Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Bootstrapping...


I've got quite large number of apps functional by now. For many of them I discuss enhancements with my colleagues often. Most of the times outcome of such productive discussions- some escape my memory while some get jotted down in spreadsheet (Thankfully I never forget bug fixes!). I know spreadsheet is not a very decent way of managing change requests. There are many tools like Jira which I've already used them at some or the other point of time in work. But then my tasks get surrounded more with tools rather than main activity- like one for source control, one for change management, one for test management and so on. First and foremost step here comes is installation and setup. Still I'll say okay for this. But if a developer working with me is new to any of these tools, much of his time is spent in getting familiar with them.

Very recently I've come across an awesome software which fulfills my requirement...and in fact of any company which cannot afford outsourcing its maintenance tasks. It is BootStrapToday . Name itself is intuitive. It is a smart Application Lifecycle Management platform on SaaS model. Anyone can just BootStrap a project in no time, no download and no installation! Automation part in this is based on activity log. Its intelligence can identify critical files or resources. It can identify contributions from different developers in the team. Suppose a new team member joins and he is assigned a ticket and he modifies a critical file while fixing bug. Then system can automatically create a review ticket and assign it to someone most familiar with the file. In short the intelligent automation will help software teams identify the bugs earlier and save huge cost in the project.
BootStrapToday is my choice....what is yours?

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Search- An Introduction


We are well familiar with searching for results in RDBMS. Simply write the 'Like' query and you get the results. Unfortunately this simple method is useful for simple use cases only! With huge data, the query will keep everything busy while fetching the results. Lets get to a very high level of difficulty. We search in Google and get so many results with a search- images, text, maps, videos and much more. My understanding tells me that the type of data decides which table it should reside at. In that case, our search should navigate through all those tables and get us the results. Difficult situation indeed!

Lucene is a full-text indexing and searching library originally written in Java (now in many more languages like C++, C# and PHP). Best thing- it is open source.

Lucene has got parsers for respective type of document. Parsers do their assigned job and pass on the text to next level, i.e. analyzer. This is the place where tokens are generated. Analyzer pulls out the tokens and its related info from the text content. It then writes this info in Lucene's index files. Analyzers are components which pre-process input text. Since the search string has to be processed the same way that the indexed text was processed, the same Analyzer must be used for both indexing and searching, else we'll get invalid search results.

Lucene gives performace as high as 95GB/hour. Its incremental indexing is also equally fast as batch indexing and index size is just about 20-30% of the text content. In terms of searching as well, Lucene is very powerful- best results returned first in ranked searching, many powerful query types like phrase query and range query, sorting by fields, field-based search, merging of results for multiple index search.

Lucene along with Solr search server is being used for real-time search in Twitter and various other sites like Wikipedia. Solr is open source enterprise search platform by Apache Lucene. Solr is written in Java and works as a standalone full-text search server within a servlet container. Its major features include powerful full-text search, faceted search, dynamic clustering, database integration, rich document format handling, and geospatial search. Solr uses Lucene Java search library at its core for full-text indexing and search, and has REST-like HTTP/XML and JSON APIs that make it easy to use from almost any programming language. Popular sites using Solr are Instagram, AOL, eBay, Cisco, digg, reddit, MTV Networks and Goldman Sachs.

Another wonderful item in this set is Luke! Luke is a handy diagnostic and development tool which accesses existing Lucene indexes and allows to display and modify their content.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Finally...


And finally it's out! It was indeed a long way....but this is not the end. The next phase of journey begins now.

I don't have any word in my active dictionary which can exactly tell how am I feeling now! To put it simply- it's  a wonderful feeling!!

You can get the ebook here:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/anuja-ranjan-kumar/a-fascinating-journey/ebook/product-20114174.html

And can look at my spotlight here:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Anuja

Happy reading!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Here is the Preview


Chapter 2 of book A Fascinating Journey, following chapter 1- Obituary, is given here in preview.

An Encounter with God- Part I

I’d just finished writing the obituary and was keeping its copies at various locations. When I was about to keep it in a cupboard full of old books, my dad came and snatched it from me. Anyway the obituary was meant to be publicly read later. But the fact that my dad snatched it from me triggered my anger. To take revenge of this act, I went surreptitiously in his room and opened the cupboard and started shuffling contents. Here is something very interesting that I found in one of his diaries. To give you background (which would make it interesting for you too to read the content), my dad used to teach engineering students at that time. This is as-is what was written:
No sooner had I started teaching in the class, I heard a hoarse voice, “Sir.” I was flabbergasted by the urge shown for learning! I became curious. The student went on, “Sir you must make an effort to protect our interests. We have umpteen problems.”
To pacify him I muttered, “I promise you that I will take up your case with the boss.”
“Sir you are pulling our legs. Sir I’m talking of the actual GOD. With the other day’s incident we are convinced that you must have had some inkling about the future course.”
I was comprehensively beaten in my own game. However, I put forth a brave front. “Look, I do not intend to leave soon. I want to live. It was all fictitious.”
Still he did not budge. “Sir, we also do not want you to leave so soon. But in case…….. Sir, we’ll always remember you and will always have a huge place in our hearts for you. Sir, you must protect our plight.”
I started wilting under the pressure. “I assure you that I will project your case at the very first opportunity.”
“Sir, your promise does not seem to have much conviction.”
I was thoroughly cornered. As usual, my credibility came to the fore. “All right, I will represent your case. Let me know your woes.”
“Sir, our woes are unheard. Here I have written them down.”
I made the last attempt to wriggle out through the quagmire. “But I do not think I will be able to carry your list with me.”
“Sir, we have thought about that too! We will just acquaint you with our problems. Sir, I’m speaking on behalf of the whole student community. Firstly, we do not understand Maths, particularly Calculus. Can it be simplified? Secondly, the Strength of Materials makes our hearts pretty brittle. What is the antidote for this? Thirdly, Hydraulics makes us sink to abysmal depths. Is there some sort of saver? Fourthly, can Thermodynamics laws be modified a bit to suit the students’ requirements- particularly the concept of Entropy? Fifthly, can the movement of electrons be stopped so that Basic Electronics can altogether be eliminated? And lastly, administrative problems………….”
“Enough,” I shouted. By this time I had lost all my patience. I yelled, “The crib you are making is frivolous. God just made nature to obey certain laws. He has no hand in all these subjects. How the hell can I take up your case?”
The student was well conversant with my weakness. So he went on unabashedly, “Sir but…..what we are asking is only the putting forward of our problems and nothing else.”
I meekly surrendered once again. “But how do you think that HE would give an instant hearing?”
The student was adamant. “Sir you request Chitragupta (He is considered to be the assistant of Yamraj, the Lord of Death). If he does not listen then bribe him. Even with this if he tries to be funny then threaten him with dire consequences.”
My defense totally collapsed because of this persistent onslaught. “Okay, I know you will resort to any means. You seem to be desperate.”
“Sir, I was sure, you will listen to us. Thanks a lot. We wish you speedy journey!”
“Okay, okay. I will try my best. In case I am granted interview immediately, I will fight your case in toto. And I will arrange to convey the gist of my dialogue with HIM through some way or the other. I hope it satisfies you all.”
This agonizing conversation consumed all my previous periods. It left me parched in throat. Anyway, I honor my promises. After all, they are meant to be kept! I do hope the student community will wait for my telepathic communication regarding my dialog with HIM- as and when it takes place.
***
Read what happens next in An Encounter with God- Part II.
***
Interview of Ms. Anuja gives a good overview of her book A Fascinating Journey (Our questions are marked as ‘Q’ and her answers as ‘A’):

Q. We got to hear that you’d an appointment with God. True?
A. Partially. It was actually my dad. To know the details read both the parts of An Encounter with God.

Q. Have you written your biography too?
A. It is actually Obituary. It is better to write about our life in brief on our own, I feel. Something important may get missed if it is left for someone else to write. One chapter contains my autobiography, but that is as an English enthusiast.

Q. Have your writing skills ever helped you in job or in friend-circle?
A. There are two sides of a coin. Sometimes this skillset helps as in The Untold Story while sometimes it makes me face Travails of Writing.

Q. Are you coining your own words while writing?
A. Seldom. An Autobiography of a Word Addict has some of them while What is What gives meanings of some words in simple language.

Q. You seem to be very conscious about words. What else are you conscious about?
A. You’ll get to understand how conscious I am about handwriting once you read Bad Handwriting.

Q. When I’d read your stuff once, I realized that you use chess terms a lot. Are you a chess player?
A. I do play chess. But it is mainly my dad. Stale-Mate will tell you about this chess champion.

Q. Which all forms of writing have you tried your hands at?
A. I’ve been blogging since a long time, now I have written a book and once had given an advertisement A Suitable Ad in classifieds.

Q. You use many impressive phrases in your speech. It must be helping in building your impression.
A. That is left for you to decide whether I get advantage or have to bear side-effects of such phrases. Come On and Since You Have Asked will help you to conclude on this matter.

Q. Overheard....you are connected with film industry.
A. Seems you’ve read my Suna hai.... (Overheard). To answer your question, in a way I can say yes...but only if my friend’s film gets released. She is still working on producing a film. Read more in Raftar.

Q. Do you have interest in movies?
A. I’ve already learnt lesson that we must have interest in movies, especially when it is to be watched with others. Rang De Basanti will tell you what lesson I’d got to learn.

Q. Do you write only such entertaining stuff and not bothered about any of the present issues in the world?
A. It’s not true that I’m not bothered about any of the issues that our society is facing. Is Frankenstein Being Created? will tell you that I care equally about those issues.

Q. What is your favorite hobby?
A. Difficult question. Hobby Development Attempts and My Photography Fiasco can best explain why it is so difficult to answer this question.

Q. Are you going to take retirement from your main job?
A. Already taken. My decision-taking phase is narrated in In Need of Second Opinion and present phase in its succeeding chapter.

Q. How good are you at kitchen?
A. I do know some tips and tricks. I got to learn a lot during my secretarial appointment related to food. You’ll get to know in Cul-De-Sac. And yes, I’m extremely and consistently good at preparing tea. You’ll know its reason in Tea Preparation.

Q. We got to know that all the items which you own are very expressive, just like you. Keen to know if true.
A. The Day of Shock will definitely answer your curiosity.

Q. Are you an introvert or you are a very social person?
A. At present very social. I’m always looking forward for group parties as in The Last Drink. Also I never miss attending any function which is why I got to attend A Special Wedding. Bhankas is also an outcome of being so extrovert.

Q. Then you must be preferring to roam too, correct?
A. Good guess. That is why A Memorable Visit and My First Flight Journey got penned down.

Q. Which is your dream place to visit?
A. It is Kailash and Manasarovar. Travelogue will best explain you what makes it as dream destination.

Q. One of your close friends told me that you love surprises. Is it really so?
A. Indeed I love surprises. Just that I hate when it is with respect to any test or interview. Surprise Test will tell you that. For interviews I prepare beforehand. You’ll learn that in Interview Which Never Took Place.

Q. You seem to be a cool person. Do you ever get angry?
A. Thanks. I’m cool but certain things trigger my anger. In fact some of those things are silly mistakes and some are environmental factors. I’ll better not say anything about it, else I may lose my temper. Better read I Get Cheesed Off.

Q. It was nice talking to you. Have you ever been in my shoes i.e. have you ever interviewed anyone?
A. I’ve not played interviewer’s role same as yours. I’ve interviewed many candidates for job openings as in As an Interviewer.

Q. Lastly, any advice for the youths?
A. I believe that one can learn a lot from other’s experiences. Rather than experiencing everything on our own, one must learn from other’s experiences. I won’t call it as advice, but as tips. I’ve given some important tips in Letter to Future Professionals. Let Us Develop Hobbies is a suggestive chapter for any age-group.

And it is Ready...


Writing after a real long time. I'd been writing, re-writing and editing the writings but offline. I'm glad to share that my book is ready for publishing. Just wait for a couple of days. Question must be popping in your mind, "If book is ready then why not publish it right now?" Answer is simple- someone told me its an auspiscious day. With this answer, I'm sure to get tagged as.....(list is too huge to be added here). But to some extent I agree that I believe that doing so and so will attract luck. I remember the days of board exam when I used to wear the same dress for few of the papers :) It feels funny now, but yes I used to do that and I got the results too, I felt!! See I've not changed a wee bit!!!

Very soon I'll post a blog that will give you an overview of the book and later will post its preview. As of now let me tell you that it is a non-technical book, so NO cxf, nosql, java etc.etc. Stay tuned....