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25 Jun 12

4:26 am

ClayDB 2 Development

ClayDB was one of the first libraries I wrote for Clay and is the only one left that hasn't been completely rewritten. As well as it works, it's still lacking in several areas and is overall incomplete. I've been working on adding new adapters and datadicts to support more databases. What I came to realize was ClayDB could be a lot better. 

Now before I get into the details, this is only about ClayDB. I have not started Clay 2 (yet). That is quite a while away. ClayDB is a separate library that comes with Clay. ClayDB in Clay 2 will be based on Clay 2's roadmap requirements and could still be ClayDB 2 or ClayDB 5, it's hard to tell.

ClayDB 2 is going to be geared more toward flexibility for different databases and work a lot better on the datadict side (table manipulation). MySQL is the most popular database Clay caters to, like now, but will allow verbage for developers working with other supported databases. The goal with ClayDB 2 is to allow a developer to write an application for PostgreSQL and ClayDB can translate it for someone using SQLite or MySQL. Now obviously some features do not translate, which is a shame, but for most standard SQL requirements all of the databases should be able to work seamlessly. 

My hope is to make ClayDB much more complete than is it now and easier to implement the adapters and datadicts. I also want to make it as usable for someone learning database schema as it is to the expert database designer. That part is harder, especially when you have to meet features in the datadicts with features in the adapters. 

I've created a new branch in the Clay repo in the Clay Project's Github named claydb2. It's a clone of the master branch. I'm hoping to get this pushed out fast and merged back into master soon.

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22 Jun 12

3:31 am

I didn't make TSgt this year...but at least some of those other SSgts I was hoping to make it did. All of my scores improved and I would have made it last year with this year's scores. I'm still ahead of the curve. I should make it easily next year. (I hope)

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21 Jun 12

3:57 am

Yeah. I can't sleep, because TSgt result come our in 4 hours and 5 minutes. The list will be on http://www.my.af.mil at 0800 today. I hope you see me on the list (and a few other SSgts I know)!

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3:52 am

What Do You Fly?

I've been in the USAF for almost 10 years (since October 2002). I've heard some pretty crazy things about us. Here's the deal.

Everyone in the Air Force isn't a pilot. Surprised? Well, we're not. It's a good thing we all aren't, otherwise: there wouldn't be any working jets, no bombs ready to fall or missiles ready to fly, no fuel in the not working jets, no one would get payed, there would be no buildings or even a runway, there would be no one to provide security, no nuclear stockpile waiting for someone really dumb to force us to use them...there'd just be a bunch of "pilots" sitting around with nothing to do. We do a lot more than fly and it takes hundreds of people to fly a plane, even if most of us never leave the ground.

It's a job. It's a really cool job and a lot of times really dangerous, but it's still a job. For some of us it's not just a job though, it's something bigger than any other profession can understand. It's a family, it's a machine, it's living breathing monster waiting for the wrong person to piss it off. What other people in other professions can probably understand is eventually, maybe, it isn't a job anymore. At one point or another something clicks, either on or off, and your view changes. You either click on and suddenly it's not a job anymore, it's what you are or you click off and realize you aren't in the right place anymore. It's the best (or worst--depending on your outlook) job in the world, because few other jobs are also a service to millions of people. 

Most of us hate war. We didn't join the military to fight, we joined to keep someone else from winning (or to go to college, or to grow up, or to get away from someone/something/some place, or...whatever). I joined to see the world and, well, that hasn't worked out so well for me. I also joined to grow up and get away from what I thought was going to be a bunch of really poor decisions. We all join for different, but similar reasons. Everyone has battles in their lives, we just chose to be ready for our battles.

We aren't here because we couldn't make it somewhere else. We aren't dumb (well, most of us aren't). A lot of us are here because we didn't make it somewhere else, but that just means we didn't try as hard as we should have. We failed at something easy so we decided to right it by doing something way harder. My mom doesn't even know exactly what I do and she would probably tie me down and not let me come back if she did. 

Well, that's a few, I'm sure I'll think of a few more for another day.

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2:56 am

I've decided to start blogging more and not just about my projects. We'll see how long it lasts and yes I realize I need to hurry up with the comments app...

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16 Jun 12

2:54 am

Memory Usage in PHP Frameworks

Just read this informative blog about PHP memory usage in some frameworks and CMS'. As of writing this blog, I have an HTML comment at the bottom of the page's HTML source that tells me the execution time and peak PHP memory usage to generate any page on this web site using ClayCMS. Just right-click and click View Source (or equivalent) to check it out (last thing on the page). 

I just checked the peak PHP memory usage for the home page of this site and it says Peak PHP Memory Usage 605660 bytes. We'll round that up to 606 KB. According to the blog post I linked to, PHP uses 256 KB just to render "Hello World" on a page. I'm sure that is dependent on the machine and how it is configured, but that sounds pretty accurate. I'm not trying to brag, I just want to point out that taking the time to optimize and focusing on performance does make a difference. Granted, there are a lot of features missing right now, like blocks and things like that. Check out the blog if you haven't yet. Those memory numbers were for a basic page, nothing extra. If I go to a page like that, maybe this page, it says Peak PHP Memory Usage 502292 bytes. So if we assume a decent sized application (this is a blog page with a pager, HTML filtering, and quite a bit of SQL data) load added 100 KB, adding blocks may add 200 to 300 KB to the memory usage, maybe more maybe less. We'll say it will add 400 KB. That puts ClayCMS' peak memory usage around 1 MB, with a full featured page being generated. 

I just hope I can keep this performance scale, because so far I'm cutting the best memory usage in half. Drupal with a limited number of modules was pulling down about 30 MB of memory at peak. Once again, I'm not bragging. I know how fast and easily something can get bloated. Let's just hope ClayCMS scales from here and keep trying to make it even better.

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2:02 am

ClayDB Adapter Development

I've been working on a PostgreSQL adapter for ClayDB. I've only used PostgreSQL once before now and that was just to run a Xaraya installation for a client years ago. I never thought there was really a difference between MySQL and PostgreSQL. Wow was I wrong. PostgreSQL has some really interesting data types, including UUID, ARRAY, and lots of geometric data types. I don't know how I could possibly utilize all of the features in PostgreSQL and maintain any sanity within the ClayDB Adapter interface. It is a really interesting database and I'd like to experiment with it a lot more.

Working on the adapters for SQLite and PostgreSQL have made me realize the down side to having a simple Database Abstraction Layer and the features we have to sacrifice for the sake of being flexible. In the future I may take that into consideration when developing a next generation ClayDB library. Fortunately, if someone doesn't care to maintain compatibility with more than one database, they can still use ClayDB as a connection manager and PDO wrapper. ClayDB doesn't require adapters to implement the Adapter interface class, so one could create an adapter specifically taylored to any database engine and disregard any needs of any other adapters.

Anyway, I'm working on the PostgreSQL adapter. Once it's finished I plan to work on a MSSQL adapter, which will be tested with the SQL Express server. I hadn't planned on supporting any closed source databases, but I'm trying to open Clay up to as large of a user base as possible. MSSQL is very low on my priority list, as I will likely never use it. It's still on my list though, so yeah.

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14 Jun 12

12:01 pm

PHP 5.4 Object Property Optimization

There is an interesting article on the PHP Classes blog about an optimization that was introduced in PHP 5.4. I remember reading about a change to the way PHP 5.4 handles object properties, but I don't remember it explaining what the optimization did. 

"That was when Portuguese core developer Gustavo Lopes explained that starting PHP 5.4 the dynamic properties hash table is created only if variables are added dynamically to objects at runtime."

This is quite interesting and kind of surprises me that it wasn't in PHP 5 already. What the quote means is if you only use object properties that you declare in the class declaration (before using the properties in a method), PHP 5.4 uses a single hash table for any object created from the class. In the past PHP 5 created a new hash table for every object, which meant if no dynamic properties were introduced after the class declaration it was wasting memory on excess hash tables it never really needed.

This explains the phantom memory differences between my web server (PHP 5.4.x) and my test server before I upgraded it to PHP 5.4. Lesson learned: Declaring class properties isn't only to make the code easier to read, it's also an optimization!

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12:59 am

SQLite Support Added to ClayDB

I updated the SQLite adapter and datadict for ClayDB in the Clay repo on GitHub. I haven't pushed it to the Clay Framework repo yet. It's kind of a dirty fix for now; they are based on the MySQL adapter and datadict in ClayDB. I haven't tested it on Linux yet, but plan to this weekend if I have time. It works on Windows and uses the PDO SQLite extension in PHP. Databases are created in the /data folder. No changes were required to ClayDB query syntax; the adapter and datadict translate ClayDB's methods, so everything that works under MySQL works with SQLite.

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12:25 am

4th Pressure Switch Replacement on 2005 Honda Pilot

Automatic Transmission Left Side CoverThe Shift indicator light began blinking on my 2005 Honda Pilot, so I had a transmission diagnostic ran. The dealer told me it was getting a 4th Pressure Switch fault. They wanted to charge a couple of hundred dollars to fix it. I got the part number from them and decided to fix it myself. I found this web site that has some pretty awesome diagrams, along with all of the parts in the picture. They charge below list prices and ended up replacing the 4th (#11 in the diagram) and the 3rd (#12 in the diagram). I also bought new fender clips and new washers for the switches, all for under $100. It took less than an hour to replace the switches and would have taken less if my old fender clips didn't all break in the process of removing the fender guard.

 

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