Rundeck is yet another one of those services that I want to get my hands on but haven’t yet got the time to. The simplest way to describe it is: cron on steroids.
Rundeck allows one to define the commands and then allow for execution on those commands manually, periodically or based on a certain trigger. Imagine, for example, a deployment command that needs to run across some servers to which you are not comfortable giving access to developers, or even non-technical users. You can create a command in Rundeck and give access to certain users to execute it, via clicking a button or two in a user friendly web interface.
A side benefit to using Rundeck versus cron are the metrics. Rundeck collects metrics like successful and failed executions, execution times, etc. So it makes it easier for you to see that certain jobs are getting progressively slower or fail on specific weekdays, etc.
The best part is that Rundeck is Open Source and self-hosted, so you don’t need to give sensitive access to some external web service.
AWS Blog lets us know that Amazon Linux AMI 2016.09 is now available. It comes with a variety of updates, such as Nginx 1.10, PHP 7, and PostgreSQL 9.5 and Python 3.5. Another thing that got quite a bit of improvement is the boot time of the Amazon Linux AMI instances. Here’s a comparison chart:
Read about all the changes in the release notes.
P.S.: I’m still stuck with Amazon AMI on a few of my instances, but in general I have to remind all of you to NOT use the Amazon AMI. You’ve been warned.
- Asynchronous I/O support, channels, JSON
- Partials, Lambdas and Closures
- New style testing
- Viminfo merged by timestamp
- GTK+ 3 support
- MS-Windows DirectX support
For a more complete list and details, have a look here.
The TL;DR summary: Vim provides a lot more power now to plugin developers, so we’ll be seeing a boost in both new functionality and old ways getting better.
Here is a mandatory Slashdot discussion with your usual Vim vs. Emacs flame.
P.S.: Emacs has recently released a major update too …
- Choosing the Proper VPC Configuration for Your Organization’s Needs
- Choosing a CIDR Block for Your VPC Implementation
- Isolating Your VPC Environments
- Securing Your Amazon VPC Implementation
- Creating Your Disaster Recovery Plan
- Traffic Control and Security
- Keep your Data Close
- VPC Peering
- EIP – Just In Case
- NAT Instances
- Determining the NAT Instance Type
- IAM for Your Amazon VPC Infrastructure
- ELB on Amazon VPC
Overall, it’s a very handy quick list.
The next major release version of Zabbix is now available! Zabbix 3.2 brings both new features and many UI and performance improvements along with it.
Go here for the details.
Improvements to the code review
Approve or require changes
You’re no longer left on your own to figure out if a comment was important. Or if that emoji means “Go ahead, looks great!” Or “Please no, this is likely going to bring the site down!”
With Reviews, you can leave your comments as suggestions, approve the changes, or request additional changes—on any pull request.
Improvements to the GitHub Profile page
See what’s behind your green squares
GitHub profiles show your life and career as a developer. We’ve taken the contribution graph to new heights with your GitHub timeline—a snapshot of your most important triumphs and contributions.
But there is more – projects, notes, comment drafts, etc. Check the full announcement.
I’ve been meaning to look into Docker for a long while now. But, as always, time is the issue. In the last couple of days though I’ve been integrating BitBucket Pipelines into our workflow. BitBucket Pipelines is a continuous integration solution, which runs your project tests in a Docker container. So, naturally, I had to get a better idea of how the whole thing works.
“Docker for PHP Developers” article was super useful. Even though it wasn’t immediately applicable to BitBucket Pipelines, as they don’t currently support multiple containers – everything has to run within a single container.
The default BitBucket Pipelines configuration suggests the phpunit/phpunit image. If you want to run PHPUnit tests only, that works fine. But if you want to have a full blown Nginx and MySQL setup for extra bits (UI tests, integration tests, etc), then you might find smartapps/bitbucket-pipelines-php-mysql image much more useful. Here’s the full bitbucket-pipelines.yml file that I’ve ended up with.
MySQL was complaining about “Integrity constraint violation: 1062 Duplicate entry”. I had all the necessary safeguards in my code to prevent duplicates in tha column.
I gave up on logic and simply dumped the contents of the problematic column for every record. I found that there was a record with and without an accent on one of the characters. PHP saw each as a unique value, but MySQL did not make a distinction, which is why it complained about a duplicate value. It’s a good thing too, because based on my goal, these should have been treated as duplicates.
She also mentions two possible solutions to the problem:
My solution was to substitute accented characters before filtering duplicates in the code. This way, similar records were rejected before they were sent to the database.
As pointed out in the comments, a more robust and versatile solution would be to check the collation on the column.
I’m sure this will come in handy one day.
Here is a good Open Source story – “How Google Uses and Contributes to Open Source“, which goes into some detail and history of how Google is working with Open Source community.
I’ve seen this before:
“There are companies and people who just take the software and say, “I didn’t have to pay for it. I can do anything I want. The license file is a big blob of text. I’m not going to read that,” Merlin said.
And I’ve this (quite a few times actually):
Back in its early days, around 1998, Google was a small company. It was using open source just like any other small company. While Google was abiding by licences, they were not giving back much due to several reasons. “Some of it was just run fast and make sure that we have money next month to pay everyone’s salary,” said Merlin.
Having been involved in open sourcing companies’ projects new and old, this is what I firmly believe now is the best strategy:
Go open source from the beginning
Google changed that by writing a lot of things from the ground up as open source or to be open source ready. That was a good lesson that they learned, and that’s a problem many companies face when they want to open source their stuff but can’t because the code was not designed to be open source from the beginning.
This, I think, is an interesting approach too (if you are too small of a company to have research papers and algorithms, consider blog posts, tips and tweaks, case studies, and the like):
Even if Google can’t open source certain code, they found a way to bring that work to the public. “We wrote papers talking about the magic algorithm that we used. We can’t give you the code for the reason I just explained, but we’re giving you the way they work so you can rewrite them,” said Merlin. Google has published hundreds of such papers and people are using it to create projects based on those ideas.
This bit on Android is mind blowing:
Now virtually all of Google’s open source code is on GitHub, except for Android. “The Android distribution is so big and it gets released in big chunks. So, when it gets released, everyone wants to sync that,” Merlin said. “It’s so huge that if we put it on GitHub, it would completely kill GitHub. We use our own mirrors for that, to help out.”
A word of caution for the companies using Open Source software:
Companies have to be extremely careful when using open source. Different projects use different licenses, and you need to be in compliance with them.
Things become complicated when you have projects that you ship. In the case of open source, you need to list the projects that you use and their licenses. In the case of BSD and MIT, you need to list the name and the copyright of the person you got that project from.
You’ll probably need a set of tools to deal with issues like this. For PHP-based projects, composer is indispensable. You can run “composer licenses” command and instantly get information about the project’s license, as well as licenses for each and every dependency in use (thanks to this blog post).
There is a good section on Contributor License Agreements (CLAs). I am slightly familiar with the subject (I signed a few myself), but my experience is limited, especially from the company perspective. I found this part useful, for that distant time when I’ll need to set it up:
Google uses the Apache foundation ICLA, without modifying it or putting anything special in it. CLAs ensure that companies like Google “can re-license your code under a different open source (license) if we need to. Sometimes we need to merge with other projects and that’s what the CLA allows us to do,” said Merlin.
These are just bits and pieces which I found interesting. I wish more companies shared their practices and experiences – in particular those larger businesses, with years of history and a wide variety of challenges.