I guess that I’m now starting up this blog again I should state that I have a new job since the last time.
Because of the volatility of the tech industry my prior company, RockYou let go about half of their staff and being one of the last ones hired I ended up being one of the ones laid off. I ended up with my new company VMware shortly after. I’ve been here for a little over three years working in the Cloud Automation Engineering group.
The specific group that I work for works on a product that basically installs applications into a cloud. Seems simple but when you consider that most cloud applications are running multiple parts in multiple virtual machines and that each one needs to be connected to the others, installation quickly gets complicated. It may require installing one part up to a certain point to get its connection information, pausing it, installing another part giving it the connection information of the fist part, and then resuming the first part again with more information. Multiply that scenario by 10 different parts and things get tricky fast. But if it were easy then I wouldn’t have a job. 😉
The product is vCloud Automation Center or vCAC.
A while back my blog died. I had no idea what went wrong and I had no wish to spend what would most likely be days of time figuring it out. Instead, I just let it languish. Over the years I tried half-heartedly to fix it but to no avail.
Things in my life have changed and I thought that I would at least try to extract the old posts and maybe move to another system. So I started the long process of getting into the database that holds the blog and after resetting several passwords and installing a new SSL certificate managed to get into the database. I found the right table and managed to extract the post data into an XML file. Now that I had the old posts I could start to create a new blog.
However, while I was there I figured I would try one more time to fix the existing one. I started by trying to update WordPress but that failed because of a password problem. I figured out how to get past that one and was able to upgrade to version 3.9 and then suddenly everything started working again. I still have no idea what went wrong or what upgrading did to fix it but at least I don’t have to start over.
Everything appears to be back the way it was and I was even able to activate some of the newer features that WordPress has added. The look-and-feel of the pages may change over the next couple of weeks as I adjust those new features and even play with a new theme (the one I’m using was called Classic several years ago).
At this point I do not really no where I’m going to go with this blog and I may give it up again–we’ll just have to see.
In my (relatively) new job we use PHP for the backend. This is the first time that I’ve used PHP for doing any real work and now that I’m using it for real I have found it to be an interesting language. I am still on the fence about whether I actually like it or not but is does have some nice features. Given that I’ve only been using is seriously for 3 months now I can’t claim to be an expert and I know that I’m just scratching the surface at this point.
One of its best features is that dynamically compiled which really shortens the edit-compile-test cycle. I like being able to make small changes and see the (nearly) immediate result without having to go through a build phase. It’s also nice that there is a large library of functionality available as well as a large community of third-party solutions. I’m just now starting to look at some of the frameworks built on PHP and many look really good. I do really like the associative arrays, especially the ability to easily nest them, however, I don’t like the way that PHP merges them with indexed arrays. I know that other languages do this as well, but I don’t like it.
I think my biggest problem with PHP is just how easy it is to combine the output (view) with the logic (controller) and even mix in some data (model) into one file. This is the same problem that JSP had. This basically necessitates a framework of some kind in any large project. The syntax is also problematic for me. I find it messy and full of unnecessary items like dollar signs ($) which I believe come from the Perl past. Perl had a reason for using a dollar sign for variables: it indicates a “simple” value that is not an array (@) nor a hash (%). Given that PHP merges all of these into one prefix ($) it would be nice to get rid of it entirely.
Basically I think that PHP does a better job of filling the “dynamic, scripting language for generating web pages” than JSP does, but I feel that it could be cleaned up a bit and a little more structure added to make it easier to work with.
Joda Time is a library that improves the functionality and usability of dates and times in the Java environment. The built-in Java classes are hard to use, missing common functionality, and do the wrong thing in many cases. Thus was born Joda Time. It has been so successful that it was made the basis of JSR-310, a proposal for adding the Joda Time functionality to the base Java libraries. This post is not about Joda Time. At least not directly.
In November of last year (2009) I joined with Jon Skeet and others in starting the Noda Time Open Source project. The goal of this project is to port the Joda Time library from Java to .NET. The built-in classes in the .NET runtime are woefully incomplete, inadequate, and inelegant. The original plan was to do a straight port with as little changed as possible to make it work with .NET but as time went on (about 2 days) we realized that the Joda Time way was just too Java-centric and would look too out-of-place in a .NET system. So after much wailing and gnashing of teeth we decided to diverge.
As my first set of posts in this blog’s reboot I thought it would be fun to cover this process and along the way maybe talk a little about the issues that came up—both in interfacing with .NET and with time itself.