Friday, November 26, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Using Groovy AntBuilder to zip / unzip files

I've been quiet for quite a while - partly because I am not working with Oracle just at the moment. I have been building some automated workflow systems using Groovy as the scripting language. I've known about Groovy since James Strachan first invented it back in around 2002/3 - but this is the first time I've really been using it in earnest. It's a great for portable scripts, and for integration with Java (it runs in the JVM). It's much friendlier than Java for someone like me who comes from a PL/SQL and C (not C++) background.

Anyhow, I found out about using Groovy Antbuilder tasks, and have been using them to manage zipping / unzipping file sets:

def ant = new AntBuilder(); // create an antbuilder
ant.unzip( src: planZipFile, dest:workingDirName, overwrite:"true")

Then I found I wanted to flatten the output (ie don't reproduce the directory structure). The Apache Ant documentation for the unzip task shows the Ant XML:

<unzip src="" dest="${tools.home}">
<include name="apache-ant/lib/ant.jar"/>
<mapper type="flatten"/>

How to add the mapper element?

Well, lots of googling later, I couldn't find an example but I did see the patternset being used. So thanks to that, I found that the Groovy way of expressing the mapper part of this is to add a closure after the call:
def ant = new AntBuilder();
ant.unzip( src: planZipFile, dest:workingDirName, overwrite:"true"){ mapper(type:"flatten")};

So I hope someone finds that useful.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Customer satisfaction - the Xerox Effect

Thanks to Martin Widlake for pointing to this gem of a paper from Dennis Adams (pdf), pointing out that an increase in customer satisfaction can lead to an increase in negative feedback, and vice versa. Anyone who has worked in customer support (whether on an internal help desk or for external customers) will have gone through a "why don't they love us, we're doing such a great job for them?" period. This might explain why.