All posts by Tom

Logging — our most effective debugging tool?

Logging frameworks have become a standard part of projects, since Servlets and Log4J first emerged. But how should we log? Are we getting the most we can from it?

Many developers see logging & debugging as separate tasks. When confronted with a problem we set breakpoints, step through, inspect variables, and trace through loops – often finishing hours later..

Finding problems this way is hard. Does it have to be so difficult? Could there be a way to get right to the problem area, in just minutes? Sometimes without even needing to step through? Continue reading

Fuzzy String Search in SQL

Users often enter data approximately or inaccurately.. But sometimes, we need to search or match this inaccurate data anyway!

For example, users should match existing customer records rather than creating unwanted duplicates.

There are standard algorithms for measuring string-distances, but we’ll need a few extra steps to make this work efficiently against a database..  Continue reading