Unstable Terrain

Software development in the real world

Archive for April 2010

Of Blog Stats and Yoga Pants

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Looking at the traffic stats for my blog, it’s amusing to note that the most popular technical article (about configuring TeamCity for SubVersion) is eclipsed by a throwaway comment about yoga pants


Written by Trent

April 22, 2010 at 9:00 am

Posted in Blog

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PayFlowAPI Proxy Issues

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At work, we have an old Java 1.4 application that has been experiencing connection issues.

We were experiencing intermittent problems connecting to remote servers. HttpClient logging showed strange connection attempts, like so:

HttpConnectionManager.getConnection:  config = HostConfiguration[host=https://external.site.example.com, proxyHost=http://:0]

These errors persisted even if the proxy details were set programmatically in the Axis2 client. Even setting the http.proxyHost system property didn’t work.

After much investigation, it turns out that the Payflow API jar was (re)setting the system properties for the proxy details based on the input parameters of its constructor — a very unfriendly thing to do. Further investigation showed that this issue was not new. Upgrading jars (or Java version) at this late stage of development was out of the question, so the interim solution was to re-set the proxy details using System.setProperty() each time the API wrecks them. Not ideal, but sufficient.

Written by Trent

April 21, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Tomcat 6.0.26 released

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Changelog says that Bug 41059 has been fixed, meaning that tomcat won’t hang inconveniently when it tries to shut down. Neat.

Written by Trent

April 16, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Posted in Software Development, Tools

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Eve Online Planetary Interation Predictions

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CrazyKinux posted a challenge:

Tyrannis will see some new industrial and planetary interaction opportunities like we’ve never seen before in New Eden. It’s a step in linking EVE Online and DUST514 as well. So I need you to write what you believe are the short and/or long term consequences of this development, in terms of the new industrial capacity it presents to players, in terms of the opportunities for pirates, for industrialists, for sovereignty, etc. Surprise us!

To preface my predictions, I should note that I rarely find the time to play Eve; I have even made the cardinal sin of letting my character’s skill queue empty for a number of days. However, it’s a good mental challenge to look at an upcoming change and try to determine what its effects are, regardless of whether the change affects your MMO, your profession, your health or your finances.

Some of these predictions will be wrong, but that’s the nature of, well, predicting the future. Anyway, on with it!

Newbies and the Unspecialised Masses

  • Dabblers will dip their toes into PI and build a small complex. If the skill requirements for larger complexes are anything like that for R&D (which I suspect they are), then they will probably balk and just sell their half-refined goods in small batches; the equivalent of hobby-farmers.
  • Lazy players will say “well, I’m in this system, mise well set up some extractors here” and extract whatever happens to be available. This behaviour will set a floor to the supply of practically every high-sec primary- and secondary-production good.


  • Assuming that everything isn’t just exposed in a data dump, explorers will scour the entirety of New Eden in search of the best planets and sell information to industrialists.
  • Many, many scams will be perpetrated in the process.


  • Competition for low-end minerals from reprocessing mission loot is reduced, allowing for greater profitability for high-sec mining
  • Reprocessing of planetary goods may take up some of this slack
  • Insurance changes will remove the price floor to low-end minerals, making it important to actually mine what’s in demand
  • Seeding of high-sec ores in low- and null-sec reduce the demand for high-sec ores in stable alliance space
  • This also affects the niche ‘mineral compression’ market


  • Some industrialists will make out like bandits mass-producing PI modules; others will mass-produce for their corp’s internal use. First mover advantage will be significant, but resource contention rules may mean that whoever deploys later will have the same efficiency as their neighbours, while doing it with cheaper (higher PE) parts.
  • Industrialists will number-crunch the most efficient product to be made in each system, based on the types of planets in the system and nearby systems. They will jealously guard these minimum-path algorithms until someone sells out to EON.
  • In the meantime, industrial espionage will be rife.

Traders and the General Economy

  • Traders will get involved by setting up market installations and exploiting arbitrage between planets.
  • Smaller market hubs will benefit more than Jita, as demand for many bulky goods can be satisfied closer to the source.
  • T1 ships now have no price floor! This will negatively affect their BPO prices too.
  • The prices of industrial ships and freighters will rise then regain equilibrium.
  • The prices of T2 industrials will rise higher.
  • Jump freighters will see a slight resurgence since they can now be self-fueled.
  • Prices of certain goods (including skillbooks if they’re buildable) will skyrocket; others will crash. It will be impossible to determine ahead of time which goods will do what.
  • Many crashes and shortages will be deliberate.
  • From a macroeconomic perspective, money sinks have been removed (skill books? POS parts? BPOs?). Colonists and traders will experience a brief boom. Expect vengeful PVP action to follow; wardecs and piracy now, planetary bombardment in the future.


  • Smaller null-sec corps and alliances will jockey for control of certain planets, seeking to gain complete POS/Cyno/Mineral self-sufficiency. Failing that, the resources they get will at least ease the pressure on their overstretched supply lines, and provide the haulers with much-needed profitable goods to haul up to high-sec (minerals can be used in on-site manufacturing and thus do not need to be sold)
  • Smaller corps will be much happier with ‘just one system’, as the ISK density is higher.
  • Larger alliances, who largely have their supply lines already worked out, will instead concentrate on extracting value from the planets (and renters) under their control. More POS fuel allows for more POS, which allow for more sovereignty, which funnels back into more planets under control.
  • Relatively peaceful, rear-echelon systems will build up credible planetary goods networks. Jump portals will be very popular.
  • Choice planets, being under high sovereignty to maximise their return, will increase the density of targets per constellation. Instead of just Technetium moons, resource-generating planets will become economic targets; wars can now be fought over oil as well as gold.

Wormhole Space

  • Wormhole occupants now may actually have commodities to trade with capsuleers who poke their heads in (besides bookmarks of the static exit).
  • Alliances will form around stable wormhole networks that are largely self-sufficient; many surprise cap-ship drops will happen to invaders.


  • Few industrialists will set up low-sec planetary installs until high-sec starts to be crowded. By then, the explorers should have a better map of resources, and the industrialists will be able to make better judgements of the risk/reward ratio, having had the benefit of experience.
  • Eventually, the lowsec planets will be exploited, particularly because they are no-effort isk fountains.

Faction Warfare

  • For the first time, holding a system may actually mean something to more than the people involved.
  • This may be a new experience for FW players.
  • Industrialists will fund faction warfare participants to retain control of their private planets, since their goals are in alignment (also they’re cheaper than mercenaries)


  • Those NPC convoys that wander between star systems may disappear.
  • Haulers will now have many regular contracts, hauling intermediate products between planets. Hauling costs rise due to higher demand.


  • Pirates will now have many regular targets as they lie in wait. Hauling costs rise further.


  • Most ninjas will continue to ninj as before.
  • Ninja rocket flipping may flood the tears market, but demand will stabilize.

Mission Runners

  • Wait, what? Did they release a new expansion or something? I was too busy running level 4s to notice.

Written by Trent

April 7, 2010 at 7:49 am