June 28, 2006

Improving MbUnit’s HTML report with JavaScript

Filed under: Software Blog — marcstober @ 10:23 am

Every morning in my email I get a couple unit test reports generated by MbUnit during our daily (actually nightly) build process. Many of our tests output a lot of logging information, so reading the report takes a lot of scrolling and there’s no way to see at a glance what’s failed.
I realized that MbUnit’s HTML reports are just an MbUnit XML report with an XSL transform. By downloading the MbUnit source code, I was able to get the XSL, modify it with some JavaScript, and do my own transform. Specifically, I added +/- buttons to expand and collapse the details of each test, and Expand All and Collapse All buttons at the top of the page. By collapsing the details, I get a nice summary of what’s passed and failed and I can then drill in to see just the errors I’m concerned about.

Before the change I can’t see more than a couple results without scrolling:mbunit-report-before.PNG

After I can collapse the the results and see them many at a glance:mbunit-report-after.PNG

Download the XSL file here.

June 23, 2006

Turn Up Your Speakers

Filed under: Personal Blog, Software Blog — marcstober @ 3:29 pm

As if my last post wasn’t enough: Several months ago I whipped up a little utility to backup and restore databases for times when I needed to load a particular customer’s database to look at an issue. Recently some of my colleagues have started to use it as well, and as such it’s been dubbed by some the “Stober Tool.” And it turns out, one of my more, um, fun-loving colleagues has even hacked the tool to add sound effects (exhibit). I’m not sure whether this is a good thing or not, but I’ll leave it to my Internet audience (which I think consists mainly of my mother-in-law) to decide.

June 22, 2006

Legendary, me?

Filed under: Personal Blog, Software Blog — marcstober @ 10:27 am

Our VP of sales introduced me yesterday to a new hire as a “legendary” software developer. Of course it’s his job to talk up our work…still it was a nice ego boost. 🙂

June 16, 2006

Brookline Parking: The Last Straw

Filed under: Greater Boston — marcstober @ 2:44 pm

Just when I was starting to miss being able to walk to Trader Joes, Brookline decided to remind me why I didn’t want to live there. Due to Beacon Street construction, they closed the 10 hour meters that were within walking distance to Hannah’s daycare. So, there is nowhere to park where I can drive Hannah in and Cheryl can pick her up. I called town hall, and all they could offer was that there are still some 10 hours meter in Washington Square. I might as well have called the David Spade “NO” character in the Capital One ads. (Not that I blame the people who answer the phones at town hall, but rather the not-very-democratically elected officials who didn’t get the memo that the Jetsons was fiction, and we can’t just fold up our cars into briefcases. Can you believe they actually put up a sign about “please patronize businesses during construction” as if it would compensate for the lack of parking?) Fortunately Hannah is starting at a new daycare in about a week.

Dual Monitor

Filed under: Software Blog — marcstober @ 2:27 pm

I finally got dual monitors at work. I’m enjoying it already! One to code in, one to read and write blog entries check official work-related email in. You’d think it would be information overload but actually it’s much less stress than alt-tabbing all day to keep up with what you’re doing.

June 12, 2006

New Tools

Filed under: The Garden, Tools — marcstober @ 4:58 pm

I bought a Black and Decker 18 inch electric lawnmower at Sears this past weekend. There was also a 19 inch Craftsman model, which looked so similar I suspect it’s a private label model from the same manufacturer. The main difference was that the Craftsman model had a grass catcher bag included.

I was a little harder to put together than it should I have been. It’s interesting how Black and Decker has had such success at consistently being, let’s say, “average”—they walk a fine line in selling tools that do, in fact, get the job done, but no one could ever accuse of being heavy-duty or professional-grade like so much that is sold to homeowners seems to be these days.

Net result is that I have no ambition of creating a golf course, but it’s better than it was. I’ll need to experiment with how to deal with the extension cord, but I figure that’s a transferable skill; whereas maintaining a gasoline for such a small yard will be more of a hassle (not to mention more polluting). Next yard project is going to be getting some of the hedges under control, like the one that scrapes the car every time we come and go.

While I was at Sears I also picked up a Craftsman self-leveling laser level with tripod. Of course self-leveling because otherwise what’s the point? I almost passed it over because its accuracy was labels at only +/- 1/4 inch in 30 feet – but really, if the whole house is not level or something, am I really going to consider that a do-it-yourself project? It’ll be great for handing things on the wall.

All the laser levels advertise that they can make cross-hairs for laying floor tile but I can’t figure out how you’d set that up. It’s not really leveling anything, you’d have to mount the level sideways (and not on the floors since you’ll be putting tile there). Curious.

June 7, 2006

The State I’m In

Filed under: Politics — marcstober @ 10:26 am

The red state/blue state divide catches our interest because intuitively, we know that people in different regions have different viewpoints. However while the dichtomy makes a good sound bite it’s just as clearly an oversimplification. That’s why I like this article in the Globe, which divides Massachusetts into regions based how they vote. The areas enumerated here resonate with me as being much more accurate and useful in understanding other viewpoints. I’ve moved from Brookline in “Bigger Boston,” to “Shopper’s World,” that includes Newton. (The strange attraction of that mall deserves another post.) I do feel more at home in Newton and I do feel accurately described as someone who has an interest in doing well materially, but generally considers liberal social issues more important at the polls, which is how Shoppers World residents vote.
Similarly, the research this is based on from MassINC includes a national map which might explain why I feel more at home in the “Upper Coast,” which includes my native ground of Connecticut and current home in Massachusetts (and favorite cross-country place to visit of San Francisco) rather that in New York, which was in the “Northeast Corridor” instead, even if it was also a blue state.

June 5, 2006

Misc. House

Filed under: House Blog — marcstober @ 11:27 am

Ok, haven’t posted in a while due to weekends away, but here’s the latest on the house:

We planted grass. Just in the one corner of the yard that (from being watered by the sump pump) had turned into a blue-ribbon dandelion patch. And after about a week, it’s sprouting. Plan for next weekend: buy a lawnmower.

New flowers are also coming up in the back, which is a pleasant surprise. Still lots to trim and weed but I think it’s gradually going to come under control.

The sunroom was built over what had been the basement bulkhead, which had been sealed up from the basement side. When we moved in I pulled up the dusty carpet in the sun room and noticed that there was an intentionally loose piece of subfloor. I pulled that up and there is basically just a big hole, which I guess you could put a ladder in (or hoist up an old boiler, maybe). I’ve taken to calling it our Underground Railroad stop (although of course the house is not that old, but there are a lot of older houses nearby so it probably happened in the neighborhood).

I also realized that the sealed-up door in the basement has an octagon crystal doorknob – such extravagance for the basement! Must have been a spare at the time, but I’ll have to keep it in mind as a spare for upstairs.

I also attempted some electrical work. The outlets in our house are interesting, in that, in an old-fashioned style, they’re installed in the baseboards, horizontally. The electrical box is actually installed flush with the wall, requiring extra-long screws (not the ones that come with the outlet) to hold the outlet in the right place.

Cheryl had been having a frustrating time drying her hair because of issues with the outlet, so I upgraded it, but one of the existing extra-long screws was missing. So, it’s better than before but not finished. I also installed the dimmer switch in our room, but because of some sort of old-fashioned wiring splice in the box the, couldn’t make the dimmer flush with the wall. I think it’s time to hire an electrician—he’ll have the parts in his truck and just get it done. Moreover, I figured out that all the outlets and lighting upstairs (except the bathroom) are run on one circuit. So we’ve had some hot days outside and there’s no place to plug in the air conditioners.

Finding contractors is the hardest part of this whole enterprise, largely because it takes work hours when my time is at a premium, and because it involves larger decisions. I decided calling an electrician was worth it because we won’t make any other good decisions this summer if we’re grumpy about it being too hot. In general, though, I am trying to defer things to get started on the The Big Project, which I think will involve hiring an architect and coming up with a master plan for all the changes.