Binding Redirects, StructureMap and Dependency Version Upgrades

Dealing with the fallout in failing unit tests from a code merge is one of the most frustrating tasks in software development.  And as one of a (very) small number of developers on our team that believes in unit testing, it fell to me to determine the cause of multiple instances of the structuremap exception code 207 error.

As it turned out, the culprit was a tactic I’ve used in the past to work with code that only works with a specific version of an assembly–the binding redirect.  When the same person is in charge of upgrading dependencies, this tends not to be an issue because if they’ve used binding redirects, they know it’s necessary to update them when dependencies are upgraded.    In this case, the dependencies were upgraded and the redirects were not.  As a result, StructureMap tried to find a specific version of an assembly that was no longer available and threw exception code 207 when it failed.

Not Surprised, But Still Disappointed

After being told the composition of the jury considering the case against George Zimmerman the week before, I said he wouldn’t be found guilty.  I also posted comments to the same effect on Facebook.  But I was still disappointed to discover that he’d been found not guilty.

In (foolishly) arguing the outcome of the case with people on Facebook, I made the following comment:

Zimmerman effectively profiled and stalked a minor child while armed for the simple act of walking home from the store. Incompetent as the prosecution apparently was, the laws of Florida are culpable too. They enable and condone vigilantism, and the needless deaths that will certainly continue to result.

Andrew Sullivan’s commentary on the verdict is well-worth reading.  It raises the very uncomfortable specter of lynching, as well as the prospect that this verdict might encourage it.  Given the widely-documented disparities in treatment of minorities when compared to whites in sentencing for the same crime, along with the highest rates of incarceration in the world, outcomes like the George Zimmerman verdict (and the perverse laws that enabled it) force me to question whether or not this country values my life, or those of other black males.

I’ve heard some talk of boycotting the state of Florida as a response to the verdict.  I can understand the sentiment.  What I’m less sure of is whether any such boycott could be effective without a clear objective (such as the repeal of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law).  There’s also a legitimate concern about such a boycott hurting people who have no choice but to remain in Florida.

Word Games

I love word games.  Whether it’s old-school ones like Scrabble and Boggle or the increasing number of iPhone word games (Words with Friends, Scramble with Friends, Letterpress, Ruzzle, etc), I play them all.  Our federal government is playing a different word game right now, by hesitating to describe the overthrow of the Morsi government in Egypt as a coup d’ etat.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines coup d’ etat this way:

: a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics; especially:the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group

Here’s how the Oxford Dictionaries define coup:

  • 1 (also coup d’état) a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government:he was overthrown in an army coup

The Wikipedia entry on coup is more extensive, and is perhaps the best description of the current situation:

coup d’état (/ˌkuːdeɪˈtɑː/; plural: coups d’état), also known as a coup, a putsch, or an overthrow, is the sudden deposition of a government,[1][2][3][4] usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to depose the extant government and replace it with another body, civil or military.

Did the military depose the government?  Yes.  All indications are that Morsi is currently under house arrest.  Did they replace it with another body?  Yes.  The chief justice of Egypt’s supreme court was sworn in and placed in charge mere hours after Morsi’s removal.

So why won’t our government call this change what it is?  Perhaps because the U.S. provides more foreign aid to Egypt than to any other country except Israel for the purpose of preventing another shooting war between Egypt and Israel.  Perhaps because a section of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 “restricts assistance to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree”.  Whatever the reason, now that the Egyptian army has killed 51 and injured hundreds in clashes yesterday, it’s unclear how much longer the Washington word games can (or should) continue.