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Showing posts from 2018

Book Review - The Phoenix Project

Here at Skybox Labs, we do regular lunch and learn session where a fellow colleague present on topics ranging from clean code, continuous integration, game development, machine learning to almost any areas where there are reasonable interests.

One of the very recent lunch and learn series that I have attended was focusing on DevOps which got me interested to learn more about the topic. I was looking for recommended books and the lead presenter highly recommended that I start with 'The Phoenix Project' by Gene Kim

Being inspired by the stellar reviews in Amazon, I have decided to get a copy and read it over the weekend.
A fantastic book that contains a wealth of information and delivers it in an intelligent and interesting way; a story. The book successfully captures the events and struggles of most people who work in IT Operations and gives a very good explanation on why these problems exist, and how you can solve them. It portrays a very effective way of thinking in applying …

Why using XOR might not be a good hash code implementation?

Using XOR for computing hash codes works great for most of the cases specially when order of computation does not matter. It also has the following benefits:
XOR has the best bit shuffling properties of all bit-operations and provides better distributions of hash values.It is a quick single cycle operation in most computer Order of computation does not matter. i.e. a^b = b^a However, if ordering of elements matter then it is often not a good choice.

Example
For simplicity consider you have a class with two string properties named Prop1 and Prop2 and your GetHashCode returns the xor of their hash code.

It will work fine for most of the cases except cases where same values are assigned to different properties. It will generate same hash-code i.e. collision in that case as can be seen in the below example.


However, using the modified approach as recommenced by Joshua Bloch's in Effective Java which uses prime multiplication and hash chaining provides more uniform distribution and a di…

Interesting bug - Line endings and Hash Code

I recently came across an interesting bug which emphasize how different line endings format can break your custom equality implementation if you do not carefully consider them.

Context
We have an application that periodically updates the local assets with latest updated resources. In a nutshell, it makes an web api call to get the latest set of metadata and compare them against a locally stored metadata file. If they differs then we update the locally stored metadata file and download new/updated resources.

Bug
For a particular asset, associated metadata file was always getting updated although there were no visible changes detected using the revision history.

Investigation
My obvious suspect was the code responsible for doing the equality check between local metadata and the metadata received from the Web API.

For verification, I setup a conditional break-point which will be hit when the equality returns false. After my debug hit the break-point, I looked into all the properties and fou…