Code Reviews

I have not read this article “Automated code reviews with Checkstyle” yet, but the title really sparked my interest though because I am a great believer in code reviews as a tool for identifying bugs and for learning new techniques.

Yet the first paragraph set the hair on the back of my neck on end:

Code reviews are essential to code quality, but no team wants to review tens of thousands of lines of code, or should have to. In this two-part article, ShriKant Vashishtha and Abhishek Gupta show you how to overcome the challenges associated with code reviews by automating them. Find out why Checkstyle is one of the most popular tools used for code review automation, then learn how to quickly enhance its built-in rules with custom ones just for your project. Level: Intermediate

Surely doing automated code reviews miss the main points of doing a code review in the first place, one being that you want to get additional eyes to look at the code, and the other to get insight from other people as to what you could be doing differently and, hopefully, better. Or am I missing something.

MySQL Performance Audit

Baron Schwartz of Percona wrote up an interesting post on how they go about doing a MySQL performance audit. There is a lot of MySQL goodness in there as well as good information on how to gather performance metrics from a Linux installation.

One of the funny things I read there was finding 32-bit operating systems installed on 64-bit machines, which is exactly the case with a server I am currently working on. Not that it matters too much since the server only has 2GB of RAM.

On the other hand I have come across people running 32-bit apps on 64-bit operating systems, which seems to me a little like trying to run a race with one hand and one foot tied together.

MySQL 5.1 Goes GA, Finally…

I was happy to see that MySQL 5.1 went GA on November 27th, it has taken a very long time to get there.

I use it for my current project, in fact I selected it over 5.0 in the expectation that it would go GA while my work was in progress.

We tried it out while I was at Feedster, in the fall of 2006 and rejected it pretty quickly because it was way too unstable and opted for 5.0 instead.

Demo Work

I have been spending most of this long weekend working on a demo which required me to use SOLR/Lucene. I have not looked at it in any depth for about a year and looks like things have moved along nicely since.

Two things which still irritate me, it seemed to be pretty hard to set up multiple indices on a server, maybe I am missing something, and there is no support for distributed searching, at least not built into the product.

Still, it is really easy to work with.

International Space Station turns 10

The International Space Station turns 10 this month and you should check out these gorgeous pictures of it on The Big Picture weblog.

Friendly Grouper

This Grouper seems to be a permanent attraction on a dive site in the Turks and Caicos, cruising in to greet the diver (and hopefully score some free food.)

I was surprised at how friendly it was, allowing itself to be petted by people. As a rule I don’t touch any living creature underwater, a lot of them have a layer of anti-bacterial mucus on their skins/scales and touching or brushing them tends to remove it exposing them to infections.

But in this case this guy was so friendly that I felt it was ok, In fact I tucked it in the crook of my arm and took it for a swim.

There is another picture here.

Office 2008

I took advantage of the current Microsoft promotion of Office 2008 for the Mac (50% off for the Special Edition, I picked up a copy on Amazon for $129). I had been using an ancient version of Office and held off on upgrading because it filled my (few) Office needs quite well. It was a difficult to choose between Apple iWork and Office, but I picked the latter because I just needed hassle-free compatibility (even though I like iWork a lot.)

The installation process was not hassle-free though, I ran into the annoying setup assistant looping bug and had to trash the initial install and do it again.

Updated Nov 24th, 2008 – Of course, I could have gotten 75% off if I waited a few more days and saved myself another $65.