Cache Fluffer / Gorilla Caching / Cache Warmer

The relatively simple introduction of a cache fluffer can make a huge difference to performance, particularly at peak load. The idea is simple, keep the cache up to do date so you don’t have to go and get data when the user requests the site. [Read More]

Samsung Chromebox with XBMC

At google IO 2012 every delegate got a free Samsung Chromebox. Personally I already have a laptop, desktop, tablet and smart phone. Why would I need a cut down desktop? It would probably be great for your Nan who has no idea what they’re doing and just wants to email the grandkids. So what should I do with this piece of hardware? Well my xbox classic is struggling to play some high def media files, it is over 10 years old, how about I use my free chromebox. [Read More]

Language Obsessed

Recently on the GOOS group discussion board there was a good debate about Acceptance Testing. Whilst much of the advice was good it amazed me how many people hadn’t looked outside of their own language community for inspiration. For instance, in the dot net world automated acceptance testing frameworks for web sites where fairly poor. However the Ruby guys nailed this a while ago so why not just use those frameworks? Take a look at WATIR for more information. When it comes to black box testing your application why does it matter what language or framework you use? If anything I’d say it’s better to test it using a completely different language. [Read More]

Feature Tests using Cucumber.js and zombie.js

I wanted to start looking at alternatives to our current set of cucumber feature tests. At the moment on the web team we’re using using FireWatir and Capybara. So I though I’d take at look at what was available in Node.js. Many people think it’s strange that a .Net shop would use a something written for testing Ruby or even consider something that isn’t from the .Net community. Personally I think it’s a benefit to truly look at something form the outside in.  Should it matter what you’re using to drive your end product or what language your using to test it? Not really. So what are the motivations for moving away from Ruby, Capybara and FireWatir? In a word ‘flaky’, we’ve had heaps of issues getting our feature tests, AATs and smoke tests reliable. When it comes to testing, consistency should be king. They should be as solid as your unit tests.  If they fail you want to know that for definite you’ve broken something, rather than thinking it’s a problem with the webdriver. [Read More]