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Neo4j: COLLECTing multiple values

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One of my favourite functions in Neo4j’s cypher query language is COLLECT which allows us to group items into an array for later consumption. However, I’ve noticed that people sometimes have trouble working out how to collect multiple items with COLLECT and struggle to find a way to do so. Consider the following data set:         create ...

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Spring WebApplicationInitializer and ApplicationContextInitializer confusion

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These are two concepts that I mix up occasionally – a WebApplicationInitializer and an ApplicationContextInitializer, and wanted to describe each of them to clarify them for myself. I have previously blogged about WebApplicationInitializer here. It is relevant purely in a Servlet 3.0+ spec compliant servlet container and provides a hook to programmatically configure the servlet context. How does this help ...

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Exploring the SwitchYard 2.0.0.Alpha2 Quickstarts

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In one of my last posts I explained how you get started with SwitchYard on WildFly 8.1. In the meantime the project was busy and released another Alpha2. A very good opportunity to explore the quickstarts here and refresh your memory about it. Beside the version change, you can still use the earlier blog to setup you local WildFly 8 ...

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Men in Tech

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Background Between my partner and I, we have six daughters, and as they have grown I have thought more interested in their long term future, the role of women in society, the way technology will change our lives and in particular the role of women in technology. On the last topic, all the articles I have read have been written ...

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New programming techniques and the productivity curve

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Though I love learning new programming techniques and technologies, I often struggle to make them a part of my normal development processes. For example, it took years before I finally started using regular expressions on a normal basis. The reason? The productivity curve:               You may have seen a chart like this before; the ...

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Using Your RDBMS for Messaging is Totally OK

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Controversial database topics are a guaranteed success on reddit, because everyone has an opinion on those topics. More importantly, many people have a dogmatic opinion, which always triggers more debate than pragmatism. So, recently, I posted a link to an older article titled The Database As Queue Anti-Pattern by Mike Hadlow, and it got decent results on /r/programming: Mike’s post ...

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WORA Is Better Than Native

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When “Write Once Run Anywhere” is done right it can produce applications that are “better” than native apps by targeting the highest common denominator. Some would claim that native is the best approach, but that looks at existing WORA tools/communities, which mostly target cost saving. In fact, even native Android/iOS tools produce rather bad results without deep platform familiarity. Native ...

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The fastest way of drawing UML class diagrams

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A picture is worth a thousand words Understanding a software design proposal is so much easier once you can actually visualize it. While writing diagrams might take you an extra effort, the small time investment will pay off when others will require less time understanding your proposal. Software is a means, not a goal We are writing software to supports ...

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Embedded Jetty and Apache CXF: secure REST services with Spring Security

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Recently I run into very interesting problem which I thought would take me just a couple of minutes to solve: protecting Apache CXF (current release 3.0.1)/ JAX-RS REST services with Spring Security (current stable version 3.2.5) in the application running inside embedded Jetty container (current release 9.2). At the end, it turns out to be very easy, once you understand ...

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Optional and Objects: Null Pointer Saviours!

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No one loves Null Pointer Exceptions ! Is there a way we can get rid of them ? Maybe . . .                    Couple of techniques have been discussed in this post: Optional type (new in Java 8) Objects class (old Java 7 stuff !) Optional type in Java 8 What is it? A ...

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