A different kind of programming contest

Nobody will argue that testing your code is an essential, but often neglected step to good development. Effective testing not of the whole application, but portions of it is the focus of the Oracle Development Tools User Group PL/SQL Test-A-Thon to be held Febuary, 28-March, 1 of this year in California.

Here’s how the challenge works:
After the end of sessions on the first day, you will be presented with four programs that perform typical operations—nothing exotic. Along with those programs come supporting test data, a list of tests that you need to perform, and the results you should get for each test (most will be successful, but some will fail). You will then have one hour to write a test to show which tests succeed and which fail for the programs. Your test results should be self-verifying. That is, we will not manually verify your tests to see if they worked or not.

Check out more about the contest and about the Oracle Development Tools User Group conference. While not overly active the Oracle Development Tools User Group site has some interesting content as well.

sql, plsql, oracle, development, software development, database, dba

Programming Language Inventor or Serial Killer

Here’s an oldie but a goodie. Think you can tell the difference between a programming language inventor and a serial killer just from a picture? Take the test and see.

Take the Programming Language Inventor or Serial Killer Quiz.

Compliments of Matt Round’s weblog. If you’re into web design check out his main page. It’s quite a bit different from your average blog.

Thanks to Don Burleson for sending this on to me.

fun, funny, quiz, programming language, programming, development

Database Connection Strings

ConnectionStrings.comHere’s a cool site to look up those pesky connection strings when you’re coding. ConnectionStrings.com has a fairly extensive list of connection strings for all sorts of data sources and programming languages.

It doesn’t have everything, but there’s an email address if you want to submit more connection strings to the site. Why didn’t I think of this!

Thanks to Tom for sending this to me.

database, dba, database administration, database development, development, oracle, mysql, sqlserver, odbc, access, sql server

Unpublished Source Code

Recently while stumbling my way through Solaris I came across a command I’m not familiar with. /usr/bin/true is a shell script which when run will return true (execute successfully.)

Now, this code clearly goes back a bit into UNIX history and I was amused to see exactly how the developers coded it. With that in mind, and against all copyrights and rights reservations I now present the complete and unabridged code for /usr/bin/true:

bash-2.03$ more /usr/bin/true
# Copyright (c) 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 AT&T
# All Rights Reserved

# The copyright notice above does not evidence any
# actual or intended publication of such source code.

#ident "@(#)true.sh 1.6 93/01/11 SMI" /* SVr4.0 1.4 */

Why on earth would you copyright this? Perhaps even more impressive is the point that this is version 1.6! What did previous versions of this look like? And why such a big deal about this being unpublished source code? Hell, it’s not even source code, let alone published.

Well, if you’re curious, this script is all comments, therefore when it is run it does nothing… Of course it does nothing quite successfully, therefore returning ‘true’ for the purposes of evaluating conditions.

I do have to give the developers of this credit for simplicity. I’m sure if it weren’t for the lawyers this could have been a one line file.

unix, solaris, source code, programming, development, opensource

Two Great Web/Graphics Design Tools

JR Screen Ruler and PixieI’m no web designer but I’ve done quite a bit of modification for this site and these two little free tools help a lot.

The first one is JR Screen Ruler. It’s a small app which does just what you see. You can place a ruler, measured in pixels, anywhere on your screen. You can have it vertically or horizontally and you can adjust the length.

This image actually shows one ruler vertical and one horizontal. It will stay on top of all open windows. There are other screen rulers out there but this one has all the features I’m looking for.

The second app is Pixie. Pixie shows you a swatch of the pixel your mouse is currently over. It also gives you the hex, HTML, RGB, CMYK, and HSV values of the color making it easy to capture the color for reproduction in your favorite app. You can even hit control-alt-c to copy the HTML value for the color you’re looking at straight to the clipboard.

Thanks again to Zach (who is a web designer) for introducing me to these tools.

development, web development, graphic design, graphics, html