Something’s been bugging me lately. I’ve seen it said in otherwise intelligent blogs. I’ve seen it crop up more and more in resumes and job ads, to the point where it becomes something you have to say if you even want to be looked at, a piece of mindless dross taking up space on the paper or screen. I’ve seen it from managers who thought that it was an excuse to offer subaverage pay and conditions and demand unreasonable things from employees. I’ve seen it from people who should know better talking about how to educate and train engineers and programmers. I’ve been meaning toRead More →

Hosting365 takes another nose-dive. Hosting364 is becoming more and more of an industry joke at this point. The last few crashes had unsatisfactory after-incident reports, and what little they showed demonstrated a lack of proper procedures (like testing machines to ensure that they recovered in the event of a power failure, or having redundant power feeds to racks, or having a backup nameserver that wasn’t sitting in the same room on the same power and net feeds of the primary nameserver). This latest crash, caused by a failure in the air conditioning, saw the great PR move of informing everyone that only non-critical systems wereRead More →

So Sun has splurged some $800 million in cash and taken up $200 million in options to purchase MySQL AB. It’s somewhat of an odd move really. I mean, Sun’s got a decent reputation for open source stuff (not always linux-friendly, but “open source” does not mean “linux” after all). Java is now GPL’d, openSolaris as well, there’s code finding its way from Sun to Linux at a kernel level, and there are other examples. But MySQL? About the only thing that comes to mind right now is that we might see a push from Sun in the coming years away from the standard LAMPRead More →

Some things have a real Dilbert type of humour to them. Every engineer and programmer out there knows exactly what I mean, but for the non-engineer, non-programmer types, allow me to summarise what the Dilbert type of humour is by describing it as the kind of humour you laugh at right up the point where you realise the author is describing what happened to you at work last Tuesday; after which, the humour palls somewhat. At any rate, this post by Benji Smith falls squarely into the Dilbert category. Recommended reading for the next time someone recommends a framework to you. Although that being said,Read More →

Have to say, while MDB2 has the more straightforward way of accessing multiple databases (just create more database objects using MDB2::factory()), drupal’s way of doing things is a long way from horrible. To initialise: [ccN lang=”php”]$db_url[‘default’] = ‘mysql://drupal:drupal@localhost/drupal’; $db_url[‘mydb’] = ‘mysql://user:pwd@localhost/anotherdb’; $db_url[‘db3’] = ‘mysql://user:pwd@localhost/yetanotherdb’;[/cc] And then to use: [ccN lang=”php”]db_set_active(‘mydb’); db_query(‘SELECT * FROM table_in_anotherdb’); //Switch back to the default connection when finished. db_set_active(‘default’);[/cc] Quite straightfoward looking. Now to see if it actually works! 🙂Read More →

So PHP 4.4.8 is released, and that’s it for the whole PHP 4 line. No further normal releases are due and PHP 4 is no longer supported. Hopefully this will mean that the takeup figures for 5 get a sudden sharp upwards jolt! It’s going to be interesting to watch as major apps like Drupal change over from having to provide legacy support for PHP4 and can start to use the better object model in 5 – the question will be, will we see an improvement in the quality of coding as the mainstream toolset improves?Read More →

I’ve officially left Enovation Solutions as of 1700 on Friday, and as of 0900 on Monday, I go to work for dotMobi as a senior software engineer, to work on some more technically-oriented stuff. More specifically, I’m working with Andrea Trasatti on the new Device Database project announced recently (more here). I’ve been trying to get into more and more technically demanding roles over the past two years, but I’ve always been split between sysadmin and development roles; I still like both sides of the house, but it’s going to be interesting pursuing the development side alone for a little while, especially in this area,Read More →