Posts in 2006


The other day I found myself using my cellphone’s inbuilt camera to photograph a UML diagram which had been hand-drawn on a white-board. The results were poor, and I ended up having to transcribe it by hand. I was intrigued to stumble across scanR, a startup who offer a service to process low-quality photos of white boards and paper documents. Haven’t tried it yet, but they do offer a free trial.

Frameworks tested on Glassfish

A list of frameworks and applications successfully deployed on Glassfish is here. Glassfish is coming together nicely - I’ve given it a quick spin and I like what I see. In my day job I rely on the excellent Tomcat for most of my app deployments, but I’m considering moving them to Glasssfish. Some of Glassfish’s features are compelling: logical partitioning with ‘domains’ - ability to package a domain containing applications and server instance configuration into a zip file and re-deploy elsewhere support for EJB 3 active community, with a great blog impressive web management console the price tag!


Following on from his original Going Bedouin post, Greg Olsen followed it up with Bedouins Are Everywhere where he talked about the types of discussion the first post had engendered. Greg says: Three key areas of discussion focus seem to have arisen: Technology: Saddlebag contents? What specific tools are available to Bedouins? Location: Tent or no tent? Physical vs. virtual office? Social needs: Are Bedouins lonely? Can alternative workplace concepts meet the social needs of workers?

Java web frameworks - the Rails influence

I’m re-examining the state of web-frameworks for Java at the moment, with a particular focus on support for Ajax and JSR168 portlets. It’s interesting to see the impact that Ruby on Rails has already had in this space. For example, several Java frameworks have started to favour convention over configuration, even if sporadically. Matt Raible has created a summary document, Java Web Frameworks Sweet Spots, of the current state of Java web frameworks, formed out of a series of short Q&A sessions with principal developers from 11 frameworks.

links for 2006-04-11 - Portlet - this is a good collection of articles about developing with the JSR168 portlet specification. Portlet Tutorial - WebWork, Eclipse and JBOSS - I’ve used Opensymphony components in the past and been really happy with them - not looked at WebWork yet, but this might be just what I need at the moment This was previously published at and was retrieved from the Internet Archive

Even more agile authoring.... and publishing too!

Having just purchased Getting Real from 37 Signals, I was interested to read David Heinemeier Hansson’s description of its production & publication processes in Shaking up tech publishing. David makes a number of challenges to the tech-book publishing ‘establishment’, but what makes this post really interesting is that Tim O’Reilly is one of the people who comments - the exchanges between author and commenter are fascinating and, importantly, good humoured. Really recommended.

Agile authoring

Interested in writing a Head First book? The invitation from Head First Labs is appealing - and I can’t remember having seen anything quite like it before. There’s an aphorism that everyone has one good novel inside of them - wonder if this is true for technology guides as well….? This was previously published at and was retrieved from the Internet Archive

REST application design checklist

Joe Gregorio lays out a simple process for designing a REST application. I’ve been doing a lot of this kind of design and development lately, but I still found that this piece clarified my thinking. In a nutshell, Joe’s process is: To build a good REST service you need to answer the following questions: What are the URIs? What’s the format? What methods are supported at each URI? What status codes could be returned?

Cyborgs walk among us

Mikey Sklar in Electric Clothing: DIY RFID human implants are on the rise. I have found over sixteen instances of midnight engineers implanting RFID tags in their hands. Lessons in how to make yourself machine-readable. The DIY surgery aspect of this is more disturbing than the cyborg connotations. This was previously published at and was retrieved from the Internet Archive

Seven pillars of tagging

Scott Golder and Bernardo A. Huberman of HP Labs have written a paper called The Structure of Collaborative Tagging Systems based on research done primarily with data from They identify seven kinds of tags: Identifying What (or Who) it is About. Overwhelmingly, tags identify the topics of bookmarked items. These items include common nouns of many levels of specificity, as well as many proper nouns, in the case of content discussing people or organizations.