Bugzilla Details Script

I recently worked on a project which required extracting bug details from a Bugzilla database; we were attempting to reproduce the results of an academic paper in which the authors attempted to establish a link between object-oriented software metrics and program buginess. Bug data was obtained from a Bugzilla database to determine the buginess of a class. The original authors obtained a copy of the entire bug database and ran queries against it directly. We would not have been able to get a copy of the entire database, but fortunately it is now available on-line. We started by using the Bugzilla web search interface to get a list of bugs for the time period covered in the original research. We then fed that list of bug IDs into the script below to get the details we needed: which files, or classes, were associated with each bug.


From Blogger to GitHub Pages with Jekyll

After a few years of using Google Blogger, I decided to switch to a different on-line publishing platform. It is not that there is anything wrong with Blogger, I am just looking for a change; I also think that there is a chance that Blogger will be subsumed by Google+ someday, and that is not the platform I am looking for. Twitter is presently my social network of choice, but I periodically want a way to publish things which are longer than 140 characters. Prior to using Blogger I had my own Wordpress server, but I concluded that keeping a personal server up to date with all the latest security patches was not an effective use of my time, so I am not interested in going back to that arrangement. Besides, today there are so many cloud based solutions available that I see even fewer reason to invest in maintaining a private server. Tumblr has become a very popular platform, but I’m not sure what Yahoo’s acquisition of it will mean in the long run. I could switch to a hosted Wordpress service, but that seems to be more powerful than what I need. I mostly publish text with code examples and a few images, so I could use Panic Coda to publish a static website, but that would mean that for each post I would have to modify at least two pages: the new post and the index. I just need a simple text blogging platform, perhaps one that will accept Markdown and make it super easy to write a post.


iOS Snippet: Simple plist

For small apps you often need to store some basic settings, and using a plist file in the app’s document directory is an easy way to accomplish this. Below is a little snippet that I have used more than once for this purpose.


iOS Snippet: Using UITextView with the Keyboard

It would seem reasonable to expect that an on-screen keyboard would normally be used with a UITextView, but if the UITextView is full screen then when the keyboard displays the bottom half becomes inaccessible. It is easy enough to fix, but there seem to be more ways to get this wrong than there are to get it right. Below is the method that I have found (from examples on the Apple developer site) to work the best, so far.


MarkShown

MarkShown is a very simple iPhone app for quickly creating textual presentations which can be shown on an external display. A Markdown-like syntax is used to format presentation slides and presenter notes; the presentation slides will show on an AirPlay device, and the presenter notes will show on the local screen.

MarkShown is designed to make creating simple, text-based presentations easy, so it does not currently support images, slide transitions, or any other fancy features. If you need a more powerful presentation tool, then by all means stick with Powerpoint or Keynote.

MarkShown is available for free from the Apple App Store.


When Affirmative Action Was White

In When Affirmative Action Was White, Ira Katznelson contends that the modern economic disparities between black and white Americans were fueled more by New Deal era policies than by the long standing American tradition of white supremacy. New deal and fair deal policies, such as Social Security, Labor Reform, and the GI Bill of Rights, were written in ways which allowed for the outwardly colorblind laws to be administered in traditional, segregated fashion. This selective administration of progressive policies allowed for members of the white middle class to increase their socioeconomic status at a tremendous pace while blacks remained shackled in poverty. The differences in opportunities allowed for the socioeconomic gap between whites and blacks to grow at an accelerated rate. Taking this historical perspective into account, Katznelson further argues that present-day affirmative action was not a new social policy devised as a result of the civil rights era; it was a redirection of affirmative action policies already in existence that had favored whites from the 1930s through the 1960s.

When New Deal programs were being formulated the Roosevelt Administration had to get support for the radical legislation by pulling together groups with diverse interests. One of the groups whose support was required to pass the legislation was the Southern Democrats. The South had been solidly Democratic since President Lincoln, and this consistency led them to hold control of committees which were key to maintaining Jim Crow laws. These factors gave the Southern Democrats outsized control of the New Deal legislation, and they used that control to ensure that the social order they were accustomed to would be maintained. Their strategy was ensuring that federal programs be administered locally rather than at the federal level; due to the scale of the proposed legislation it was an easy concession to garner. Once local administration was ensured, the Southern Democrats could allow for the passage of legislation that was not explicitly discriminatory yet would result in the outcomes that preserved existing Southern social order.