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SJCD failure

Pete Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 39
Hi,
I received my SCJD result today and i failed.
Here is the comment from the evaluator:
Server (maximum = 53): 23
Major point loss for record-locking mechanism. Operation is fine when trying to lock a record that is already locked. But when trying to lock a single record at a time when the entire data base is globally locked, the code throws an exception rather than blocking.

I have appealed as this was a design decision that I made as there is no method required for unlocking a globally locked database. Therefore I understood this feature to be a used as a precursor to shutting down the server and so I explicitly coded this exception with a descriptive message as otherwise this call would block permanently.
However it seems that I have lost 30 points (all points relevant to the locking mechanism) from this which has caused me to fail the exam. This appears unduly harsh as the assessor himself specifies, the rest of the locking mechanism is fine.
I would appreciate any comments here - do you agree that this is very harsh or am I (to coin a phrase) spitting in the wind here? I am particularly annoyed as the only other marks I lost were 2 on the general considerations and 5 on the GUI screen. Finally, has anyone else appealed and if so, how long does it take to get an answer?
cheers, Pete
[ July 07, 2003: Message edited by: Pete Harris ]
Andrew Monkhouse
author and jackaroo
Marshal Commander

Joined: Mar 28, 2003
Posts: 11503
    
  95

Hi Pete,
Sorry to hear you failed - it does seem to be very harsh to loose so many points over a documented decision.
there is no method required for unlocking a globally locked database

I dont understand how you decided this. My take on it was that lock and unlock both took a record number, with the magic number (-1) indicating that the entire database was to be locked. So to unlock the entire database you just had to unlock that magic number.
I explicitly coded this exception with a descriptive message as otherwise this call would block permanently

Well not permanently: if the database shut down, then the client should receive an Exception due to the network disconnection.
---
From memory, I have seen other posts from people who appealed. They seemed to get answers fairly swiftly, and some at least got passed on the appeal.
So good luck with your appeal.
Regards, Andrew


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Pete Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 39
Andrew,
Thanks for the reply, and to be honest I'm not optimistic about the appeal as I can't point to a specific issue that they have marked incorrectly. I just feel they have taken far too many marks off for what is at worst a minor indiscretion.

Well not permanently: if the database shut down, then the client should receive an Exception due to the network disconnection.

True, but my point was that in my implementaion, the record could never be successfully locked and hence the failure should be deterministic and immediate.
On the global unlocking point, the requirements explictily mention the magic number for the lock method, but only a record number for unlock(). This indicated to me that the magic number was a special case for the lock method. I totally concede that it could be taken either way though.
cheers, Pete
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
think you have grounds for an argument. If there are no explicit requirements for a requirements, and simplicity is a major design goal, then it's reasonable to argue that providing unrequested behavior would be remiss. I say give it a shot: YOu've already invested a lot of time and energy into this, and it can't hurt to try.
Good luck,
M


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George Fung
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 12, 2003
Posts: 98
Hi Peter and Max,
Is it reqirement that we should handle the locking of whole database? I cna't find it in my assingment (contractor).
Thanks,
George


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Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
It's not a requirement in my version of Contractor either. (Not all Contractor assignments are the same in all ways - Sun is tricky.) This is mostly a requirement for other assignments, so just ignore it when people discuss it here. Well, you might learn something from the discussions, as they're often interesting - but don't worry about this part for your own assignment.


"I'm not back." - Bill Harding, Twister
Pete Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 39
George,
It was a requirement in my version of the assignment (the fly by night one), but it may well not be in yours.
Oh and the moral of the story is that you should make sure you fulfil the requirements 100%, and don't make decisions which you think will improve the functionality but which bend/break the requirements.
cheers, Pete
Billy Tsai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1304
how long did you wait for the result?
maybe the assessor just didnt read ur documentation properly, like just red it in a hurry
I really hope I dont fail as well as I spent an entire month just doing SCJD assignment.
Pete Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 39
Billy,
It took about 2 weeks from taking the exam for the results to be posted, and failing-wise, I didn't even consider the possibility. I was (and still am) certain that it was fine
cheers, Pete
[ July 09, 2003: Message edited by: Pete Harris ]
Pete Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 39
Just to let you know,'ve just rechecked the cert manager site and they've regraded the server to 48/53 so I passed.
I'm really impressed by Sun here. They're obviously open-minded about appeals and process them quickly (they dealt with this inside 3 days).
cheers, Pete
Philippe Maquet
Bartender

Joined: Jun 02, 2003
Posts: 1872
Great, Pete ! I'm so happy for you !
Cheers,
Phil.
Vlad Rabkin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 07, 2003
Posts: 555
Hi Pete,
Congratulations!
Vlad
Andrew Monkhouse
author and jackaroo
Marshal Commander

Joined: Mar 28, 2003
Posts: 11503
    
  95

Hi Pete
That's great news: congratulations.
Regards, Andrew
Billy Tsai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1304
I guess they didn't really read your design decision and documentation properly, did they email you back about ur email or did u just check certmanager and found out about it?
Pete Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 39
I just checked on the off chance they might have re-marked it (well, to be honest I've been checking at least twice a day since I sent the mail!). No e-mail from them as yet.
BillLeighton
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 20, 2000
Posts: 20
A side note, do you know how much $$$ it would of cost to resubmit? I also wonder if a person should wait to find out if they passed the first part of the test before scheduling and paying for the written part of the test...
Mark Spritzler
ranger
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17259
    
    6

Bill, you get graded after you have completed both parts. So it would be possible to wait for the first part grade.
The essay exam is only there as proof that you did your assignment. It is not graded seperately. It is used to help in grading in the first part.
Mark


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Billy Tsai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1304
were you addressing me?
anyway its been 2weeks since I submitted the assignment and took the essay and still no result yet
 
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