Feb 29

Fearless Thought Leaders: Are you done?

Tech 1 Comment »

There is an interesting discussion starting on TheServerSide that has come out of Rick Kitts blog entry “I think I’m done with thought leaders”.

Here we see a back-lash on “so called” Thought Leaders ™. This is due to the mismatch between the “Real World”, and the world that some thought leaders live in. Good ones are finding solutions to deal with issues in projects that we are working on right now. Others are playing around in their nice clean sandbox finding elegant solutions, which don’t map over to the real world.

Some “thought leaders” also are pushing their methodology/product, and think that you HAVE to play along. It may work for some people, or on some types of projects. There is no holy grail, and you have to work out what works for you.

Mike Spile has chimed in on this post. Mike is definitely someone who I consider “real world”, as you will learn if you read his blog. He doesn’t get to work in nice green fields, on small projects.

Then there is Andy Oliver who wants to bomb the real world into oblivion. Even if Andy doesn’t like the real world… his company will have to deal with it if they want to survive as “Professional Open Source”. The real world needs to buy they services.

Feb 29

In memory JSPC with WLS 8

Tech 2 Comments »

We run a whole bunch of app servers in the TSS cluster (WLS, Oracle, Novell exteNd, SunONE) and it has been interesting to see differences between the servers.

One of the painful aspects of watching WLS startup is that it took a lifetime to compile our JSPs. This was due to the fact that it would spawn off a process to javac.

I was happy to see that as we upgraded to WLS 8.1sp2, the compile speed was the same as Oracle. It looked like they had supported in memory compilation. A quick look in the docs, and yeah they have! Thanks BEA! You have saved valuable seconds everytime I restart the server :)

The docs are incorrect though. In e-docs they show “sun.tools.javac.Main” instead of “com.sun.tools.javac.Main”, so it should read:

The in memory compilerclass option uses the compiler class used by Sun to internally compile Java files. This does not require creating a new process and thus is more efficient than compiling each Java file separately using a new process.

The compilerclass can be used by adding the following to weblogic.xml:


and why is it compilerclass not compilerClass (as the other params are camel case)?

Feb 28

Wireless Media Router: WiFi + USB

Tech, Wireless No Comments »

I found a link to a new type of Wireless router… the NetGear WGT634U Wireless Media Router. Now you have a 801.11b/g 108mbps router, with a port to plugin a USB device.

I was just about to get a nice USB hard drive, as they are getting cheaper and the storage space is massive. Now I can plug it into a wireless device such as the NetGear, and I don’t need a file server!

In addition, the integration of a USB 2.0-compliant interface makes the WGT634U the industry’s first home networking product to enable the connection of an external storage device, such as a high-capacity disk drive or other USB memory device, for centralized network backup or storage and sharing of files and multimedia content.


NetGear WGT634U Wireless Media Router

NETGEAR Unveils CES ‘Best of Innovations’ Award Winning Wireless Media Router With Application-Level Shared Storage, Remote Home Portal Access, and Super Wireless Range and Speeds

PDF data sheet

Feb 28

History and politics with Mac Word vs. Win Word

Tech No Comments »

Rick Schaut has been working for Microsoft for a long time, and in the Mac arena.

His recent blog entry discusses the history of Mac Word, and how they got a point where Word recently feels like a Mac product instead of a port of Win Word.

It is very interesting to read how politics play, as well as technology. If a few key people move around within Microsoft, a lot changes!

Read: Mac Word 6.0

Feb 27

Telnet? What year are we in? :)

Tech No Comments »

I thought my RSS reader had screwed up when I got a new entry from Cam about Telnet clients :)

For me, there are two contenders for SSH clients:

  • SecureCRT: Have to pay, but worth it in my book
  • PuTTY: Free and easy… and if you are on a random machine it takes two seconds to download the .exe and run
Feb 26

Happy Birthday Codehaus / mates

Tech No Comments »

Codehaus has only been around for a year? I was amazed when I read that from Bob’s birthday post. Codehaus is becoming known as a place for fantastic innovacation in open source technology. It also says a lot when you see Apache projects being hosted there for a time ;)

Great work guys, it will be cool to see what is in the Haus next year.

Feb 26

Charles Miller is my hero :)

Tech 1 Comment »

I was perusing in blogspace and found an entry on Why I stopped reading TheServerSide.com.

It is basically another attack on us, and how we don’t care about the community because we have another site… TheServerSide.NET.

Now the author can have his own opinions, and he can choose to never darken our door again, but this stuff always makes me sigh.

We work really hard at TSS.com, to find great content for the enterprise Java community. I am sure we have made some mistakes over the years (some bad news posts or whatever) but why is it that a couple of mistakes can so easily blind people to all of the other good things ™ that we do, and have done?

People in my communities group realised that .NET is here to stay, so they thought they could start another community site to help that along. Does that instantly mean that I don’t care about Java?

Just at the end of my *sigh*, I saw a post by Charles Miller, On Brand Loyalty which discusses the earlier post. It is a simple pragmatic and common sense post.

Here is an excerpt:

If we start unsubscribing from every website that dares mention that there might be a competitor to Java, how are we going to learn from those things they do better than us? We could always sit around with blinkers on denying that such things exist, but that

Feb 25

Sharing WebLogic configurations is a pain

Tech No Comments »

We are finally getting around to upgrading to WLS 8.1sp2. Everytime I take a fresh look at a new version of WebLogic, I hope that they made it easier to share configuration.

If you look at another server such as Orion, I can simply keep the XML config files (server.xml, data-source.xml, default-web-site.xml, etc) in source control, and simply need to copy them over to the right directory, wherever I happen to install Orion.

If you look at WebLogic you see a config.xml, which can’t be shared. It isn’t a read only kinda thing. The server is always updating it. The {3DES} credential is a pain, and it always wants to put in absolute URLs all over the shop. This means that we have to have an alaborate process to share config information among developers / our machines.

I with the concept of WLS config was separated from the running info that WLS seems to need that it keeps in the domain directory. This way we could share a lot easier (like we do with other servers). What do other people do to get around this?

On the plus side, 8.1 is running faster than ever, and seems to have fixed a few issues that we had. It is still dog slow at compiling JSPs though… why do they exec() on a JSP compiler? :)

Feb 25

EJB is still good at TX processing

EJB, Java, Tech 1 Comment »

Whenever I get together with Ted, the group we are in somehow gets onto the topic of EJBs. We got around to it this time as we had heard the CTO of Orbitz discuss their Service Oriented Architecture, and how they use EJBs. Almost sensing that people would gasp, and think that he must be a bad bad CTO, he clarified that they used EJB for transaction processing.

Fancy that, a use for EJB. Ted and I always end up with “EJB is good at TP and should stick with that”. It isn’t good at persistence, and shouldn’t probably be a distributed object system. EJB is very good at doing the right thing with respect to transactions. The containers are mature, and know how to enlist correctly…. and it all “just works”.

So, as time goes on and I ask myself “when would I ever use EJB in a project”, I find myself justifying it if I was building a truly enterprise system (which is 1% of the total systems that are built?) and I wanted it to handle my TX throughput. In this scenario I could be happy enough using Stateless Session Beans, and Message Driven Beans. For persistence I would not touch Entities with a barch pole, but would opt for transparent persistence (JDO/Hibernate).

The lightweight containers don’t seem to be quite there wrt efficiently doing the right thing with distributed TX, but I am pretty sure that they will catch up. In fact Ron Bodkin (AOP guru) has worked on some nice Aspects that can handle things quite nicely… so this could be promising for the future.

Bottom line? EJBs have a place…. but should focus on the E, and yeah, they aren’t for the majority of projects. I hope that EJB 3.0 gets this, and starts dealing with the requests that developers on these huge systems need, and don’t just slap on some JSR 175 metadata, claim that EJB is easy, and sing a song. If AOP really kicks into gear, I think it would be fun to see EJB be a group of standards around various service aspects.

And don’t get me started on the fact that messaging systems don’t seem to be used nearly enough on projects!

Feb 23

Snickers Marathon?? Screwing with my brain and the past

British, Personal No Comments »

So, in England the bar of chocolate known in the US as “Snickers” used to be called “Marathon”. Unfortunately the name was consilidated and the name changed in the UK to “Snickers” also. I was surprised to see a commercial for “Snickers Marathon” on the telly today. How bizarre that the market has demanded such a thing! What would this new bar be called if it was still a Marathon? “Marathon squared”?

The same fate has happened to many other brands too. Opal Fruits has now become Starburst, Oil of Ulay -> Oil of Olay, etc etc.

I like differences, and we are getting fewer and fewer of them in the western world.