Web Software Architecture and Engineering – Life on the Bleeding Edge

Archive for October, 2008

Using Frameworks? – 2 JVM Changes to Rock Your World

JVM Tuning has been long a favorite subject of mine. Maybe some day I’ll share our JVM Settings in full, but for now you need to do two things.
Update to JDK 1.6 Update 10 – Once CF8 came out, people started complaining that their frameworks loaded slowly, initial page loads were long, that CFC generation took a while, etc. The conventional wisdom was to move back down to 1.5, which didn’t have these issues. No more. Update 10, which has long been in beta, is now fully launched, and our CFC generation, slow loading issues are nearly gone. Whereas before it would take minutes, it now takes less than 15 seconds. Besides the other benefits of running the latest 1.6, this one rocks. Download info available @ http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index.jsp.
Garbage Collection Settings just for Frameworks – We would occasionally notice hiccups, slight slow downs for GC despite our numerous JVM tweaks. No more since adding two lines. More information is available @ Mike Brunt’s blog – http://www.cfwhisperer.com/post.cfm/sun-jvm-1-6-heap-memory-behavior-with-coldfusion-frameworks.
The Two JVM Tweaks:
-Dsun.rmi.dgc.client.gcInterval=600000 -Dsun.rmi.dgc.server.gcInterval=600000


Subversion 1.5.4 Released

Subversion 1.5.3 had enough bugs to warrant a new release two weeks later. See notice below.

I’m happy to announce Subversion 1.5.4, fast on the heels
of Subversion 1.5.3.
1.5.3 was discovered to contain a regression in ‘svn
merge’; see CHANGES for more information.
Subversion 1.5.4 is available from:
Release notes for the 1.5.x release series may be found
You can find the list of changes between 1.5.4 and
earlier versions at:

Disturbing News – Wired Keyboards Keystrokes Can Be Read Remotely

In case you guys missed this, a new study finds that with each keystroke on a wired keyboard the electromagnetic waves can be read to recover the keystrokes.That means nothing you type, including passwords, is a secret.
Read more @ http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10072967-83.html.

Back from Vacation!

I’m back, tired and focused!

Book Review: Flex 3 in Action by Tariq Ahmed (and others)

Book CoverI was fortunate enough to be asked to perform an early access review (unedited) of Tariq Ahmed’s Flex 3 in Action. While I read through the book, I was side-tracked, and its definitely my bad I didn’t get this review out earlier.
The version I have is 648 pages. Yes, its massive. While this can be a bit overwhelming to newbies, the “in Action” part of the title should give you an indication that this book is full of example, and thats a good thing.
The book does a good job of covering some of the history behind traditional web development and where Rich Internet Applications are headed. As Ray Camden mentions in his review of the book, that its also “to see many comparisons between Flex and ColdFusion concepts”. Ray’s review can be found here.
Take for example, Chapter 1: Introduction to Flex. Some of the topics this chapter covers is:

  • The problems that Web developers face
  • What Flex is and how it solves those problems
  • What are RIAs (Rich Internet Applications)?
  • The difference between RIAs and RWAs (Rich Web Applications)
  • How Flex differs from the competition (i.e. how to sell Flex to your boss)
  • The Flex Ecosystem

As you can see from just the first chapter, that this book lays some solid groundwork for the developer.

  • Its written by developers for developers
  • Tariq Ahmed’s written several great books in the past
  • Lots of examples and diagrams
  • Provides good foundational and historical background
  • Provides a step by step approach
  • Talks high-level AND low-level, like Chapter 3: Working with ActionScript, which covers variables, operators, conditions, etc.
  • Covers end to end development, from basics to reusability to customization to testing to deployment
  • Appendix points you to dozens of forums, intiatives and developer resources


  • Size, it may take a while to get through it.
  • There is some incohesion between writing styles between authors (typical complaint), which I’m hoping would be resolved in the final version

So go out, and grab a pre-order of the book. More details here.

PCI Compliant Managed Hosts

As many of you know, for e-Commerce, whenever and wherever you touch credit cards, you must be PCI Compliant. But where do you start to find hosts, who have created an environment for you, and are willing to work with you. Besides Google, oops, I mean Scroogle, you can look at the list Visa provides.
Download the list @ http://usa.visa.com/download/merchants/cisp_list_of_cisp_compliant_service_providers.pdf.
I’ll be covering the ones mentioned for Managed Hosting in forthcoming reviews.

Subversion 1.5.3 Released

Download: http://subversion.tigris.org/downloads/subversion-1.5.3.zip

Version 1.5.3
(10 Oct 2008, from /branches/1.5.x)

User-visible changes:
* Allow switch to continue after deleting locally modified dirs (issue #2505)
* Update bash_completion to be compatible with 1.5 (r32900, -11, -12)
* Improve 'svn merge' execution time by 30% on Windows (r33447)
* Reuse network sessions during 'svn merge', improving performance (r33476)
* Improve temp file creation time on Windows (r33464)
* Greatly improve merge performance (r29969, r32463, r33013, -016, -022, -112)
* Improve file IO performance on Windows (r33178, -85)
* fixed: merging files with spaces in name (r33109, -121, -369)
* fixed: incorrect relative externals expansion (r33109, -121, -369)
* fixed: 'svn mv' hangs and consumes infinite memory (r33201, -12)
* fixed: correctness regression in 'svn log -g' (issue #3285)
* fixed: current early bailout of 'svn log -g' (r32977)

Developer-visible changes:
* Allow the tests to run as non-administrator on Windows Vista (r31203)
* Allow out-of-tree build of bindings on BSD (r32409)
* Translate messages in svn_fs_util.h (r32771)
* fixed: bindings test for Perl 5.10 (r31546)
* fixed: building bindings and C API tests with VS2008 (r32012)
* fixed: svn_ra_replay API over ra_serf (r33173)