Google Translate Just Got Better

16. October, 2009

You remember the old Google Translate? You know, the one which was really good for a moment of fun when you were bored: Just give it some text and laugh at the result. You could try to translate some text back and forth several times.

Well, it just got better. A lot better. Here is an example:

Der Hobby-Baumarkt war wie leer gefegt. Einkaufswagen an den Kassen, wild durcheinander, die Panik deutlich spürbar, in der Zeit eingefroren. Einkäufe, nur gesammelt oder schon bezahlt, lagen verstreut auf dem Boden. Werbebildschirme an der Decke blinkten rot, forderten alle Besucher zum sofortigen Verlassen des Gebäudes auf. Der modern geschwungene Informationsstand war verlassen, die Kassen eingeschaltet aber geschlossen. Hier war niemand mehr.

When I run this through GT, I now get something that is very readable, almost correct:

The Hobby-DIY was as completely empty. Shopping Cart at the tills, in wild confusion, the panic palpable, frozen in time. Purchases, only collected or already paid, lay scattered on the floor. Advertising screens on the ceiling flashed red, urged all attendees to immediately leave the building. The modern, curved level of information was left switched on but the cash is closed. There was no one.

20K on SO

16. October, 2009

Finally, 20’001 points on SO 🙂

PyScan 0.6

10. October, 2009

I’ve done some more work on PyScan. Most work is under the hood but I’ve got a system to load and save projects and a bug was fixed: If you pressed the Scan button too quickly with 0.4, the last image could have been overwritten. PyScan is now based on hplip 3.9.8.

PyScan 0.6.tar.gz (16KB, MD5 Sum: 2b5e23099be438ceceb69ec23d64cec6)

See the original post for features and the system requirements.

Attaching Sources To Eclipse Artifacts

8. October, 2009

After running mvn eclipse:make-artifacts -DstripQualifier=true -DeclipseDir=...path/to/eclipse, you might have lots of source JARs but they aren’t in the right place for Maven 2 to pick them up.

This little Python script fixes that. Just run it after eclipse:make-artifacts.

Note: You may be wondering why I use eclipse:make-artifacts instead of the recommended eclipse:to-maven. Simple: I don’t like to have a dozen core-*.jar in my project.

"""Maven 2 Eclipse Artifact Source resolver

After importing Eclipse artifacts into an M2 repository with

> mvn eclipse:make-artifacts -DstripQualifier=true -DeclipseDir=.../eclipse

run this script to move all source JARs in the right place for
Maven 2 to pick them up.
import os, sys
from shutil import copyfile

def processGroup(path):
    print 'group %s' % path
    for dir in os.listdir(path):
        path2 = os.path.join(path, dir)
        if '.' in dir:

def processArtifact(path):
    srcPath = path + '.source'
    #print 'processArtifact',srcPath
    if os.path.exists(srcPath):

def processArtifactWithSource(basePath):
    binPath = basePath
    srcPath = basePath + '.source'
    baseName = os.path.basename(basePath)
    print 'artifact', baseName
    for version in os.listdir(binPath):
        vbinPath = os.path.join(binPath, version)
        vsrcPath = os.path.join(srcPath, version)
        srcJar = os.path.join(vsrcPath, '%s.source-%s.jar' % (baseName, version))
        destJar = os.path.join(vbinPath, '%s-%s-sources.jar' % (baseName, version))
        if os.path.exists(srcJar):
            print '%s -> %s' % (srcJar, destJar)
            copyfile(srcJar, destJar)

m2repo = os.environ['M2_REPO']
if not m2repo:
    raise Exception('Env variable M2_REPO is not set')

root = os.path.join(m2repo, 'org', 'eclipse')
for dir in os.listdir(root):
    path = os.path.join(root, dir)

Updated 01. December 2009: The script now figures out where your M2 repo is. Plus a minimum of documentation.

Testing the Impossible: Shifting IDs

7. October, 2009

So you couldn’t resist and wrote tests against the database. With Hibernate, no less. And maybe some Spring. And to make things more simple, toString() contains the IDs of the objects in the database. Now, you want to check the results of queries and other operations using my advice how to verify several values at once.

During your first run, your DB returns some values, you copy them into a String. When you run the tests again, the tests fail because all the IDs have changed. Bummer. Now what? Just verify that the correct number of results was returned?

Don’t. assertEquals (3, list.size()) doesn’t give you a clue where to search for the error when the assert fails.

The solution is to give each ID a name. The name always stays the same and when you look at the test results, you’ll immediately know that the ID has been “fixated” (unlike when you’d replace the number with another, for example). Here is the code:

import java.util.*;

/** Helper class to fixate changing object IDs */
public class IDFixer
    private Map<String, String> replacements = new HashMap<String, String> ();
    private Map<String, Exception> usedNames = new HashMap<String, Exception> ();
    /** Assign a name to the number which follows the string <code>id=</code> in the object's
     * <code>toString()</code> method. */
    public void register (Object o, String name)
        if (o == null)
        String s = o.toString ();
        int pos = s.indexOf ("id=");
        if (pos != -1)
            pos = s.indexOf (',', pos);
        if (pos == -1)
            throw new RuntimeException ("Can't find 'id=' in " + s);
        String search = s.substring (0, pos + 1);
        pos = search.lastIndexOf ('=');
        String replace = search.substring (0, pos + 1) + name + ",";
        add (name, search, replace);
        registerSpecial (o, name);

    /** Add a search&replace pattern. */
    protected void add (String name, String search, String replace)
        if (usedNames.containsKey (replace))
            throw new RuntimeException ("Name "+name+" is already in use", usedNames.get (replace));
        //System.out.println ("+++ ["+search+"] -> ["+replace+"]");
        usedNames.put (replace, new Exception ("Name was registered here"));
        replacements.put (search, replace);
    /** Allow for special mappings */
    protected void registerSpecial (Object o, String name)
        // NOP

    /** Turn a <code>Collection</code> into a <code>String</code>, replacing all IDs with names. */
    public String toString (Collection c)
        StringBuilder buffer = new StringBuilder (10240);
        String delim = "";
        for (Object o: c)
            buffer.append (delim);
            delim = "\n";
            buffer.append (o);
        return toString (buffer);
    /** Turn a <code>Map</code> into a <code>String</code>, replacing all IDs with names. */
    public String toString (Map m)
        StringBuilder buffer = new StringBuilder (10240);
        String delim = "";
        for (Iterator iter=m.entrySet ().iterator (); iter.hasNext (); )
            Map.Entry e = (Map.Entry) ();
            buffer.append (delim);
            delim = "\n";
            buffer.append (e.getKey ());
            buffer.append ('=');
            buffer.append (e.getValue ());
        return toString (buffer);
    /** Turn an <code>Object</code> to a <code>String</code>, replacing all IDs with names.
     *  <p>If the object is a <code>Collection</code> or a <code>Map</code>, the special collection handling methods will be called. */
    public String toString (Object o)
        if (o instanceof Collection)
            return toString ((Collection)o);
        else if (o instanceof Map)
            return toString ((Map)o);
        if (o == null)
            return "null";

        String s = o.toString ();
        for (Map.Entry<String, String> entry: replacements.entrySet ())
            s = s.replace (entry.getKey (), entry.getValue ());
        return s;

    public boolean knowsAbout (String key)
        return replacements.containsKey (key);

To use the IDFixer, call register(object, name) to assign a name to whatever follows the number after id=. The method will search for this substring in the result of calling object.toString().

If you call IDFixer.toString(object) for a single object or a collection, it will replace id=number with id=name everywhere. If you have references between objects, you can register additional pattern to be replaced by overriding registerSpecial().

To make it easier to compare lists and maps in assertEquals(), each item gets its own line.