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<Summary> YATB, Yet Another Technology Blog </Summary>

Friday, January 26, 2007

Testing In The Toilet

If you thought toilets were the places where you could just escape after a long horrifying testing or debugging session. Think again, Google posts several test cases and test scenarios on the bathroom walls. So, even if you are in the bathroom or the toilet just to ease off a bit, you still might end up looking at the walls for the clues.




Geee, I feel like flushing this one off :)

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Monday, January 22, 2007

A Post That Should Not Have Been

I had no intention of posting this. I had thought about writing about it but chose not to as it would involve me taking names of one individual and I did not want him to suffer more than what he already is, and at no point did I wish to get personal with any of such things. I did not want to post it but then again this guy seems to be spreading all the (mis)information about me telling that I was culprit in the whole thing. And I think it is time to clean up my closet a bit.

I was working on a project for one of my course here. We were a group of three people who had got together to do the project. Each one had a module assigned to one individually, among ourselves. One of my friends had decided to take some of the core implementation to himself to which I somehow agreed. However, we had agreed about the interfaces, as he was supposed to call my set of routines I had already told him well in advance about them to him, and he had said it was “Okies” with him. About ten days before the demo when I decided to get it integrated, I realized that there was nothing according to the interfaces that I had specified. To top of it all this guy started cussing me and the other partner for the poor quality and buggy code that we had written even though we had tested it extensively, not to mention he had even gone to the extent of asking the other guy to just take the code from somewhere. And he was generous enough to actually provide the other code. And somehow he knew it would work without issues.
One night before the presentation as I was busy fixing up all the issues that were left over in the integration I had to log into his machine to synchronize the code and I saw folder which was named as one of our senior’s code. One night before the demo, I was just curious how the seniors had done the code, not to mention the fact that even tough my friend kept on saying that he had “referred” this guy’s code, I wanted to know just about how much the codes were “referred”. And here what I found once I got the codes.

Snippet 1 by senior:

int int_no_of_col=0, int_index=0, int_position=0,int_col_size=0,int_flag=0,int_k=0,int_len =0,int_temp_len = 0;

char* chrp_col_name = NULL;

char* chrp_default = NULL;

char chr_col_type ;

char** chrpp_record = NULL;

char* chrp_temp_complete_rec = NULL;

int* intp_element_len = NULL;

int int_def_len;

string str_table_file;

string str_index_file;

string str_table_meta_file;

HeapFile hf_meta_file;

HeapFile hf_data_file;

MetaInfo mi_meta_info;

HeapFile hf_index_meta_file;

char* chrp_final_rec = NULL;

short* chrp_offset = NULL;

int int_sum = 0;

int int_ret_size = 0;

int attr_list[30];

char* chrp_index_name = NULL;

char* save_rec = NULL;

int returnVal;

IndexInfo* temp_index_info = NULL;

int int_page_no;

int int_slot_no;

TreeIndex* _treeIndex = NULL;

rid_list_t* start=NULL,*rid_list=NULL;

//The following decalration is done by Hari. 27 Dec 2005//To remove compile time error: "crosses initialization"string str_absolute_index_pk;

string str_index_pk;

Snippet two by my friend:

int _intNumOfColumns=0, _intIndex=0, _intPosition=0,_intColumnSize=0,int_flag=0,int_k=0,int_len =0,int_temp_len = 0;

char* _chrptrColumnName = NULL;

char* chrp_default = NULL;

char _chrColumnType ;

char** _chrptrptrMetaRecords = NULL;

char* chrp_temp_complete_rec = NULL;

int* _intptrMetaRecordsLength = NULL;

int int_def_len;

string _strTableFileName;

string _strIndexFileName;

string _strMetaFileName;

HeapFile _metaHeapFile;

HeapFile _tableHeapFile;

MetaInfo _metaInfo;

HeapFile _heapIndexFile;

char* _chrptrFinalRecord = NULL;

short* chrp_offset = NULL;

int _intTotalLength = 0;

int _intReturnLiteralSize = 0;

int attr_list[30];

char* chrp_index_name = NULL;

char* save_rec = NULL;

IndexInfo* temp_index_info = NULL;

int _intPageNo;

int _intSlotNo;

//rid_list_t* start=NULL,*rid_list=NULL;

string str_absolute_index_pk;

Can you actually find the difference? For once I feel like sending it to one of those entertainment columns which say “Find 10 differences between the given pictures” .

This kind of similarity extended to the whole 4500 lines of code that he had always been boasting off writing single handedly. And we figured out that the reason he was asking my friend to use somebody’s code was plain and simple, he won’t have to bother about integration. What should have been me and my friends response after this? What could we have done? I for one decided to get out of the lab where we were all sitting and integrating and told him that it was against my conscious to work on the code. Next day, both me and my friend decided to tell the truth to the professor and true even we both got screwed because for quite some time we both were integrating our code with this guys and we decided not to show the integration to the Professor, and we ended up just showing what we had already shown a week before the actual demo. But then again, somehow we both knew what was the right thing to do that day, that moment. I just hope my friend knows the same.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Enemies Of The World

Ma friend AJ-B has written a wonderful rap. I don't have his webpage but here is his Orkut Profile Page.


Verse 1
Wot I See.......
Multiple Gunshots
Blood refined in da Blocks
Homiez died on da spot
but no one was Caught
coz he was Minister's Son
Killed a Homie like insane
All sayin' this was bad, but no one feels the pain
but do ya ever thought where it rain
Wot bot the Victam's Mother
Died Homie was her only Hope, Listen Brother
n real killa is not some other
Not Minister's Son, It was us Brother
We elected the Bastards n then we Die
For any Person, No one Stands up n cry
n this is done by us, We can't stand against Crime
insted sayin' this is not done with us, This was his Bad Time
n still we say we r Nice People n Good Skin
Ignoring the fact, Watching Crime is the Biggest Sin
We should stand against n Fight, No one Thinks
Oldies say they r Bad people n they have Mafia Links
but World like these Ancestor thoughts, Real Stinks
We r down People, and thats how its Supposed to be
Everyone looks for Practical Profit, No one's close to me
We can't get a true friend, This is every one's reality
We deserve it coz on Anyone's loss, We have a Fake Guilty
Our teachers, Our Parents taught this too
Live for Others, but they theirselves can't get through
They Save their own ass first, n this is true
(Chorus Singing)
This is the Reality.......We all are Enemies of the World

Verse 2
Wot I See.....
Souljas on the War
Wot we hadn't think of far
Souljas fight, Souljas died
but we say we win the Pride
No one Cares bot the Family of a Soulja
Who'll give the Widow Hand, n whos their to Hold ya
Who's gonna Carry Lil' ones, n whos goin' to Fold ya
n This is the Reality as i told ya
We feel Proud of Winnin' War, but this is Shame
This is our Degrading Atitude, not our Fame
We didn't need but juz Go for a War, juz listen Man
Not against Country's poverty, But against Pakistan
Do ever think ya is any ones needin' this War
Except the Politicians, the Country's Real Scar
Souljas on other side r too humans
but we don't realize, we love Execution
now we've to realize we r humans brother
it tooks madness to kill but Heart to heal each other
Must have a feelin' of Love, Rather
than the Hate fillin' our minds disgraced
Gettin' us out of Human Race
n Undastand bot the Peace's Face
We lick the hoes of real Enemies Politicians
insted of undastanding the Real Humanism
We know wot's Wrong but still we say they r Right in front
Overshadowin' the fact, they r goin' to our Kids Hunt
n makin' our Generation Blunt
n We it seen by our Eyes Naked
Juz thinkin' this fact is really Faked
(Chorus Singing)
This is the Reality.......We all are Enemies of the World
We Must have to come Up
To be Gathered as One, agsinst Dirty Politics
Rulin' Ma Life, Our Lives, Our Country n even Our World
The Wars r juz a set up
No body wants them, Juz for a Political Satisfaction
n U know wot really is Political Satisfaction
yup....Show of the War n Defence & Playin' with National Budget
Our Taxes goes in their Pocket
n the Heros, Our Souljas, Get killed
Reason behind tat is Only one......We Can't Come Up n Unite
Thats why We all r Enemies of the World Bro

Verse 3
n Still I See.....
So Many Religions, No Humanism
No one Count the Man, but Racism
We listen to the Religious preachings, but we don't ever follow
all taught us same tat God is One n we r 1, Undastand this fellow
We Learn to see every one as a Brother instead of Distant Strangers
Must follow the real learnings of Religions n Be the Straighters
Everyone say their Religion is Glistening
Wot r the real thoughts, Nobodys listening
Love is the real religion, that's what Osho said
Critcizin' him still now, Even when Osho's dead
Religious Preachers say they r juz one in the Human's Hole
Tellin' us stay Stanch bot Religion, n keep Playin with that Role
n Wash Us to Prepare for a Religious War against Each Other
Telling us Religious Killing is a Sacrifice, it Ain't a Murder
Watched the Blood, Where ever I Go,
Why is this for, Still I can't know
n Everyone is up for a Religious Show
Unwillingly thoughts r Comin' out, I Juz want to Cover Spaces
Fucked wid Muslims Hindus Sikhs n Catholics, its Nothin' about the Races
We have to Come Up n let this feeling Fix
Must forget the Mosque Doom on December 6
even 1984 Tragedy in Delhi, Brutelin' of the Sikhs
n Forgive everything, n Juz refer as a Finished Bad Disease
Leave these Nightmares n Go for a Next, A time to Fanatic Freeze
Must follow the Facts, wot Religions really Teach
No One is Up n No One is Under
A World wid Humanism is Similar to Heaven, I Wonder
(Chorus Singing)
This is the Reality.......We all are Enemies of the World
Every Religion Thoughts have Same Meanings, Juz Expressed in Different Ways
The Person Ready to Forget to be Fanatic bot Religion
n Treat every Human Like a Brotha
n Follow the Real Taughts of Religion
n Believe in Humanism
is Only Counted in Humans
The Rest......U Know Better wot he is.....
According to Me they all are Enemies of the World

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Do Certifications Matter

Jef Atwood has a nice post on "Do Certifications Matter?"

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Plagiarism In Academic Institutes

In life, everybody needs to win. Be better, stand out, get attention, for better or for worse. But then again sometimes we do things the way that is just not the right way to be done. In my undergrad I did most of the projects alone, because well, I could not find anybody to work with me or me not being ready to work with somebody else. At my institute here, however things were quite different. Most of the projects I have done, have been team projects, and I have always had the privilege to work with some of the best people around, it was always fun staying awake the whole days the whole nights and trying to find the "best" way to do the projects. There have been few others who took the easy way out, "referring" other people code and any other easy way to get the job done. A lot of times when you talk to anybody who does plagiarism, everybody has a reason. Some have "genuine" reasons, the project was too complex, and they could not do it by themselves. But then again, I know people who have done this more than once. And they have some how run out of genuine reasons. We all talk about them, but then again rarely do we talk about the reasons and the motivations behind these people. I can only talk about my own experiences. At my institute most professors encourage everybody to do their projects on their own, few of them have somehow encouraged "reusability" which has often been extended to just "copy paste work". But the thing is everybody says the people who do such things will one day be caught, one day they would be noticed. But then again, I think a lot needs to be done with the system itself only. The system may not encourage people to refer other people code, but then again on the other hand it does not even discourage people from doing so. Some of the reasons I think plagiarism is high in an academic institute are.

1) At a lot of these places, the course content remains the same for several years and so do the projects. In a Software engineering project, everybody might have to make a website, your seniors did that, so did their seniors and so did theirs, such kind of "hierarchical" projects encourage people to take code from some where in the hierarchy. Similar is the case with several of the courses like Databases, in which everybody might have to make a database engine, the same thing that might have been done for just far too many years now.

2) The lack of mechanisms, the mechanisms to detect plagiarism just don't seem to be present in Indian institutes, there are no code repositories, of previous batches wherein the code automatically goes through a process for the same.

3) Most of the professors don't give a damn about it. They are happy to see a working interface, a nice GUI that does not have pink color in the interface, and if you press "(" in the name field, it should pop up a message immediately. But none of them actually bothering to even listen to the design and the rationale for the project, the code organization or the coding standards. Why would students bother to learn or spend time on those things if some other guy who will focus more on the presentation or the GUI will end up getting more recognition or a better grade than you. All they want is some program working. This is something you expect from some professors but definitely not those who teach you about morality and telling you what is right and what is wrong, in life.

4) The evaluation, a lot of times, is delegated to Teaching Assistants; T.A though supposed to do the evaluation honestly have other motivations going on in his head while evaluating in such scenarios. Someone might have a crush on someone, someone might have had a fight with someone in the mess, and the evaluation turns out to be a play ground to settle all personal scores, once and for all.

What do you think? Do you think that our academic institutes need to look into how the things are being done, or how they can prevent such things from happening again and again, and well again.

Update: Tarandeep pointed me out to an article by Neil R. Wagner, which talks about academic dishonesty and also points out some statistics about Plagiarism at MIT.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A Society In Decay

A young man lying on the road, bleeding from his head and nose, shaking like he is going to die the very next moment, what do you do? Run. Everybody runs, but in which direction, in a direction towards the person in need or in the direction which makes you run away from your responsibility, your consciousness and your duty. I don't know what somebody else would do, but when me and my friend came out after having lunch, we see a man in the same situation and the only thing that we did was just run towards the person and try to help him. As we try to help the man, another one joins and hold his nose which just somehow does not stop bleeding. My first reaction was to call up 112, and as I am holding the cell with one hand and trying to stop some vehicle, it was shocking to see people not bothering even a bit to stop and help the guy in desperate need. Soon I get online with cops and try to explain the situation, and give the address, and as I am asking for an ambulance from them an auto stops which is ready to take the guy in. My friend, Taran, decides to go along with him, while I decide to get police involved for two reasons.

1) I thought that this guy had been hit by a vehicle and the guy had escaped.

2) I have been in a situation before and I think I have read enough of news wherin doctors have refused to give proper medical attention and the people have died waiting for one stupid police complaint to be registered.

There was a bike lying on the road, and I thought it was this guys bike and I started to move it to a safe place, I take the keys with myself, just then another guy who has few bruises on his face and arms comes and demands the key from me, as when I ask this guy if he was on the bike with this guy, people start shouting that "NO!, this guy was on the bike and he is the one who hit him!!" I decide not to give the key to the guy and tell him to wait till the police comes. And, sure after sometime I see on cop on his bike nearby and somehow it starts to slow down during the place where the crowd had gathered.

Me: Sir, there has been an accident, and this guy here was driving fast and he hit another guy. The guy was badly hit and we have sent him to the hospital.

Cop: O.K, where is the guy?

[The guy comes in]

Cop: You were driving the bike?

Guy: Yes. This guy has taken the key from me.

Cop: Why have you taken the key?

Me: I don't want this guy to go, he was driving fast, and the guy in hospital might die.

Guy: Sir, I have some bruises, can I go to the doctor?

Cop: Yes.

Me: What? You are not going to do anything.

Cop: Don't worry, "YOU" note down his number, there is a police station nearby, I want you to go there and register a complaint.

Me: What?, you are a cop, won't you do anything?

Cop: I said don't worry, now give me the key.

Probably one of the stupid things that I have done, I gave the key to the cop, and soon, he gives the key to the next guy, and asks him to "Go!!" and as I am standing there surprised the guy goes off in the bike and so does the cop. Trust me, for the next few moments I was completely shocked at what had just happened, the cop should have arrested the culprit right there, right then, why, why, why? The fact is that during the entire five minutes this cop was there, he did not even bother to get down from his bike to do anything about it.

But, then again, I guess it was too late, I started running towards the police station, and when I reach there and try to register the complaint, the cops somehow were reluctant to file it, I had the number of the bike and I wanted that guy to be stopped wherever he was, but these guys are happy to have the number and say that they would get the address from the RTO, and I should leave it to them, no matter how hard I ask them, no matter how hard I request them, it has no effect on theem none whatsoever, they won’t pursue the vehicle. The incharge ignores me completely when I ask him to explain why the cop gave the key away and let the guy go away.

Not to mention, one another important thing, the cop that came to the scene of the crime was NOT sent by the police station. I realized this as, while I was at the police station, and even though by now the police station which should have been intimated by the control room, these cops had no idea that an accident had happened, and I was already there for about ten minutes and it had already been about thirty minutes since I had called up the control room, these people in police station receive a call and as this cop is noting down the address “State Bank of India, Tata Power Limited”, which is the address I had told the control room as the scene of accident, I realize that it takes more than thirty minutes for the control room to intimate the police station, this despite the fact that I had asked the control room to send some one with an ambulance as soon as possible!!

Is this the attitude? Is it the way the cops should perform their duty? If this is the way they must, then God save our society.

And the people who didn’t stop their car ? What can we say. Yes , that back seat of the car would have got dirty / stained with blood and maybe they would have to pay a few thousand rupees to get it cleaned. Maybe they would have had to waste a few hours or a day or two in the usual police hassles but isn’t it better than carrying a feeling that because of you a guy might have died, or worse tomorrows news paper will carry a news item saying that the same guy died, when you could have had that self satisfaction of saving a life. How many people get that opportunity?

Tarandeep Singh Bharaj
Imanpreet Singh Arora

Update: Several People have been asking me what happened to the guy, we will be writing about it soon.

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