Rough Book

random musings of just another computer nerd

Month: September, 2009

Communism vs. Fascism vs. Socialism

Extreme right-wingers seem to be bandying about these terms interchangeably these days. I really don’t get it. Why does the media focus on the idiots at the fringe? Why do they get so much airtime? They annoy me just as much as the extreme left-wingers who claim that 9/11 was the work of the Bush government. Then there’s the comparison with Hitler (for both presidents). But that’s another matter. Seriously. Why don’t we hear more about people like this guy?

Anyway, so I keep hearing about how the Obama government is turning America into a Socialist nation… or maybe it’s a Communist nation… no wait… it’s Fascist. Either way it’s apparently undermining the foundations of our republic and turning us into Russia… or maybe it’s China… no wait… maybe it’s Nazi Germany. Oh yes, before I get accused of being a crazy liberal let me say (as a disclaimer) that yes, I do lean a little bit left-of-center, but I don’t agree with everything the left says. I’m also not a fan of big government. That being said, let’s analyze three different political ideologies and see what they actually mean.
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Duct-tape programmers are not heroes

Today, I ran into this article from Joel on Software. Usually, I listen to what software professionals have to say regarding software development and software-development processes in general, and I mostly agree with them. However, I found myself vehemently disagreeing with this article.
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Writing Performance Tests in Grinder using a Framework

This project is now available on GitHub.

Before reading this tutorial (if you haven’t already), please took at look at my last two tutorials (Performance Testing using The Grinder and Anatomy of a Grinder test-script). In this tutorial I’ll talk about easily writing Grinder test-scripts using a framework I designed. As a disclaimer, I’d like to point out that I’m not a Python programmer and therefore certain things may not be very python-esque. If that’s the case, I apologize. My personal opinion is that this framework is especially useful (of course, since I wrote it ;)) for web applications where you have a already have a lot of test data. In that case, you can simply record all your discrete tasks once and then construct different scenarios with them. But if you feel differently and have some constructive criticism, I do look forward to hearing from you! Also, if you’d like to try out the framework I’ve got a tarball and a zip file available for download on the very last page.
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The new vivin.net

Well, I finally did it. I decided to migrate over to WordPress! For a long time I was thinking of rewriting my homegrown blogging-engine (that I initially designed over seven years ago). I never got around to doing it because it was just so much work! I know part of it has to do with the “reinventing the wheel” syndrome. There is a certain pride that a developer has in coming up with his own solution for a problem. But then I realized that the problem has already been solved, but other people, with more resources than I, and in a much nicer way that I could ever do. I also realized that any new design would be a constant work in progress, and frankly, that just gets tiring after a while.

So, I made the decision to use WordPress. This meant that I would have to migrate all my old posts from my old database into WordPress’s database. Thanks to WordPress’s excellent database-schema documentation, this wasn’t hard at all. I wrote a Perl migration-script to move all my posts, comments, and tags into WordPress. I also had to make some changes to my .htaccess file (and write a redirect php page) to ensure that links in the old format would get translated into the new format. Everything seems to be working pretty well so far! I know there are a few rough edges to sand down (basically the old project pages, which aren’t visible now) but I don’t think it should be that difficult.

To my readers (the two or three of you!) if you spot anything out of the ordinary in my old posts (bad formatting, unparsed tags, broken links) please let me know so that I can fix it! Oh and another thing, since WordPress makes it so easy to add new posts, I think I will be writing a whole lot more!

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