Biff #bash bosh

Shell scripts can prove a very useful and quick way to get tedious tasks done. The shell script below creates multiple directories “1000000001” to “”1000000050”.

To create a shell script:-

# sudo nano createdirs.sh

Now add the code below and save

n=1000000001;
max=1000000050;
while [ "$n" -le "$max" ]; do
  mkdir "$n"
  n=`expr "$n" + 1`;
done

To run

# ./createdirs.sh
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Yeah, I got a framework for that …

trepenationDo you remember when they loudly pronounced “vinyl was dead”? Be it records, testing or development framework, whenever something new comes along, there follows an army of doom-merchants. Either for the kick, or for profit, pronouncing something is dead is a easy way to get peoples’ attention. After all, what is better than something that’s past being kicked into touch, by something new. Maybe working out first if something new is better, or in fact, an over-hyped pile of crap. If you have worked in tech for 10 years, you will know what I mean when I say I literally wince in pain, when I hear someone’s warbling on about the latest framework product, that just blows away the competition. Even if the product wouldn’t even exist, if it wasn’t for it’s OAP predecessor (i.e. the language it was coded in).

I am reminded of time a professional colleague told me that as part of his learning of php, he built a user-friendly content management system from scratch and website templates for a client. It took him less than a month, and of course, he knows it inside and out.  I, on the other hand, chose the WordPress framework – and although implementation is quick, I still spend month of two configuring, adding plugins, refactoring plugins, etc.. Both are ways to get the job done effectively, but the smokescreen of frameworks is that they save time. They don’t. It’s two ways to do the same task. But the former provides you with something truly relevant, with no dead weight. Anyone who thinks otherwise is kidding themselves. I love WordPress, but fully aware that I also need to understand php even more than the products built on it.

Having said that, having been through the first painful few projects, I can now quickly build a customised CMS and templates very quickly using WP. I guess the point here is when you sell up to a framework, it really only shows value if you use it on future projects, not just a one-off.  One of the early mistakes I made was in the first flurry of excitement, I quickly bloated the code, as requirements necessitated plugins, some custom, some from the bewildering array of free and commercial plugins.  And many don’t manage to stay the distance, and languish through under-development, ultimately becoming incompatible with subsequent WP versions.

With development frameworks take your pick to learn, with enough fashionably named JavaScript frameworks to keep you busy in bluffing your way in IT for the rest of your life. But be wary – your career is on a knife-edge if you base it on products alone. And there is always a risk of spending too much time learning, and working with one framework. Nothing last forever, but a programming language is highly likely to outlive any product that is based on it. So feel pick Rails, Grails, Zend2, CakePHP, dotNET(?), Joomla (frameworks large and small) … not to mention the array of plugins and module they all have to extend the functionality.  But be conscious you are skipping across the surface of the tech, and what provides quicker routes, often come with more risk. If you are looking for a framework to use for your project, ask yourself why you are, before deciding.

At application level, I am wondering if there is any real valid excuse for using a framework. They don’t save time and they certainly don’t seem to save money in long-term. And there will always be compromise, sometimes at cost of client requirements. Start-ups can have valid excuse to use frameworks to accelerate initial development forward, but if you are looking something robust and future-proof, maybe you are better off with a “primitive” approach … a programming language takes a lot longer to die, than a framework.

How does BDD work?

Take a common scenario from end-user on a website. They are on the homepage and want to contact the company. So they click the Contact Us link and are presented a form to fill in. When processed this form will either submit details to the company email address or reject because the end-user has not completed all the fields OR made some error in form (for example the email field). This is a very common feature of most websites. Continue reading

Inspired by Behat

Pride comes before a fall – A person who is extremely proud of his or her abilities will often suffer a setback or failure, because he or she tends to be overconfident and to make errors of judgment.  Latching onto Agile as a weak guide can give people a false sense of security.  Continue reading