BlogicBlog: View from the trenches

The blog about Java and XML with focus on troubleshooting issues and tools.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Technical support patterns, where are you?

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We have Design patterns, Analysis patterns and even Maintenance patterns. But where are the Technical support patterns ?

Oh, we have plenty of horror stories, but nobody seems to be drawing lessons out of them.

The nearest I found was the Maintainability pattern language, which is worth a read. But even that document is too generic to be useful in the trenches.

I am still looking. If I don't find anything, I will try to codify my own experience, but surely somebody else has done at least some of it already.

BlogicBlogger Over and Out

Friday, February 18, 2005

Re: IBM's HeapAnalyzer

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IBM has refreshed the HeapAnalyzer software. Goodness of their heart? Not so fast.

Apparently, HeapAnalyzer used to be an internal IBM support tool. Paid customers who had problems with IBM JVM would take the memory snapshots and IBM support would use the tool to do the analysis and recomendations.

Now - with the tool available to the public - IBM support will no longer analyse customers' memory leaks. Apparently the tool is so intuitive and produces so good results that the customer can figure out the answers themselves after playing with the tool for a short while.

So, when a big customer of both BEA and IBM products was having production memory leaks within IBM's JVM, we (BEA support) had to help them to troubleshoot it because IBM refused. Something not quite right here.

Oh yeah, and even after spending more than an hour on it, the tool's output and interface was still confusing to me. And with Vim as my primary editor, I should be fairly familiar to obscure interfaces.

BlogicBlogger Over and Out