Blackout Ireland

Entries for June 2007

June 5, 2007 at 11:07AM Upgrading to X11 7.2...

...was, without a doubt, one of the most painful experiences of my life, mainly because the FreeBSD developers decided to merge the contents of X11BASE into LOCALBASE. Don’t get me wrong, this was the right thing to do, I just wish the whole thing didn’t mean that I ended up having to recompile three quarters of the stuff on my laptop, some of it twice. Not the most pleasant way to spend a bank holiday weekend. I’m still shattered.

Maybe I should have waited till the end of the ports freeze when there’d be packages available and then have done the upgrade. God knows, there’s enough stuff in X where there’s really, really no advantage in compiling natively over installing from packages.

On a completely unrelated note, I’m going to throw a JavaScript remoting demo up later after lunch today, or possibly tomorrow morning. I just have to convert the demo page from PHP to ColdFusion so it can run here.

June 7, 2007 at 2:44PM Yet another reason to use proper configuration management

Here’s an object lesson why configuration management is a good thing and why you should be using it even if you don’t think you need it.

When I started working with Blacknight, I made sure that all the company’s code was put into a revision control system (we use Subversion at work, and I use SVK for my own stuff at home) and that we had proper deployment scripts so that if something did go wrong with a deployment, it could be rolled back and fixed.

Maybe that big safety net makes a person a little too secure.

Every Wednesday, I spend some time cutting code for a client of ours. Said client doesn’t think source control is necessary so, in spite of my protestations, I end up working on a development site.

That’s all well and fine, if somewhat unnerving. Sure, don’t have the comfort of the big undo button if something goes wrong, but I’ve worked without it in the past, so I figured I could get on fine for now.

Last night, I brought a copy of the development code and the live code home to reconcile the two and make absolutely sure that nobody had made any changes to the live site without my knowledge (in spite of asking if anybody had) and merge any changes that had been made to the live site into the development one. Of course, I found some and so I merged them in.

And so this morning I went to upload the reconciled version up to the development site. Now, had this gone as planned, I wouldn’t be writing this. I ended up overwriting the live site. Panic ensues, but I manage to get everything working fine pretty quickly.

So, how would proper use of configuration management have avoided this? Firstly, I’d never have had to manually merge the changes that had been wrongheadedly been made in the live version back into the development version. Secondly, I would have been able to roll back to the previous live version when I realised what had happened. And thirdly, I’d have half a chance at collaborating successfully with others because I wouldn’t be afraid of overwriting their changes.

Seriously, if you’re not doing configuration management, or at the very least using a decent source control system, you’re juggling live grenades, and it’s not nice when one of them goes off.

June 18, 2007 at 2:14PM Dick Roche is a giant flaming cunt

Go read this news report to understand exactly why:

RT? News has learned that the outgoing Minister for the Environment, Dick Roche, has signed an order that will lead to a resumption of work on the M3 near Tara.

Mr Roche has decided that the new National Monument found at Lismullen should be preserved ‘by record’, in other words, studied in detail and then the motorway will be built as scheduled.


Update: Slugger has good coverage of the issue.

June 19, 2007 at 5:13PM I is yr redundant powur suplai...

I is yr redundant powur suplai, powurin' yr datacentur (hai, I can has break now?)

Not that this has anything to do with the power supply problems a certain Irish hosting company had recently or anything... [smile]

With kudos to Podge for the idea.

[The photo is derived from this one under this Creative Commons license.]

Update: Hmmm... it appears the post on H365’s blog has mysteriously vanished. Oh well, here’s Google’s cache of it, and I might grab a copy before it disappears. Oh, and ‘Rahood’ posted this from archive.org on Michele’s blog, so I think it’s worth mentioning here.

June 21, 2007 at 2:07PM Tree Wave


...and Sleep: