Thursday, May 31, 2007

Berlin here i come!

My flight is booked, i'll be in Berlin, ready for summer next Thursday :)

An interesting project

My friend Klara has made a video called wonder.

A scientific thought and artistic curiosity meet in wonder.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

mega coding stint underway

i've been MIA to the world since last friday and the results are beginning to show.

been working on a mapguide 'workbench' using cfmx and mapguide open source via the java api. lots of oracle spatial, cfc's, some java, php, javascript, xml has been going on.

having jira and subversion makes life easy.

i've filed a lot of bugs with mapguide over the last week, now that it's an open source project it's nice to file bugs. before it became an open source project it was a very frustrating experience.

i have been enjoying a few programming journeys this week, hitting bugs in old data requiring SDO_MIGRATE.TO_CURRENT to be added under the hood inside the application, finding an memory issue with mapguide and the open source oracle fdo driver, niggling little things for developers and how mature the javascript world is :)

I find myself using cfabort a lot still with model glue. I am looking forward to the next (coldbox release 2.0.1) with the event tracing for requests. then i am going to migrate this code over to coldbox.

still i'm comfortable with model glue these days, i quite like it. even found wacking a bean in an enjoyable quick (as in the fastest way) solution.. finding i'm starting to enjoy software patterns and be really productive with them.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pretty XML formatting using XSLT and Coldfusion

Code generated XML can be pretty ugly, i spent a little while googling trying to find an simple answer on how to pretty up xml with CFMX.

The answer? XSLT

Grab this XSLT script Pretty Print XML using XSLT, and load it into a variable like xlst_pretty_print.

Then using the xmltransform function #xmlTransform(xml_str,xlst_pretty_print)# you can get get nice formatted xml out.

hopefully this saves someone else a little time :)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Better feedback for long running tasks

I have been writing some data loading software at the moment which involves gigs and gigs of data. It can take hours to load. I spent time writing a progress monitor to allow monitoring.

I realised that what was much better than just saying 4 hours to go (and not the cute microsoft minutes remaining estimation either) it's really good to say,

5 Hours, 21 minutes remaining, Estimated finish time 4:32 PM

Giving a clock time is so much more human friendly.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Mapguide 1.20 beta 2 is showing promise

The new mapguide beta has been posted on the mapguide website.

A cool new feature in the latest beat is the schema report which allows you to preview a featuresource (aka datasource) via some php pages.

It works great with SHP but there is an issue with the FDO King.Oracle provider which uses tilda's in the FDO class name.. not so pretty and it doesn't work so well in XML land which is used a lot with Mapguide open source.

I did some digging and i have filed a bug report about the schema report xml conversion problem.

I have also filed a bug about trying to get the oracle fdo included in base release

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Is separating organic rubbish out bad?

I just made a coffee and put the grounds into the box for the compost heap.

Is that bad for the environment?

Having organic rubbish in landfill is surely going to allow microbes to flourish and over a longer time accelerate the decomposition of all the rubbish.

I know some rubbish will takes 1,000s ++++ of years to breakdown, but I would imagine the process would be helped along if the mix of rubbish contained more organics than less...


The Monthly is so refreshing!

I had heard about The Monthly a few times in the media over the last few months.

The fact they picked up an article by Eric Ellis which Fairfax had commissioned and then dumped profiling Wendi Deng, Rupert Murdoch's wife finally led me to purchase the May Edition.

I was on the way into RMIT for a photo shoot (I'll post more later on that) and I had a tram ride ahead of me and wanted some brain fodder.

The articles were long, well written and interesting.

Covering topics like the history of federal politics in Australia, the outrageous state of logging and political corruption in Tasmania with regards to Gunns Ltd and a background article on Raimond Gaita, subject of the film Romulus, My Father

$6.95 is a steal for such great writing, get into it!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

When Nietzsche Wept: A Novel of Obsession

My dad put me onto this book, it's another one of my all time favourites.

Written by Irvin D. Yalom, M.D a psychotherapist, this is his first book. A work of fiction, it's places Josef Breuer, Sigmund Freud and Friedrich Nietzsche together in Vienna in 1882.

This book like all his subsequent books is simply fantastic. Irvin draws upon his insights into therapy and constructs a journey into the mind of both patient and therapist.

I am loathe to talk too much about the content of this book as it simply has to be read. Towards the end of the book, there is a chapter that is simply the most insightful exploration of the male psyche and obsession that I have ever read.

Amazon link - When Nietzsche Wept: A Novel of Obsession

The Cosmic Serpent - DNA and the Origins of Knowledge

This is a great book which was given to me for my birthday a few years ago by Wolfgang Kundris.

It's a book by Jeremy Narby who is an anthropologist who was in South America and visited a Sharman and experienced what he described as Forest Television.

Being a scientist, he then undertook a 7 year journey through the history and cultures of the world to find a scientific explanation of what he experienced.

It's a fantastic read, good food for thought. Good for the scientifically minded and the not so scientifically minded alike.

The way Jeremy draws the link between the Australian Aboriginal's cave paintings of the Rainbow Serpent with chromosomes and the DNA's spiral helix of DNA was suprising.

As a white Australian who loves science, I had seen this image throughout my life and had never seen what is such an obvious connection.

Here's the amazon link - The Cosmic Serpent

Telstra asks and doesn't like the answer!

Telstra, Australia's main telco has a PR spin website called nowwearetalking (and no-ones listening)

This is the company responsible for the woeful broadband in Australia, hey, they even charge you for uploads.

They launched a campaign trying to shift the blame elsewhere, the government, the regulator (ACCC) anyone else but telstra.

They ran a poll which they took down off the aforementioned website asking who was too blame. over 13,000 people responded with 97.1% blaming telstra.

It's still visible on the poll archive page, here's a screenshot as i'm am sure they will take it down pretty quick... it's a PR site after all

found on theinquirer

moral of the story: Don't ask a question if you don't like the answer!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Securing Apache when checking out with Subversion

adding the following to your apache.conf will stop people browsing your .svn folders which contain information about things like you subversion server address.

<FilesMatch "^.svn">
Order allow,deny
Deny from all

the same would go for .cvs folders

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

JIRA Permissions for Groups

I love JIRA, but sometimes i get a little confused.. doesn't take long to work it out tho..

If you create a group you might need to assign is permissions, like jira-users if you want users in the group to be able to login in.

Look under global permissions in the admin menu and then at the bottom of the screen

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Nice Apache Win32 Subversion HOWTO

HOWTO: Subversion for Windows with Apache server - a beginner's guide [version 0.4]

How to setup a SSH Server on windows

How to install OpenSSH sshd server and sftp server on a Windows 2000 or Windows XP

then you can use two of the great programs available to access the server...

one is WinSCP which is a Free SFTP, FTP and SCP client for Windows. Whats nice about this tool is you can remotely mount the enitre remote filesystem within this tool... works with linux and other unix type servers as well..

I quite like the ctrl-c which compares the local and remote directory and selects the modified files.

the other is of course Putty which is like telnet on steroids... not that you should ever be using telnet these days... it's way to insecure... use SSH!

Monday, May 07, 2007

CF Frameworks for CFEclipse and Coldbox

CFEclipse has a new xml driven framework explorer, CF Frameworks plugin

now coldbox doesn't have xml.. mmm... it should be possible to generate an xml description of a coldbox application ..

Luis, the author of Coldbox has commented on my previous entry that The request context snapshot is now integrated in the debugger and will be due for 2.0.1 due probably next week. So your wish is my command!! JEJE. actually it turned out to be an awesome little feature. I believe you will like it. You actually see the state of the request context as its manipulated and traversed throught events. Very very useful.

i hear thousands of cfabort and cfdump tags screaming and whithering in pain at the thought.

I hope there's a requestContextTrace() for use within an event handler :)

Friday, May 04, 2007


If you call a batch file via cfexecute, make sure the batch file sets the correct drive, if your script is targeted at another drive other than the drive where CFMX is installed.

This is because the context of the batch file will be the CFMX root folder

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Trying googling java array key exists

Coldbox CFMX Framework

I have been playing with Coldbox of late, i really like it. It differs from other CFMX frameworks like Model-glue in that it doesn't use XML for configuration, nor does it use RoR like conventions.

It uses, wait for this, the ground breaking approach, of using CFML for configuration!

I like Model Glue, it was the first framework ( outside my own developed over the years ) which i used. I did and do get really frustrated by the need to repeat my controller methods in the modelglue.xml file... why repeat yourself?????

What's more, XML is not a programming language! XML has it's place, it's just heavily abused and misused in way to many wierd and strange ways.

Fusebox has a whole vocabulary in XML which just makes things more complex. Oft heard is the argument that you can manipulate the XML with other tools....

hmmmf, not so interesting IMHO ...why?.. because you what you lose in flexibility using XML to configure the framework is not worth the trade off.

Frameworks should be like a good relationship, it should be a spring board which makes your life better and richer, not dragging you backwards. By backwards, i mean the limits of an XML vocab when compared to CFML.

Then again, I think working under the limitations approach is better for learning as a lot of CFMX developers aren't used to working in a more structed approach.

I have been swapping emails with Luis, the creator of Coldbox about extending the debugging with a diff of the requestcontent between events in a request call and adding a request trace monitor.... we will see what happens :)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Howard should be careful of Keating

Dragging Paul Keating into the IR debate was a questionable idea for Howard.

A classic Keating quote:

"He's a pre-Copernican obscurantist. That's where he belongs, but let's not have all these turkeys in the business community saying, 'well isn't this shocking'.

Howard with the ALP's inaction allowed Keating's name to be sullied over the last decade. But Keating did a hell of a lot more of the ground work for this boom than Howard and I am pleased to see Howard bringing Keating back into the game...

One of the darkest days in recent history (well a decade ago) for our nation was the Howard on the 7:30 report holding up a map of Oz with 80% covered in blue saying these areas are subject to Native Title Claims... a few days later i remember both Keating and Hawke explaining the issue very succinctly...

It's getting interesting down under...