Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Synch with team members off-site!

If you ever had to work with team members off-site you know that it can be extremely difficult to convey ideas or to explain/discuss ideas. There are however a ton of tools that can help with that effort...In typical "Bumping my Head on the Wall" style, here is one that is working really nice for me. Microsoft Office LiveMeeting does what I need and more...I can share my apps with whoever I am talking to, can give control of those apps to the other party, etc... From the distributed development team perspective this does seem to be a very very cool and useful tool. It does solve a bit the issue of the difficulty of showing things or discussing ideas with off-site team members...Kind of gives you back that "drop by your cube" feeling. Like I said, this is far from being the single tool doing it out there...I have also used Webex in the past with also pretty good results. But if you have off-site team members you have got to have something like this in your tool bag!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Professional Apache Tomcat 5

Here's a nice book I just finished reading a couple of weeks ago. Since I actually work with Tomcat I found the book to be pretty useful. I did learn about a series of items that I did not know as much as I should and would recommend without any hesitation this book to anyone wanting to know a bit more about Tomcat. It does shed some light into features of Tomcat that I had not explored before (e.g. built-in DB connection Pooling, tomcat clustering, JMX). If there is anything that I would correct about this book, it would definitely be the chapter on Tomcat+Apache integration. The book is all about mod_jk2 which is now a connection component dropped by Apache in favor of mod_jk and proxy_ajp. The examples for database connection pooling actually did not work for me, but getting the gist of it was enough to allow me to explore and figure out the right way to achieve it.

Veredict: rates pretty high on my list.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Keep your Tomcat up to date!

It is definitely worth it...a 2x to 3x performance improvement between version 5.5.9 and 5.5.12...now, I would never expect that but sure enough that is the kind of performance enhancements I got when updating to this newer version....pretty impressive...Well, if you take into account that performance of 5.5.9 for my specific example was lower than a 4.0.4 version, I would say Tomcat got their act together with this new update...Bottom line: consider keeping up to date with the usual precautions!

And by the way....NetBeans 5.0 Beta 2 is out! Supposed to contain over 1,800 bug fixes from Beta 1...Since I am still pretty happy with NetBeans 5.0 I already got my NetBeans update.

Friday, November 11, 2005

WebTst 0.9.3 has been released!

I finally got around churning out another release of WebTst. For this version I had some pretty important feedback to work from and was able to address some major issues in the code. WebTst 0.9.3 is now more robust than ever.

This has been my "night" project for the last month or so...I am really happy to be able to report that it has now been released. Meanwhile I still continue to use it avidly at work and at home.

WebTst is a web testing infrastructure that aims at making and maintaining system integration tests as simple as possible. It provides web interfaces for test capturing making creating tests literally as easy as browsing the web (it implements an http/https proxy for those curious), web interfaces for maintaning and enhancing capturing tests, graphical analysis tools and test suites maintenance capabilities. With it you can do monitoring, smoke, regression tests.

It has been hosted at SourceForge for quite sometime and you can check it out at http://sourceforge.net/projects/webtst/