Category Archives: Software Engineering

Instantiating and populating a list or collection

In Java it always irks me when I have to create a collection and then populate it in separate steps as follows: List states = new ArrayList(); state.add(State.CA); state.add(State.WY); Then today I read about using an anonymous subclass with instance … Continue reading

Posted in Java, Ruby, Software Engineering | 12 Comments

Using Ruby’s timout to keep the user experience snappy

On a my Ruby on Rails based San Francisco Sailing Weather website I make calls out to flickr.rb to retrieve photos.

Posted in Ruby on Rails, Software Engineering, Web | Leave a comment

Upgrading to Spring 2.0 and Hibernate 3.2

Tonight I just completed the upgrade from Spring 1.2 and Hibernate 3.1 to Spring 2.0 and Hibernate 3.2 for work. I was expecting a rough upgrade but was pleasantly surprised how easily it went.

Posted in Database, Java, Software Engineering | 3 Comments

Xalan XSL transformations in the 1.4 JDK can be VERY slow

At work as part of our XML data feed product we end up doing XSLT transformations on XML files starting a a few MB all the way up to several hundred MB. Using the 1.4.2 JDK it took over 4 … Continue reading

Posted in Java, Software Engineering, XML | 1 Comment

Deferring ad loading on your pages to avoid unnecessary outages

At GreatSchools we’ve had 3rd party ad server outages or slowness effectively make our site unusable as users browsers waited for certain ads to render before rendering the rest of the page. I had originally thought just specifying height and … Continue reading

Posted in CSS, Design, Javascript, Software Engineering, Web | 2 Comments

Making your Rails app mobile with WAP and WML

I’d been wanting to make my Ruby on Rails based San Francisco Sailing Weather site available for mobile / cell phones. Now that I’m on vacation in Germany I had a stretch on a train ride where I was able … Continue reading

Posted in Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Software Engineering, WAP and WML | 6 Comments

June San Francisco Ruby Meetup

I attended the June 12th, 2006 San Francisco Ruby Meetup at CNet which was my first. There was quite a turnout, I’d guess maybe 80-90 people. The presentations focused more on process and lessons rather than in-depth technical sessions. Here … Continue reading

Posted in Ruby, Software Engineering | 3 Comments

Configuring MySQL sql-mode in Ruby on Rails

In my previous post I wrote about setting MySQL to a stricter sql-mode to make it behave like most other databases, however, I recently ran into a case where I couldn’t set the global sql-mode without breaking some legacy applications. … Continue reading

Posted in MySQL, Ruby, Software Engineering | 1 Comment

Modeling enumerated types in the database

Let’s say you have an Employees table and you want a column to track the status of an employee such as [’employed’, ‘resigned’, ‘retired’, ‘terminated’, etc…]. You have a couple of options including: Using your database’s custom enumeration data-type if … Continue reading

Posted in Database, Ruby, Software Engineering | 3 Comments

Creating database test fixtures and the rails export fixtures plugin

Being able to quickly and easily create test fixtures for your database is important yet it’s not always easy. There are basically 3 approaches I’ve seen used: 1. Use a MySQL or PostgreSQL dump that gets imported before the tests … Continue reading

Posted in Database, Java, MySQL, Ruby, Software Engineering | 3 Comments