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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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  • Win a place at a SQL Server Masterclass with Kimberly Tripp and Paul Randal

    - by Testas
    The top things YOU need to know about managing SQL Server - in one place, on one day - presented by two of the best SQL Server industry trainers!And you could be there courtesy of UK SQL Server User Group and SQL Server Magazine! This week the UK SQL Server User Group will provide you with details of how to win a place at this must see seminar   You can also register for the seminar yourself at:www.regonline.co.uk/kimtrippsql More information about the seminar   Where: Radisson Edwardian Heathrow Hotel, London When: Thursday 17th June 2010 This one-day MasterClass will focus on many of the top issues companies face when implementing and maintaining a SQL Server-based solution. In the case where a company has no dedicated DBA, IT managers sometimes struggle to keep the data tier performing well and the data available. This can be especially troublesome when the development team is unfamiliar with the affect application design choices have on database performance. The Microsoft SQL Server MasterClass 2010 is presented by Paul S. Randal and Kimberly L. Tripp, two of the most experienced and respected people in the SQL Server world. Together they have over 30 years combined experience working with SQL Server in the field, and on the SQL Server product team itself. This is a unique opportunity to hear them present at a UK event which will:·         Debunk many of the ingrained misconceptions around SQL Server's behaviour   ·         Show you disaster recovery techniques critical to preserving your company's life-blood - the data   ·         Explain how a common application design pattern can wreak havoc in the database ·         Walk through the top-10 points to follow around operations and maintenance for a well-performing and available data tier! Please Note: Agenda may be subject to changeSessions AbstractsKEYNOTE: Bridging the Gap Between Development and Production  Applications are commonly developed with little regard for how design choices will affect performance in production. This is often because developers don't realize the implications of their design on how SQL Server will be able to handle a high workload (e.g. blocking, fragmentation) and/or because there's no full-time trained DBA that can recognize production problems and help educate developers. The keynote sets the stage for the rest of the day. Discussing some of the issues that can arise, explaining how some can be avoided and highlighting some of the features in SQL 2008 that can help developers and DBAs make better use of SQL Server, and troubleshoot when things go wrong.  SESSION ONE: SQL Server MythbustersIt's amazing how many myths and misconceptions have sprung up and persisted over the years about SQL Server - after many years helping people out on forums, newsgroups, and customer engagements, Paul and Kimberly have heard it all. Are there really non-logged operations? Can interrupting shrinks or rebuilds cause corruption? Can you override the server's MAXDOP setting? Will the server always do a table-scan to get a row count? Many myths lead to poor design choices and inappropriate maintenance practices so these are just a few of many, many myths that Paul and Kimberly will debunk in this fast-paced session on how SQL Server operates and should be managed and maintained. SESSION TWO: Database Recovery Techniques Demo-Fest Even if a company has a disaster recovery strategy in place, they need to practice to make sure that the plan will work when a disaster does strike. In this fast-paced demo session Paul and Kimberly will repeatedly do nasty things to databases and then show how they are recovered - demonstrating many techniques that can be used in production for disaster recovery. Not for the faint-hearted! SESSION THREE: GUIDs: Use, Abuse, and How To Move Forward Since the addition of the GUID (Microsoft’s implementation of the UUID), my life as a consultant and "tuner" has been busy. I’ve seen databases designed with GUID keys run fairly well with small workloads but completely fall over and fail because they just cannot scale. And, I know why GUIDs are chosen - it simplifies the handling of parent/child rows in your batches so you can reduce round-trips or avoid dealing with identity values. And, yes, sometimes it's even for distributed databases and/or security that GUIDs are chosen. I'm not entirely against ever using a GUID but overusing and abusing GUIDs just has to be stopped! Please, please, please let me give you better solutions and explanations on how to deal with your parent/child rows, round-trips and clustering keys! SESSION 4: Essential Database MaintenanceIn this session, Paul and Kimberly will run you through their top-ten database maintenance recommendations, with a lot of tips and tricks along the way. These are distilled from almost 30 years combined experience working with SQL Server customers and are geared towards making your databases more performant, more available, and more easily managed (to save you time!). Everything in this session will be practical and applicable to a wide variety of databases. Topics covered include: backups, shrinks, fragmentation, statistics, and much more! Focus will be on 2005 but we'll explain some of the key differences for 2000 and 2008 as well.    Speaker Biographies     Paul S.Randal  Kimberley L. Tripp Paul and Kimberly are a husband-and-wife team who own and run SQLskills.com, a world-renowned SQL Server consulting and training company. They are both SQL Server MVPs and Microsoft Regional Directors, with over 30 years of combined experience on SQL Server. Paul worked on the SQL Server team for nine years in development and management roles, writing many of the DBCC commands, and ultimately with responsibility for core Storage Engine for SQL Server 2008. Paul writes extensively on his blog (SQLskills.com/blogs/Paul) and for TechNet Magazine, for which he is also a Contributing Editor. Kimberly worked on the SQL Server team in the early 1990s as a tester and writer before leaving to found SQLskills and embrace her passion for teaching and consulting. Kimberly has been a staple at worldwide conferences since she first presented at TechEd in 1996, and she blogs at SQLskills.com/blogs/Kimberly. They have written Microsoft whitepapers and books for SQL Server 2000, 2005 and 2008, and are regular, top-rated presenters worldwide on database maintenance, high availability, disaster recovery, performance tuning, and SQL Server internals. Together they teach the SQL MCM certification and throughout Microsoft.In their spare time, they like to find frogfish in remote corners of the world.  

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  • Java Spotlight Episode 138: Paul Perrone on Life Saving Embedded Java

    - by Roger Brinkley
    Interview with Paul Perrone, founder and CEO of Perrone Robotics, on using Java Embedded to test autonomous vehicle operations for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that will save lives. Right-click or Control-click to download this MP3 file. You can also subscribe to the Java Spotlight Podcast Feed to get the latest podcast automatically. If you use iTunes you can open iTunes and subscribe with this link: Java Spotlight Podcast in iTunes. Show Notes News JDK 8 is Feature Complete Java SE 7 Update 25 Released What should the JCP be doing? 2013 Duke's Choice Award Nominations Another Quick update to Code Signing Article on OTN Events June 24, Austin JUG, Austin, TX June 25, Virtual Developer Day - Java, EMEA, 10AM CEST Jul 16-19, Uberconf, Denver, USA Jul 22-24, JavaOne Shanghai, China Jul 29-31, JVM Summit Language, Santa Clara Sep 11-12, JavaZone, Oslo, Norway Sep 19-20, Strange Loop, St. Louis Sep 22-26 JavaOne San Francisco 2013, USA Feature Interview Paul J. Perrone is founder/CEO of Perrone Robotics. Paul architected the Java-based general-purpose robotics and automation software platform known as “MAX”. Paul has overseen MAX’s application to rapidly field self-driving robotic cars, unmanned air vehicles, factory and road-side automation applications, and a wide range of advanced robots and automaton applications. He fielded a self-driving autonomous robotic dune buggy in the historic 2005 Grand Challenge race across the Mojave desert and a self-driving autonomous car in the 2007 Urban Challenge through a city landscape. His work has been featured in numerous televised and print media including the Discovery Channel, a theatrical documentary, scientific journals, trade magazines, and international press. Since 2008, Paul has also been working as the chief software engineer, CTO, and roboticist automating rock star Neil Young’s LincVolt, a 1959 Lincoln Continental retro-fitted as a fully autonomous extended range electric vehicle. Paul has been an engineer, author of books and articles on Java, frequent speaker on Java, and entrepreneur in the robotics and software space for over 20 years. He is a member of the Java Champions program, recipient of three Duke Awards including a Gold Duke and Lifetime Achievement Award, has showcased Java-based robots at five JavaOne keynotes, and is a frequent JavaOne speaker and show floor participant. He holds a B.S.E.E. from Rutgers University and an M.S.E.E. from the University of Virginia. What’s Cool Shenandoah: A pauseless GC for OpenJDK

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  • A conversation with Paul Rademacher and Mano Marks, Google Maps API Office Hours

    A conversation with Paul Rademacher and Mano Marks, Google Maps API Office Hours This is a conversation between Paul Rademacher and Mano Marks on April 24th, 2012. Paul created the first Google Maps Mashup, housingmaps.com, and discusses his latest project, Stratocam, which allows users to find and display beautiful satellite and aerial imagery with the Google Maps API. From: GoogleDevelopers Views: 1199 11 ratings Time: 40:08 More in Science & Technology

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  • Please explain some of Paul Graham's points on LISP

    - by kunjaan
    I need some help understanding some of the points from Paul Graham's article http://www.paulgraham.com/diff.html A new concept of variables. In Lisp, all variables are effectively pointers. Values are what have types, not variables, and assigning or binding variables means copying pointers, not what they point to. A symbol type. Symbols differ from strings in that you can test equality by comparing a pointer. A notation for code using trees of symbols. The whole language always available. There is no real distinction between read-time, compile-time, and runtime. You can compile or run code while reading, read or run code while compiling, and read or compile code at runtime. What do these points mean How are they different in languages like C or Java? Do any other languages other than LISP family languages have any of these constructs now?

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  • The Breakpoint with Paul Irish and Addy Osmani—Episode 2

    The Breakpoint with Paul Irish and Addy Osmani—Episode 2 Ask and vote for questions at: goo.gl Addy Osmani and the (real) Paul Irish return for the second live episode of the Breakpoint - a new show focusing on developer tooling and workflow. This week they'll be showing us brand new SASS, feature inspection and console features in the Chrome Developer Tools. If you want your to stay on the bleeding edge of tooling, you won't want to miss it. From: GoogleDevelopers Views: 0 0 ratings Time: 00:00 More in Science & Technology

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  • Bert Ertman and Paul Bakker on Spring to Java EE 6 Migration Podcast

    - by arungupta
    NLJUG leader and Java Champion Bert Ertman and Paul Bakker talk about migrating Spring applications to Java EE 6 in the latest issue of Java Spotlight Podcast, episode #85. Bert and Paul talk about how to migrate your legacy Spring applications to use modern and lightweight Java EE 6 in five steps. The complete podcast is always fun but feel free to jump to 3:49 minutes into the show if you're in a hurry. They authored a series of article on the exact same topic starting here. There is an extensive set of articles available that help you migrate from Spring to Java EE 6. Subscribe to the podcast for future content.

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  • Paul and Kimberly are coming the UK

    - by simonsabin
    Are you working with SQL, if so then attending a Paul Randal and Kimberly Tripp seminar is a must. The amount these guys know about SQL is just scary. Their life is so SQL that the last time I was having dinner at theirs they were arguing the severity levels of certain IO error codes. Talk about extreme. Paul and Kimberly are running a Master class on the 17th June at the Radisson Edwardian Heathrow. The normal price is a bargain at £249 + VAT. I’ve managed to negotiate a discount of £100 for my...(read more)

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  • The Breakpoint Ep 3: The Sourcemap Spectacular with Paul Irish and Addy Osmani

    The Breakpoint Ep 3: The Sourcemap Spectacular with Paul Irish and Addy Osmani Ask and vote for questions at goo.gl Take Coffeescript to Javascript to Minified and all the way back with source maps. In addition to a new Coffeescript sourcemap workflow, we'll cover the latest sourcemap updates so you can understand how to dramatically improve your debugging experience. Finally, Paul and Addy will be joined by special guest—Yeoman core contributor Sindre Sorhus—to discuss what big new changes are coming to the project. From: GoogleDevelopers Views: 0 0 ratings Time: 01:00:00 More in Science & Technology

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  • Looking ahead at 2011-with Paul Greenberg

    - by divya.malik
    It is almost the end of 2010, rather unbelievable how fast this year has gone by. It is always interesting to read what our CRM gurus have to say about the coming year. So here is CRM luminary, Paul Greenberg’s  forecast for 2011. Mobile CRM growth accelerates. CRM and “Social” companies continue to integrate their capabilities as a few suites begin to emerge. Social “rankings”, as a measure of customer engagement, will become a standard public measure. Analytics exhibits the most significant growth of any area with Customer Insight apps leading the way. Marketing apps mature with social marketing becoming an integral part of the application offering. Customer service begins to redefine itself with greater emphasis on service communities, web self-service and customer knowledge capture. Knowledge management replaces enterprise content management as a core requirement for large businesses. Customer experience reasserts itself loudly as the core of CRM and SCRM - This one is kind of a no-brainer in a way. Co-creation and customer driven product innovation becomes more than just an advanced idea. Microsoft Azure emerges as a true cloud provider at the level of Amazon as cloud computing considers its rise to becoming a primary technology infrastructure. Application marketplaces will become commonplace as companies look to platform providers to fill ecosystem needs, not just CRM. I do encourage you to read the details of his forecasts, that are split into two blog posts. For Part I click here and for Part II, click here. Technorati Tags: oracle,siebel CRM,scrm,paul greenberg

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  • The Retail Week Conference 2012 - Interview with Paul Dickson

    - by user801960
    Recently we attended the Retail Week Conference at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel in London. The conference proves to be an inspirational meeting of retail minds and the insight gained from both the speakers and the other delegates is invaluable. In particular we enjoyed hearing from Charlie Mayfield, Chairman at John Lewis Partnership, about understanding how the consumer is viewing the ever changing world of retail; a session on how to encourage brand-loyal multichannel activities from Robin Terrell of House of Fraser with Alan White of the N Brown Group, Vince Russell from The Cloud and Lucy Neville-Rolfe from Tesco; and a fascinating session from Tim Steiner, Chief Executive of Ocado, about how the business makes it as easy as possible for consumers to shop on their various platforms, which included some surprising usage statistics. Oracle's own Vice President of Retail, Paul Dickson, also held a session with Richard Pennycook, Group Finance Director at Morrisons, about the role of technology in accelerating and supporting the business strategy. Morrisons' 'Evolve' programme takes a litte-and-often approach to updating its technology infrastructure to spread cost and keep the adoption process gentle for staff, and the session explored how the process works and how Oracle's technology underpins the programme to optimise their operations using actionable insight. We had a quick chat with Paul Dickson at the session to get his thoughts on the programme - the video is below. We also filmed the whole presentation, so keep checking back on this blog if you're interested in seeing it.

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  • Take your colleague to see Paul and Kimberly for free

    - by simonsabin
    I’ve been given details of another great off that you can’t miss out on for the Paul Randal and Kimberly Tripp Masterclass next week.   REGISTER TODAY AT www.regonline.co.uk/kimtrippsql on the registration form simply quote discount code: BOGOF and enter your colleague’s details and you will save 100% off a second registration – that’s a 199 GBP saving! This offer is limited, book early to avoid disappointment....(read more)

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  • R Cookbook, de Paul Teetor, critique par ced

    Bonjour, La rédaction de DVP a lu pour vous l'ouvrage suivant: R Cookbook, de Paul Teetor, paru aux éditions O'Reilly. [IMG]http://covers.oreilly.com/images/9780596809164/lrg.jpg[/IMG] Citation: With more than 200 practical recipes, this book helps you perform data analysis with R quickly and efficiently. The R language provides everything you need to do statistical work, but its structure can be difficult to master. This collection of c...

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  • Oracle BPM enable BAM by Peter Paul

    - by JuergenKress
    BPMN processes created in the BPM Suite can be monitored by standardized dashboard in the BPM workspace. Besides that there a default views to export Oracle BPM metrics to a data warehouse. And there is another option: BAM – Business Activity Monitoring. BAM takes the monitoring of BPMN processes one step further. BAM allows you to create more advanced dashboards and even real-time alerts. BAM enables you to make decisions based on real-time information gathered from your running processes. With BPMN processes you can use the standard Business Indicators that the BPM Suite offers you and use them to with BAM without much extra effort. However you have to enable BAM in BPM processes. Read the full article here. SOA & BPM Partner Community For regular information on Oracle SOA Suite become a member in the SOA & BPM Partner Community for registration please visit  www.oracle.com/goto/emea/soa (OPN account required) If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center. Blog Twitter LinkedIn Mix Forum Technorati Tags: BPM,BAM,BPM and BAM,Peter Paul,proces monitoring,SOA Community,Oracle SOA,Oracle BPM,Community,OPN,Jürgen Kress

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  • Reducing Oracle LOB Memory Use in PHP, or Paul's Lesson Applied to Oracle

    - by christopher.jones
    Paul Reinheimer's PHP memory pro tip shows how re-assigning a value to a variable doesn't release the original value until the new data is ready. With large data lengths, this unnecessarily increases the peak memory usage of the application. In Oracle you might come across this situation when dealing with LOBS. Here's an example that selects an entire LOB into PHP's memory. I see this being done all the time, not that that is an excuse to code in this style. The alternative is to remove OCI_RETURN_LOBS to return a LOB locator which can be accessed chunkwise with LOB->read(). In this memory usage example, I threw some CLOB rows into a table. Each CLOB was about 1.5M. The fetching code looked like: $s = oci_parse ($c, 'SELECT CLOBDATA FROM CTAB'); oci_execute($s); echo "Start Current :" . memory_get_usage() . "\n"; echo "Start Peak : " .memory_get_peak_usage() . "\n"; while(($r = oci_fetch_array($s, OCI_RETURN_LOBS)) !== false) { echo "Current :" . memory_get_usage() . "\n"; echo "Peak : " . memory_get_peak_usage() . "\n"; // var_dump(substr($r['CLOBDATA'],0,10)); // do something with the LOB // unset($r); } echo "End Current :" . memory_get_usage() . "\n"; echo "End Peak : " . memory_get_peak_usage() . "\n"; Without "unset" in loop, $r retains the current data value while new data is fetched: Start Current : 345300 Start Peak : 353676 Current : 1908092 Peak : 2958720 Current : 1908092 Peak : 4520972 End Current : 345668 End Peak : 4520972 When I uncommented the "unset" line in the loop, PHP's peak memory usage is much lower: Start Current : 345376 Start Peak : 353676 Current : 1908168 Peak : 2958796 Current : 1908168 Peak : 2959108 End Current : 345744 End Peak : 2959108 Even if you are using LOB->read(), unsetting variables in this manner will reduce the PHP program's peak memory usage. With LOBS in Oracle DB there is also DB memory use to consider. Using LOB->free() is worthwhile for locators. Importantly, the OCI8 1.4.1 extension (from PECL or included in PHP 5.3.2) has a LOB fix to free up Oracle's locators earlier. For long running scripts using lots of LOBS, upgrading to OCI8 1.4.1 is recommended.

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  • Q&A: Oracle's Paul Needham on How to Defend Against Insider Attacks

    - by Troy Kitch
    Source: Database Insider Newsletter: The threat from insider attacks continues to grow. In fact, just since January 1, 2014, insider breaches have been reported by a major consumer bank, a major healthcare organization, and a range of state and local agencies, according to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.  We asked Paul Needham, Oracle senior director, product management, to shed light on the nature of these pernicious risks—and how organizations can best defend themselves against the threat from insider risks. Q. First, can you please define the term "insider" in this context? A. According to the CERT Insider Threat Center, a malicious insider is a current or former employee, contractor, or business partner who "has or had authorized access to an organization's network, system, or data and intentionally exceeded or misused that access in a manner that negatively affected the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of the organization's information or information systems."  Q. What has changed with regard to insider risks? A. We are actually seeing the risk of privileged insiders growing. In the latest Independent Oracle Users Group Data Security Survey, the number of organizations that had not taken steps to prevent privileged user access to sensitive information had grown from 37 percent to 42 percent. Additionally, 63 percent of respondents say that insider attacks represent a medium-to-high risk—higher than any other category except human error (by an insider, I might add). Q. What are the dangers of this type of risk? A. Insiders tend to have special insight and access into the kinds of data that are especially sensitive. Breaches can result in long-term legal issues and financial penalties. They can also damage an organization's brand in a way that directly impacts its bottom line. Finally, there is the potential loss of intellectual property, which can have serious long-term consequences because of the loss of market advantage.  Q. How can organizations protect themselves against abuse of privileged access? A. Every organization has privileged users and that will always be the case. The questions are how much access should those users have to application data stored in the database, and how can that default access be controlled? Oracle Database Vault (See image) was designed specifically for this purpose and helps protect application data against unauthorized access.  Oracle Database Vault can be used to block default privileged user access from inside the database, as well as increase security controls on the application itself. Attacks can and do come from inside the organization, and they are just as likely to come from outside as attempts to exploit a privileged account.  Using Oracle Database Vault protection, boundaries can be placed around database schemas, objects, and roles, preventing privileged account access from being exploited by hackers and insiders.  A new Oracle Database Vault capability called privilege analysis identifies privileges and roles used at runtime, which can then be audited or revoked by the security administrators to reduce the attack surface and increase the security of applications overall.  For a more comprehensive look at controlling data access and restricting privileged data in Oracle Database, download Needham's new e-book, Securing Oracle Database 12c: A Technical Primer. 

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  • Paul Frields on Fedora 12 and Beyond

    <b>Linux For You:</b> "Uptake of Fedora 12 has been very good overall. There have been a number of very visible improvements in free video drivers for ATI and Intel that make for a better experience out of the box. Those improvements allow users to make use of 3D effects on the desktop..."

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  • Comment intégrer des chaines binaires dans un code source python en base64, par Jean-Paul Vidal

    On appellera ici ?chaine binaire? une chaine de caractères dans laquelle chaque caractère peut avoir une valeur de 0 à 255 (bornes comprises). Intégrer une chaine binaire dans le code source n'est pas facile, parce que la chaine binaire peut comporter a priori des octets de 0 à 255, mais les caractères intégrables dans le code source, donc affichables, devraient exclure au minimum les caractères de contrôles inférieurs à 32, certains caractères comme les guillemets ou les backslashs et se limiter à des octets inférieurs 128 (c'est-à-dire rester à 7 bits) pour échapper aux problèmes d'encodages. On va utiliser ici le module base64. Comment intégrer des chaines binaires dans le code source en base6...

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  • Télécharger un fichier du Web avec PyQt4 et QThread, un article de Jean-Paul Vidal

    Bonjour, Je vous informe d'un nouveau tuto sur developpez : comment télécharger un fichier sur le Web avec PyQt4. Le code utilise QThread (le thread de Qt4) et, pour le téléchargement, le module urllib. Il permet de montrer comment les threads peuvent communiquer par messages avec l'interface graphique afin de mettre à jour une barre de progression du téléchargement. Il a été développé suite au fil de discussion http://www.developpez.net/forums/d10...s-urlretrieve/. Tyrtamos...

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  • Garder les traductions avec cx_Freeze et PyQt4, un article de Jean-Paul Vidal

    Bonjour, Comme j'en avais le besoin, j'ai réalisé 2 tutos, que je propose maintenant pour être transportés sur developpez (=> merci d'avance à dourouc05: dis-moi si tu as besoin du texte dokuwiki). Il s'agit de construire des programmes PyQt4 accompagnés de l'interpréteur Python et de toutes les bibliothèques nécessaires (dont PyQt4), afin qu'ils puissent fonctionner sur des PC sans aucune installation ni de Python ni de PyQt4: - Sous Windows (XP, Vista, 7) - Sous Linux (Ubuntu 10.10) Je pense que ce type de tuto...

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  • Diffusion de programmes PyQt4 autonomes sous Windows grâce à cx_Freeze, un article de Jean-Paul Vidal

    Bonjour, Comme j'en avais le besoin, j'ai réalisé 2 tutos, que je propose maintenant pour être transportés sur developpez (=> merci d'avance à dourouc05: dis-moi si tu as besoin du texte dokuwiki). Il s'agit de construire des programmes PyQt4 accompagnés de l'interpréteur Python et de toutes les bibliothèques nécessaires (dont PyQt4), afin qu'ils puissent fonctionner sur des PC sans aucune installation ni de Python ni de PyQt4: - Sous Windows (XP, Vista, 7) - Sous Linux (Ubuntu 10.10) Je pense que ce type de tuto...

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  • Spotlight on a career path: Paul, Business Development Consultant

    - by Maria Sandu
    I came to work for Oracle in November 2012 as a Customer Intelligence Representative and since then I was promoted to a Business Development Consultant, for Commercial Industries in the UK, based in Dublin. My background was primarily in Logistics, working for such companies as Indaver Ireland, Wincanton and P&O. I spent 10 years working in this industry and gained experience in negotiating with customers and suppliers in order to meet the needs of both, monitoring the quality and quantity of goods as well as the efficiency and organisation of the movement and storage of products. I decided to move from my logistics career in 2009 to study Information Technology in D.I.T. This was a challenge for me to move my career path; however the lectures at the college helped me significantly with the ability to understand how IT can have an effect on how businesses operate. Following on from college I came to work for Oracle. This also presented challenges but the training I received and the encouragement from management helped me understand that the same business rules apply no matter what background you come from. I have also learnt that using my past experience in working with customers and suppliers in Logistics has helped me understand how to meet customer’s needs. Oracle has offered me excellent training such as Sandler Sales Techniques and John Costigan. I continue to get all the training that I need to develop my career. If you’re interested in joining the Business Development Group visit http://bit.ly/oracledirectcareers or follow our CareersatOracle Facebook Community! /* 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-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

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