Nordic Agile in Stockholm on December 1-4

Øresund Agile goes Nordic Agile!

Scrum for team members is a workshop directed to the developers and testers in an agile team,, an obviously very important component in an agile project but maybe not so much the primary target for conferences and the like.

I liked Jim Coplien’s Agile Architecture session on Øresund Agile 2008 very much so I’m pretty sure I can recommend his workshops at Nordic Agile. (Btw, I saw him rushing by at Kastrup Airport the other week!) 

The agile team that I’m part of will most likely be delivering version 1.0 of our current project around those dates, so I won’t be going but I hope you will. Read more on the Nordic Agile web page!

I almost forgot, Clarion Hotel is really nice too! 🙂

On a related note: I like the word the Norweigans use for agile: smidig.

SpringSource to stop providing maintenance releases for free

Is this possibly the latest Java community buzz? SpringSource Announces Enterprise Maintenance Policy.

Mats Henricson asks What is SpringSource doing with its license? and while the SpringSource Enterprise Maintenance Policy FAQ states that there is no license change, the SpringSource Enterprise Maintenance Policy sure is a change. They summarize it quite consise themselves:

After a new major version of Spring is released, community maintenance updates will be issued for three months to address initial stability issues.  Subsequent maintenance releases will be available to SpringSource Enterprise customers. Bug fixes will be folded into the open source development trunk and will be made available in the next major community release of the software.

Download Civilization IV: Colonization torrent

This is a link to a file called Download Civilization IV: Colonization torrent that contains the full press release and this is the most relevant part:

In Colonization, players lead one of four European nations on a quest to conquer and rule the New World. Players will be challenged to guide their people from the oppressive motherland, discover the New World, and negotiate, trade and fight with both the natives and other nations as they acquire power and fight for freedom and independence.

As a complete reimagining of the 1994 classic, Colonization is a total conversion of Civilization IV that combines Civilization’s addictive "just one more turn" gameplay with all-new graphics and features that add more depth to the franchise. New features, such as a brand-new interface, improved diplomacy options and the included modding tools ensure that Colonization will be the next great title from gaming’s premier strategy game developer.

Please note that this is not a download or torrent of Civilization IV: Colonization but a test to see how many people try to avoid paying for their games and end up on this page.

New Windows PC and monitor ordered

I usually pride myself with not falling for "special offers" but when I found this €450 computer and monitor package I could not resist.  The new hardware is an HP Compaq dx2450 Microtower PC and an HP L2208w 22-inch Widescreen LCD Monitor. It’s not high-end stuff, but I think it should work nicely for iTunes, Civilization Ⅳ and some adventure games. Maybe I should start managing my photos in Aperture and do some video editing in Premiere Elements too!

The big question is: should I run Windows XP or Windows Vista?  Or dual-boot with both? Maybe triple-boot with Ubuntu?

Update From the list of software above it might sound like I should be running a Mac instead, but the games and hardware price tag do not fit the equation… 🙁

Update 2 Well, Aperture is only for Macs, right? Maybe I should get Lightroom?

The power of greylisting is aided by whitelisting

I’ve been running gld for more than two months now and it is truly efficient. The current statistics say:

# of entries in the database         : 16077
# of one hit entries in the database : 15100
Oldest entry in database             : 65 days ago

This means that almost 94% of the attempts to send mail through my server are only made once!

Unfortunately Facebook and Google Mail do not play well with greylisting, as attempts that are told Service temporarily unavailable, please try later by greylisting are very likely to be retried from a different IP. I’ve made a little script that scans /var/log/mail.log for such mail servers and add them to the gld whitelist table.

Entity bean bloat

I’m currently getting acquainted with JBoss, SpringSource Application Platform, JBoss Seam and Spring Framework.

One thing that amazes me is the amount of code required for some simple O/R mapping, or I am missing something? I hope to be wrong about this, but it seems like an EJB3 "entity bean" requires, for each column in a database, the following items written and maintained:

  • a private member variable
  • a getter method
  • a setter method

As I have some Ruby on Rails experience, where inheriting from ActiveRecord gives you those things out-of-the-box, I am amazed of the sheer amount of boilerplate code needed in Java for the same thing! I asked a friend wih ZendFramework knowledge about how it worked there, and it seems like Zend_Db_Table_Abstract works just like ActiveRecord.

I can’t be the first one perplexed by this, especially not when the development guide for the ASM 3.0 Java bytecode engineering library contains exactly the above parts as an example of generating bytecode! (See section 3.1.3.)

Now running Ubuntu 8.04 “Hardy Heron” on this server too

I had to mess around a lot with the upgrade, and when the upgrade was finished at last, the reboot failed so I had to get physical access to the machine. Strangely enough, when I rebooted it once more it worked fine!

The main issue with the upgrade was problems with verifying the hash of both package lists and packages. Some apt bug probably, but I don’t prioritize further investigation right now…

My new mail server got listed in Spamhaus XBL

The network owner where I have my current server is not very good at maintaining proper DNS and reverse-DNS records (!), and I consider it to be really important for mail servers to have those properly configured. In order to workaround this issue I’m now renting a Virtual Private Server (VPS) that allows me to set the reverse-DNS record myself, and that is the new SMTP server for my domains.

I checked the mail log from time to time to see that things were working properly, and after a while I noticed that a number of SMTP servers were refusing mail to me. My server had been listed in The Spamhaus Exploits Block List (XBL) for some reason! Why?

My server was actually listed in the Composite Blocking List (CBL), and it was listed because it sent a bad  HELO in its SMTP conversation. After a minor wild goose chase I realized that I simply had forgotten to change myhostname in /etc/postfix/ from the default! I corrected the hostname setting in postfix, verified that HELO  was correct, requested unlisting from CBL and things worked fine the next day.