Saturday, February 22, 2003

Super Cool?

Lian Li PC60 Aluminium Case
I finally get around to updating the PC my wife and daughter use in the office this week. After a lot of deliberation I picked up a cheap (�125) bundle of motherboard/fan/Athlon 2100+ from Maplin Electronics along with a Lian-Li PC-60 aluminum case.

I'm really impressed by the case, it has 4 built in fans but I've only needed to connect two of them to keep the temperature stable. The fans are thermostatically controlled and it means the PC is almost silent. To put this into perspective the fan on the graphics card in the PC I work on is louder than the entire system, and I've had to press the eject button on the cd-drive to see if the system is even powered up.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

Book Review - High Society

High Society Book Cover

I've just finished reading High Society by Ben Elton. It is a novel exploring the full legalisation of drugs from differing points of view.

It isn't a laugh-out-loud novel like Popcorn was, but you remain interested in the characters development throughout the book. As with his previous work it is immensely topical and is a positive addition to the debate. I found it an entertaining read and it certainly made me think about what is politically a taboo subject.

Friday, February 14, 2003

More On Test Trauma

Well it turns out that the latka integration with cruise control wasn't so straightforward after all. Whilst everything runs fine from a commandline version of ant life is not so straightforward in the version of cruisecontrol we are using. The issue boils down to the fact that our current version of cruisecontrol is based upon ant 1.4, and the latka environment uses 1.5. I've tried installing ant 1.5 into cruise control, but then I fell fowl of some differences in logging which meant I got no output from cruisecontrol. looks like its time to upgrade to cruise-control 2.0.2 which is based upon ant 1.5.1 which should solve the issue.

Saturday, February 01, 2003

Test Trauma
All the development done on the projects I'm involved with at the moment run through the cruisecontrol system for continuos integration. I'll provide more of the details on this at some point in the future, but put simply this system means that as soon as a developer commits a change into cvs, our ant build is automatically run on the changes. Our build consists of several phases including:-

  • checking the source changes meet our rules via checkstyle
  • the compilation/javadoc phase
  • Junit tests on the undeployed code
  • deployment of code
  • more Junit tests on the deployed ejbs

  • We have also been performing adhoc tests on the running application with JMeter. The problem we have had up until now has been integratign these web functional tests into the build process.i.e. simulating a user walking through the site with some validation processes like page content, timings etc. The good news is that a colleague showed me latka, which is exactly what we needed. The tests are simply defined via an xml control file. The test file contruction is straightforward enough to hand off to a non-coder for existing stuff (the rule now is that a new servlet/jsp page created by a developer should have these tests as well). These tests run within the JUnit framework and therefore integrate into the build perfectly after deployment.

    Things get better though, work is progressing on a tool that can convert recorded JMeter tests and convert them directly into Latka scripts. We are still at an early stage with this, but it really looks like a powerful tool.