11 PM December 22, 2004

While metrics never give the whole picture, they sure help ask interesting questions. For instance, I hooked up CVSMonitor to the repository for my current project, and this was the result:

Author Karma Commits Added Removed Change
agreen 149,483 226 47,416 47,259 157
dpinn 130,282 272 64,135 24,033 40,102

On the face of it, I've taken away as much code as I've added, leaving David to do all the work. We kicked around a few other hypotheses as well, but overall it reflects the fact that I've worked on some difficult components - like the printing subsystem, which I had five goes at before I hit on a combination of technologies that works reliably.

CVSMonitor has plenty of other tricks too, including finding changesets and allocating blame.

By alang | # | Comments (1)
(Posted to Software Development and javablogs)

Sci-fi Surveillance

12 AM December 22, 2004

Life in the future will be a lot simpler if surveillance systems are properly installed.

I draw this conclusion from my research with Babylon 5 and Crusade, Star Trek (Original, TNG, DS9, Voyager, Enterprise, movies I – VI, Generations and First Contact), Blake’s 7, Dr Who, Earth 2, Star Wars (five movies), V, fifty-odd other sci-fi movies and (sadly) Space 1999.

A common thread in these stories is the lack of security cameras aboard the good guy’s space ships. The bad guys sometimes have security cameras, but only if the good guys can work around them.

If I were in charge, I’d be deploying surveillance in the form of hundreds of small packages – less than a millimetre on a side – each containing a video camera, and a microphone, as well as sensors to measure magnetic fields, radiation, gravity, and the passage of time. Each corridor and public area would have a few dozen sensors glued to the walls and floor. The sensors would form a self monitoring network, always on the lookout for temporal anomolies, injuries, covert meetings, unexpected structural weakening, and bad-guys. The surveillance recordings would also be available to the captain for review whenever nescessary.

I’m sure the script writers can come up with other ways to make life interesting for their characters, but a captain should know what has happenned on his own star ship or military base. Especially when they should have learnt to expect the unexpected.

I have also concluded that far too many sci-fi TV shows have numbers in their names.

PS: Two upcoming episodes of Star Trek Enterprise will explain why Kirk-era Klingons don’t have much makeup forehead ridges, bulging muscles and long hair. Cool.

By alang | # | Comments (3)
(Posted to Rants and javablogs)
© 2003-2006 Alan Green