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Brown table strategy   25 Sep 04
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(Source: Dilbert) Today's Dilbert fits in wonderfully with the current outsourcing mania. link

A Quick Guide to SQLite and Ruby   25 Sep 04
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why the lucky stiff has written a nice introduction to SQLite.

So, lets talk about SQLites handsome features:

  • SQLite is swift. In my own testing, I have found it to be speedy. Some speed comparisons with MySQL and PostgreSQL are here.
  • SQLite is not a large database server, such as MySQL. You dont connect to the database. Using SQLite, you access a database file. Everything happens in-process.
  • SQLite is an ACID database. Supports transactions, triggers.
  • SQLite is public domain. Absolutely no licensing issues.
  • SQLite is typeless. Any type or length of data may be stored in a column, regardless of the declared type. This allows extreme flexibility and avoidance of type errors.
  • SQLite allows custom functions and aggregates. This is my favorite feature of SQLite, which we will explore shortly.


[ANN] rpa-base 0.2.1pre1   25 Sep 04
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Mauricio aka batman at his best again!!! Make sure you check out the animation on the website.
 rpa-base 0.2.1pre1 is now available at .
 Many of the most popular libraries/applications as per Rubyforge
 statistics (rails, rake, redcloth, activerecord, sqlite, log4r, copland,
 ruvi, to name a few) have been packaged for use with rpa-base 0.2.1pre1.

 You can find a list of the 100+ packages at

 Screenshots and animations can be found at

 rpa-base 0.2.1pre1 fixes some issues in the bootstrapping phase, which
 couldn't hence be solved through the normal self-upgrade mechanism.
 In addition to several other bugfixes, 0.2.1pre1 features better proxy
 support, isolation of unit tests run automatically when installing a
 lib/app, and improvements in the command-line tool.


 The Ruby Production Archive (RPA) will provide packages of Ruby
 libraries and programs in a form that allows production use, engineered
 through a stringent process resembling FreeBSD's or Debian's.

 rpa-base is a port/package manager designed to support RPA. Its scope and
 purposes are different to those of other systems like RubyGems.
 rpa-base is a port/package manager designed to support RPA's client-side
 package management. You can think of it as RPA's apt-get + dpkg. It
 features the following as of 0.2.1pre1:

 * strong dependency management: rpa-base installs dependencies as needed,
   keeps track of reverse dependencies on uninstall, and will remove no
   longer needed dependencies
 * atomic (de)installs: operations on the local RPA installation are atomic
   transactions; the system has been designed to survive ruby crashes (OS
   crashes too on POSIX systems)
 * parallel installs: you can install several ports in parallel; builds
   will be parallelized and the final phase will be serialized properly
 * self-hosting: rpa-base installs and updates itself
 * modular, extensible design: the 2-phase install is similar to FreeBSD and
   Debian's package creation; rpa-base packages need not be restricted
   to installing everything under a single directory ("1 package, 1 dir"
 * rdoc integration: RDoc documentation for libraries is generated at install
   time (currently disabled on win32)
 * ri integration: ri data files are generated for all the libraries managed
   by RPA; you can access this information with ri-rpa
 * handling C extensions: if you have the required C toolchain, rpa-base can
   compile extensions as needed
 * unit testing: when a library is installed, its unit tests are run; the
   installation is canceled if they don't pass

 Several of the above features are illustrated in the screenshots and
 animations available at

 A number of features have been pushed back to 0.3.0:
 * full support for binary platform-specific packages
 * signed packages/ports
 * system-wide configuration system
 * better user interface
 In practice, the first one is the most limiting at the moment since it means
 that win32 users in particular need a working C toolchain to install
 extensions. This will soon be addressed.


Update: Famous and not so famous programming quotes   25 Sep 04
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As Stefan has sent me many new quotes, I did finally update my quote collection again.

ruvi 0.4.11   25 Sep 04
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 in the very near future i'll be releasing ruvi 0.4.11.
 its a fairly complete vi(m) reimplementation in ruby
 thats getting to be fairly mature.
 includes stuff like:
   auto indent
   ruby highlighting
   curses interface
   macro support (new in .11)
   undo / redo
   class/module/method selector (major speedup in .11)
   word/filename completion in buffer (new for .11)
   rrb refactoring

Pictures Diary by Cedric Le Foll   25 Sep 04
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By accident I came across this great blog by Cedric Le Foll. Enjoy it.

No one gets fired ..   25 Sep 04
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(Source: The Register) The old saying goes that you can’t be fired for picking IBM in a major IT rollout. This theory, however, does not seem to apply to other vendors of elevated status - namely Cisco and SAP.

A Cisco purchase gone wrong has cost San Jose, California’s CIO Wandzia Grycz her job. Grycz exited her CIO post earlier this week just ahead of an audit release detailing the city’s findings on a recent computer and phone network installation proposal. Grycz has publicly denied that she allowed Cisco to craft the nature of the IT contact.

A new $51m computer system has had so many bugs that city officials can’t get the technology up and running at all. And the culprit looks like SAP.

"We find problems on a daily basis, and part of that is getting the (computer) system to work for us," Diane Supler, budget director in Tacoma told the Associated Press. "Every time we think we’ve identified all of the issues, something else happens in SAP (the system software)."


More and more female athletes pose nude   25 Sep 04
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This entry is politically incorrect, but I decided to post it anyhow, as
  • it seems to become more and more of a trend in the last 5 years: for the EM the wives and girl-friends of the Russian team took a nude photo session, for olympic games 2000, Australia’s women soccer team, the Dutch tean, Katie Vermeulen in the August Playboy, etc.
  • I really liked the words on Bridgette Starrs photo. Yes, I like the photo, too :-), as two friends have commented at once.
  • Yes, sex sells. It is really sad if the female athletes feel the necessity to pose nude for raising money.

It’s sad if the athletes feel it necessary to pose nude to raise money.

Make sure you read the motto on the picture.

Rails - the secret killer app for Ruby?   25 Sep 04
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I am pretty sick of killer apps and the discussions about them, but make sure you checkout Rails.

Rails is an open source web-application framework for Ruby. It ships with an answer for every letter in MVC: Action Pack for the Controller and View, Active Record for the Model.

Everything needed to build real-world applications in less lines of code than other frameworks spend setting up their XML configuration files. Like Basecamp, which was launched after 4 KLOCs and two months of developement by a single programmer.

Enjoy the Show, dont tell! 10 minute setup video (22MB).

Have fun with Ruby .. says a tired Armin right now coding simple cgi-stuff without any frameworks :-)

Cryptogram: Breaking Iranian Code   25 Sep 04
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Good as always: link

Make sure you also read the story about Crypto AG and the Iraq-Iran Conflict.

 The really weird twist to this story is that the U.S. has already
 been accused of doing that to Iran. In 1992, Iran arrested Hans Buehler,
 a Crypto AG employee, on suspicion that Crypto AG had installed back doors
 in the encryption machines it sold to Iran -- at the request of the NSA.
 He proclaimed his innocence through repeated interrogations, and was finally
 released nine months later in 1993 when Crypto AG paid a million dollars for
 his freedom -- then promptly fired him and billed him for the release money.
 At this point Buehler started asking inconvenient questions about the
 relationship between Crypto AG and the NSA.



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