30th January, 2010

You Are Nothing Without A Command Line

Filed under: General — admin @ 11:35 am

I’ve always said that the appeal of any operating system – for me – is that I can fire up a terminal window and tinker around. When I say that many people look at me like I’ve got rocks in my head. But I’m glad I am not alone.

28th January, 2010

Professionalism

Filed under: General — admin @ 12:49 pm

I just read a fascinating article by Ed Smith called “Are We Too Professional?” which, although it is ostensibly about cricket, covers too many interesting topics to disect here. But it did prompt a couple of observations.

One is that he is bang on the money and that some of the best performances – at work, play or scientific endeavour – come from those who don’t always follow the proscribed practices. But this then lead me on to the thought that professionalism, especially in the contexts that Ed quotes it in the article, is often just used as an excuse to implement restrictions on people who are perfectly capable of thinking for themselves and shouldn’t need them. But for whatever reason those in authority don’t trust and think that without these controls there will be chaos. This is illustrated by the example he quotes of teachers having to plan their lessons in 3 minute chunks. Some of my favourite teachers at school often couldn’t plan how to get to their classrooms from the staff room, heaven help them if they had had to go into this level of lesson planning.

The other observation is that, as with many other things, the devil is in the details. Professionalism itself isn’t a bad thing, as long as you don’t confuse it with being good at what you are supposed to be achieving. Sure, having a “mission statement” can be a bad thing. Especially if it is as bad as –

“ICI’s vision is to be the leader in creating value for customers and shareholders through market leadership, technological edge and a world competitive cost base.”

After reading that I still don’t know what it is that they do. What is wrong there is not trying to define the purpose of the organisation, it’s how they have gone about doing it. Maybe they should have gone for “Be the best chemical producer in the world”. Just a thought.

Anyway, enough of my rambling, go and read the article.

21st January, 2010

Gerald release 0.3.5

Filed under: database,General,python — admin @ 9:40 am

This last weekend I released version 0.3.5 of gerald.

The major component of this release was to add a ‘User’ class to the oracle_schema module. This is similar to the ‘Schema’ class but whilst that shows all of the objects a database user owns the ‘User’ class contains details of all of the objects they can access, including those owned by other database users. This was requested by the sqlpython project to enable them to use gerald for database introspection.

The only other change was to ensure that the NotImplementedError exception is raised in all of the super type methods that are just stubs. This is mainly in the Schema.py module and thus meant that I had to add a set of tests for this module.

Development, bug and issue tracking and the project wiki are available on the project Trac site. Source code and distribution files are available at the sourceforge page.

The next release will be 0.4. Exactly what will make up that release is still evolving. To see what is in the release and to track progress take a look at the version 0.4 roadmap.

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