EmbCode is a software development house in Gothenburg that specialise in building hight quality embedded products. We’ve started a long term cooperation half a year ago where I’m helping with project management and marketing.
We meet every other thursday morning to follow up the last sprint (the last 2 weeks of work), estimate and prioritise the next. And sometimes we discuss the long term goals for EmbCode.
We’ve also been working together in parallell with creating an AD for the electronics magazine Elektor, creating product logos, designeng product boxes, a new web site and getting started on the social web.
The next morning when I arrived to work me and Karl Böhlmark sad simultaneous that we wanted such a library. And agreed on trying to build it. We call it HTML5IFY.
I hope to have a role more focused on testing, QA, ideas and general help than a hardcore developer. We’ll see how it goes.
At work we always have a pretty hefty development environment. At home I’ve never had any dedicated environment for my web development. It’s both a relief and something I miss.
Today I’ll try to set up a WordPress development environment that’s a bit more robust than my old setup where I download the file I need to change from my website to my desktop, change it, upload it and refresh the browser.
I download the theme I want to use from WordPress Themes. I add -ol to the end of the theme folder to not confuse the themes with the original folder names. Then I check it in. This is done to easily be able to track my changes compared to the version I started out from later. Both to be able to see what I have done but also to easily be able to merge updated theme versions further down the road.
I change the styles.css file and add some information. Here is an example from the Simplr-ol style.css file.
THEME NAME: Simplr-ol
THEME URI: http://code.google.com/p/mypersonalblog/ (Simplr http://www.plaintxt.org/themes/simplr/)
DESCRIPTION: My customizations to Simplr; "The original minimalist one-column, content-centered theme for WordPress. A different type of theme. For WordPress 2.6.x."
AUTHOR: Ola Lindberg (Simplr by Scott Allan Wallick)
AUTHOR URI: http:///olalindberg.com/wp/ (Simplr http://scottwallick.com/)
TAGS: variable width, fixed width, one column, widgets, theme options, options page, white, orange, blue, microformats, hatom, hcard
If any theme diverges a lot from the original theme I’ll maybe come up with a new name and upload it to WordPress Themes. For now I think it’s good enough to have them all in one Google Code repository.
Setup VirtualBox, Ubuntu, Apache and WordPress
I installed VirtualBox, created an Ubuntu appliance and installed Ubuntu 9.10 desktop. I installed the guest add-ons and Apache. I changed the VirtualBox network to Bridge mode so it get’s its own IP address.
Update 101118: I recently wanted to make this setup on another computer (using a wireless network card) where I couldn’t get the Bridged Adapter to work. I searched around a bit and it and it seemed like some people had similar issues. Instead I configured VirtualBox to use two network cards. One using NAT (giving internet access) and one using Host-only Adapter.
With this setup you should access you guest os from your host os with the IP address your 2nd network card gets (in Windows).
I created an Apache Virtual Host and installed WordPress to that folder. The production URL is http:///olalindberg.com/wp/ and for the local URL I use http://o/blog. I added the IP for my virtual Ubuntu to the name o i my hosts file. Now I can surf to http://o/blog.
My virtual host is configured like this
#Only put the log file like this in the web root on a local server
CustomLog /home/ola/shared/web/ola/ola-access.log combined
Share files between my workstation and the virtual Ubuntu server
To share files in VirtualBox I use SharedFolders. The folder on my Windows workstation where I checked out the repository is D:CodingMyPersonalBlog and it’s mapped to the name MyPersonalBlog in Ubuntu.
To mount the folder MyPersonalBlog to /home/ola/MyPersonalBlog in Ubuntu you run the following from an Ubuntu terminal
sudo mount -t vboxsf mypersonalblog /home/ola/MyPersonalBlog
Make sure that the files are visible in you Ubuntu server by running ls -la in the folder.
Note! You need to run this every time you login or you can create a script and make it auto run.
Now I can enable the themes in the WordPress admin panel.
Note! If WordPress can’t see the themes look at the permissions for the shared folder. I set mine to 0777 since it’s a local setup.
Import all posts from the production setup
I use the build in WordPress feature to export all posts and pages to an XML-file. I import that file to my local setup. I include all attachments. Some minutes later I have all my posts in my local development environment.
If I need to re-import all posts I use the plugin Bulk Delete to empty my current local database. Then I empty the Media Library in the WordPress admin panel. One tip is to increase the number Media items per page via the Screen Options.
I installed Aptana, created a project file and added all my theme files to it. I have never used Aptana before so it’s a test. We’ll see how it goes.
Warning: move_uploaded_file(/var/www/home/ola/public_html/uploadify/uploads-folder/test-image.jpg) [function.move-uploaded-file]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/ola/public_html/uploadify/_lib/uploadify.php on line 40
Warning: move_uploaded_file() [function.move-uploaded-file]: Unable to move '/tmp/php1rJUsg' to '/var/www/home/ola/public_html/uploadify/uploads-folder/test-image.jpg' in /home/ola/public_html/uploadify/_lib/uploadify.php on line 40
I guess it’s some rewrite issues when Apache rewrites the /home/ola/public_html folder to /~ola.
I opened uploadify.php (the ”server side code” for Uploadify) and replaced:
Last week I worked on some integration tests in Selenium. Today I’m redoing the same test in WatiN to get a feel for both tools.
var js = "tinyMCE.get('tinyTextAreaId').setContent('some html');";
var s = Document.Eval(js);
This would work just as good with Selenium and it has one advantage over setting the text areas. It executes the eventual cleanup rules in TinyMCE before it sets the text.
I want to have our Selenium tests to run automatically the same way as our other NUnit tests does. This means that I want to have the Selenium Server started automatically before running the test cases.
I started by downloading the Selenium RC and unzipped it to C:SeleniumSelenium-RC
I created a .NET project where I referenced the ThoughtWorks DLLs in C:SeleniumSelenium-RCselenium-dotnet-client-driver-1.0.1
Before I started pairing I often felt that there was a gap between business and development -departments. Communication was mostly done via bug trackers or specifications. Issues were ofter dealt with via e-mail and misconceptions were common.
Since I started pairing I feel a greater (not perfect but better!) contact to the business and I think it’s because I’m used to take discussions. Both about coding details, but also and more important about usefulness of requirements. If we are stuck on an issue we walk over to business and solve the issue instead of making it an e-mail-reply-cc-all-thing.
If I’m working on an issue with a person I don’t know I start out by shaking hands and talking to the person about what he or she does in the company and how they interact with the tools. I tell them what resources we have for the issue and we discuss a possible solution together. Just common sense.
It feels like software development is a too social activity to be done alone! At least for me!
Listen to Deep Fried Bytes – Episode 35, Chariot Tech Cast – Episode 39 and Hanselminutes – Episode 171 for more info about pair programming and other goodness about the software craftsmanship!
I’m a big fan of pair programming. The one issue I have is that it’s a bit harder to set up the ergonomics for two persons with one computer.
At work I have one computer with two keyboards, two mice and two monitors. It works pretty nice. It makes you not have to crawl over each other but it still doesn’t allow for individual adjustments of the desk height.
At home I have no dual monitor setup but instead I have two computers (one is mine, the other my girlfriends). I figured that it would be great if I could attach one computer to the other and enable a dual monitor feature. I installed VNC server on one of the machines and VNC client on the other. Started the server and connected. It works fine even though one runs Windows and the other Ubuntu!
Both setups works pretty nice! I hope I can try my home setup via internet with webcams, microphones etc to enable (some) pair programming when not in the same room.
I’ve read up on some pair programming research. Here is the different papers I’ve read. With a short description for each.
Strengthening the Case for Pair-Programming
They compare results from professional developers working with and without pair programming and teams at the university doing both pair programming and non pair programming. In all cases pair programming deliver better results.
Authors: Laurie Williams at North Carolina State University, Robert R. Kessler at University of Utah, Ward Cunningham at Cunningham & Cunningham, Inc & Ron Jeffries
Promiscuous Pairing and Beginner’s Mind: Embrace Inexperience
The optimal time between switching partner is 90 minutes and inexperienced developers solve problems both faster and better that people with previous knowledge about the problem. Beginners luck or just that you are more open without a baggage of experience?
A new developer was totally integrated to the team within 3 weeks of work. When not pairing they noticed a huge impact on productive. In 18 months the longest time it took to find and fix a bug was 6 hours. They also found out that a team is most productive when they own, manage and assign all tasks themselves.
Adventures in Promiscuous Pairing: Seeking Beginner’s Mind
They verified the performance boost described in Promiscuous Pairing and Beginner’s Mind: Embrace Inexperience, which means short times (~90 min) between changing pairing partner. They verified the results but it also broke the team.
But I couldn’t find any similar for NUnit. Instead I changed how SharpDevelop launches it’s tests. Click; Tools / Options / Tools / Unit Tests and deselect Run tests on separate thread. Run the tests again.
And I got the following error:
System.InvalidOperationException : Process has exited, so the requested information is not available.
I tried to disable Protected Mode in Internet Explorer and the tests ran fine.