Time and again I saved a lot of time for the company I work for, the group I am part of and to myself by writing simple scripts. These scripts were written in sh/tcsh/bash, sed, awk and perl. One thing common in almost all these scripts is the usage of regular expressions either to parse the files or to get the list of files to process.
One of my favorite pattern is
find . -name 'some-regex-pattern' -print | xarg -iFILE some-shell-command
What this does is, recursively gets the list of all files from a directory that match a particular regular expression pattern and then make them available as a FILE variable and execute some shell command that contains FILE word which gets substituted with the actual file.
For any aspiring developer learning and Mastering Regular Expressions is very important. Infact, even as a development manager who needs to often analyze a set of existing files to decide on a project like introducing changes across the entire set of files or determining design change impact etc can be easily done using the regular expressions.
The book Mastering Regular Expressions is supposed to be one of the best books for learning regular expressions.
I was doing some research on fingerprint scanning technology and initially started with Sony puppy fingerprint line and finally ended up with Microsoft Fingerprint Reader which costs around $30! That makes the technology accessible for personal use. I am planning to buy this and play around using Griaule SDK which has free trial version.
On a side note, except Griaule, no one else seem to offer a free trial version. Interestingly, Griaule is actually a pure software player. Most of the hardware vendors, who also provide SDKs are charging obscenely high amounts. I wonder how they can sell their hardware unless there are good software applications and good software applications will only be possible if there are free trial versions or better yet, free developer versions.
Up until recently I have been hearing about Web 2.0 but never really paid attention to understand what exactly it is. Based on many new websites and what they do, how they do, the technology they use, I thought I understood what Web 2.0 is without reading actually how it is defined. But based on a conversation at work with a collegue, I wanted to brush up on what exactly Web 2.0 is and by googling for it, found this interesting article about Web 2.0 on O’reilly Network. It helped me understanding that Web 2.0, atleast the way it is defined in the article, is not just about technology.
The Web 2.0 books @ Amazon.com may be useful to know further about Web 2.0
I wanted to have a routine that, given a hostname will return me the “main domain” component of it. That is, let’s say I give it “poeticcode.wordpress.com”, it should return “wordpress.com”. Simple right? Wrong! Checkout how complex this could get if you were to address all possible tlds and sub-tlds.
Now, imagine some project manager factoring time for this routine. Perhaps 10 minutes? But it could turn out to be a day or may be even more if you have to test it out thoroughly.
I was just watching the ad about Washington Mutual where a bunch of people in black suits and gray/white hair keep talking about charging for every little service and keep making fun about giving services for free. Though I have no idea how much the CXOs of WAMU make and how the company makes money or if they are charging just the right price for their services, the ad in itself is striking. The fact that all the people who laugh at the idea of making some services free are all gray haired probably indicates the thought process of the older generation and the current generation.
So, I was trying to extrapolate the same idea to my familiar territory, enterprise software applications. Recently I happened to stumble upon an open source procurement application company http://www.coupa.com/aboutus.html which consists of only 4 people with a decent application. Contrast this with companies like Oracle and SAP and the number of people.
So, if you go and tell the VPs and Directors of these large companies that the future of applications software is open source (or companies that are lean and offer much cheaper products), they will probably be as much cynical as those in the WAMU ad.
Doing more research on open source startups and found some books on Open Source as well.