Remove bottlenecks and optimize the web with Javascript

December 16th, 2008 Alexander Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

speed boat

There are times when you want to embed 3rd party elements into your web pages. If you have a high traffic site which has time critical output, you might come to realize that your 3rd party vendor doesn't have the same uptime as yourself, resulting in delayed GET statements that seem to bog down your site.

Here you are left with a couple of choices.

  • Ditching the supplied elements all together, usually a very unpopular decision.
  • Caching it - which might be a problem with licensing and time critical elements.
  • Use JavaScript to fetch those elements - as explained in this article.

The goal here is to give a usable page to your visitors as quickly as possible.

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The FRA law may make the internet a more secure place.

September 28th, 2008 Alexander Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The FRA law may make the internet a more secure place.

I live in Norway. And with the advent of the new FRA law in Sweden a lot of shouting about political intervention and pressure has come forth in the local media. Big companies in Norway are asking if there can be ways to route traffic around Sweden to their destination. Complaints have been lodged to the EU. And philosophical discussions have surfaced that this is a way to treat everyone as a criminal until proven innocent - turning the entire legal system on its head.

However, I won't discuss this, but another aspect which hasn't been discussed much. This case gives the public insight into how the protocols of the internet work: Internet traffic crosses borders. This is a fact. Even if sender and recipient is in the same country traffic can cross national borders. This is how this technology is built, and is even considered one of the strengths of the internet. As one node goes down traffic will still find a way through somehow.

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Bamboo IRC bot

September 22nd, 2008 Alexander Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Bamboo IRC bot

fat robot
We use IRC as our main communication channel here at the office. And after setting up Bamboo as our continuous integration server I wanted to hook it up to our channel so I could get some automatic flaming of those build-breakers.

Its been some years since I last wrote anything for IRC. And the only thing I had ever programmed in before was eggdrop. But I wanted something leaner - and preferably written in python. I ended up with Kibot. It seemed to have everything I needed - namely timer support.

Bamboo have several RSS feeds you can tap into. I wanted to use the feed for all failed builds. Have the bot iterate over these items (I used feedparser for this) and send a message to a channel.

I finally ended up with Murphy. A chap who will give full notice of your shortcomings as a programmer.

You can grab the source and play around with it yourself if you like.

Now I just need to plug in an insult generator. Anyone have any ideas where I can find a particularily nasty dictionary?

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Analyzing your website for search engine optimization

June 26th, 2008 Alexander Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Analyzing your website for search engine optimization

Google Toolbar Pagerank

In accordance with my previous article about search engine optimization tips, I will in this article concentrate on how to dissect your website and figure out what needs to be done. And I'll only use free tools doing it :)

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Search Engine Optimization Tips

June 20th, 2008 Alexander Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Optimus Prime - Prime OptimizerI'm doing search engine optimization on some of our sites now. And in that process I have collected some tips about what helps the crawler do its job.

You are looking for new readers for your glorious content, but nobody is finding their way to your site. Did you wall yourself in by an accident?

SEO is usually a lot of common sense, really, and if you have good developers on your site with a bit of time on their hands you can do the job yourself instead of contracting this out.

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Creating Automatic Acceptance Tests – FIT vs Selenium

June 13th, 2008 Alexander Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Creating Automatic Acceptance Tests – FIT vs Selenium

I wanted a tool to write acceptance tests with. Something easy to set up, and of course, flexible. What gets churned out here at my company are webapps, so I had this in mind when I went ahead looking for the right tool. After browsing around I came to the conclusion that the tools with most drive behind them was FIT and Selenium. Here follows my encounter with them.

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Continuous Integration Engine Comparison

June 13th, 2008 Alexander Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

In lieu of my task of setting up a testing workbench at our development office I've been checking out various integration servers. Focusing on Bamboo, Continuum and Hudson. What follows is an informal look on various continuous integration servers.

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Agile project management tools – Digital vs Post-it

June 12th, 2008 Alexander Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

At work I've been set at the task to evaluate and come up with a continous integration strategy. Right now we have a mish-mash of an development structure trying to utilize agile development, and using scrum to do our project management. However, test-driven development is not our native tongue, and the tools we are using aren't helping our productivity.

First of all we are looking for tools to keep our issues on track. The company I work for is a media company, delivering a range of newspapers, both digital and paper. And as a media company you have to roll with the waves, because changes come quickly in a ad-driven environment. There is a myriad of feature requests from other departments in our company. And we, as the development department have to sort out all of these and assign work effort to them. There are shared packages across domains, and there are of course domain centered ones. Things change all the time, and we need to get our QA up and running so we can handle this. So this article will in effect become a sort of lucid discussion over digital vs post-it planning boards.

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AJAX event handling with prototype

January 21st, 2008 Alexander Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on AJAX event handling with prototype

Separating CSS and HTML has been the big fuss for a while now. So why not separate your Javascript and HTML as well? Using event handlers instead of using the old onclick="somefunction()" can make your codebase a lot more manageable and clean. I'll demonstrate this technique by using prototype.js, a very nice and lean AJAX framework.

My goal is to create two lists (ul elements) with several <li>. Each of these li elements have checkboxes. And when you click on these checkboxes they will move from one list to the other. Okay, lets get cracking...

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Breaking into the Spring container with singletons

January 15th, 2008 Alexander Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

I was faced with a pesky security library at work. I had written my application with the help of Spring, but the security library was tightly coupled - and I really had viable option of rewriting it as it would break a lot of other applications depending on it. The only bit I could implement myself was the login module - which had to implement an interface with no constructor arguments. So I had to go out and figure out how to break into my Spring container from this login implementation and get a hold of some Hibernate DAOs to do the actual login procedure.

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