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Showing posts from September, 2005

Creating a dummy Debian package for Subversion (svn)

Since I've installed Subversion, I've been looking around for a good wiki and ticket management system so that I can get the whole 'development environment' setup on my home server.

I installed Wikipedia's MediaWiki at work, after our Instiki wiki came unstuck and left me with a whole load of nothing after it decided to stop writing archives to disk for about 5 weeks! MediaWiki is a little heavyweight for what I need, so I started to look around. I noticed on the Ruby on Rails website that they had a pretty simple ticket system, and after some investigation it turned out to the the open source Python-based Trac.

Trac also has a rather pretty Subversion repository browser so it seemed perfect for the small home projects that I want to develop.

I went to 'apt-get' Trac on my Debian Stable server, only to find that it wanted to install Subversion as a dependency even though I had a later version installed from source.

The Debian package management system works g…

Ruby to replace Java - or compliment it?

I've been singing Ruby's praises ever since I started researching the language a couple of years ago. I've not written much Ruby code, picked up the 1st pickaxe book, read it a couple of times, then the next year came round so I've now got the 2nd edition!

I've written a few Ruby 'scripts' (no objects or classes) and have been impressed with how quickly I have been able to get it to do my bidding compared to Java. One application running on Linux needed to read some data from a Postgresql database, generate a Windows Zip file then FTP it to a remote server. When I thought about coding this in Java I started to shiver, Java's strong point has never been it's ease to interact with the command line, and FTP libraries are not part of the java. or javax. packages.

Several people have asked "so are you saying that Java is rubbish and we should all move to Ruby?". My basic answer is "no, but I want to really get into a scripting language a…

Feedback from yesterday's AgileNorth conference.

Note: This is a long post as I've tried to get down all my notes, please skip this post unless you really want to read all my view of the AgileNorth conference!

These are my notes from yesterday's AgileNorth conference held in Preston in the north west of the UK. It was a full day and to be honest, I was knackered! It's funny how listening and talking all day really tires you out. There were approximately 50 people, which seemed about right for the size of venue.

What is Agile? by Kevin Rutherford

The day started with introductions from Phran Ryder (chairman) and Katie Taylor (secretary) covering the format of the day, followed by the day's keynote from Kevin Rutherford, who ran his discussion as a number of agile iterations.

We all added 'requirements' (topics to potentially cover) to the board, then Kevin suggested a number of them that he would get through in the first 'iteration' (10 minute speaking block). It covered a whole host of topics, but t…

Off to the AgileNorth conference tomorrow

I'm off to the AgileNorth conference tomorrow, which is "a conference for local technical and business staff who wish to learn and share their experiences of becoming and being agile."

It's a 1-day event in Preston in the north west of the UK covering a range of topics including "What Is Agile?", "Test Driven Development", and "Refactoring". I'm particularly looking forward to the "Fitting Agile Teams in a non Agile Organisation".

I'll let you know how it goes...

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Constants in CSS - it's like waiting for a bus

I'm more of a server-side programmer really, and don't deal that much in client-side stuff like CSS and JavaScript, but I try to keep an eye on what is going on in those areas as they tie so closely to the backend stuff.

I was reading the lunchroom blog a few weeks ago where Scott was talking about how he's modifiedJim Weirich's Ruby Builder object to be able to express CSS files in Ruby so that you can implement things like CSS constants among otherthings.

Then a week later Eric Meyer posts about Shaun Inman's update to CSS-SSC. Which funnily enough is another way to achieve CSS constants (CSS-SSC stands for "Cascading Style Sheets Server-Side Constants")

It's just like London buses... ;)


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