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Archive for September, 2011

Configuration Registry, Rel 0.1

September 29, 2011 Leave a comment

For the past little while, I’ve been working on a particular issue in Paladin’s issue tracking system. That issue proposes the creation of a configuration registry subsystem that will someday determine which Gladius subsystems execute and with which options.

At the moment, setting configuration options in Gladius is a bit of a mixed bag; this new subsystem should improve the state of things.

Tonight is my first milestone in the creation of this subsystem. I’ve written my ideas on how the subsystem will be designed and will operate, ( https://github.com/northWind87/gladius/wiki/Issue-21—Configurator-Registry-Design )
and I’ve also written the bulk of the unit tests that will tell us when the subsystem is more or less ready for primetime ( https://github.com/northWind87/gladius/blob/develop_issue_21/test/core/Configurator.js ).

Guys, humph, take a look and tell me what you think. I’d very much like someone to tell me in which specific ways my tests are terrible, I think that I would appreciate that a lot 🙂

I’ve always liked the TDD approach (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Test-driven_development ) and hopefully the many scanning eyes of the internet can tell me where I can improve!

Cheers guys and good luck with all of your 0.1 releases!

Configuration Registry Proposal

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment

I took a break from writing/refining tests to write down my design ideas on the configuration registry. I’ve created a wiki page on my github gladius fork where my ideas have gone. If interested, please take a look and let me know what you think:

Wiki page: https://github.com/northWind87/gladius/wiki/Issue-21—Configurator-Registry-Design
Issue page with requirements (first post): https://github.com/alankligman/gladius/issues/21

Also have a look at some tests 🙂
https://github.com/northWind87/gladius/blob/develop_issue_21/test/core/Configurator.js

Get ready to restart firefox…

September 25, 2011 2 comments

Trying to step along paladin’s unit test suite to get a handle on how the engine operates inside of firebug. Things are working out pretty alright when I don’t make the mistake of stepping into the line after the last line in the script because then… firefox crashes 😦

So far I’ve restarted firefox 3 times in the last ten minutes, I’m sure I’ll discover a workaround soon or just learn not to be stupid; anyone else have any similar experiences?

Gitting to Know Git…

September 22, 2011 2 comments

So I read about git and I deem git to be cool. I have prior experience with Mercurial and I’ve come to the conclusion that for all intents and purposes, git and Mercurial (hg) are roughly the same.

If you’ve never used a VCS before then git should be a pleasant learning experience. If however you’ve used something like SVN or Perforce for an extended period of time prior and have become very accustomed to the interface then git may be something of a shock for you.

In any case, try to use and enjoy it because it’s here to stay. A quick look at github’s user-base reveals a small army of over 1 million users (as of September 22, 2011). This user-base is reportedly rabid so if you don’t like git then git ready for a fight…

Catching up with OSD – M. Beltzner on Mozilla, D. Humphrey on Open Source – Impressions

September 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Been a little busy with various things so I’m doing some catching-up with the OSD600 to-do list! Today: Mike Beltzner on Mozilla and David Humphrey on open source.

If you haven’t watched the lectures yet, here are parts 1 and 2 of Mike Beltzner’s talk:

http://ilearn.senecac.on.ca/mozillalectures/MozillaLecture1Part1_Broadband.mov
http://ilearn.senecac.on.ca/mozillalectures/MozillaLecture1Part2_Broadband.mov

David Humphrey’s talk in various formats:

Given at Mozilla24 in Stanford: mpg, ogg, mp4

There’s a whole lot of useful stuff in Mike’s talk about Mozilla;
its history, the people behind it, the software they use, their wiki, bugzilla, etc…

David Humphrey’s talk was not technical at all and focused on the idea and practice of open source.

Overall, the talks didn’t really cover anything that we haven’t heard in some form before. However, a couple of things did resonate with me.

One of those things was Mike’s take on Mozilla’s mission. A point that he made abundantly clear was that Mozilla is an entity that really is all about its community. Whether it be browser development or any other kind of project, the Mozilla foundation’s one true commitment is to its community.

The community both drives Mozilla forward and acts as a torrent of innovation from which the foundation takes ideas which they then spearhead and throw back at the community to develop more fully. This is not how I previously perceived Mozilla and I applaud them for their community involvement.

The other point that resonated with me was something that David brought forward and developed in his talk, it was the idea that everyone, everyone, starts somewhere small. Let me put this in scope, I find it hard to believe that someone like David Humphrey, my OSD600 prof, a man that seems to live and breathe and preach open source, had at one point not known how to interact with the Mozilla community.

While obvious, the idea also seems so foreign and unexpected. This idea is refreshing and reminds me that anyone can participate in open source and that it truly is a global and wonderful effort.

Overall I found that the talks enhanced my knowledge about open source and Mozilla but didn’t really cover anything too new; what did you guys think? Drop me a comment to let me know 🙂

BSD License vs. Excel 2003 License

September 21, 2011 Leave a comment

OK! So it took me long enough but I’ve finally managed to read through the remainder of the Excel 2003 license. It’s been rough. I’ve been reading this license slowly for over a week and a half now; essentially since the first week of class. Now, I’ve finally managed to finish it and compare it to the oh-so-lovingly-short BSD license.

First off the bat, what struck me the most about the Excel 2003 license is just how LONG it is; reading it was a less than enjoyable journey.

Second, the wording of the Excel license is extremely terse. The license is clearly not meant to make it easy for a layman (such as myself) to read. Reading it was a chore. Contrast this with the BSD license:

  • Short
  • Clear
  • Straight to the point

Microsoft, why is your license so nasty to read? 😦

Third, the terms of the Excel license were highly redundant. After a complete reading and having eliminated similar terms, the EULA essentially states that the software:

  • Should not be present on two devices at the same time and is transferrable.
  • The software is refundable within a 90 day period (30 day in some regions).
  • So long as a user has a valid license, Microsoft’s customer service reps will answer any support calls and help as much as is reasonably possible.
  • I believe that the EULA also allows the user to sell the software to another user provided that the original user passes on all paper documentation to the new user and destroys all traces of the software from their possession.

That’s pretty much it. Do those 4 terms warrant a 7 page EULA with extremely terse and difficult to read wording? I think not.

I think that the most important difference is that the Excel EULA concentrates on what the user can’t do, in fact much of the 7 pages is riddled with various things that a user can’t do. The BSD license on the other hand, similar to other licenses such as the LGPL or MIT license, concentrates on what the user can do. It is this distinction that makes open source the force that it is today.

I read EULAs whenever I can but until the wording is simplified, I don’t think that I’ll be able to make it much of a habit.

Good Paladin bugs, soon, maybe!

September 16, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve just finished speaking with ack about Paladin and it seems that developing with the guys is quite straight forward and doesn’t really need any kind of permission-asking (something that I was trying to tip-toe around 🙂).

If you’ve been to Paladin’s issues page, you’d know that a lot of the bugs are not extremely detailed. This will change according to ack by Monday as he will be detailing quite a number of them! Hopefully he gets the time to do this as it would be quite helpful.

So come Monday, I call dibs on the configuration registry bug 🙂