Insufficiently Random

The lonely musings of a loosely connected software developer.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Eclipse is the new RPM hell

Remember back when RedHat was the best Linux distribution? If not, let me remind you of RPM hell. A situation where you can't install Foo 1.X, because it needs Bar 2.3.Y, but you also have Zidget 8.Z installed and that needs Bar 2.2.Y. Long story short, you can have either Foo or Zidget on your system, but not both.

Today I just tried to install the Eclipse Test & Performance Tools, so I could try to find out why Apache MINA SSHD has such poor throughput during uploads into the server.  Unfortunately I can't run version 4.5 because it depends on a decade old version of libstdc++.  But I can't install version 4.6, which supposedly has a newer linkage, because the 4.6 requires SWT 3.4.0.  But I'm running Eclipse 3.4.2, which apparently does not have a new enough SWT.

Folks.  Seriously?

The only major consumer of SWT that really matters is the Eclipse SDK.  And the SDK platform version numbers don't match SWT version numbers.  And the test and performance tools require a decade old shared library which isn't even distributed with Ubuntu Hardy.

I guess since its Java, its OK to repeat decade old mistakes, because its in a different programming language.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My ancient history and the art of software

This week I'm traveling.  I'm in Miami for the 2 day Eclipse board of directors meeting.  When I'm forced to fly, which I usually try to avoid doing, I tend to take a stack of books with me to try and pass the time on the airplane.  Unfortunately, airline flight speeds haven't quite caught up with Moore's law as it relates to the power draw of modern laptops.  Nor has the airline seat space kept up with the size of my 15" PowerBook and my increasing girth.  So books it is.

So I'm currently reading Peter Seibel's Coders at Work.  Tonight, while reading through Brendan Eich's interview and his history at Netscape, it reminded me of my own development history around the same time period.  I really don't talk about my past very much, so before I get to be too old to remember it, I might as well write some of it down.  :-)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Introduction to Gerrit Code Review

Yesterday R. Tyler Ballance (aka rtyler on #git) started poking me about Gerrit Code Review. One day later, he's writing an amazing blog post describing how to install the latest development version, and why it so awesome to use for team development.  He even has screenshots!  :-)

Thanks rtyler.

EGit in 2010?

Mike just described some changes coming to Eclipse in 2010, including Git for projects.  Yay!

However, he's right.  EGit has to get better, fast.  We need more contributors who know and love the SWT/JFace/Resource APIs and can crank out the UI improvements necessary to bring the Git team provider up to the same level as the CVS team provider.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Moving my git repositories

I finally got around to creating  I've been contributing to Git since Feb 17 2006 and yet I couldn't be bothered to setup my own Git host for my repositories.  For the past 3 years I've primarily leaned on Pasky's excellent service.  But I've always wanted a more permanent home for my projects.

Last week I threw SpamAssassin off my domain's server, which meant I finally had virtual memory free to run git daemon. So you can now find most of my projects at, with proper git:// URLs available for efficient cloning.  Maybe sometime later this month I'll get smart HTTP enabled as well.

I'll continue to update the repositories on, but I'll primarily be using the ones hosted on

Thursday, December 3, 2009

EGit at Eclipse

A few months ago we moved EGit, the Git team provider for Eclipse, over to the Eclipse Foundation.  Along the way we decided to try out some new development techniques, like taking advantage of my day-job project Gerrit Code Review to help us discuss pending changes.  This lead us down the road of not paying too much attention to the Eclipse IP process, and failing to tag all contributed patches with the +iplog flag in Bugzilla.

Fortunately Wayne Beaton helped us get Gerrit configured in a way that meets the foundation's IP process guidelines, and has encouraged us to continue forward.  This is great, because it means we can rely on Git for attribution tracking, rather than Bugzilla.

Also, since the project moved homes we picked up 3 prolific contributors, and all of them have turned into committers on the project.

Been a while...

Has it really been over a year since I last updated

Yup.  It has.

A lot happens in a year.  We moved.  I got a new job.  I got a lot of new projects.  I started spending a lot of time working on Git, or more precisely, JGit.  And I let my amusing little corner of the web grow cobwebs and wither.