Archives for: April 2006

Apr 27, 2006 : Surprise! the .int top-level domain

I never heard about .int domains. But I stumbled across today.

Another non-country-code TLD besides the popular (.com, .org, etc) and silly sponsered ones (.aero, .museum, etc) is .cat (for Catalan language/culture).

Apr 26, 2006 : Portal comparison: Liferay v. uPortal

For Cornerstone University's portal we decided to switch from our planned uPortal 2.5.1 implementation to use Liferay 3.6.1 instead. Several people have wondered why. Here's a few comparisons:

Feature Liferay uPortal
Customization AJAX drag & drop much more difficult, but slightly more options
User/group data integration Must use its own SQL tables (we wrote scripts to insert into those) Can map to remote SQL, LDAP, etc
Community big, but often unanswered questions in forum Smaller, seems more helpful, focused on higher-ed
Bundled portlets/channels A lot (78). We use several (RSS, menu navigation, portlet aggregrator, Wiki display, weather) Few, none of which provided much value to us
Themeing easy hard (~3 layers of abstraction)
Pretty URLs yes no
Layouts each group you are a part of has a layout (page) hierarchy; this works very well for us. We did have to write a Java utility to insert similar layouts into similar groups Don't think there is a way for heirachy of pages; each user's layout can appear different based on what groups they are in
Portlet hotdeploy yes no (?)
CAS for authentication yes yes
Installation into app server Messy; requires putting lots of jars into common Clean; the portal is just one webapp

A very good comparison of these and more portals:

Apr 25, 2006 : Setting a portlet title in a JSF webapp

Here's how you can set a portlet title in a JSF webapp. This uses the "title" preference to define what the portlet title is, but you could easily code it to get the title in other ways.

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<!DOCTYPE faces-config PUBLIC
  "-Sun Microsystems, Inc.DTD JavaServer Faces Config 1.1//EN"

package edu.cornerstone.jsf.util;

import javax.faces.event.PhaseEvent;
import javax.faces.event.PhaseId;
import javax.faces.event.PhaseListener;
import javax.portlet.PortletRequest;
import javax.portlet.RenderResponse;

public class PortletTitlePhaseListener implements PhaseListener {

	public void afterPhase(PhaseEvent event) {


	public void beforePhase(PhaseEvent event) {
		RenderResponse response = (RenderResponse) event.getFacesContext()
		PortletRequest request = (PortletRequest) event.getFacesContext()
		String title = request.getPreferences().getValue("title", null);
		if (title != null) {

	public PhaseId getPhaseId() {
		return PhaseId.RENDER_RESPONSE;


Apr 23, 2006 : Fruits, vegetables not as nutritious as 50 years ago

Apr 21, 2006 : Comma-Separated Value files

me: any experience w/ Java CSV libraries?
kyle: csv, eh?
kyle: Not really
me: ok
me: I'll just pick one and run with it then :-)
kyle: The only csv file I've ever had to worry about really didn't have any c's in it
kyle: Since it was just one column
me: lol
kyle: Then I justed used FileUtils.readLines()
kyle: Which was beautiful

: Idea

The RSS/atom feed analysis power of in open source software like awstats that already analzyes general website usage.

Apr 19, 2006 : No, I'm not engaged!

At Easter, I got asked several times if Cherith & I were engaged yet; and Cherith was asked once at her church. And another friend asked recently, too. So for the record, no.

But we're still dating, and Cherith is an absolutely wonderful girl that I love being with.

Apr 17, 2006 : Enterprisey

Steve Loughran says:

On the topic of the word "Enterprisey", I note you can use it products like "Java Enterprisey Edition" and "Enterprisey Java Beans". When you do this, you can use the abbreviations "Java EE" and "EJB" without people knowing you are making fun of the whole idea.

: photo scriptlet

Prints the camera model for each file:

find . -name '*.jpg' | while read file; do jhead "$file" | awk -F\: '/^Camera model : / {printf substr($2,2)}'; echo -ne "\t\t"; echo $file; done

Recommended usage, to filter out your primary camera (and thus see what other people's photos you have):

find ... done | grep -v "Your Camera Model"

Still need to have it skip files with no camera model set.

I'm working towards the goal of setting the "Owner Name" field (or some other appropriate EXIF or IPTC field) based on the Camera Model and a mapping file.

Apr 15, 2006 : php bugtracking systems

So there are a lot of bugtracking systems out there, although it took me a while to start finding them. Wikipidia and are good places to start.

So I want to throw up a real bugtracking system for konfidi. JIRA, of course, would be excellent, but it's not yet worth it to request a license and figure out where we would host it. I want a php bugtracker that I can throw up on the site (a SourceForge clone).

Here's my quick evaluation of the top 5 contenders features that I would like to have. ?=questionable, -=not a feature, no entry=couldn't find evidence for or against

Immature; not even self-hosting; demo is empty
Somewhat unintuitive UI

emails to dev list : ?B F
schedule issues for milestones : B F ?M
account creation /w email verification : B -E F P M
attachments : B F P M
guest access : ?B F M

SVN integration: -B (patch)E -F -P M
personal bug subscriptions : B F M
reports : B F P M
build changelog file: M

Now I probably should set up BUGS, flyspray, and/or Mantis to do a real evaluation.

Anyone have recommendations?

Apr 11, 2006 : Break/strech reminder software

Workrave is the only free break/stretch reminder software that runs on Windows and Linux. It works real well, with configurable timers for mini-breaks, breaks, and maximum daily usage. You can even set it to forcibly lock you out of your own computer for the break period if you want.

I've used it at work quite a while and highly recommend it. I'm starting it use it at home now, too.

Stretching and moving around often during my computer work has helped my reduce wrist/forearm pain and overall stiffness.

Apr 10, 2006 : Eagle's Nest, the Cornerstone University portal

Ever since I started at Cornerstone University, I've been working on recreating the university's portal. It was in Lotus Notes and now it's a regular web portal, backed by the almost-latest versions of Tomcat, Liferay, CAS, portlets, JSF, Spring, Hibernate, etc. And a bit of iframes, portletbridge (proxied content), and php just to keep things interesting.

You can't see much as a guest, but here's Eagle's Nest anyway.

It feels good to have it up and running (relatively smoothly), but I still have my work cut out for me so we can get off Lotus altogether within the next months.

: nice out

It's getting really nice out. My thermometer says 90° in the sun. I'm sure it's broken, but it is really nice. Maybe I'll get my bike out. And ride it.

: Linux on the airlines

So I went to Spain, and on the flights to & fro they had in head-rest (ahead of you) screens to listen to music, watch movies on demand, play games, etc. Turns out they sometimes freeze. And then crash. And then you see a linux boot screen. It went by real fast, but I recognized it easily. The only line of text that I recall was:

No ext2 filesystem found on /dev/loop

Apr 06, 2006 : Lazy blogging

Blogging is easy when somebody else writes the stories for you (from a coworker).

Now if only somebody would post their pictures of Campus Services taking down the 'big red button' ...

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