Monthly Archives: June 2008

Moltke’s Value Matrix

Inspired by the post by Jeremy Meyer “Why it’s better to be lazy” I discovered an interesting conceptual view on how military staff was classified by General von Moltke’s Value Matrix:

“There are only four types of officer. First, there are the lazy, stupid ones. Leave them alone, they do no harm…Second, there are the hard- working, intelligent ones. They make excellent staff officers, ensuring that every detail is properly considered. Third, there are the hard- working, stupid ones. These people are a menace and must be fired at once. They create irrelevant work for everybody. Finally, there are the intelligent, lazy ones. They are suited for the highest office.

General Erich Von Manstein (1887-1973) on the German Officer Corps”

If we transfer this into our world, it would look something like this:

  • Smart + Lazy: Innovative type that does not rush into things. He figures out the easiest way to accomplish a goal. Has a strategic mind and long-term view. Is a good leader.
  • Smart + Active: Follows opportunities as they arise in realtime. A manager type. His intelligence is sometimes diluted being confused by too many parallel things and lack of discipline to focus. Gets lots of stuff done. Not a great leader.
  • Stupid + Lazy: Follows orders. Does not show too much own initiative. Operative administration type. Often inherits value created by the Smart-Actives. Does no harm on teams. Performs in a consistent predictable manner.
  • Stupid + Active: Dangerous type. Does not follow orders, makes mistakes and pursues his own agenda. Default behaviour is to act in absence of skill. Causes all kinds of trouble.

I’m sure, while reading, you already thought about some of your colleagues to be a good fit into one of the 4 categories ;).

Start longer running Jobs with screen

On the command line if you close a console with a running job, you kill the job. This is different with the tool ‘screen’, where you can attach and detach from a ‘screen’ without terminating it. You can even start a job in a screen on another machine, detatch, travel somewhere else and re-attach to it on another machine.

If you do not have screen yet, install it on your Debian box with: apt-get install screen


  • screen -S indexing – Create a screen with name ‘indexing’.
  • screen -ls – Show available screens.
  • screen -r indexing – Re-attach to the screen ‘indexing’.
  • Strg-A, Strg-D – Detatch from a current screen (without terminating it).
  • exit OR Strg-D – Exit from a current screen. This terminates the screen session.

Concat many Files on Command Line into One

Case: I had many .sql-files from a backup containing one table-dump each which should be loaded into another MySql-DB.

Simply using phpMyAdmin would not have worked with regard to the size of the tables. So I was thinking about a way to do it on the commandline under Linux. A foreach-solution would have caused me to enter the MySql password for each file… which was what I wanted to avoid since the DB contained 70 tables.

Solution: I concatenated all .sql files into one and imported it into MySql in one go. Supposed your present working directory is the directory containing all .sql-files do the following:

cat *.sql >> ../complete_dump.sql;
cd ..;
mysql my_database -h mysql_host -u myuser -p < complete_dump.sql;
password: ****

And your’re done!

Debug your SOAP Web Service

In search of a tool to debug client-server communication of a client’s SOAP webservice, I found SOAPUI:

Click the button “Click here to webstart now” on the page to open the application through Java Web Start from your browser.

How to test your webservice:

  • File / New WSDL Project…
  • Enter URL of your WSDL, for example
  • SOAPUI retrieves the WSDL and shows available methods, for example doGoogleSearch().
  • Select the child ‘Request1′ of the method you would like to test. You will see the XML of the SOAP-request with ‘?’ where you can put values of available parameters.
  • As long as there is no endpoint set, you can not click the green ‘submit request’ arrow button. If you see no endpoint when testing your WS, set the URL of your server-script at the top of the request window.
  • On every submit you see the result from the server on the right side.

If you take a deeper look at SOAPUI you will find many more useful features around debugging of your web services.

Happy debugging!