don’t have to writing tests so much. When you say it doesn’t have some of the niggles? C# doesn’t allow the use of a property as a method group. It doesn’t have Scala case classes, or sum types, where you can do a switch statement and the compiler checks that you’ve checked all the cases, which is really useful in functional-style programming. Pattern-matching, in other words. That’s actually the major niggle. C# is pretty good, and I’m quite happy with C#. And what about going even further with the type system to remove the need for tests to something like Haskell? Or is that a step too far? I’m quite a pragmatist, I don’t think I could deal with trying to write big systems in languages with too few other users, especially when learning how to structure things. I just don’t know anyone who can teach me, and the Internet won’t teach me. That’s the main reason I wouldn’t use it. If I turned up at a company that writes big systems in Haskell, I would have no objection to that, but I wouldn’t instigate it. What about things in C#? For instance, there’s contracts in C#, so you can try to statically verify a bit more about your code. Do you think that’s useful, or just not worthwhile? I’ve not really tried it. My hunch is that it needs to be built into the language and be quite mathematical for it to work in real life, and that doesn’t seem to have ended up true for C# contracts. I don’t think anyone who’s tried them thinks they’re any good. I might be wrong. On a slightly different note, how do you like to debug code? I think I’m quite an odd debugger. I use guesswork extremely rarely, especially if something seems quite difficult to debug. I’ve been bitten spending hours and hours on guesswork and not being scientific about debugging in the past, so now I’m scientific to a fault. What I want is to see the bug happening in the debugger, to step through the bug happening. To watch the program going from a valid state to an invalid state. When there’s a bug and I can’t work out why it’s happening, I try to find some piece of evidence which places the bug in one section of the code. From that experiment, I binary chop on the possible causes of the bug. I suppose that means binary chopping on places in the code, or binary chopping on a stage through a processing cycle. Basically, I’m very stupid about how I debug. I won’t make any guesses, I won’t use any intuition, I will only identify the experiment that’s going to binary chop most effectively and repeat rather than trying to guess anything. I suppose it’s quite top-down. Is most of the time then spent in the debugger? Absolutely, if at all possible I will never debug using print statements or logs. I don’t really hold much stock in outputting logs. If there’s any bug which can be reproduced locally, I’d rather do it in the debugger than outputting logs. And with SmartAssembly error reporting, there’s not a lot that can’t be either observed in an error report and just fixed, or reproduced locally. And in those other situations, maybe I’ll use logs. But I hate using logs. You stare at the log, trying to guess what’s going on, and that’s exactly what I don’t like doing. You have to just look at it and see does this look right or wrong. We’ve covered how you get to grip with bugs. How do you get to grips with an entire codebase? I watch it in the debugger. I find little bugs and then try to fix them, and mostly do it by watching them in the debugger and gradually getting an understanding of how the code works using my process of binary chopping. I have to do a lot of reading and watching code to choose where my slicing-in-half experiment is going to be. The last time I did it was SmartAssembly. The old code was a complete mess, but at least it did things top to bottom. There wasn’t too much of some of the big abstractions where flow of control goes all over the place, into a base class and back again. Code’s really hard to understand when that happens. So I like to choose a little bug and try to fix it, and choose a bigger bug and try to fix it. Definitely learn by doing. I want to always have an aim so that I get a little achievement after every few hours of debugging. Once I’ve learnt the codebase I might be able to fix all the bugs in an hour, but I’d rather be using them as an aim while I’m learning the codebase. If I was a maintainer of a codebase, what should I do to make it as easy as possible for you to understand? Keep distinct concepts in different places. And name your stuff so that it’s obvious which concepts live there. You shouldn’t have some variable that gets set miles up the top of somewhere, and then is read miles down to choose some later behaviour. I’m talking from a very much SmartAssembly point of view because the old SmartAssembly codebase had tons and tons of these things, where it would read some property of the code and then deal with it later. Just thousands of variables in scope. Loads of things to think about. If you can keep concepts separate, then it aids me in my process of fixing bugs one at a time, because each bug is going to more or less be understandable in the one place where it is. And what about tests? Do you think they help at all? I’ve never had the opportunity to learn a codebase which has had tests, I don’t know what it’s like! What about when you’re actually developing? How useful do you find tests in finding bugs or regressions? Finding regressions, absolutely. Running bits of code that would be quite hard to run otherwise, definitely. It doesn’t happen very often that a test finds a bug in the first place. I don’t really buy nebulous promises like tests being a good way to think about the spec of the code. My thinking goes something like “This code works at the moment, great, ship it! Ah, there’s a way that this code doesn’t work. Okay, write a test, demonstrate that it doesn’t work, fix it, use the test to demonstrate that it’s now fixed, and keep the test for future regressions.” The most valuable tests are for bugs that have actually happened at some point, because bugs that have actually happened at some point, despite the fact that you think you’ve fixed them, are way more likely to appear again than new bugs are. Does that mean that when you write your code the first time, there are no tests? Often. The chance of there being a bug in a new feature is relatively unaffected by whether I’ve written a test for that new feature because I’m not good enough at writing tests to think of bugs that I would have written into the code. So not writing regression tests for all of your code hasn’t affected you too badly? There are different kinds of features. Some of them just always work, and are just not flaky, they just continue working whatever you throw at them. Maybe because the type-checker is particularly effective around them. Writing tests for those features which just tend to always work is a waste of time. And because it’s a waste of time I’ll tend to wait until a feature has demonstrated its flakiness by having bugs in it before I start trying to test it. You can get a feel for whether it’s going to be flaky code as you’re writing it. I try to write it to make it not flaky, but there are some things that are just inherently flaky. And very occasionally, I’ll think “this is going to be flaky” as I’m writing, and then maybe do a test, but not most of the time. How do you think your programming style has changed over time? I’ve got clearer about what the right way of doing things is. I used to flip-flop a lot between different ideas. Five years ago I came up with some really good ideas and some really terrible ideas. All of them seemed great when I thought of them, but they were quite diverse ideas, whereas now I have a smaller set of reliable ideas that are actually good for structuring code. So my code is probably more similar to itself than it used to be back in the day, when I was trying stuff out. I’ve got more disciplined about encapsulation, I think. There are operational things like I use actors more now than I used to, and that forces me to use immutability more than I used to. The first code that I wrote in Red Gate was the memory profiler UI, and that was an actor, I just didn’t know the name of it at the time. I don’t really use object-orientation. By object-orientation, I mean having n objects of the same type which are mutable. I want a constant number of objects that are mutable, and they should be different types. I stick stuff in dictionaries and then have one thing that owns the dictionary and puts stuff in and out of it. That’s definitely a pattern that I’ve seen recently. I think maybe I’m doing functional programming. Possibly. It’s plausible. If you had to summarise the essence of programming in a pithy sentence, how would you do it? Programming is the form of art that, without losing any of the beauty of architecture or fine art, allows you to produce things that people love and you make money from. So you think it’s an art rather than a science? It’s a little bit of engineering, a smidgeon of maths, but it’s not science. Like architecture, programming is on that boundary between art and engineering. If you want to do it really nicely, it’s mostly art. You can get away with doing architecture and programming entirely by having a good engineering mind, but you’re not going to produce anything nice. You’re not going to have joy doing it if you’re an engineering mind. Architects who are just engineering minds are not going to enjoy their job. I suppose engineering is the foundation on which you build the art. Exactly. How do you think programming is going to change over the next ten years? There will be an unfortunate shift towards dynamically-typed languages, because of JavaScript. JavaScript has an unfair advantage. JavaScript’s unfair advantage will cause more people to be exposed to dynamically-typed languages, which means other dynamically-typed languages crop up and the best features go into dynamically-typed languages. Then people conflate the good features with the fact that it’s dynamically-typed, and more investment goes into dynamically-typed languages. They end up better, so people use them. What about the idea of compiling other languages, possibly statically-typed, to JavaScript? It’s a reasonable idea. I would like to do it, but I don’t think enough people in the world are going to do it to make it pick up. The hordes of beginners are the lifeblood of a language community. They are what makes there be good tools and what makes there be vibrant community websites. And any particular thing which is the same as JavaScript only with extra stuff added to it, although it might be technically great, is not going to have the hordes of beginners. JavaScript is always to be quickest and easiest way for a beginner to start programming in the browser. And dynamically-typed languages are great for beginners. Compilers are pretty scary and beginners don’t write big code. And having your errors come up in the same place, whether they’re statically checkable errors or not, is quite nice for a beginner. If someone asked me to teach them some programming, I’d teach them JavaScript. If dynamically-typed languages are great for beginners, when do you think the benefits of static typing start to kick in? The value of having a statically typed program is in the tools that rely on the static types to produce a smooth IDE experience rather than actually telling me my compile errors. And only once you’re experienced enough a programmer that having a really smooth IDE experience makes a blind bit of difference, does static typing make a blind bit of difference. So it’s not really about size of codebase. If I go and write up a tiny program, I’m still going to get value out of writing it in C# using ReSharper because I’m experienced with C# and ReSharper enough to be able to write code five times faster if I have that help. Any other visions of the future? Nobody’s going to use actors. Because everyone’s going to be running on single-core VMs connected over network-ready protocols like JSON over HTTP. So, parallelism within one operating system is going to die. But until then, you should use actors. More Red Gater Coder interviews

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  • Who IS Brian Solis?

    - by Michael Snow
    Q: Brian, Welcome to the WebCenter Blog. Can you tell our readers your current role and what career path brought you here? A: I’m proudly serving as a principal analyst at Altimeter Group, a research based advisory firm in Silicon Valley. My career path, well, let’s just say it’s a long and winding road. As a kid, I was fascinated with technology. I learned programming at an early age and found myself naturally drawn to all things tech. I started my career as a database programmer at a technology marketing agency in Southern California. When I saw the chance to work with tech companies and help them better market their capabilities to businesses and consumers, I switched focus from programming to marketing and advertising. As technologist, my approach to marketing was different. I didn’t believe in hype, fluff or buzz words. I believed in translating features into benefits and specifications and capabilities into solutions for real world problems and opportunities. In the mid 90’s I experimented with direct to consumer/customer engagement in dedicated technology forums and boards. I quickly realized that the entire approach to do so would need to change. Therefore, I learned and developed new methods for a more social and informed way of engaging people in ways that helped them, marketed the company, and also tied to tangible benefits for the company. This work would lead me to start an agency in 1999 dedicated to interactive marketing. As I continued to experiment with interactive platforms, I developed interesting methods for converting one-to-many forms of media into one-to-one-to-many programs. I ran that company until joining Altimeter Group. Along the way, in the early 2000s, I realized that everything was changing and that there were others like me finding success in what would become a more social form of media. I dedicated a significant amount of my time to sharing everything that I learned in the form of articles, blogs, and eventually books. My mission became to share my experience with anyone who’d listen. It would later become much bigger than marketing, this would lead to a decade of work, that still continues, in business transformation. Then and now, I find myself always assuming the role of a student. Q: As an industry analyst & technology change evangelist, what are you primarily focused on these days? A: As a digital analyst, I study how disruptive technology impacts business. As an aspiring social scientist, I study how technology affects human behavior. I explore both horizons professionally and personally to better understand the future of popular culture and also the opportunities that exist for organizations to improve relationships and experiences with customers and the people that are important to them. Q: People cite that the line between work and life is getting more and more blurred. Do you see your personal life influencing your professional work? A: The line between work and life isn’t blurred it’s been overtly crossed and erased. We live in an always on society. The digital lifestyle keeps us connected to one another it keeps us connected all the time. Whether your sending or checking email, trying to catch up, or simply trying to get ahead, people are spending the equivalent of an extra day at work in the time they spend out of work…working. That’s absurd. It’s a matter of survival. It’s also a matter of unintended, subconscious self-causation. We brought this on ourselves and continue to do so. Think about your day. You’re in meetings for the better part of each day. You probably spend evenings and weekends catching up on email and actually doing the work you couldn’t get to during the day. And, your co-workers and executives are doing the same thing. So if you try to slow down, you find yourself at a disadvantage as you’re willfully pulling yourself out of an unfortunate culture of whenever wherever business dynamics. If you’re unresponsive or unreachable, someone within your organization or on your team is accessible. Over time, this could contribute to unfavorable impressions. I choose to steer my life balance in ways that complement one another. But, I don’t pretend to have this figured out by any means. In fact, I find myself swimming upstream like those around me. It’s essentially a competition for relevance and at some point I’ll learn how to earn attention and relevance while redrawing the line between work and life. Q: How can people keep up with what you’re working on? A: The easy answer is that people can keep up with me at briansolis.com. But, I also try to reach people where their attention is focused. Whether it’s Facebook (facebook.com/briansolis), Twitter (@briansolis), Google+ (+briansolis), Youtube (briansolis.tv) or through books and conferences, people can usually find me in a place of their choosing. Q: Recently, you’ve been working with us here at Oracle on something exciting coming up later this week. What’s on the horizon? A: I spent some time with the Oracle team reviewing the idea of Digital Darwinism and how technology and society are evolving faster than many organizations can adapt. Digital Darwinism: How Brands Can Survive the Rapid Evolution of Society and Technology Thursday, December 13, 2012, 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET Q: You’ve been very actively pursued for media interviews and conference and company speaking engagements – anything you’d like to share to give us a sneak peak of what to expect on Thursday’s webcast? A: We’re inviting guests to join us online as we dive into the future of business and how the convergence of technology and connected consumerism would ultimately impact how business is done. It’ll be an exciting and revealing conversation that explores just how much everything is changing. We’ll also review the importance of adapting to emergent trends and how to compete for the future. It’s important to recognize that change is not happening to us, it’s happening because of us. We are part of the revolution and therefore we need to help organizations adapt from the inside out. Watch the Entire Oracle Social Business Thought Leaders Webcast Series On-Demand and Stay Tuned for More to Come in 2013!

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