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  • windows 2003 remote desktop configuration - "Active session limit" greyed out

    - by wes
    I have a terminal server which works fine except for one thing: users are logged off after 2 hours, regardless of activity. I have Override user settings checked in the appropriate control window, and "End a disconnected session: Never" is set. But, I found the "Active session limit" is greyed out so I can't change it, and is set to 2 hours. The user (only 1 actually needs a session on this server for more than 2 hours at a time) is able to reconnect to his session immediately. http://the-wes.com/images/active-session-disabled.jpg Any ideas? thanks, -wes

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  • Which version of Ubuntu is recommended for app developers?

    - by Wes
    I've searched around Ask Ubuntu and the App Developer site, but I can't seem to find the answers to my questions. I'm wanting to get back into programming, and I'd eventually like get into app development for Ubuntu, but I'm not sure where to get started. Which version of Ubuntu is currently recommended for app development, especially for those wanting to publish their apps to the Software Centre? Should app developers use the current LTS release, or, can any of the new releases be used? Should developers use the 32-bit or 64-bit edition of Ubuntu, or does this not matter? What effect would the above choices have on the eventual publication of an app? I'm truly sorry if this has been covered elsewhere. Cheers Wes

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  • Adopting DBVCS

    - by Wes McClure
    Identify early adopters Pick a small project with a small(ish) team.  This can be a legacy application or a green-field application. Strive to find a team of early adopters that will be eager to try something new. Get the team on board! Research Research the tool(s) that you want to use.  Some tools provide all of the features you would need while some only provide a slice of the pie.  DBVCS requires the ability to manage a set of change scripts that update a database from one version to the next.  Ideally a tool can track database versions and automatically apply updates.  The change script generation process can be manual, but having diff tools available to automatically generate it can really reduce the overhead to adoption.  Finally, an automated tool to generate a script file per database object is an added bonus as your version control system can quickly identify what was changed in a commit (add/del/modify), just like with code changes. Don’t settle on just one tool, identify several.  Then work with the team to evaluate the tools.  Have the team do some tests of the following scenarios with each tool: Baseline an existing database: can the migration tool work with legacy databases?  Caution: most migration platforms do not support baselines or have poor support, especially the fad of fluent APIs. Add/drop tables Add/drop procedures/functions/views Alter tables (rename columns, add columns, remove columns) Massage data – migrations sometimes involve changing data types that cannot be implicitly casted and require you to decide how the data is explicitly cast to the new type.  This is a requirement for a migrations platform.  Think about a case where you might want to combine fields, or move a field from one table to another, you wouldn’t want to lose the data. Run the tool via the command line.  If you cannot automate the tool in Continuous Integration what is the point? Create a copy of a database on demand. Backup/restore databases locally. Let the team give feedback and decide together, what tool they would like to try out. My recommendation at this point would be to include TSqlMigrations and RoundHouse as SQL based migration platforms.  In general I would recommend staying away from the fluent platforms as they often lack baseline capabilities and add overhead to learn a new API when SQL is already a very well known DSL.  Code migrations often get messy with procedures/views/functions as these have to be created with SQL and aren’t cross platform anyways.  IMO stick to SQL based migrations. Reconciling Production If your project is a legacy application, you will need to reconcile the current state of production with your development databases.  Find changes in production and bring them down to development, even if they are old and need to be removed.  Once complete, produce a baseline of either dev or prod as they are now in sync.  Commit this to your VCS of choice. Add whatever schema changes tracking mechanism your tool requires to your development database.  This often requires adding a table to track the schema version of that database.  Your tool should support doing this for you.  You can add this table to production when you do your next release. Script out any changes currently in dev.  Remove production artifacts that you brought down during reconciliation.  Add change scripts for any outstanding changes in dev since the last production release.  Commit these to your repository.   Say No to Shared Dev DBs Simply put, you wouldn’t dream of sharing a code checkout, why would you share a development database?  If you have a shared dev database, back it up, distribute the backups and take the shared version offline (including the dev db server once all projects are using DB VCS).  Doing DB VCS with a shared database is bound to cause problems as people won’t be able to easily script out their own changes from those that others are working on.   First prod release Copy prod to your beta/testing environment.  Add the schema changes table (or mechanism) and do a test run of your changes.  If successful you can schedule this to be run on production.   Evaluation After your first release, evaluate the pain points of the process.  Try to find tools or modifications to existing tools to help fix them.  Don’t leave stones unturned, iteratively evolve your tools and practices to make the process as seamless as possible.  This is why I suggest open source alternatives.  Nothing is set in stone, a good example was adding transactional support to TSqlMigrations.  We ran into situations where an update would break a database, so I added a feature to do transactional updates and rollback on errors!  Another good example is generating change scripts.  We have been manually making these for months now.  I found an open source project called Open DB Diff and integrated this with TSqlMigrations.  These were things we just accepted at the time when we began adopting our tool set.  Once we became comfortable with the base functionality, it was time to start automating more of the process.  Just like anything else with development, never be afraid to try to find tools to make your job easier!   Enjoy -Wes

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  • How I do VCS

    - by Wes McClure
    After years of dabbling with different version control systems and techniques, I wanted to share some of what I like and dislike in a few blog posts.  To start this out, I want to talk about how I use VCS in a team environment.  These come in a series of tips or best practices that I try to follow.  Note: This list is subject to change in the future. Always use some form of version control for all aspects of software development. Development is an evolution.  Looking back at where we were is an invaluable asset in that process.  This includes data schemas and documentation. Reverting / reapplying changes is absolutely critical for efficient development. The tools I use: Code: Hg (preferred), SVN Database: TSqlMigrations Documents: Sometimes in code repository, also SharePoint with versioning Always tag a commit (changeset) with comments This is a quick way to describe to someone else (or your future self) what the changeset entails. Be brief but courteous. One or two sentences about the task, not the actual changes. Use precommit hooks or setup the central repository to reject changes without comments. Link changesets to documentation If your project management system integrates with version control, or has a way to externally reference stories, tasks etc then leave a reference in the commit.  This helps locate more information about the commit and/or related changesets. It’s best to have a precommit hook or system that requires this information, otherwise it’s easy to forget. Ability to work offline is required, including commits and history Yes this requires a DVCS locally but doesn’t require the central repository to be a DVCS.  I prefer to use either Git or Hg but if it isn’t possible to migrate the central repository, it’s still possible for a developer to push / pull changes to that repository from a local Hg or Git repository. Never lock resources (files) in a central repository… Rude! We have merge tools for a reason, merging sucked a long time ago, it doesn’t anymore… stop locking files! This is unproductive, rude and annoying to other team members. Always review everything in your commit. Never ever commit a set of files without reviewing the changes in each. Never add a file without asking yourself, deep down inside, does this belong? If you leave to make changes during a review, start the review over when you come back.  Never assume you didn’t touch a file, double check. This is another reason why you want to avoid large, infrequent commits. Requirements for tools Quickly show pending changes for the entire repository. Default action for a resource with pending changes is a diff. Pluggable diff & merge tool Produce a unified diff or a diff of all changes.  This is helpful to bulk review changes instead of opening each file. The central repository is not your own personal dump yard.  Breaking this rule is a sure fire way to get the F bomb dropped in front of your name, multiple times. If you turn on Visual Studio’s commit on closing studio option, I will personally break your fingers. By the way, the person(s) in charge of this feature should be fired and never be allowed near programming, ever again. Commit (integrate) to the central repository / branch frequently I try to do this before leaving each day, especially without a DVCS.  One never knows when they might need to work from remote the following day. Never commit commented out code If it isn’t needed anymore, delete it! If you aren’t sure if it might be useful in the future, delete it! This is why we have history. If you don’t know why it’s commented out, figure it out and then either uncomment it or delete it. Don’t commit build artifacts, user preferences and temporary files. Build artifacts do not belong in VCS, everything in them is present in the code. (ie: bin\*, obj\*, *.dll, *.exe) User preferences are your settings, stop overriding my preferences files! (ie: *.suo and *.user files) Most tools allow you to ignore certain files and Hg/Git allow you to version this as an ignore file.  Set this up as a first step when creating a new repository! Be polite when merging unresolved conflicts. Count to 10, cuss, grab a stress ball and realize it’s not a big deal.  Actually, it’s an opportunity to let you know that someone else is working in the same area and you might want to communicate with them. Following the other rules, especially committing frequently, will reduce the likelihood of this. Suck it up, we all have to deal with this unintended consequence at times.  Just be careful and GET FAMILIAR with your merge tool.  It’s really not as scary as you think.  I personally prefer KDiff3 as its merging capabilities rock. Don’t blindly merge and then blindly commit your changes, this is rude and unprofessional.  Make sure you understand why the conflict occurred and which parts of the code you want to keep.  Apply scrutiny when you commit a manual merge: review the diff! Make sure you test the changes (build and run automated tests) Become intimate with your version control system and the tools you use with it. Avoid trial and error as much as is possible, sit down and test the tool out, read some tutorials etc.  Create test repositories and walk through common scenarios. Find the most efficient way to do your work.  These tools will be used repetitively, so inefficiencies will add up. Sometimes this involves a mix of tools, both GUI and CLI. I like a combination of both Tortoise Hg and hg cli to get the job efficiently. Always tag releases Create a way to find a given release, whether this be in comments or an explicit tag / branch.  This should be readily discoverable. Create release branches to patch bugs and then merge the changes back to other development branch(es). If using feature branches, strive for periodic integrations. Feature branches often cause forked code that becomes irreconcilable.  Strive to re-integrate somewhat frequently with the branch this code will ultimately be merged into.  This will avoid merge conflicts in the future. Feature branches are best when they are mutually exclusive of active development in other branches. Use and abuse local commits , at least one per task in a story. This builds a trail of changes in your local repository that can be pushed to a central repository when the story is complete. Never commit a broken build or failing tests to the central repository. It’s ok for a local commit to break the build and/or tests.  In fact, I encourage this if it helps group the changes more logically.  This is one of the main reasons I got excited about DVCS, when I wanted more than one changeset for a set of pending changes but some files could be grouped into both changesets (like solution file / project file changes). If you have more than a dozen outstanding changed resources, there should probably be more than one commit involved. Exceptions when maintaining code bases that require shotgun surgery, in this case, it’s a design smell :) Don’t version sensitive information Especially usernames / passwords   There is one area I haven’t found a solution I like yet: versioning 3rd party libraries and/or code.  I really dislike keeping any assemblies in the repository, but seems to be a common practice for external libraries.  Please feel free to share your ideas about this below.    -Wes

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  • Google I/O 2010 - Tech, innovation, CS, & more: A VC panel

    Google I/O 2010 - Tech, innovation, CS, & more: A VC panel Google I/O 2010 - Technology, innovation, computer science, and more: A VC panel Tech Talks Albert Wenger, Chris Dixon, Dave McClure, Brad Feld, Paul Graham, Dick Costolo What do notable tech-minded VCs think about big trends happening today? In this session, you'll get to hear from and ask questions to a panel of well-respected investors, all of whom are programmers by trade. Albert Wenger, Chris Dixon, Dave McClure, Paul Graham, and Brad Feld will duke it out on a number of hot tech topics with Dick Costolo moderating. For all I/O 2010 sessions, please go to code.google.com From: GoogleDevelopers Views: 329 5 ratings Time: 01:00:20 More in Science & Technology

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  • Mobile: Wrox Cross Platform Mobile Development - iPhone, iPad, Android, and everything with .NET & C#

    - by Wallym
    Wrox has produced a bundle of their 3 best selling mobile development books and it is available as of Today (March 16). A bundle of 3 best-selling and respected mobile development e-books from Wrox form a complete library on the key tools and techniques for developing apps across the hottest platforms including Android and iOS. This collection includes the full content of these three books, at a special price: Professional Android Programming with Mono for Android and .NET/C#, ISBN: 9781118026434, by Wallace B. McClure, Nathan Blevins, John J. Croft, IV, Jonathan Dick, and Chris Hardy Professional iPhone Programming with MonoTouch and .NET/C#, ISBN: 9780470637821, by Wallace B. McClure, Rory Blyth, Craig Dunn, Chris Hardy, and Martin Bowling Professional Cross-Platform Mobile Development in C#, ISBN: 9781118157701, by Scott Olson, John Hunter, Ben Horgen, and Kenny Goers Remember, go buy 8-10 copies of the 3 book set for the ones you love. They will make great and romantic gifts!!

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  • .htaccess query string with static page

    - by Wes
    So, unfortunately im using vBulletin with Kohana and my integration is getting a bit complicated locking vBulletin out. Doing some rewrites, this in particular RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^do=(editprofile|editoptions)$ RewriteRule ^forum/profile.php$ /user_profile/edit/ [R=301,L] Comes back with /user_profile/edit/?do=editprofile where I need /user_profile/edit/ Cheers, Wes

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  • Display an image for a few seconds

    - by Wes
    I want to be able to display an image on the iPhone when the device is shaken. I can play a sound but also want to pop up an image at the same time. Any ideas on how to do this would be appreciated. thx, wes

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  • Database version control resources

    - by Wes McClure
    In the process of creating my own DB VCS tool tsqlmigrations.codeplex.com I ran into several good resources to help guide me along the way in reviewing existing offerings and in concepts that would be needed in a good DB VCS.  This is my list of helpful links that others can use to understand some of the concepts and some of the tools in existence.  In the next few posts I will try to explain how I used these to create TSqlMigrations.   Blogs entries Three rules for database work - K. Scott Allen http://odetocode.com/blogs/scott/archive/2008/01/30/three-rules-for-database-work.aspx Versioning databases - the baseline http://odetocode.com/blogs/scott/archive/2008/01/31/versioning-databases-the-baseline.aspx Versioning databases - change scripts http://odetocode.com/blogs/scott/archive/2008/02/02/versioning-databases-change-scripts.aspx Versioning databases - views, stored procedures and the like http://odetocode.com/blogs/scott/archive/2008/02/02/versioning-databases-views-stored-procedures-and-the-like.aspx Versioning databases - branching and merging http://odetocode.com/blogs/scott/archive/2008/02/03/versioning-databases-branching-and-merging.aspx Evolutionary Database Design - Martin Fowler http://martinfowler.com/articles/evodb.html Are database migration frameworks worth the effort? - Good challenges http://www.ridgway.co.za/archive/2009/01/03/are-database-migration-frameworks-worth-the-effort.aspx Continuous Integration (in general) http://martinfowler.com/articles/continuousIntegration.html http://martinfowler.com/articles/originalContinuousIntegration.html Is Your Database Under Version Control? http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000743.html 11 Tools for Database Versioning http://secretgeek.net/dbcontrol.asp How to do database source control and builds http://mikehadlow.blogspot.com/2006/09/how-to-do-database-source-control-and.html .Net Database Migration Tool Roundup http://flux88.com/blog/net-database-migration-tool-roundup/ Books Book Description Refactoring Databases: Evolutionary Database Design Martin Fowler signature series on refactoring databases. Book site: http://databaserefactoring.com/ Recipes for Continuous Database Integration: Evolutionary Database Development (Digital Short Cut) A good question/answer layout of common problems and solutions with database version control. http://www.informit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=032150206X

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  • Programming doesn’t have to be Magic

    - by Wes McClure
    In the show LOST, the Swan Station had a button that “had to be pushed” every 100 minutes to avoid disaster.  Several characters in the show took it upon themselves to have faith and religiously push the button, resetting the clock and averting the unknown “disaster”.  There are striking similarities in this story to the code we write every day.  Here are some common ones that I encounter: “I don’t know what it does but the application doesn’t work without it” “I added that code because I saw it in other similar places, I didn’t understand it, but thought it was necessary.” (for consistency, or to make things “work”) “An error message recommended it” “I copied that code” (and didn’t look at what it was doing) “It was suggested in a forum online and it fixed my problem so I left it” In all of these cases we haven’t done our due diligence to understand what the code we are writing is actually doing.  In the rush to get things done it seems like we’re willing to push any button (add any line of code) just to get our desired result and move on.  All of the above explanations are common things we encounter, and are valid ways to work through a problem we have, but when we find a solution to a task we are working on (whether a bug or a feature), we should take a moment to reflect on what we don’t understand.  Remove what isn’t necessary, comprehend and simplify what is.  Why is it detrimental to commit code we don’t understand? Perpetuates unnecessary code If you copy code that isn’t necessary, someone else is more likely to do so, especially peers Perpetuates tech debt Adding unnecessary code leads to extra code that must be understood, maintained and eventually cleaned up in longer lived projects Tech debt begets tech debt as other developers copy or use this code as guidelines in similar situations Increases maintenance How do we know the code is simplified if we don’t understand it? Perpetuates a lack of ownership Makes it seem ok to commit anything so long as it “gets the job done” Perpetuates the notion that programming is magic If we don’t take the time to understand every line of code we add, then we are contributing to the notion that it is simply enough to make the code work, regardless of how. TLDR Don’t commit code that you don’t understand, take the time to understand it, simplify it and then commit it!

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  • LibreOffice Icons are blurry

    - by Ryan McClure
    My LibreOffice icons for the individual apps are fine, they look great in both the launcher and the switcher. Yet, if I open the apps from the main LibreOffice program or if I open the document that I want to edit (And it opens its own "icon" as it always does), the icon is incredibly blurry. Here's what it looks like: On the launcher, I put the actual Calc and Impress launchers and on their left is the icons opened from a document. I know they aren't "blurry" as much as they are smaller. What should I do to remedy this? They are the same in the switcher (I can't find a way to take a screenshot of the switcher) Edit: I changed my Unity plugin from Rotated to standard, and the problem is still there; so, it isn't a Rotated bug.

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  • Commit Review Questions

    - by Wes McClure
    Note: in this article when I refer to a commit, I mean the commit you plan to share with the rest of the team, if you have local commits that you plan to amend/combine, I am referring to the final result. In time you will find these easier to do as you develop, however, all of these are valuable before checking in!  The pre commit review is a nice time to polish what might have been several hours of intense work, during which these things were the last things on your mind!  If you are concerned about losing your work in the process of responding to these questions, first do a check-in and amend it as you go (assuming you are using a tool such as git that supports this), rolling the result into one nice commit for everyone else.  Did you review your commit, change by change, with a diff utility? If not, this is a list of reasons why you might want to start! Did you test your changes? If the test is valuable to be automated, is it? If it’s a manual testing scenario, did you at least try the basics manually? Are the additions/changes formatted consistently with the rest of the project? Lots of automated tools can help here, don’t try to manually format the code, that’s a waste of time and as a human you will fail repeatedly. Are these consistent: tabs versus spaces, indentation, spacing, braces, line breaks, etc Resharper is a great example of a tool that can automate this for you (.net) Are naming conventions respected? Did you accidently use abbreviations, unless you have a good reason to use them? Does capitalization match the conventions in the project/language? Are files partitioned? Sometimes we add new code in existing files in a pinch, it’s a good idea to split these out if they don’t belong ie: are new classes defined in new files, if this is something your project values? Is there commented out code? If you are removing an existing feature, get rid of it, that is why we have VCS If it’s not done yet, then why are you checking it in? Perhaps a stash commit (git)? Did you leave debug or unnecessary changes? Do you understand all of the changes? http://geekswithblogs.net/wesm/archive/2012/04/11/programming-doesnrsquot-have-to-be-magic.aspx Are there spelling mistakes? Including your commit message! Is your commit message concise? Is there follow up work? Are there tasks you didn’t write down that you need to follow up with? Are readability or reorganization changes needed? This might be amended into the final commit, or it might be future work that needs added to the backlog. Are there other things your team values that you should review?

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  • Thumbnails for certain formats not appearing in Nautilus

    - by Ryan McClure
    The following formats do not have an icon in Nautilus: .odt .odb And, some of my older documents are missing their thumbnails, all of which are either .odt or .odp. I just purged and reinstalled LibreOffice today...could this be the reason why? Edit: Sorry about my vagueness I am on Ubuntu 11.10, using LibreOffice 3.4 340m1(Build:402) that comes by default in the repos. Here's a screenshot of what I see for these formats.

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  • Things I've noticed with DVCS

    - by Wes McClure
    Things I encourage: Frequent local commits This way you don't have to be bothered by changes others are making to the central repository while working on a handful of related tasks.  It's a good idea to try to work on one task at a time and commit all changes at partitioned stopping points.  A local commit doesn't have to build, just FYI, so a stopping point doesn't mean a build point nor a point that you can push centrally.  There should be several of these in any given day.  2 hours is a good indicator that you might not be leveraging the power of frequent local commits.  Once you have verified a set of changes works, save them away, otherwise run the risk of introducing bugs into it when working on the next task.  The notion of a task By task I mean a related set of changes that can be completed in a few hours or less.  In the same token don’t make your tasks so small that critically related changes aren’t grouped together.  Use your intuition and the rest of these principles and I think you will find what is comfortable for you. Partial commits Sometimes one task explodes or unknowingly encompasses other tasks, at this point, try to get to a stopping point on part of the work you are doing and commit it so you can get that out of the way to focus on the remainder.  This will often entail committing part of the work and continuing on the rest. Outstanding changes as a guide If you don't commit often it might mean you are not leveraging your version control history to help guide your work.  It's a great way to see what has changed and might be causing problems.  The longer you wait, the more that has changed and the harder it is to test/debug what your changes are doing! This is a reason why I am so picky about my VCS tools on the client side and why I talk a lot about the quality of a diff tool and the ability to integrate that with a simple view of everything that has changed.  This is why I love using TortoiseHg and SmartGit: they show changed files, a diff (or two way diff with SmartGit) of the current selected file and a commit message all in one window that I keep maximized on one monitor at all times. Throw away / stash commits There is extreme value in being able to throw away a commit (or stash it) that is getting out of hand.  If you do not commit often you will have to isolate the work you want to commit from the work you want to throw away, which is wasted productivity and highly prone to errors.  I find myself doing this about once a week, especially when doing exploratory re-factoring.  It's much easier if I can just revert all outstanding changes. Sync with the central repository daily The rest of us depend on your changes.  Don't let them sit on your computer longer than they have to.  Waiting increases the chances of merge conflict which just decreases productivity.  It also prohibits us from doing deploys when people say they are done but have not merged centrally.  This should be done daily!  Find a way to partition the work you are doing so that you can sync at least once daily. Things I discourage: Lots of partial commits right at the end of a series of changes If you notice lots of partial commits at the end of a set of changes, it's likely because you weren't frequently committing, nor were you watching for the size of the task expanding beyond a single commit.  Chances are this cost you productivity if you use your outstanding changes as a guide, since you would have an ever growing list of changes. Committing single files Committing single files means you waited too long and no longer understand all the changes involved.  It may mean there were overlapping changes in single files that cannot be isolated.  In either case, go back to the suggestions above to avoid this.  Committing frequently does not mean committing frequently right at the end of a day's work. It should be spaced out over the course of several tasks, not all at the end in a 5 minute window.

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  • Refactoring Part 1 : Intuitive Investments

    - by Wes McClure
    Fear, it’s what turns maintaining applications into a nightmare.  Technology moves on, teams move on, someone is left to operate the application, what was green is now perceived brown.  Eventually the business will evolve and changes will need to be made.  The approach to those changes often dictates the long term viability of the application.  Fear of change, lack of passion and a lack of interest in understanding the domain often leads to a paranoia to do anything that doesn’t involve duct tape and bailing twine.  Don’t get me wrong, those have a place in the short term viability of a project but they don’t have a place in the long term.  Add to it “us versus them” in regards to the original team and those that maintain it, internal politics and other factors and you have a recipe for disaster.  This results in code that quickly becomes unmanageable.  Even the most clever of designs will eventually become sub optimal and debt will amount that exponentially makes changes difficult.  This is where refactoring comes in, and it’s something I’m very passionate about.  Refactoring is about improving the process whereby we make change, it’s an exponential investment in the process of change. Without it we will incur exponential complexity that halts productivity. Investments, especially in the long term, require intuition and reflection.  How can we tackle new development effectively via evolving the original design and paying off debt that has been incurred? The longer we wait to ask and answer this question, the more it will cost us.  Small requests don’t warrant big changes, but realizing when changes now will pay off in the long term, and especially in the short term, is valuable. I have done my fair share of maintaining applications and continuously refactoring as needed, but recently I’ve begun work on a project that hasn’t had much debt, if any, paid down in years.  This is the first in a series of blog posts to try to capture the process which is largely driven by intuition of smaller refactorings from other projects. Signs that refactoring could help: Testability How can decreasing test time not pay dividends? One of the first things I found was that a very important piece often takes 30+ minutes to test.  I can only imagine how much time this has cost historically, but more importantly the time it might cost in the coming weeks: I estimate at least 10-20 hours per person!  This is simply unacceptable for almost any situation.  As it turns out, about 6 hours of working with this part of the application and I was able to cut the time down to under 30 seconds!  In less than the lost time of one week, I was able to fix the problem for all future weeks! If we can’t test fast then we can’t change fast, nor with confidence. Code is used by end users and it’s also used by developers, consider your own needs in terms of the code base.  Adding logic to enable/disable features during testing can help decouple parts of an application and lead to massive improvements.  What exactly is so wrong about test code in real code?  Often, these become features for operators and sometimes end users.  If you cannot run an integration test within a test runner in your IDE, it’s time to refactor. Readability Are variables named meaningfully via a ubiquitous language? Is the code segmented functionally or behaviorally so as to minimize the complexity of any one area? Are aspects properly segmented to avoid confusion (security, logging, transactions, translations, dependency management etc) Is the code declarative (what) or imperative (how)?  What matters, not how.  LINQ is a great abstraction of the what, not how, of collection manipulation.  The Reactive framework is a great example of the what, not how, of managing streams of data. Are constants abstracted and named, or are they just inline? Do people constantly bitch about the code/design? If the code is hard to understand, it will be hard to change with confidence.  It’s a large undertaking if the original designers didn’t pay much attention to readability and as such will never be done to “completion.”  Make sure not to go over board, instead use this as you change an application, not in lieu of changes (like with testability). Complexity Simplicity will never be achieved, it’s highly subjective.  That said, a lot of code can be significantly simplified, tidy it up as you go.  Refactoring will often converge upon a simplification step after enough time, keep an eye out for this. Understandability In the process of changing code, one often gains a better understanding of it.  Refactoring code is a good way to learn how it works.  However, it’s usually best in combination with other reasons, in effect killing two birds with one stone.  Often this is done when readability is poor, in which case understandability is usually poor as well.  In the large undertaking we are making with this legacy application, we will be replacing it.  Therefore, understanding all of its features is important and this refactoring technique will come in very handy. Unused code How can deleting things not help? This is a freebie in refactoring, it’s very easy to detect with modern tools, especially in statically typed languages.  We have VCS for a reason, if in doubt, delete it out (ok that was cheesy)! If you don’t know where to start when refactoring, this is an excellent starting point! Duplication Do not pray and sacrifice to the anti-duplication gods, there are excellent examples where consolidated code is a horrible idea, usually with divergent domains.  That said, mediocre developers live by copy/paste.  Other times features converge and aren’t combined.  Tools for finding similar code are great in the example of copy/paste problems.  Knowledge of the domain helps identify convergent concepts that often lead to convergent solutions and will give intuition for where to look for conceptual repetition. 80/20 and the Boy Scouts It’s often said that 80% of the time 20% of the application is used most.  These tend to be the parts that are changed.  There are also parts of the code where 80% of the time is spent changing 20% (probably for all the refactoring smells above).  I focus on these areas any time I make a change and follow the philosophy of the Boy Scout in cleaning up more than I messed up.  If I spend 2 hours changing an application, in the 20%, I’ll always spend at least 15 minutes cleaning it or nearby areas. This gives a huge productivity edge on developers that don’t. Ironically after a short period of time the 20% shrinks enough that we don’t have to spend 80% of our time there and can move on to other areas.   Refactoring is highly subjective, never attempt to refactor to completion!  Learn to be comfortable with leaving one part of the application in a better state than others.  It’s an evolution, not a revolution.  These are some simple areas to look into when making changes and can help get one started in the process.  I’ve often found that refactoring is a convergent process towards simplicity that sometimes spans a few hours but often can lead to massive simplifications over the timespan of weeks and months of regular development.

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  • Network Issues only on one network with a Broadcom BCM4312

    - by Ryan McClure
    My Ubuntu 11.10 laptop is having network connection issues...only on one network. I have a BCM4312 card and I'm using the proprietary driver. Whenever I connect to a network over wireless connection, I have no trouble except for one network. In my dorm, if I try to connect to the wireless network, it stays connected from anywhere to 30 seconds to 30 minutes before it will still be "connected" according to the indicator but there is no incoming/outgoing internet connection. This only happens in this building. Other networks with the same name at other buildings on my campus have no issue whatsoever. I took it to the tech department here and they keep claiming it's my laptop; but, if I can connect to other networks with absolutely no issues, why can't my laptop connect here? So, here's my question: Is it my laptop, or is it the network? As a side note, no one else that I know has issues on this network but one; she's running Windows 7 and I forget what kind of laptop it is. One of the people in my hall runs Ubuntu 12.04 and has no problem with the wireless. What do you all think of this?

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  • Are there keylogger viruses that affect Ubuntu?

    - by Ryan McClure
    I just within the last few hours had my Amazon and Gmail accounts hijacked. Purchases were made through my Amazon account that I didn't authorize...in fact, I wasn't even in my room. According to Gmail, the IP address of when I got hijacked was where I live. Enough rambling, here's my question: are there keylogger viruses on Ubuntu? I am not sure if either i accidentally let my password out there somewhere, or maybe I have a keylogger. I'm currently installing ClamAV to scan for viruses. Any help would be absolutely appreciated.

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  • Finale or Sibelius on Ubuntu 11.10 under Wine?

    - by Ryan McClure
    I want to install either Finale 2011-2012 or Sibelius 5-6-7 on my 11.10 install via Wine. Before I purchase any of them, does anyone know if they work on Wine 1.4 (or even 1.5) on 11.10? I've seen some posts on the Winehq about those programs, but they are on older Wine releases on older Ubuntu releases with older versions of software. Also, I'm not the biggest fan of MuseScore...if anyone knows of any native programs for Linux that as powerful as Finale or Sibelius, could anyone let me know?

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  • How can I determine which version of FFMPEG comes by default?

    - by Ryan McClure
    I am honestly confused beyond belief about my package that I have installed for FFMPEG. It is, according to Synaptic, version: 4:0.8.1-1really0u1 For some reason, I feel like this is not the version that would come in the repositories and I feel like another PPA that I may have used installed a wrong version. I believe it was the VLC PPA for nightly builds. Can anyone who does not have this PPA on their system tell me what version of FFMPEG they are running?

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  • Joining Two MKV files in Ubuntu?

    - by Ryan McClure
    I have an opera that I'm ripping to my computer in MKV format with Handbrake. This opera is on two discs. Is there a way to join the resulting MKV's together? They will have the same bitrate, resolution, etc. If I do this, can I keep chapters from both MKV files organized? And, since I have subtitles in the file (not burnt in), will they still stay intact? I'm not too sure if this question is off-topic or not. If it is, feel more than free to delete it. :)

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  • How do I select Wireless radio portions in Ubuntu?

    - by Ryan McClure
    Bear with me, to be honest I have no idea what Wireless radio portions are.... At my school, I was told my the user support that the wireless network in my dorm uses 801.11 A/B/G/N. For some reason, the wireless in my room doesn't work. However, other buildings use only A/B/G, they say. In any other building, my wireless works fine. How do I tell my system to use the G portion only? (As requested by user support in the email I received). Here are the various logs/output requested: dmesg lshw -c network lsmod

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  • My Automated NuGet Workflow

    - by Wes McClure
    When we develop libraries (whether internal or public), it helps to have a rapid ability to make changes and test them in a consuming application. Building Setup the library with automatic versioning and a nuspec Setup library assembly version to auto increment build and revision AssemblyInfo –> [assembly: AssemblyVersion("1.0.*")] This autoincrements build and revision based on time of build Major & Minor Major should be changed when you have breaking changes Minor should be changed once you have a solid new release During development I don’t increment these Create a nuspec, version this with the code nuspec - set version to <version>$version$</version> This uses the assembly’s version, which is auto-incrementing Make changes to code Run automated build (ruby/rake) run “rake nuget” nuget task builds nuget package and copies it to a local nuget feed I use an environment variable to point at this so I can change it on a machine level! The nuget command below assumes a nuspec is checked in called Library.nuspec next to the csproj file $projectSolution = 'src\\Library.sln' $nugetFeedPath = ENV["NuGetDevFeed"] msbuild :build => [:clean] do |msb| msb.properties :configuration => :Release msb.targets :Build msb.solution = $projectSolution end task :nuget => [:build] do sh "nuget pack src\\Library\\Library.csproj /OutputDirectory " + $nugetFeedPath end Setup the local nuget feed as a nuget package source (this is only required once per machine) Go to the consuming project Update the package Update-Package Library or Install-Package TLDR change library code run “rake nuget” run “Update-Package library” in the consuming application build/test! If you manually execute any of this process, especially copying files, you will find it a burden to develop the library and will find yourself dreading it, and even worse, making changes downstream instead of updating the shared library for everyone’s sake. Publishing Once you have a set of changes that you want to release, consider versioning and possibly increment the minor version if needed. Pick the package out of your local feed, and copy it to a public / shared feed! I have a script to do this where I can drop the package on a batch file Replace apikey with your nuget feed's apikey Take out the confirm(s) if you don't want them @ECHO off echo Upload %1? set /P anykey="Hit enter to continue " nuget push %1 apikey set /P anykey="Done " Note: helps to prune all the unnecessary versions during testing from your local feed once you are done and ready to publish TLDR consider version number run command to copy to public feed

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  • Java is very slow on my laptop

    - by Ryan McClure
    I have 1.6.0_30 JRE on my 11.10 install. I have 3 GB of RAM and an Intel Core2 Duo CPU T6600 @ 2.20GHz × 2. Whenever I use my Java to play a game, the Java runs at about 4-5 FPS. When I used Windows, I found that I could get around 40 FPS. I'm not too terribly worried about this, but are there settings that I can tweak that I don't know about? If not, why is it that JRE Java can't do as much on Ubuntu as it can on Windows? Also, this may be related but I'm not too sure--My fan runs very fast when running a Java application. Is there a correlation?

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  • Why does the HUD jump around as I type or move my mouse?

    - by Ryan McClure
    I use the Unity Revamped package for my Unity interface. I have noticed that, however, this behavior exists for any account on my computer, even guest, on BOTH the Revamped and the Canonical release of Unity. Here is a link to what it looks like, because it is hard to describe it. I don't know of anyone else who has this issue. I am running Unity 5.16 on Ubuntu 12.04. As an aside, I also have noticed this behavior with a fresh install of 12.10 Beta 1 on a separate partition.

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  • Can the parameters of the Music Lens be edited?

    - by Ryan McClure
    I primarily listen to classical music on my laptop. Since I'm obsessed with specifics with my music, I am precise with how I label my genres (Opera, Symphony, Chorale, etc.). Is there a way to edit the Music Lens so that instead of listing "Blues, Classic, Country..." it could list custom parameters? Could the same be done for the "Decade" parameter? Maybe make it "Century", since I have music from back in the 1400's :)

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