Book: Catalyst – Accelerating Perl Web Application Development

This news should interest to all Perl Catalyst “addicts” (as me being one).

The very first book about the best Perl MVC framework (Catalyst) was release by one of its main gurus: Jonathan Rockway.

Published by Packt Publishing (were you can get the best price), but also available on Amazon.

Place your orders! And for those whom might concern, free shipping fees all over Europe. I have order one myself, and what about you? :)

Another Review: How to Design a Good API and Why it Matters

How many of you tried to write a complete good API? Well, perhaps not so many. An API is only good if is intended to be used by others. But if you are a software engineer you must ensure if it will be used, you will invest your time doing it right from the start.

Joshua Bloch gave a very interesting talk at Google focusing this subject. Some key points where highlighted to have in mind when designing a good API.

It was a nice talk, mainly because Joshua is a good orator therefore captures your attention trough the whole session. Nevertheless he haven’t got time to finish the talk skipping the two last chapters. Don’t ask me why but google seems strict when concerning to time session (maybe there’s no more tape to record? :) ).

Some key points to save from talk:

  • When doubt let it out: you can add it later;
  • Keep your API Specification short and simple;
  • Method and Class names are Important;
  • Fail fast: return errors as soon as possible

I rate 4 stars of 5 for the importance of the subject. I only give 4 because the talk is not complete. Even tough you can infer the rest from the slides.

Return of the… me

It’s been for some time since I’ve posted here. I have decided to come back and this time for sure, even if it is just to “ping” posts in thumblog style.

Since my friends asked me sometime ago to post some reviews and links to Podcasts this blog will yield some valuable content for them.

But first and has next steps I will do some pending Google Tech Talks review posts.

If you plan to comeback (I hope you will :P) you will notice some changes in the blog theme, I’m still tweaking it.

Google Tech Talk: Deconstructing The Xbox Security System

Another Google Tech Talk personal review, this time:Deconstructing The Xbox Security System: In late 2001, Microsoft released the Xbox, their first gaming console, to compete against Sony and Nintendo in the living room. As the real money is made with the games and not the consoles, Microsoft had to make sure (as much as they could) that nobody could play pirated games or use the machine for anything other than games. Although the original security design idea was a good one and has been copied a lot since then, Microsoft’s inexperienced team made a variety of design, implementation, and policy mistakes. This talk first (re)constructs the design of the Xbox security system from Microsoft’s point of view, and then deconstructs it from the hacker’s point of view. As a bonus, the talk will feature some insights in the security system of the Xbox successor, the Xbox 360.Michael Steil is the founder and maintainer of the Xbox-Linux Project. He oversaw most of the Xbox hacks and also contributed to hacking, reverse engineering and porting Linux on the Xbox.

Personal small review: Very appealing talk! Hilarious geeky and technical talk. The youth and joy of Michael Steil about hacking Xbox takes this seminar to a must have place for all who are interested about how a computer works and how hacking can reach into a so deep hardware complexity. This seminar makes cracking seem almost easy.. (5 stars, for the enthusiasm, remarks about security issues and learning value).

Google Tech Talk: Scrum et Al

Journal of my Google Tech Talk video views, todays talk:

Scrum et Al: Talk about implementing Scrum on companies. Ken Schwaber co-developed the Agile process, Scrum. He is a founder of the Agile Alliance and Scrum Alliance, and signatory to the Agile Manifesto. Ken has been a software developer for over thirty years. He is an active advocate and evangelist for Agile processes.

This seminar presents the basic framework of Scrum and some of the implementation issues associated with it.

Personal small review: Great talk! Insightful points regarding the most value of scrum for a deliverable project. Scrum is not all perfect, and some discipline from the groups implementing it is required – all these topics are touch in a particularly appealing way. (5 start review. For its content, value and presentation).

Google Spreadsheets Quickie

I had to make a quick spreadsheet to project my current preferences on which job I would prefer to go, balancing preferences and salary pay on each plate. Instead of opening Excel or even OpenOffice/NeoOffice on my Mac, I have decided to give a shot on Google Spreadsheets.First impression, I was amazingly surprised with a slick and simple interface. Actually the simplicity does not come across on the interactivity which is present all over with Ajax interface and quiet intuitive.Enough praising, lets take a look on some minor bottlenecks I have found:

  • I could not copy a formula on a cell for other cells with a drag and drop style.
  • Editing a field on Mac OS Firefox, the cursor disappears and I have to find where it is by clicking where I want it. That’s annoying but probably a Firefox issue.

Final thought this time: Google Spreadsheets has robust and solid implementation, with a closer look and feel to people who are used to Excel. It served me well for a simple job, but it can do even more powerful stuff on complex data-sheets.

PowerBookG4 12” 1.5Ghz, powered by Kubuntu

After spending some time installing a not so known Slackintosh 10.2 Linux distribution on my Apple PowerBook 12”, struggling to make all hardware work, I gave up. Slackware is a good distribution on x86 – someone said: who learns Fedora, SuSE, etc., learns how to use these distributions. Who learns Slackware, learns Linux. I believe in this, in the sense that Slackware is the best distribution for learn how to install and configure Linux, almost from the scratch. On x86 there is a great repository with several packages that helps not to have to compile and configure every package. Since I did not have too much time to spend configuring and installing, Slackintosh was not the best option even if it is its x86 loyal brother in terms of cleanliness and lightness.

I have opted for another distribution, Kubuntu. On a regular basis I use Debian, so this choice was not made in vain. Other issue that made me change was the debut of the official Portuguese mirror located at Universidade do Minho, where I study.

After installing, I have created a small report of features(I will include the link later) that I witnessed to work and are presently configured on my Laptop. Since no one has, for example, a really good tutorial how to configure a Portuguese keyboard layout on a Apple PowerBook G4, and all information is sparse on the internet, my report/tutorial may help (mainly for those who live in Portugal). I will try to improve my documentation and configuration, as well as to translate it from Portuguese to English. When that happens, you will know ;).

Oracle 10g, finally!

After spending some time around to get Oracle 10g working on Debian (unstable repository), finally I did it!
I needed a starting guide, since who made Oracle 10g built it only for some privileged distributions such as Red Hat Enterprise or SuSE Linux Enterprise Server. Aside this problem, disguising my Debian was quite simple. Finally I had some problems starting and stop Oracle services, as well as the main database. This one saved my life doing that.

By the way I was wondering to create this Howto, but someone got ahead of me, which is great. A perfect Xen setup for Debian is a good title but it’s based on Xen 2.0, which still needs a patched kernel to meet its requirements. Xen 3.0 will be the cornerstone of (para)virtualization when it reaches to the stable version. It already broke the Windows milestone without needing to patch Windows or Linux whatsoever. Will we watch OpenBSD running on Xen without escaping OpenBSD philosophy? Hope so…

My first post..

This is how everything starts…

First things, first. I’m not a native english speaker thus my english might not the be great deal. However I’ll do my best to be understandable for those who might be reading this.

All my post’s will focus to my geek side of life and provide some helpfull tips if you are planning to follow my steps. I’ll try to compile some usefull information in order to facilitate your tasks (as well as mine).

This is it…

P.S: This first post is just to grab attention to my english skills and is sujected to be deleted over time…