August 24, 2004

Mozilla: Suite or Firefox/Thunderbird/Sunbird?

After recent announcement of the first Sunbird build, I decided to try Firefox / Thunderbird / Sunbird trio instead of tried and trusty Mozilla Suite. Here are my impressions...

  • Firefox / Thunderbird user interface looks somewhat cleaner and more polished.
  • Surprisingly, trio does not occupy way more resources than the suite. Sunbird takes just 12Mb of RAM (if windows task manager is not lying)
  • Firefox is really very fast to launch (but I don't close it anyway as I had never closed the suite)
  • I love Firefox's download manager, it looks much better than suite's.
  • Firefox's theme list and installed extensions list are nice looking as well

But, everything has its flipside:

  • I'm having a hard time getting used to the search box. I'm keeping typing search query into the address bar instead of search box; and it's extra control to tab through.
  • As Firefox and Thunderbird became two separate applications, the option to middle click on the link in the email and have browser open it in the new tab is gone; link can be opened only in the new browser window now.
  • Setting up S/MIME certificate now is way too involved for the casual computer user. Even though Thunderbird FAQ pretends it is really easy to do, it is not so obvious as they make it sound. Linked forum threads are witnesses to it. The answer: you have to manually export certificate from Firefox and import it into Thunderbird. To make matters worse, export button labelled as "backup".

Let's hope middle click appears in some next version of Thunderbird... :)

Posted by Vadim at 9:23 AM | Comments (1)

August 19, 2004

Code Analysis Tools

Torsten has stumbled recently upon FindBugs project - tool that performs static analysis of any Java programs and tries to find bugs in it.

As he correctly notices, due to its license (LGPL) we won't be able to integrate it into Cocoon build, but, nobody prevents us from running FindBugs against Cocoon codebase in automated manner on Apache servers.

Moreover, we could easily setup an environment for running all kinds of code analysis and unit test tools, and generate automatic reports. There are already unused imports and unused code reports generated by PMD; same can be done with Clover, FindBugs, other tools.

As an example, for Apache Xindice project, I have setted up trial weekly runs of JUnit tests generating test reports, together with Clover's test coverage reports and historical coverage report.

Is there already a way to do it with Gump?

Posted by Vadim at 10:16 PM

August 12, 2004

Speeding Up Subversion

Everybody is switching from CVS to Subversion. Subversion is great, it has some excellent new features:

  • Commits are atomic
  • WebDAV access
  • Versioning of directories
  • File and directories moves and renames

But, unfortunately, it has some downsides too: local checkout produces way more files. On the example of Apache Cocoon, CVS checkout of the version 2.1.5-dev used to have 11695 files (or so ;-)), when SVN checkout of version 2.1.6-dev now produces 36241 files.

As a result, commands svn update, svn status require more disk operations, and take more time, than single cvs update (which plays roles of both svn commands). What can be done to speed up SVN? Currently, I can suggest two options:

  • Upgrade harddrive to the faster spinning one. Unfortunately, I'm already on 7200 RPM harddrive and there are no faster ones for the notebook
  • Disable update of the file's last access timestamp when using NTFS (NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate registry setting). Also article does not mention it - don't forget to reboot.

Have a suggestion on how to speed up SVN? Let me know.

Posted by Vadim at 10:56 AM | Comments (2)