Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Got Something done today!

...or at least, it felt like it. After doing housekeeping with our production application yesterday at work, today was a 'sit down and code' day. Boy did it feel good. I had told myself that I had to get this charting solution finished today or it would turn into a waste of time. It turns out that FusionCharts are super easy to implement, and boy, do they look sharp.

In my 'solution', I'm using Nagios to provide the data, with its 'service-perfdata' process. That file gets big quickly. I just enabled it in the Nagios configuration on Friday last week, and I already had 12 Megs of data. Going through the Nagios documentation and forums, there doesn't appear to be any mechanism to 'roll' this file or archive it or buffer it.... It had me stumped for a while. Then I realized I could just do a simple 'tail -1000 service-perfdata.out > service-perfdata.out' in a shell script with a cron job, and presto - a simple fix.

So, mental note to self.... whenever you're coding a shell script (or any kind of script) that gets run by cron, make all the file paths in the script(s) absolute. I keep on running into this problem. Cron is ignorant about everybody's profile and position.

I just started coding with Perl this summer on this project, and I really like it. Working with arrays is tricky and not very intuitive. Otherwise, though, Perl is fantastic for whipping up something quick. Today I found out that you can use && and || in conditional 'if' statements. That was good. Also, something I've noticed in the past and ran into again today - the 'chop' and 'chomp' functions in perl don't seem to work like the documentation says they should. I ended up having to something like this to get rid of spaces '$var =~ s| ||g' - basically using sed (or the like) to get rid of spaces I didn't want. Perl's localtime() function to convert unix to to something readable worked slick for me today. Another thing I ran into not too long ago - the proper way to concatenate strings in Perl is with '.'

Rode my bike into work today. Just had the pedal axle fixed, and wow, what a difference. The aphids are all over the place right now. After a ride they are just plastered all over me. It's hard to not breathe them in while one rides.

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