Saturday, November 29, 2003


One of the projects I am working on at the moment needs an issue reporting and tracking system. I've been evaluating Jira from Atlassian to see if it meets our needs.

This is a fantastic product, which allows a great deal of flexibility for deployment. For example I've been able to configure it to use Oracle as a backend, run under JBoss and authenticate against my own mechanism in just two days, and most of the time I've spent has been learning how to use the application itself. I've been involved in other projects where a subset of the functionality provided by Jira has been written from scratch, and I can tell you the pricing of this is very good in comparison.

I certainly want to use this now, the only remaining question is how much effort it will be to integrate the look/feel of Jira with the application being written. I'll post again when I've found out.

Book Roundup

I've been a little lax recently reporting books I've been reading, time for a catch up :

The first is Overtaken by Alexi Sayle.
I've been a fan of his comedy for years, this is his first "straight" novel that I've read from him. The main theme of the book is the lead characters attempt to make an individual face up to his previous actions.
It has comic moments, but in general the novel is quite dark in content. I hugely enjoyed it and would say it is well worth investing the time to read it.

You might recognise Danny Wallace as Dave Gormans flatmate from Are You Dave Gorman? a fantastic live show that made its way to print a couple of years ago.
Join Me is the story of a collective (not a cult - well maybe) which Danny started by accident. His journey to collect more members is great fun, and the idea of building a huge "Karma Army" performing random acts of kindness on Fridays might yet save the world!

Showbusiness: The Diary of a Rock'n'roll Nobody is a book by Mark Radcliffe. Better known for his DJ work on Radio1 with his partner this is a book detailing his musical exploits. The catalogue of musical failures he has been involved with are laugh out loud funny, and the fact he kept going back for more shows his devotion to music. Mark and Lard are the funniest thing on radio, and this book is hugely amusing.

The latest Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything) is a huge tomb packed with an enormous amount of information. It's a book that I found to dry to read in one burst. In the end I read it over a couple of months in several spurts. The style is as ever strong, even when dealing with some fairly weighty topics. I'm not sure I'd recommend this, it certainly isn't as entertaining as his other works. That said I was sat watching QI (a BBC2 quiz hosted by Stephen Fry) two weeks ago and found I could answer several of the questions - all that knowledge came from this book so at least I learnt something.