codeRambler Ramblings on code, the web, and technology

Selenium running with Firefox 3
Thursday October 16th 2008, 11:54 am
Filed under: Agile, Web development

If you have been using Selenium as part of your continuous build process, then the release of Firefox 3 has probably caused you some problems – specifically the inability to have Firefox 3 launch with the custom profile to allow Selenium to run.

It turns out Selenium installs a tiny little extension into the Firefox profiles it generates that basically just lets selenium kill firefox by telling it to go to a magic chrome url. Firefox extensions specify which versions they are compatible with and the one embedded in selenium had 2.0.0.* as their maximum version…

It looks like the solution is actually very simple and is described in detail over at Space Vatican.

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Agile Merit Badges
Thursday September 06th 2007, 12:57 pm
Filed under: Agile, Ramblings

When I was growing up, I was part of a Scout Troop. In fact, in 1982 I was in the annual Gang Show celebrating 75 years of the Scouting Movement. This year they celebrated 100 years… which makes me feel old.

I really enjoyed Scouts. We did things together as a group – mostly outdoors tasks that involved a lot of running, shouting and general fun times. These tasks accumulated and once completed, allowed the Scout to get a badge that was then sewn on to the Scout uniform. There were badges for many things including First Aid, Camping, and even Helping Others (and Sewing – the badges don’t sew themselves on!).

There are some parallels between the Souting Movement and Agile. We work as a team to do things together – and we have fun doing it. So what about merit badges for Agile?

How about a special Agile scarf (where you can sew the badges on to) and even a woggle (different colours to reflect your Agility)? Maybe you could get a Bronze, Silver or Gold TDD badge to reflect the test driven development experience of a developer! How about a badge for Pair Programming? You can even have one just for regular attendance at the daily stand-up.

It’s all a little bit silly, of course… but it would be so much fun to do!

Happy 25th birthday to the Compact Disc
Friday August 17th 2007, 4:04 pm
Filed under: Ramblings

Today the CD turns 25 years old! On 17 August 1982 the first CD rolled off the production line in Hanover, Germany and began our love affair with this forefather of optical technology.

Here are a list of useful factoids about the humble CD and it’s 25 year history to date:

  • The first CD to be manufactured was “The Visitors” by ABBA.
  • The original target capacity for a CD was one hour. However, this was extended to 74 minutes to accommodate a complete performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.
  • In 1985 Dire Straits album “Brothers in Arms” became one of the first fully-digital recordings (DDD) to be brought to market and became the first album to sell more than one million copies (in CD format).
  • Since the first CD was pressed, Phillips estimates more than 200 billion CDs have been sold worldwide.

The introduction of the CD started a revolution in the music industry. In the early 80’s tapes were being demonized as destroying Vinyl – but clearly the CD was more of a threat to both. Now we are about to embrace Blu-Ray as an optical media standard for storing large amounts of data (hi definition video and data). How long before we shelve the CD in favour of something with more “punch”?

Thank you, Phillips and Sony, for the Compact Disc.

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From The Book of Mozilla
Friday August 17th 2007, 9:38 am
Filed under: Web development

I’m sure that many of you use Firefox regularly. You may have typed about:config into your browser location bar to manage your internal browser settings.Another useful variation of this is about:cache which will show the browser cache and allow you to view individual items in the cache.Today I stumbled across another one! If you type about:mozilla into the location bar, you get presented with a passage from the “Book of Mozilla” (a play on a religious text):

And so at last the beast fell and the unbelievers rejoiced.But all was not lost, for from the ash rose a great bird.The bird gazed down upon the unbelievers and cast fireand thunder upon them. For the beast had beenreborn with its strength renewed, and thefollowers of Mammon cowered in horror.from The Book of Mozilla, 7:15

The thing I like about programming is that you can sometimes have fun doing this kind of thing. The reference above refers to the name change from Phoenix (the name of the original 2002 project) to Firefox – and reassures it’s followers that the project lives on.Now… time to have some fun…

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