Archive for May, 2005

Jobster 1.1

We upgraded the Jobster Service to version 1.1 last night. It’s a relatively minor upgrade, but it’s definitely moving in the right direction. For example, it’s slowly moving away from an email-a-job model. Evidence of this shift can be seen in the new “public link” feature, which allows the creation of job links appropriate for publishing to mailing lists and web pages. Previously, job links were targeted at individual users, which allowed for better tracking but limited propogation.

I’m experimenting with this feature myself, posting a link in this very post to a Web Producer position available at my company. If you’re interested in working at a Seattle startup in this capacity, or know someone who would, feel free to click on the link to learn more.

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As I’ve mentioned in the past, I switched our company‘s build system from maven to ant. As part of this transition, we employed the Ivy dependency manager to handle the task of figuring out which libraries we actually needed to deploy with our system. In a previous post, I promised I would talk more about my experiences with Ivy. This post is quite overdue on that regard, but I doubt any of you were losing any sleep over it.

So, I had been delaying this post until I had officially made available my little contribution to the project: ivy+svn. Out-of-the-box, Ivy supports pulling down artifacts (typically jar files) and module descriptions (aka “ivy” files, similar to Maven’s POMs) from a variety of sources, including ibiblio.org, the filesystem, or any location expressible in a Java-resolvable URL. The ivy+svn plugin allows ivy to retrieve artifacts and module descriptions (aka “ivy” files) from a Subversion repository. So if you were pining for this functionality, pine no further.

I was going to use this post for apologetics about why one would even want to use a dependency manager with an SCM like Subversion. I’ve wasted enough bits and pixels defending this arrangement. Suffice it say, it works out quite well for our development team.

Instead, I’ll once again express my enthusiasm for the Ivy dependency manager. If you’re responsible for your project’s ant build, I recommend checking it out. And if you have any issues with it, don’t be afraid of the forums. The authors are very responsive and helpful. They’re also making great strides at extending Ivy’s funcitonality in creative ways. They themselves offer up useful additions to Ivy, including an Ivy UI tool for Eclipse and a “continuous integration” plugin for CruiseControl. They’ve also set up the IvyTools site for hosting 3rd-party open source plugins and extensions to Ivy, with ivy+svn being the first such tool.

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I’ve switched. Kinda.

My new Mac Mini arrived today from PowerMax (gotta love Oregon!). After much negotiation from Cheryl, it replaces the mini PC that was being used in the guest room for email, browsing, and light document editing (and blogging—this post is being created in Safari). Since it was bought from a reseller, it didn’t come standard with Tiger. However, I’ve placed my order at Apple for the upgrade, and I believe it will be $10 well spent.

I’ve lusted after OSX for quite some time, given its Unix heritage and lickable screens. That’s why there was some debate as to where this computer would be used. I had originally thought it would replace my main machine I use for work, the theory being that I normally just VPN into my work machine anyway. But its incredibly small size and near-silent operation make it ideal for tucking away in the corner.

So my current thought is that this is the gateway drug. It will be Cheryl’s everyday computer, and once she gets over the hurdle of forgetting all the windows conventions and learning the way of the X, she’ll shudder every time she’s forced to use something other than a Mac. That’s when I’ll be able to replace my Athlon for a G5 with minimal marital resistance. That moment may be down the road some. But such is the price paid for hardware upgrades that don’t upset a happy home.

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