What is maven-compat ???

What is the maven-compat project? I was wondering. So I went to the official page of the project and found this: 

Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 11.40.23

Maven2 classes maintained as compatibility layer.

 That is not very helpful! I would like to have a little bit more information! So clicked on the “Project Summary” link and got this. 

Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 11.43.21

All right. Some auto generated site. Nothing I could not lookup in the pom.xml itself. And I still don’t know much more about this project. What does it do exactly? Why I need it? 

Unfortunately many Java projects are documented as bad as this one. Making an SMC public and auto generating a couple HTML pages doesn’t make it to a good Open Source project. Everytime I see something like this I get angry. Because the maintainers don’t give a shit about the community!

And by the way, JavaDocs are very poor docs! Everybody can generate JavaDocs. Why not put the project on GitHub or Bitbucket and provide a nice README with a red line, with a good intro into the project? That makes all the difference between a good and a bad open source project. 

Requirements for the perfect Crowd Software Testing Tool

The StartUp testCloud – a crowd software testing provider based in Berlin – is offering a service fro crowd software testing. 

testcloud_-logo-14

Now they are working on a new Crowd Software Testing Tool, which is completely self-service. They prepared a 3 min survey to get known your needs for the perfect Tool:  

https://www.umfrageonline.com/s/d3d0f6b

Everybody who finishes the survey can use the new tool for free up to 5 Bugs after official launch.  

I finished the survey by myself and I’m very curious to see the results.

PDFKit – invalid byte sequence in US-ASCII

I’m using PDFKit at VersionEye to generate the PDF invoices. It’s a really awesome project. The idea behind PDFKit is that you generate the documents as HTML and CSS and then convert it to PDF. That works really well. Generating a PDF works like this:

kit = PDFKit.new(html, :footer_html => footer_file, :page_size => 'A4')

The first parameter “html” is the HTML as string. In addition to that you can give a separate path to a HTML file as footer. And of course you can choose the output format. In this case DIN A4.

That worked all really well, but sometimes I got a

invalid byte sequence in US-ASCII Exception

I found out that there was some kind of special character in the HTML. That can happen if you fill the HTML template with usernames for example, and one of the users is a French dude or even worst a Chinese dude, then you have some odd characters in your markup :-) But luckily there is a solution for that. You can enforce UTF-8 encoding for the string.

This line fixed it for me.

html = html.force_encoding(Encoding::UTF_8)

Reference Badges

VersionEye supports reference badges for open source projects now! A reference badge shows how many other projects depend on a selected software package. This here for example is the reference badge for PHPUnit.

Reference Badge for PHPUnit

It shows immediately that 7704 PHP projects are using PHPUnit. Awesome! Right?

The conclusion is that as more references a project has as more important it is. VersionEyes reference badge can be integrated into Markdown and HTML. For example into a GitHub Readme page. In that way everybody can immediately see the relevance of the project. Read more about it here.