Mutant World

Sunday, October 31, 2004

MotoGP championship's end

Today in Valencia the 2004 MotoGP championship ended.

Valentino Rossi dominated the season and this last race; present in the paddocks, among other VIPs, Michael Jordan (former NBA player).
Valentino took the chance to scare Michael to death when they went for a couple of laps on the track with a car (Valentino was driving): Jordan run, literally run, out of the car at the moment Valentino stopped the car :-)

I've once read of Michael Jordan that he was the man that did his job better than any other man in the world.
It is probably a sign that today he was present in Valencia, passing this definition to another man that really demonstrated to deserve it: Valentino.

Che Spettacolo !

Saturday, October 30, 2004

JavaLobby Restyle

I have noticed that JavaLobby has been restyled.

Being interested in this period in web development, and looking for cool stuff, I browsed the new JavaLobby site and found few things worth of notice:
  • The glider: just click on any thread, and you'll see a gliding toolbar on the left, following your scrolls. Cool, but to me a little bit distracting. Done using javascript from Dynamic Web Coding.

  • The javascript menus: looks very nice, but the surprise is that they're not javascript: just plain CSS.

I was thinking "How large is the CSS ?", but it's 10KB and looks manageable.

Seems to me they did a good job, so congrats !

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Unix, Timezones and Java

It happened recently that we wrote a web application for one of our customers, and it turned out that the timestamps in the logs and the database timestamps were 6 hours before the host's time, as returned by the 'date' command.
In HP-UX, the configuration file that defines the timezone is /etc/TIMEZONE, but it was correctly set to the CEST timezone.

We went back from the production environment to the development environment, compared the configurations, and they were equal.
But in the development environment the logs were fine.

Okay, I wrote a simple program that System.outs the result of new Date() and the value of the system property 'user.timezone'. Running it in the production box yielded the CEST timezone.

The problem shows only because it's a web app ?
Quickly converted the simple program in a simple JSP. Copied in production and invoking it yielded 6 hours before CEST.
Did the same in the development environment: both cases showed the CEST time.

We try hard to pay a lot of attention to have a development environment that is as close as possible to the production environment: OS configuration, JVM configuration, DB configuration. Exactly to avoid this kind of problems.
It turned out that in production Tomcat was launched using
su - tomcat -c ""
and for some strange HP-UX machinery, the /etc/TIMEZONE file was not read, while in development Tomcat was launched via the normal

Small details, that's where evil is.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Blog's Birth

Yesterday night I was surfing the Internet, trying to figure out the subtleties of Java Generics.
JSR 255 (aka JMX 2.0) expert group is generifying the JMX API for inclusion in J2SE 6.0, and reading Neal Gafter's blog, he mentions this great resource for Java Generics doubts: Angelika Langer's Java Generics FAQ.
After a while, I noticed that Neal's blog had a "get your own blog" and decided to take a look.
I discovered that is now owned by Google; since I've found the way GMail is written quite impressive, I've finally decided to create my own blog.
Like Greg, I have no idea if I can get it right, will see.