Thursday, July 31, 2008

Google Webmaster Tools Hint of the Day

Just ran into this (unlucky) error...

Paths don't match
We've detected that you submitted your Sitemap using a URL path that doesn't include the www prefix (for instance, However, the URLs listed inside your Sitemap do use the www prefix (for instance,

I had to go and create 14 more entries for my works domains cause once an entry is created, it can't be modified. Thank you Google webmaster tools, I'm sure that doing the right thing would have been such a chore to code up.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Review: Costa Rica Garmin GPS Map

For my recent trip to Costa Rica, I purchased the $19.95 map from a guy named Aaron who sells "the most comprehensive GPS map available at such an affordable price." Maybe I'm just expecting too much from a $20 map, but I really feel like I did not get my monies worth. First off, the map that I downloaded wasn't the 1.2 version which was promised on the website. It was the older 1.1 version. I emailed Aaron and he told me he would send me the updated map after I got back from my trip!? Second, once I was on my trip, the map was full of inaccurate data and a good portion of the places I went to were not even on the map! This included large chunks of the major highways which I would have at least expected to be on there. So, a day after I got back, Aaron kept his word and sent me the latest 1.2 version of the map. I responded with my disappointment and Aaron offered to refund 50% of the purchase price.

Update: Aaron has commented on this posting saying that he has updated the map significantly since my posting (he is at v1.7 now) and that it is much better now. I haven't tried it, but I'm sure it is better than other options out there.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

El Salvador (SAL) airport

Congrats on being the first airport that I have been to that has free wifi and easy access to power. Given that I have a five hour layover it sure is making life more enjoyable to be able to play on my iPhone.

Update: The San Josa Costa Rica airport also has wifi!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bummer about Google Maps

Google's Terms of Service for Google Maps don't allow 3rd parties to provide a simple way to transfer driving directions to GPS units. Therefore, I can't use TakItWithMe to easily transfer my Google Maps directions to my Garmin Zumo 550.

So, that begs the question... Why not? What is the big issue?

Also, the Garmin tools (Bobcat and Mapsource) for creating routes totally blows compared with Google Maps. So if those tools were better, this would be less of a concern.

Friday, July 11, 2008

iPhone 2.0 Software

I just installed the iPhone 2.0 software update. Now when iTunes is trying to activate my phone by connecting to the store, I get this nice error message after a several minute timeout. This means that until iTunes can do its work, my phone is a brick. Thanks Apple. I'm guessing they are having scalability and load issues, but in this day and age, properly designed systems shouldn't fail like this. Yes, I think I'm going to wait a bit on the new hardware. I just don't see a point in paying more money every month.

Update: It finally just started working after the 10th error message.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

San Francisco Politics

a) a perfect way to feed the homeless.
b) i bet the farmers market across the street will protest the loss of sales.
c) what kind of scarecrow could you imagine there?

Sunday, July 6, 2008


(Borrowed from someone else.)

Garmin Zumo 550 GPS

Originally uploaded by sflatchkey
A couple months ago, I blogged about my new Garmin Zumo 550 GPS toy. I decided to wait until my new gel seat came in for my bike before installing the Zumo because I knew that it would be a bit of work to install it and I figured I only needed to undo the bolts once. =) To make a long story short, it is now installed on my bike and I love it. I use it both in the car and on the bike and it is a welcome addition to my geeky arsenal.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Code Reviews

A little while ago, I made a mention about a project called Rietveld (and this also applies to ReviewBoard). Today, I finally got a chance to dive a bit deeper into how these two tools work and sadly, it is the opposite of what I would like.

The issue with both of these tools for me is that they work on the concept of diffs. A developer writes some code, uploads a diff and then waits around for people to approve it. After it is approved, the developer then checks the code into the repository. This is a good model in open source projects where people are contributing patches and do not have access to check in code themselves. It is more like a patch management system. It is also a good model in larger corporate environments where controlling everything that goes into the code base is done with QA teams who test these patches before they go into the repository.

That is not how the company I work for works. We have a more agile development process where we are all expected to have at least a decent understanding of the entire codebase. Thus, we are checking in code all day long and diff are emailed to all of us. The expectation is that we read each others diffs and will comment on them appropriately. This is more of an after the fact type system. Sure, some bugs can (and do) creep in because they are missed in larger commits where we don't read the entire email, but I'm not worried because QA should catch those before they go to production, when they do testing in our preview environment.

What I would like is a system that has a log of all changes that go through the source repository. When you log into the system, you see a list of all the changes that have not been reviewed yet and a list of comments that have either been made about your code or you made about someone's code. This would be similar to the list of the diff emails sitting in a folder in my email account. I then have the option of just ignoring a commit or clicking through to see more details about the commit. The details page has a list of the files which were changed and a diff of any text based changes. I can click on any line and make a comment. That comment then becomes an issue for the developer who made the commit. The developer gets an email and has to respond. The only person who can close out the issue is the person who created it in the first place. Both people are bugged in various ways (emails and in the webui) until the issue is dealt with. The social politics around all of this is that these issues become highest priority above all else because code is already into the repository and a release can't be made until all of these issues are resolved.

Update: I posted to the ReviewBoard mailing list and got a very helpful response, but still isn't quite what I want to see (the UI isn't there to support it). Check out the comments on this posting. Crucible is very close to what I want, but costs $$$. Others are interested in starting an open source project.