Posts in 2004


I'm experimenting with a couple of components provided by the open-source initiative at I'm particularly pleased with the caching solution they provide called OSCache: this allows a developer to layer a caching structure over their servlet/JSP Java web-application. For general caching at the URL level (i.e. for caching all pages which match defined URL patterns), a Filter is provided. Using the filter allows caching to be applied to the web app without touching the application code at all - it just needs the necessary jar file to be included on the application's classpath and a simple entry to be added to the web.

Open standards and software for bibliographies and cataloging

If there's one area where you would expect strong standards to emerge, this is it. Bibliographic data typically needs to be structured, searchable, shareable etc. Strangely, however, this domain seems to have lagged behind in terms of informational and technical standards. As Bruce D'Arcus and John J. Lee put it: For scholars and researchers, among the most essential metadata is bibliographic. Being able to reliably store, find, use and communicate bibliographic data is a basic need of academic research.

Handy Servlet filter

One useful feature of the later Java Servlet specifications is support for filters. Essentially, a filter can be defined declaratively in a J2EE web application descriptor to intercept responses from the application to the client according to URL patterns. The filter can then do some work on the response, before allowing it to continue. A really useful example of this, which I have just started using in just about all of my J2EE webapps, is the trim filter.

Laszlo goes open-source

Laszlo technology is an open source XML-native platform for building rich client applications that deliver a breakthrough online user experience. Laszlo's single-page Web experience increases customer conversion rates, improves brand loyalty and ultimately impacts the bottom line. Having a long history of developing web applications, my colleagues and I are aware of the gradual growth in interest in the paradigm of the Rich Internet Applications (RIA). Now that there is a serious open-source solution, it might be time to realise some of our aspirations in this area.

Java Package Processes All RSS Formats

Several Java packages work with RSS. Some can read certain formats, while others can write them as well. The class this article features reads all known RSS formats and outputs the converted data in the 2.0 format. Vlad Patryshev on This looks useful - I haven't tried this out yet but I probably will in the near future. At the very least it could be deployed to sit between remote content and a local presentation layer, allowing the presentation technology to concern itself with a single format.

Aspect Oriented Programming without the buzzwords....?

After the AOP panel at the TSS Java Symposium had finished, Ted Neward threw out a challenge to some of the participants to come up with "an explanation of AOP without resorting to buzzwords." I've been mulling that around in my head for a few days now... What follows should be considered an early version of an attempt to explain what's at the heart of AOP (from my perspective), without resorting to any buzzwords.

What Now for JDO?

The EJB 3.0 expert group seems to have handed JBoss the EJB application server market on a silver platter. Several weeks ago at TheServerSide Java Symposium in Las Vegas the EJB expert group announced its decision to shelve the current entity bean architecture and focus on the lightweight persistence of Plain Old Java Objects (POJOs). Specifically, it decided to use Hibernate as the persistence mechanism in EJB 3.0. Hibernate is an open source object/relational mapping solution that joined the JBoss Group last year.

More on Using Open Office to convert MS documents

Viggo Navarsete made the following comment on my recent post about using to convert MS Word documents. [...] I have a similar problem at my project, where we want to embed powerpoint presentations into an existing pdf-document. A solution could perhaps be to use openoffice to convert the powerpoint presentation into jpegs, and then embed these pictures into the pdf? How is it possible to convert powerpoint to jpegs using openoffice in java?

Pocket WIFI Rules!

I went out a couple of weeks ago and treated myself to a new palmtop - Sony's Clie TJ37 I must say I'm very pleased with it. Having had three PalmOS devices before, the main new feature I wanted was WIFI access. This is because my 3 month old son, Joe, seems to sense it when I open my laptop and has usually started crying before my Linux system has fully booted-up.

Using Open Office to convert MS Word documents

Rickard Öberg recently posted a request for suggestions about using Java to convert MS word docs into HTML. I have been doing some work on this lately using the freely available, open-source to do the hard parts, making calls to a running OpenOffice server from within my Java code. It seems that there is some more interest in doing this from the Java community at large, so I am posting some source code here for anyone who is interested.