Thursday, February 17, 2005

Update: Infrastructure

  • My Linux box now has differential backups each weekday with a full backup on the weekend. Have to say I'm very impressed with how Mondo Rescue delivers -- everything's neatly packed onto DVD's. I'm a little concerned at the state of Mondo's website, though. Half the links are broken and the forum contains nothing but unanswered questions. I understand free software developers have lives that need tending to, however it'd be a shame to see such promising work fall by the wayside.
  • Subversion repository is in place and working nicely. The similarities to CVS should make working with it easy. As it happens, though, I've been working exclusively with Perforce at work so I keep catching myself unconsciously typing "p4" at every opportunity. Grrr...
  • Initial Ant build script is in place. Right now it only compiles the documentation. As I begin coding, I'll expand on this with the CC task.
  • I've written some initial paragraphs of the treatment and design document. DocBook is working alright and the xslt processing I have set up in the build script is turning it into serviceable HTML. Not entirely satisfied with the build process in this respect -- I need a better way to abstract where the XSL files are, but Ant's xslt task won't allow for stashing stylesheet locations into a catalog. I may just end up invoking the XSLT processor through java directly rather than futzing around with the Ant task.
So, for a task list prioritized below both work and family life, I'm not unhappy with the results. The regular backups were something I've been itching to do for a while. What remains:
  • Reimplement the XSLT processing as mentioned above. I guess this isn't an issue until I or someone else attempts to compile the documents on a different computer. Then we'll find that the build breaks right and left due to the stylesheets begin stashed in different locations. That's not exactly impending but it's low-hanging fruit. Possibly I'm creating unnecessary work to put off writing documentation.
  • Create PDFs of the documents. Would be very useful for printed documentation.
  • Create a full backup and drop it into a safe deposit box. Never can be too careful, as a coworker once found out when an electrical fire took out his entire office, including computer.
  • Nightly builds, courtesy of CruiseControl. Another example of all the free tools available to an underpaid coder like myself. How can anyone excuse poor development practices these days?


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