If it won't be simple, it simply won't be. [Hire me, source code] by Miki Tebeka, CEO, 353Solutions

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Code You Don't Write


Act without doing, work without effort.
Think of the small as large and the few as many.
Confront the difficult while it is still easy;
accomplish the great task by a series of small steps.
- Lao-Tze

Sometimes, the code you don't write is more important than the one you write.
Whenever I start on a new task, my first question is "how can I do this without coding?".

Here's a small (true) exmaple:

We had a problem that serving files on an NFS mounted volume was slow for the first request and them it was good. Probably the mount went "stale" after a while.

First option of learning the inner working of NFS mounts was dropped immediately - you can never know how much time this tinkering will take and if it'll work eventually.

So I decided to keep the NFS mount "warm" by periodically accessing it.

First Version:

from time import sleep
from os import listdir

while 1:
listdir("/path/to/nfs")
sleep(10 * 60 * 60)



and in crontab

@reboot /usr/bin/python /path/to/script.py


Then I thought - "cron", and second version came:
from os import listdir

listdir("/path/to/nfs")</code></pre>

and in crontab:

*/10 * * * * /usr/bin/python /path/to/script.py

And then last version (just crontab):

*/10 * * * * /bin/ls /path/to/nfs


So down from 6 LOC to 3 LOC to 1 LOC - that's what I call produtivity :)
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