Eliminating waste as a way to optimize

I recently had a chance to work on an implementation of an Arachnida-based web server that had started using a lot of memory as new features were being added.

Arachnida itself is pretty lean and comes with a number of tools to help build web services in industrial devices, but it is not an “app in a box”: some assembly is required and you have to make some of the parts yourself.
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Technical documentation

Developers tend to have a very low opinion of technical documentation: it is often wrong, partial, unclear and not worth the trouble of reading. This is, in part, a self-fulfilling prophecy: such low opinions of technical documentation results in them not being read, and not being invested in.
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The story of “Depends”

Today, I announced on behalf of my company, Vlinder Software, that we would no longer be supporting “Depends”, the dependency tracker. I think it may be worthwhile to tell you a by about the history of Depends, how it became a product of Vlinder Software, and why it no longer is one.
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Vlinder Software announces the release of Acari as an independent library

Parsing and generating text can require a lot of memory – to the point where running the parser can be prohibitive on some devices. This is often due to sub-optimal handling of strings, bad integration with the system’s allocators, … … Continue reading
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Vlinder Software ceases commercial support for Depends

Effective immediately, Vlinder Software is ceasing commercial support for the Depends dependency tracking library. The Depends dependency tracker library was created in 2007 during some experiments being conducted for the now-defunct Jail-Ust project. It then morphed into a stand-alone project … Continue reading
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Bayes’ theorem in non-functional requirements analysis — an example

Bayes' theorem

Bayes’ theorem

I am not a mathematician, but I do like Bayes’ theorem for non-functional requirements analysis — and I’d like to present an example of its application.1
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  1. I was actually going to give a theoretical example of availability requirements, but then a real example popped up… []
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Globe and Mail: Canada lacks law that defines, protects trade secrets

According to the Globe and Mail (Iain Marlow, 20 May 2015) the 32-count indictment against six Chinese nationals who allegedly used their positions to obtain intellectual property from universities and businesses in the U.S. and then take that knowledge home to China, would not be possible here: “Canadian observers say the 32 count indictment, which was unsealed late on Monday, highlights the prevalence and severity of industrial espionage in North America, and underscores the need for Canada to adopt more stringent laws. Canada has no dedicated act on trade secrets and economic espionage and has not successfully prosecuted a similar case, experts say.”
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Vlinder Software is moving

Vlinder Software is moving to a brand new office in a brand new building. The website address, E-mail, etc. will, of course, remain the same, and the majority of our services will remain unaffected, but quotes, invoices, and other administrative … Continue reading
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Why I didn’t buy a new iPad today

Behavioural economists will tell you that the “happy high” you get from buying a new toy, a new device, a new computer, a new car or a new house usually wares off within three months. It’s called the ever-receding horizon of happiness (or something like that — something close to the ever-receding hair line) and it’s why I have a small car (just big enough for day-to-day requirements but not big enough to take the whole family on vacation), a fairly crappy laptop computer (good enough to run OpenOffice Write and an SSH client on, but not good enough to compile FPGA firmware or big chunks of software in any hurry, but that’s what the SSH client is there for) and why I’ve had the same iPad for the last five years or so.
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Implementing time-outs (safely)

Thyme is a herb that grows in gardens.
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