Wednesday, 5 October 2022

The Tims by Eleanor Farjeon

From The Little Bookroom by Eleanor Farjeon via Eldrbarry

There were five Tims all told, Old Tim, Big Tim, Little Tim, Young Tim and Baby Tim, and they were all born wise. So whenever something was the matter in the village, or anything went wrong, or people for some cause were vexed or sorry for themselves, it became their habit to say "Let's go to the Tims about it, they'll know, they were born wise."

For instance, when Farmer John found out that the gypsies had slept without leave in his barn one night, his first thought was not, as you might suppose, "I'll fetch the constable and have the law on them!" but, "I'll see Old Tim about it, so I will!"

Then off he went to Old Tim, who was eighty years old, and he found him sitting on a gate, smoking his clay pipe.

"Morning, Old Tim," said Farmer John. "Morning, Farmer John," said Old Tim taking his clay pipe from his mouth. "I've had gypsies in my barn again, Old Tim," said Farmer John "Ah, have you now!"said Old Tim. "Ay, that I have," said Farmer John. "Ah, to be sure!," said Old Tim. "You were born wise, Old Tim," said Farmer John. "What would you do if you was me?"

Old Tim put his clay pipe in his mouth again and said, "If I was you, I'd ask Big Tim about it, for he was born wise too and is but sixty years old. So I be twenty years further off wisdom than he be."

Then off he went to Big Tim, who was Old Tim's son, and he found him sitting on a gate, smoking his briar.

"Morning, Big Tim," said Farmer John. "Morning, Farmer John," said Big Tim taking his briar from his mouth. "I've had gypsies in my barn again, Big Tim, and Old Tim sent me to ask what you would do if you was me, for you were born wise" said Farmer John. Big Tim put his briar in his mouth again and said, "If I was you, I'd ask Little Tim about it, for he was born wise too and is but forty years old which is twenty year nigher to wisdom than me."

Then off he went to Little Tim, who was Big Tim's son, and he found him lying in a haystack chewing a straw.

"Morning, Little Tim," said Farmer John. "Morning, Farmer John," said Little Tim taking the straw from his mouth. Then Farmer John put his case again, saying, "Big Tim told me to come to you about it, for you were born wise". Big Tim put the straw back in his mouth again and said, "Young Tim was born wise too and he's but twenty years old. You'll get wisdom fresher from him than from me."

Then off went Farmer John to find Young Tim, who was Little Tim's son, and he found him staring into the mill pond, munching an apple.

"Morning, Young Tim," said Farmer John. "Morning, Farmer John," said Young Tim taking the apple from his mouth. Then Farmer John told his tale for the fourth time, and ended by saying, "Little Tim thinks you'll know what I'd best do, for you were born wise". Young Tim took a new bite of his apple and said, "My son who was born last month was born wise too, and from him you'll get wisdom at the fountain-head, so to say."

Off went Farmer John to find Baby Tim, who was Young Tim's son, and he found him in his cradle with his thumb in his mouth.

"Morning, Baby Tim," said Farmer John. Baby Tim took his thumb out of his mouth and said nothing. "I've had gypsies in my barn again, Baby Tim," said Farmer John, "and Young Tim advised me to ask your advice upon it, for you was born wise. What would you do if you was me? I'll do whatever you say." Baby Tim put his thumb back in his mouth and said nothing. So Farmer John went home and did it.

And the gypsies went on to the next village and slept in the barn of Farmer George, and Farmer George called in the constable and had the law on them; and a week later his barn and his ricks were burned down, and his speckled hen was stolen away.

But the happy village went on being happy and doing nothing, neither when the Miller's wife forgot herself one day and boxed the Miller's ears, nor when Molly Garden got a bad sixpence from the pedlar, nor when the parson once came home singing by moonlight. After consulting the Tims, the village did no more than trees do in a wood or crops in a field and so all these accidents got better before they got worse.

Until the day when Baby Tim died an unmarried man at one hundred years of age. After that the happy village became as other villages and did something.

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Letter to Anneliese Dodds on the invasion of Ukraine by Russia

Dear Anneliese Dodds,

I learn from the BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/58888451) that "The UK is to phase out Russian oil by the end of the year" and "Russian imports account for 8% of total UK oil demand".

8% is a small amount and the end of the year is a long time in the future. We need immediate action to change Russia's course. Please use all your influence to this end.

Some suggestions, as a minimum:

  • Stop all petrochemical purchases from Russia, and requiring this of multinationals
  • Expulsion of all remaining Russian banks from SWIFT
  • Make it unlawful to insure a Russian enterprise
  • Seizure and forfeiture of all Russian assets within the UK and its dominions
  • Motion to remove Russia from the UN Security Council

There are many more things which could and should be done, by January 2023 there will be no Ukraine to defend.

Yours sincerely,
Tim Pizey

Sunday, 14 November 2021

An Exception wrapper suitable for a RESTful API

User Story

As a third line support engineer

I want to be able to go to the server class that throws an exception reported by a client

So that I do not need to look for the stack trace in the server logs

Example

Client code

if (responseCode != 200) {
    throw new TaskException(
        "Error occurred while processing the scan response: " + 
        "response code: " + responseCode + 
        " response body: " + responseContent.getResponseBody());
} 

Server code

  if (null != header && header.startsWith(BEARER)) {
        String token = header.substring(BEARER.length()).trim();
        try {
            final Jws jws = Jwts.parser().setSigningKeyResolver(jwtPublicKeyResolver)
                    .setAllowedClockSkewSeconds(3)
                    .parseClaimsJws(token);
        } catch (JwtException ex) {
            String errorMessage = "Invalid JWT token. ";
            setError(httpServletResponse, errorMessage + ex.getMessage());
            return;
        }
    }

This results in the following being reported by the second level support agent monitoring the client logs:

[Error occurred while processing the scan response : response code: 401 response body: Invalid JWT token. Error accessing publickey Api]:

What we, as Third Line Support, want is to know which server class throws the exception, ideally without grepping the code base or opening the server logs.

A better Exception message would be:

[Problem with scan response: status code: 401, body: com.corp.server.validation.JwtValidator.validate() line 72: JWT token Exception: Error accessing Public Key API]

This is the motivation for the StackAwareException, a wrapper exception which adds the class, method and line number of the first element of the wrapped exception's stack trace.

See https://github.com/timp/StackAwareException

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Twenty Year Exit from the Oracle Ecosystem

The Oracle Ecosystem instance that I inheritted was designed from 2000 and went live in 2004. Its centre piece Oracle Workflow went end of life that year but had new versions through to 2007. In its own way it was a pinnacle of a certain view of software, the software vendor as a one stop shop, in the same way as DEC and IBM had previously sold their systems.
A whole set of components which were guaranteed to work together, with technical support. I probably would have made the same choice, even as late as 2000. This system was the largest system (by disk storage used) in Europe for a while. Housed in a purpose built computer room. Then came AWS S3 cloud storage.
The 'replacement' system migrated eighty percent of the files out of the database, seemingly unaware of the eighty-twenty rule, and duplicated the data and the dataflows. The replacement system was a 'microservice architecture' joined by a single datastore. The users now had two systems to use and were stuck with a 2000 vintage user interface. The next step was to stop using the Oracle Forms and introduce a modern three tier web application, choosing the new, shiny AngularJS as the front end, Hibernate on java as the middleware.
This was understandabley a big job, the UI was now on AWS but the data was in a data centre (a commercial one by now). The need to quit the data centre motivated the removal of CMSDK (Content Management Software Development Kit) from inside the database to separate, external, email and SFTP handling systems, to reduce databse size and enable security in the cloud.
The remaining steps are to finsh the migration of files (who knew this would be the difficult bit) and to migrate from Oracle AQ (Advanced Queues (software naming error 101: avoid hubristic adjectives)) to AWS SQS (Simple Queueing Service (software naming error 102: avoid indexical adjectives)). Note that we have to upgrade AngularJS to Angular just to stay still, and pop things into Kubernetes, just because.
This is clean, recogisable, manageable and stable. We could rest here for a while; but all that pain motivates completion:
The elephant is in the room. The final step is then to replace Oracle Workflow with Camunda.

Sunday, 1 November 2020

Letter to Anneliese Dodds MP: Support for the Labour Left

Dear Anneliese Dodds MP, 

I have voted for you in the last two elections, as a proxy for my support for Jeremy Corbyn, though your attendance and performance at the hustings arranged by the Stop the War Coalition was a reason for my support for you personally. 

For me to vote for you again I would need to see your support for the left of the Labour party,  and the mass movement built by Jeremy Corbyn; should you instead side with the faction which has suspended him you will lose my support. 

best wishes 
Tim Pizey

Friday, 8 May 2020

Victory in Europe (VE) Day in Churchill's Toyshop

My grandfather, Norman Angier,

Norman Angier

worked at Churchill’s Toyshop (M.D.1) as the head civilian engineer during WWII.

Norman Angier

On VE day “Norman Angier felt it was an occasion for fireworks. He therefore acquired a large batch of quite big rockets and proceeded to poop them off, selecting as his firing site a point at the summit of a concrete road which led down to the ranges and the CMP’s camp. Unlike the Guy Fawkes day rockets, these were not provided with sticks for poking into the ground to keep the bodies upright ; but Norman had fixed up some sort of stand for doing this. All went well for a while and the show was most spectacular. Then Norman got careless. A rocket he had just initiated was not properly secured. It fell over, and instead of going up vertically proceeded at speed in the near horizontal plane. A weary CMP was walking along this road on his way back to the camp. The rocket struck him right on target. Luckily, he was not seriously hurt and we soon whipped him off to hospital . The trouble was to make him believe that the attack was not intentional. He had been the victim of a 1000 to 1 chance.” The Firs

Friday, 22 February 2019

Clean git blame history

Place the following in a command file, run it within your repo:
#!/bin/sh
 
git filter-branch --env-filter '
 
an="$GIT_AUTHOR_NAME"
am="$GIT_AUTHOR_EMAIL"
cn="$GIT_COMMITTER_NAME"
cm="$GIT_COMMITTER_EMAIL"
 
if [ "$GIT_AUTHOR_EMAIL" = "timp@paneris.org" ]
then
    an="Tim Pizey"
    am="timp21337@paneris.org"
fi
 
if [ "$GIT_COMMITTER_EMAIL" = "timp@paneris.org" ]
then
    cn="Tim Pizey"
    cm="timp21337@paneris.org"
fi

export GIT_AUTHOR_NAME="$an"
export GIT_AUTHOR_EMAIL="$am"
export GIT_COMMITTER_NAME="$cn"
export GIT_COMMITTER_EMAIL="$cm"
'
Then git push -f origin master Note that this process is very slow so do not repeat for every change: add all the changes you want to make and perform in one pass.