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Randomly Failing PHP Tests

Mark Mzyk April 20, 2011

At work we have several PHPUnit tests that randomly fail. These ghost failures cause a lot of pain. One run the test fails, the next it passes. These tests are slow poison, as they degrade trust in the system. The code was inspected, but nothing could be found wrong. For some reason, on random test […]

Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

Mark Mzyk February 27, 2009

The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis says that a person’s language affects how they think.  Recently, at RubyRX, I heard Neal Ford speak.  He brought this idea up, only he didn’t apply it to spoken languages, but to programming languages.  His assertion was that: More powerful programming languages give you new and different abstractions to work with so […]

Character Encoding: The Lesson We All Learn The Hard Way

Mark Mzyk November 14, 2008

Character encodings are a necessary evil for programmers.  It something that I wish I could forget, but to be competent I need to know about them. I’ve read Tim Bray’s writings on the subject.  I’ve read Joel’s writings on the subject. And it still bit me in perhaps the simplest form possible, when I wasn’t […]