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Posts Tagged ‘Programming’

First Code Project Article


So, after writing the article I blogged about a few minutes ago which I wanted to publish on Code Project it seems that it’s been added to the “Unedited” articles side of the site.  This was actually less painful than I would’ve expected aside from the fact that I had to do HTML for the first time in a while.  If you’re interested in reading it and giving me your feedback, I would love to hear from you.  You can find the article both on this site under my article “Memory Queue” or on Code Project as the article aptly named “Memory Queue”.  The article on Code Project has the source code that goes with it and I’m hoping to have more articles to publish soon… 🙂

Memory Queue


So, I finally managed to finish the first article that I hope to publish on Code Project.  In this article I cover a little infrastructure object that works as a Memory Queue.  I expand this object to be encapsulated by a Thread Queue, which I then use to build a Logging Framework.  It explains a very simple pattern to use when you want to assign work to multiple threads without having to worry too much about Thread Synchronization and all those things that goes with it.  It’s super-fast as you’ll be able to see in my Logger implementation and can be used in so many different scenarios.  As I take strides in writing new articles that cover my Architectural series of articles I’ll be adding to this little project so I can build a complete framework that can be used and built on in my coming articles.  My hope is to have a complete sample of how to write software using various technologies including Ruby, C# and Java as the services technology while using both JavaScipt and Silverlight as my User Interface technology.  By doing this I want to show how you can completely separate concerns by using simple patterns that work for the specific tool set that you choose to work with.  This is going to be quite a journey and the main aim for me taking this journey is to end up in a position where I have a complete understanding of the technologies mentioned above as well as the concepts I’ll be covering. 

I’ll update this site as soon as it’s been approved by the powers that be over at Code Project.  In the meanwhile if you would like to have a look at the article you can go to it by clicking hereI hope you enjoy this first article as much as I do and I also hope that you’ll give me some feedback. 

Setup – Jenkins and Windows


My team was recently assigned to help out another team who had a bit too much to do for a bit too long.  So, I wanted to see how easy or how hard it would be to use some of the tools that I’ve become quite use to.  One of those tools of course is Jenkins.  The idea was to set this new environment up to be a slave to my Master Jenkins Build Server running on Ubuntu while the slave would run on Windows.  Of course Jenkins has a lot of features with regards to this and I managed to fiddle enough to get it to work and I’ve released another article called “Setup – Jenkins and Windows” where I take you through how to do this.

The next thing I’m going to do is get it to pull the source code from Team Foundation Server and running the tests so we can know when we break something.  Just in case you were wondering, I do try to follow the Test Driven Development (TDD) way of writing code as much as possible and love the fact that it makes my life easier and safer.  I’ve decided to write another article on this as well, but you’ll have to wait and see when it comes out whether you agree or disagree with the things I write in there J

I hope you enjoy this new platform that you can use for your CI…

Updates and Thoughts

February 24, 2011 Leave a comment

So, I’ve cleaned up some of my articles to point to the “Setup – Requirements” page and will be using this as a living article for any new requirements I may come across. 

As some of you may have seen, I have been quite active over the course of the last few weeks and if you’re wondering why, well it’s because I’m trying something new 🙂  It’s always fun when you try to do something different and if you find that it works.  To explain in the space of a Blog, I’m trying to follow a new process (new for me) whereby I do my own notes, test code, research and code all at the same time.  The way it works is quite simple…  It’s very similar to Test Driven Development (TDD) where you write your code before you start coding.  So, the first thing you do in your test code is you “wish”.  This means that you simply write out all the different Test Methods with no code in the body of these methods.  In other words you’re declaring your test code before you actually write the test code.  Once you’re done with that you start with the first method and you write the code.  While you’re doing this first method you may find that you have another scenario that you would like to test, so you add another method once you’re done with the test method you were busy with.  Once you’re done with the first test’s code, you run it and you should see a failure.  Now you start writing the actual business code and on completion you run your test again to see that it passes.  When you’re done with that, you move to the next test method and so it goes until you’re done with both your code and your tests.  After all this, you refactor 🙂

To get back to the thing that I’ve been trying…  Before I start with a new task, I start up Microsoft Word.  The I write all the headings in my document that I would like to cover i.e. “wishing”.  When that is done I start doing my research and I make notes in the relevant section in my document.  Once these notes are there I start with the implementation of that research and once that is done I’ll update my document.  Now if you take a scenario where I’m busy writing code, I would write the outline for my document first, then write the test methods, then update my document and start with the test code.  And so I continue until my Document is complete, my tests are complete and my code is complete. 

Why do I do this?  I found that it gets me to focus a lot better.  Seeing that I have to explain what I’m doing in the document, I find myself understanding the problem better and seeing that I need to write the test code I find myself implementing the logic as I understand it.  All the while I’m learning more about the problem, I’m also updating the document until I find myself where everything is complete and at that stage I finish the document first, then I do some refactoring on the code. 

If all this doesn’t make any sense, try by documenting what you are going to do before you do it, instead of after the fact 🙂  You may just be surprised at how easy you pick up things and how well you understand them when you’re done…  It’s like being the teacher, the student and the writer all at the same time 🙂

Anyway, Have Fun…

Setup – Jenkins and RVM

February 24, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve just completed another article related to Environments called “Setup – Jenkins and RVM“.  In this article I take you through the setup process to get Jenkins and Ruby Version Manager (RVM) to play nice with each other.  I start with the Build Server and RVM setup and then take you through to pulling your first GitHub hosted Ruby code, doing a Bundle Install and finally running a rake for your Unit Tests.  I hope this will help someone out there, seeing that I have struggled to understand why things on Jenkins don’t work or why my Jenkins install doesn’t pick up that I have RVM running with the correct Rubies.  It was fun and it seems to be working.  So, enjoy!!! 🙂

Setup – Requirements

February 23, 2011 Leave a comment

After writing some articles on this site and having to copy and paste the same text from some of my other articles over and over and also getting a bit frustrated in having to look up which requirements need to be installed where I decided to dedicate and article to this topic.  You can find the article under the “Environments” menu and I called it “Setup – Requirements“.  If you want to run Ruby or NetBeans or Apache or something else, then you should run through this list of things first.  I would suggest that you start at the top.  Why you need to install most of these packages, I’m not going to go into other than to say that you’ll be saving yourself lots of hours on Google trying to figure out why some Ruby Gem is telling you that it can’t find a package while the package is installed already.  There are some strange dependencies when you want to do the most arbitrary things.  I hope this helps someone out there and that it gives you a bit of a head start when installing your Development, Build or Production environments.

In the coming days I’ll be changing my articles to all point to this to ensure that it’s a but easier to get through an article without having to do some research or find that article that outlines the steps in a reproducible way.  Enjoy!! 🙂

Setup – Apache and Jenkins

February 22, 2011 Leave a comment

So, there is now something called Jenkins in the world of Open Source Build Servers and it seems like it’s been around for a few months.  Why is this remarkable?  Well…  Simply because Jenkins = Hudson.  I was installing another server with Hudson today following the instructions in my article “Setup – Apache and Hudson” and only when I completed the install did I realise that Hudson is now actually called Jenkins.  So, has anything changed?  Nope, not really.  Why did they decide to make this bold move?  I can’t say, other than that there is some speculation that the guys over at Oracle wanted to start charging license fees for the use of Hudson and that the previously known Hudson guys then decided to for Hudson, rename it to Jenkins and to continue with the project in the old Open Source manner.  Well, if this is true, then I am glad, because since I started using Hudson/Jenkins I haven’t looked back or had the urge to explore some of the other platforms out there.  It simply works 🙂

To top it off, I obviously opted to uninstall Hudson and to install Jenkins and once that was done I thought that it might be a good idea to add/update another article to show you how to install the new Jenkins platform.  You can find this article, called “Setup – Apache and Jenkins” here.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy Jenkins as much as you’ve enjoyed Hudson and I’m also sure that we can expect to see this project grow in the coming months as we’ve seen it grow from the beginning.  I wish them all the luck in their bold move and hope they continue to have fun 🙂  I know we will 🙂

Heads up though, I’m in the process of writing an article on how to use Jenkins as your Build Server runnig Continuous Integration for Ruby projects under Ruby Version Manager (RVM).

Using – Ruby Version Manager (RVM)

February 22, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve just completed a new article called “Using – Ruby Version Manager RVM” which will be another article that I’ll refresh, change and update on a regular basis.  Ruby Version Manager (RVM) is one of the best tools to use when you do Ruby Development seeing that it allows you to run multiple versions of Ruby and Gems together and to switch between these environments in an easy and straightforward way.  The idea behind RVM is to have a sand-boxed environment that does not affect your system installs and can be dumped and recreated ad-hoc without having to worry that you’ll be breaking things on your system.  By way of Gem Sets it also allows you to weave different Rubies together using different Gems.  In all it’s an extremely powerful tool and in my upcoming article where I’ll be going into the use of Bundler and how you can use this powerful Gem with RVM, you should start seeing some of the more powerful management tools at work.

I’ve found RVM to be a life saver and can’t really imagine writing code in Ruby without it.  When you start mixing in some of the other tools like Bundler, you’ll see how the power of Ruby and these tools come to life.  I hope you enjoy it and that you learn something from the article and if you have feedback on the matter or if you would like me to explore certain point in more detail, please let me know.

Related Articles

GitHub – Getting Started

February 15, 2011 2 comments

Even though I’ve been away from this site for a while (bad, really bad) I am coming back to it with some ideas and hope to continue the fun.  So, for my come back, I’ve just published a “Getting Started” article under the Environments menu for getting into GitHub and I’ve also added a “Source Repository” menu item under the “About” menu that should take you to a place where I’ll hopefully be hosting some of the source of those articles that I’ve been promising for so long.  I did some research on the various online repository hosting companies and must say that the solution that GitHub gives you is very comprehensive.  So, I chose them as part of my “Ultimate Environments” range of tools I would recommend and that I will be using myself.  Take into consideration that the entire range is still under construction and I will be refining, changing and adding more information as I continue.  So, none of the articles on this site will at any stage be seen as complete, just like the code we write on a daily basis.  In the real world, we only stop coding on a project when we start with a new one and if we start with a new one, we all know that we did the previous one wrong.  I hope you like it and find it helpful and I look forward for any feedback and changes you may like.

Ultimate Environments

November 6, 2010 Leave a comment

When doing development we always underestimate the environment we work in.  What I mean by this is that we don’t want to think of how we’re going to release a product, how the testing will be done and on which platforms and we definitely don’t like to think that someone out there, usually called the “stakeholder”, would be interested to see on a daily basis the progress we’re making on the product/system they pay us to do…  Now if you take all this into consideration and you really analyze this for yourself and make a list of all those pesky things Management always make you do, which are not development related then you soon realize that they’re almost all the same things over and over and over again.  Now, if you sat down for a few seconds and really thought how you would like to remove those pesky things that they want and strictly speaking need you to do, like have a site where they can play on the product that you’re working on, or they would like to get daily (some cases even hourly) updates and they would really like to see whether the quality of the product that you’re working on is worth the money they’re spending on you and everything that comes with you, then isn’t it time that we as developers start doing something about it…  I mean there are so many resources and products out there that enable us to remove those things.  Even though these products are out there we still continue in the way we usually do…  WHY???  Could it be laziness? I don’t think so, because doing those pesky things are simply more work…  Is it that we like those pesky things?  Again I don’t think so.  Is it because we don’t have time to do it? NOPE!!! Try again…  Personally I think that it’s simply because we’re not empowered to do it and we would rather sit and play with something more cool than say setting up a Hudson server to have our nightly builds released to that “special” environment where Management and stakeholders can play.

I’ve just completed writing another article on this site where you can see how easy it is to set up an environment and will continue writing about how to continue with this process of eliminating all those pesky Management things that we, as Techies, don’t like doing and definitely don’t want to continue doing going forward… The set of articles can be found under Environments and I really hope that we start enabling ourselves to do more of these things, because I know for a fact that there are a lot of other companies out there that still don’t have these basic things in place and at the same time it’s really not a new concept…

 

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