Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Exam MADNESS, threatens our way of life!

In keeping with the exam fever at Billy Bob's I passed Sun's Java Web Component Developer exam today. To pass it I just read Sun Certification Web Component Developer Exam Study Kit, which is an excellent book.

If you are thinking of doing this exam then make sure you do a lot of work on JSPs and Tag Libs, they are quite hot on this stuff.

Of course, if your finding all this a little uninspiring then there are alternatives; Cheese Making for instance.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Talkin' 'bout no good upgrade blues.

So as my chumlies larged it at the Glastonbury Festival I find myself imersed in a domino 5-6 upgrade, involving DOLS users and the granite city of Aberdeen.

All goes swimingly until we hit a network glitch just before we are about to leave site. It is someone else's issue of course; midweek fidling with the firewall router has caused all manner of spooky weirdness. Further smoking guns emerge; why has the server got a host file? Was it Miss Scarlett with the service pack in the conservatory; or perhaps Moriarty re-running the firewall rules because he thought it might help. It all beats the Sugar Ray Leonards out of me I can tell you. Thankfully we had the Zorro of Aberdeen to help us.

The annoying part of course is that getting involved in upgrades loosely violates the
Spuggy golden rules of computing:

  1. Never have anyting to do with the backup.
  2. Never have anyting to do with the payroll.

Thing is, I don't like administration y'see. It's because I like to create things, not twiddle with someone elses Lego.

I'm a designer, an artist, a dreamaker; a rider on the edge of dawn who takes no prisoners.


Friday, June 25, 2004

Stairway to Heaven

Just tought my self the Ukulele equivalent of "Stairway to Heaven", which is of course "When I'm Cleaning Windows" by George Formby. This has cheered me up as my version of "White Riot" was just not swinging.

It's easy to know when to stop playing George Formby songs as you can see the glint of Mrs Spuggy's bread knife reflecting on the wall.

Rich Client? Outlook on steroids or what

Just had a shufty at the Workplace 2.0 features and the guy mentions the Rich client. On the workplace shindig I went on they implied that you could write "J2EE" apps that would sit in the rich client and be repped up and down .... in a notes stylee. He dosn't mention it.... ummmm

Hangs on by thread ...

Monday, June 21, 2004

Thats the sound of the men using Workplace on the chain gaa-yang.

Well I've been on a Workplace shindig last thrursday, friday. It was a very useful session where I think I finally understand where the blue meanies are coming from.

We spent most if the time trying to get Workplace 1.1a working. We installed Websphere, Websphere Portal, DB2, Numerous fixpacks, an LDAP server, a cuddly toy, a fondue set and coffee percolator; we edited .properties files and held our breath; we typed huge command line commands; we asked questions and looked blank; we rebooted servers; and throughout we required the expert help of two blue meanies just in case we pressed the wrong button.

Workplace 1.1a is obviously not ready for prime time; in fact it was touch and go whether it was ready for this workshop. Workplace 2.0 is nearly upon us (gold in 3 weeks) and I am reliably informed it is "Rockin' at the hops".

The interesting thing is that the 2.0 will include a "Rich" Client that will include an office suite which is forked from open office and managed from a server. As the licensing seems to be in the same ball park as domino (when you include all the collaboration things like IM and Quickplace etc) it certainly looks like the blue meanies are after the desktop again. This could be a compelling argument in the light of M$ recent licensing hikes.

The big question, of course, is will it all work? Dunno is the only honest answer, although I'm inclined to think that some kind of third way will emerge over the next few years.

That said, I generally feel a bit better. I feel comfortable in my investment in J2EE and Websphere and I can see a transition path ahead for notes/domino. The fact that this will all be done by a load of blokes from Bangalore is neither here nor there.

"Do you have a nectar card?"

Dur der dur da daaaaa!

Just returned form my first Yoga lesson. Mrs Spuggy suggested I go and I must say I feel rather good; although it is a bit alarming to find that you can't stick you legs straight up in the air.

The lesson was as I expected; in a church hall with lots of ladies in their 40s. Towards the end, as I feared, I let one rip when we were in a tricky pose with our bums in the air. Not just a parp noise, but the first three bars of "Jackie Wilson Said" by Dexy's Midnight Runners.

Not sure if I'm going to go next week.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

As I peddled out one midsummer morning ...

As I observed the silly, grim faced, lycra clad, serious cyclists coming down the Kennington road; I thought to myself:

If you are going to ride your bike; always try and ride it like you're Paul Newman and you've got Katherine Ross on the handle bars.

Rain drops keep falling on my head ...

Monday, June 14, 2004

Invasive Bowel Surgery

My earliest memory of watching my country play football was Norman Hunter passing to a Polish bloke and crashing out of the world cup. It has largely been the same sort of experience since then, bar the 4-1 against Holland.

What gets me down is not so much the defeats, but the manner in which we play. Often, players that grace our premier league with sublime skill and creativity, put on an England shirt and turn into boggled-eyed cart horses, who hoof the ball miles down the pitch. Meanwhile, in the same tournament, handsome continentals flick the ball around with aplomb. I get so emotional about it these days that I can hardly bare to watch as it upsets me so mutch. This is completely pathetic, I know.

I can only really compare it to one of your nearest and dearest having invasive bowel sugery. You are passionately interested in the result, but you'd rather not stand in the operating theater and watch.


Saturday, June 12, 2004


Went on a Websphere Portal course with Billy Bob and Red bob. It was jolly good and rather informative.

Portlets like servlets, midlets and applets are managed applications. In this case they are window like things on a web page. These are managed and rendered by a Portal Server.

Here is a simple portlet:



import org.apache.jetspeed.portlet.*;
import org.apache.jetspeed.portlet.event.*;

* A sample portlet based on PortletAdapter
public class examplePortlet extends PortletAdapter implements ActionListener, MessageListener {

public void init(PortletConfig portletConfig) throws UnavailableException

public void doView(PortletRequest request, PortletResponse response) throws PortletException, IOException

//do some stuff
// Invoke the JSP to render
getPortletConfig().getContext().include(VIEW_JSP+getJspExtension(request), request, response);

public void doEdit(PortletRequest request, PortletResponse response)
throws PortletException, IOException

//do some stuff.
// Invoke the JSP to render
getPortletConfig().getContext().include(EDIT_JSP+getJspExtension(request), request, response);

* Returns the file extension for the JSP file
private static String getJspExtension(PortletRequest request)
String markupName = request.getClient().getMarkupName();
return "jsp";


It looks not dissimilar to a servlet really and the key hooks are doEdit, doView and doHelp which map on to the controls in the portlet "window". The portlet will need a little JSP block to do the doView bit too. Here are some portlets below:

To develop portlets you use the portal toolkit, which plugs into WSAD and has a host of wizards to support and confuse you. You can hook portlets together by getting them to send messages to each other. An example could be when a travel portlet allows selection of a city and then that same portlet sends the selected city to a weather portlet which displays the weather in that city on the next page refresh. This can also be done by an administrator without programming (oh yeah ;-))

There are a raft of other add-ons dealing with connecting to Peoplesoft and Web services; you name it.

As an aside, I have noticed that the Blue Meanies tend to abbreviate long product names and then sort of make a word out of the abbreviation. I realise this is not uncommon in the IT business but they really go to town. For instance WSAD is pronounced "Wuhsad" and there are plenty of others. This is all WBLX of course, or as we say: "wuhbollocks".

Friday, June 11, 2004


Just found this. Oh boy.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Ancient Lotus Notes books from the crypt - part I

Published in 1995 at the princely sum of $24. Thanks must go to Kent Quirk, bless his heart.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004


On a portal course, somewhere in England ....

and the Blue Meanie said:

"STRUTS is no longer a strategic direction for us; we more focused on Java Server Faces. This is because JSF is a standard whilst STRUTS is more of a de facto standard".

Well I didn't know.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Cures for depression Part II

Previously on this blog I had recommended reading Benny Hill Lyrics as a cure for general grumpiness.

Another sure fire way to cheer yourself up is to listen to The Organist Entertains on the radio. This is a show dedicated to organ music that has been running for nearly 40 years. It is delivered in an almost reverential seriousness, which never fails to make me snigger. The presenter is often heard to introduce things like:

"Ok, the next track is Michael Woolridge, on the giant Wurlitzer at Worthing, with his version of Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi".

Its on every Tuesday night but you can play it again on the link above. Highly recommended.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

I was working in the lab, late last night ......

Thursday, June 03, 2004

The Nutter On The Bus

On every training course I have ever been on there is always a computer-bore nitwit who sole purpose in life seems to be letting everyone know how acute his obsessive compulsive disorder is; as I have been finding out, this is an international condition. Everyone else just sits quietly and waits till the nitwits' "willy waving" has passed.

The real action will happen at lunch time, when we all try desparately to avoid sitting next him.

"so what back up technology are you using?"

Gunner Sugden

Day 2 of the course and we have gone midlet crazy. The blue meanies have a grand vision for the mobile world, all built around Websphere Device Developer, it appears quite impressive.

After some investigation my own take on this is that:

i) The big software companies are pushing the mobile stuff and there are a lot of free resources around.

ii) The big telcos focus is on games right now.

iii) Most clients are still not ready for it.

iv) This will change in the next 12 months as Midp 2.0 kicks in and more devices become available.

The most alarming thing to happen, is that all the Czech students have turned up in huge Gunner Sugden shorts, socks and sandles.

Help me Rhonda.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004


So the course said Paris. Turns out it was the French equivalent of Croydon. Just had lunch with my fellow students in the canteen. In France you can buy a beer or a small bottle of wine with your lunch, imagine if they did this in England? People would be hanging out the windows or forming pyramids. It would end in tears. Burp.

Busking in Budepest

Bo Uke, from the "Dukes of Uke", busks by a fountain in the centre of Budepest. The picture was taken by his brother Luke.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

A Fist Full Of Szlodys

They were riding east, drinkin' hard and packing ukes. The kids just looked at each other and said, "Who were those masked men anyhow? We didn't even ask them their names".

The Dukes of Uke hit Hungary, 2004

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?