Posts Categorized: Tech


The State Decoded 0.8 Release

Waldo just posted The State Decoded 0.8 Release. This is a *huge* update that we’ve spent the last few months working on. 577 changed files, 127,076 additions, 5,123 deletions. That’s a lot of code.

There are a few pieces I would have liked to squeeze into this update, like abstracting the XML import to make JSON importing more user-friendly, and cleaning up the admin system – but those will come for the 1.0 release. Which is pretty close on the horizon.

In the meantime, check out the 0.8 release of State Decoded on Github!

Upgrading Solr from 4.2 to 4.3+ on CentOS 6.4

I ran into an issue with a Solr configuration that was working for me locally, but not on our CentOS 6.4 server. I’ve documented below all of the issues I encountered along the way, as the upgrade from Solr 4.2 to 4.3+ is a pretty nasty one, due to major changes in the logging system (LOG4J / SLF4J)
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A brief history of the web

A few months back, there was a rather interesting discussion on Reddit about different internet technologies. I put the following comment together as a bit of historical perspective.  In retrospect, it’s probably not 100% accurate, and a bit or a rant, but I figured other people might find it interesting.

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Apache JMeter: Part 1 – The Basics

Recently, I’ve been doing a bit of load testing on Amazon AWS after reading cloud storage reviews to determine how much abuse our web application can take without killing the server. I’ve been attempting to use Apache JMeter to do the hard part, but came up against a slew of problems. The documentation provided seems targetted at dyed-in-the-wool Java developers (that “J” at the beginning is clearly a warning shot), and makes pretty big assumptions about the knowledge of the audience. Here are the basic concepts of how to get started using it, targeted for us LAMP developers.
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Defensive Programming

As a web developer, the greater part of my job is not creating new apps, but hacking together disparate software packages into Frankensteinian amalgamations that (supposedly) work together seamlessly.  This is universally a headache, as the original authors tend to write code thinking that their app is the only one that will be installed.  WordPress, Vanilla, and Interspire’s Email Marketer are some of the worst offenders that I struggle with regularly.

When coding your own brilliant application, there are a few simple things you can do to avoid potential collisions and headaches later, especially if anyone else will be using your code.  Here are a few areas to pay attention to. (more…)