All posts by Martin Graney

A senior web software dude living and working in Amsterdam. I focus on the back-end of web development. "If you see what I have written, I have done it wrong."

ThreadAbortException and long running scheduled jobs

We were experiencing some weirdness, seemingly random thread death of long-running scheduled jobs and background worker threads, in our development environments. This was bad.

Looking through the IIS event log I found

A worker process with process id of ’7156′ serving application pool ‘dev.pool’ was shutdown due to inactivity. Application Pool timeout configuration was set to 20 minutes. A new worker process will be started when needed.

What was happening was that because we were waiting for the background tasks to complete the worker idle timeout was being exceeded, as it defaults to 20 minutes, and there was no site activity. [No requests! Though the background process was doing some work.]

The way to fix this is simple. We kill the Batman. Ahem, I mean, we disable the worker process idle timeout. As the app pool was set to recycle at a set time there should be no reason to recycle due to ‘idleness’. [On the prod environments, with their various monitoring apps, it would never happen. But on our QA machine and dev machines this was an issue for testing these kinds of long running jobs]

In IIS go to the app pool that you are using for EPiServer CMS and click the Advanced Settings link. Then scroll to Process Model and set Idle Time-out (minutes) to 0.
This will ensure that in your testing environments it never times out.

EPiServer Commerce and using the CartHelper class

During development of an EPiServer Commerce 1R3 based ecommerce platform we encountered a strange problem.

If the end-user decided to leave the checkout flow and return, the taxes and shipping costs doubled, then tripled, then … you can see where this is going.
Of course, the client was not happy with my suggestion that it increases revenue so I looked into what was happening.
Continue reading

I am still going to Japan on vacation

Torii at sunset

This is curenty a relatively bold thing to say.

As tempus is want to fugit it is likely this post will lose both its impact and meaning very quickly.

Japan has suffered its biggest earthquake ever. It triggered a huge Tsunami that wrecked even more damage, death and destruction.
Currently over 10,000 are dead and further 10,000 are missing.
It is a horrible tragedy.

And on top of this there has been an accident at a nuclear facility north of Tokyo that has pumped radioactive Iodine into the environment.

So why on earth would I still be going to Japan on vacation?
Continue reading

5 simple tips to staying a little safer online

The Web
The web has been likened to the wild west, a lawless and truly anarchistic place.
But most of the problems people encounter online are caused mostly by their own behaviour and attitude rather than any inherent nastiness of the technology.
Widespread digital iliteracy leads many to think they are safe when they are not and to fear things that are totally innocuous.

Below are 5 simple tips to help you stay a little safer online;
Continue reading

My atheism is an informed choice

The Grauniad online has a bunch of articles about “Can we choose what we believe”.
This is a rather interesting question.

Especially if, like me, you believe you have little conscious choice in what you believe.
[That entire sentence, and most of this discussion, is a nightmare of circular language!]

I got to the question via PZ Myers blog post linking to the Grauniad article by Harriet Baber.

Continue reading

Technical people can never be creative…. WTF?

“What you need to learn is that being creative is not enough in this business. You have to become technical. Creative people are born creative – you’re lucky. Technical people however can never be creative. It’s something they’ll never get. You can’t buy it, find it, study it – you’re born with it. Too many creative people don’t want to learn how to be technical, so what happens? They become dependent on technical people. Become technical, you can learn that.
If you’re creative and technical, you’re unstoppable.”
- Robert Rodriguez (emphasis mine)

This quote was sent around work at precisely the wrong time.
The Tech team had been working for 16 hour days, and in some cases 30 hour days, for a total of three weeks without a break, scrambling hard to meet hard deadlines.
The entire tech team almost walked out.
[By this time we were too exhausted to move ;)]
Continue reading

… and Hitchens isn’t helping matters either – Stating the case for justice

Well, not as much as he could.

In his piece in Newsweek, calling for the Pope to be brought to justice for his complicity in the paedophile scandal he had this to say;

The so-called Vatican City, a political nonentity covering about 0.17 square miles of Rome, was created by Benito Mussolini in 1929 as part of his sweetheart deal between fascism and the papacy. It is the last survival of the political architecture of the Axis powers.

This is, of course, an ad hominem attack against the legitimacy of the Papal State.

Hitchens should really know better than to use the failed rhetorical device of the Christian vox populi against itself.
Unless he is using it in a veiled attempt at irony, it has no real purpose in his piece.
Continue reading