Lightning Talks at SRT from August 15

We do lightning talks at SRT every other week, from 3:30-5.  The idea was borne out of my very positive experience with lightning talks at the Java Posse Roundup and in others who are here who have had similarly positive experiences.  We realized that there was a lot of benefit in knowing what people are looking at, and having 5 minute talks is ideal, since that gives you enough of a flavor for a topic to determine if you want to spend more time researching it.  So here are the topics that were discussed today.

  • Drizzle, by Rick Harding

Drizzle is a fork of MySQL.  Objective is to return MySQL to its roots by stripping out the garbage it doesn't need.  Unlike MySQL, this has no connection to Sun.  There are no procedures, views, grants, triggers, and there is no Windows support.  Can also use Drizzle as a view of a larger backend database store (like Oracle).  Goal is to serve data fast, and to provide a front end for a database.  Want charding across nodes, real working proxing, no internal ACLS.  UTF-8 only.  Linux only.  Idea is to be very fast microkernel and support a flexible plugin architecture.  Hosted on Launchpad.   Targeted toward web and cloud applications.

  • Windows Media Center, by Charle Sears

Bill Heitzeg wanted a repository for his music and TV.  Charlie built a Windows Media Center PC with components from NewEgg.  It uses Vista's Media Center.  The computer was 2 gig of RAM, a terabyte of disk, Intel 2.53 GB processor, wireless.  Cost: $850 including shipping. 

  • Altova Tools, by Bill Heitzeg

Microsoft's product, XSD, didn't handle the nesting of an XML file that Bill needed to view, so he went looking for a tool.  Having had experience with XMLSpy, he decided to look at Altova's offerings.  Altova has a set of tools for XML editing, data management, UML, and web services. 

UModel is UML modeling which works with Eclipse and Visual Studio.

DatabaseSpy is a query and design tool for databases.

Authentic is an XML Authoring Tool.

And they have several other tools as well.

  • Tale of Two Tests, by Phil Huhn

Phil described some situations in inherited software.  First case, on a Unix platform where he found a bunch of core files.  Team had been ignoring them.  Phil debugged the core files and found errors in application and needed to be able to test.  He found that a second application could replicate the problem and debug/test.  Second case, a scientific application was built with a data acquisition card, etc. (real hardware, not simulated).  A second application was available to simulate the hardware.  He was able to get a hardware person to create a simulation environment in hardware for testing.

  • Adhoc Iterators, by Jay Wren

Inspired by observing the use of a tree data structure in the past week.  Left out of the framework was a way to do an adhoc iterator.  Inspired by "cons" in F#, Jay demonstrated how to add it to C#.


And on the non-technical side, we had ice cream from Washtenaw Dairy.  My favorite is the lemon custard, which I have a hard time finding anywhere else.  Oh, and Bill's letting me take home his Windows Media Center PC for the weekend so that I can check it out, and