January 23, 2017

Kotlin vs Java: An Introduction

Kotlin is a statically typed programming language for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), Android, and web browsers crafted by the makers of the famous IDE IntelliJ[1]

The Willhaben Android App relies on traditional Java code and a growing amount of Kotlin code. Right now, we are in a transition period of migrating our legacy Java code to Kotlin. As Java and Kotlin both work on the JVM, they can be used in conjunction within the same codebase.

During my work with Kotlin, I stumbled upon some pretty interesting language details and features, some of which I want to explain briefly in the next few lines and in an upcoming blog post. I’ll also give you a comparison of how the same results can be achieved in the Java world. In this post, I will focus on two features.

January 18, 2017

Building a 144 core Raspberry PI 3 Cluster

A couple of months ago, we built a cluster of 36 Raspberry PI 3 (4 cores each, so 144 cores in total), resulting in 2304 GB of storage and 36 GB of RAM. There are many tutorials about building small Raspberry PI clusters available online, but hardly any of them cover what you can do with them in a business environment. So, why did we spend a lot of time to get this thing to work?

144 Core Raspberry PI 3 Cluster
First, our cluster is like a data center in a box. It just has a network cable and a power cable, so it actually is “plug and play.” Everything else is contained in the cluster shown in the picture. We had to build the hardware, the electronics, and to create the networking, routing, etc. We asked a team of software engineers and operations specialists to work closely together on this project. Participating in a project like this gives each of the members insight into other areas that are usually not part of their daily work; software guys learned more about networking and how to set up the proper administration of servers, and operations guys learned more about the software side.

January 02, 2017

How to integrate Docker into your build process

In this blog post I want to show you how to install Docker on your system and integrate it into your build process. So that it will be easy for you to run your tests against a running Docker container, we will add a Postgres database to the Docker container. This will enable you to test them against a fresh and clean database every time you run tests.

Docker Installation

For general installation instructions you can visit the Docker homepage and follow the steps there. In my example I will install it on a computer running Linux Mint, which is a derivative of Ubuntu, so you can follow the Ubuntu installation steps.

December 30, 2016

JUnit 5! What's new?

JUnit 5 is finally out. I will take this opportunity, to introduce some of its new features. I will point out only the features that I have found most interesting.

Annotations

The JUnit Team has changed a lot of the annotation names so that it is clearer how and when they should be used. The underlying behaviour is still the same. Methods which are annotated with either @BeforeAll or @AfterAll must be static because each test creates a new instance, and, therefore, it is unclear on which instance they have to be invoked. [1]

December 20, 2016

iOS Deep Linking - Common Challenges and Their Best Attempt to Solve Them


Introduction

"Deep links" are a powerful mechanism for making web/mobile app content more easily accessible. By automatically navigating to the desired page/screen we are able to improve the user experience dramatically.
Instead of requiring users to click through several pages – starting from the "home screen" – we can point them to a specific location within our app. Usually, a deep link is contained in, for example a push notification, an email, a Facebook advertisement, and so on. Furthermore, we can drive users back to our app from the mobile website with Smart App Banners in the Safari browser. See below for two real world examples. In the next few sections, we will show you what to consider when implementing such functionality on iOS.

December 19, 2016

Performance Testing with Gatling, Part 2

This is the second part of a two-part series covering theories on performance testing. This part showcases how to set up Gatling in IntelliJ. It provides some practical examples using Gatling, and explains how to get a graphical report for your execution results.

Sample Application

You can clone the sample application here: https://github.com/willhaben/gatling_part2

December 13, 2016

Avoiding the Implicit

TL;DR: You have a mixed Objective-C/Swift project? Avoid runtime crashes by adding nullability annotations to your Objective-C headers. Integrate this cool script to find missing annotations. Also activate Treat Warnings as Errors.
We love the dynamic freedom of Objective-C, and we also love the static safety of Swift. We know that Swift is the future, but we cannot migrate everything at once, so we live in a mixed world, Objective-C and Swift tangled together via The Bridge.
The Bridge is a wondrous thing, but danger lurks in the dark. In this article, I want to help you sharpen your tools to defend yourself from a special kind of beast: Implicitly Unwrapped Optionals (IUOs) that crawl over from Objective-C land into Swift.