Thursday, November 30, 2006

Wicket most active Java Web framework forum

As you can see on this Nabble page, Wicket has the most active forum of all registered Java Web Frameworks.

Ruby on Rails and Django are the hot things in Ruby and Phyton land. So may we conclude Wicket is the hot thing in Java land?

Typo of the week

Found on Tor Nobye's blog:
Hi Matt, I asked Roman Strobl the "Go to File" or "Open File" dialogs (equivalent to Idea's Ctrl+Shit+N). He assured me that this is planned to Netbeans 6.0.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

SOA and Application/Integration databases

Hmm, I was going to write about a new insight. SOA has been reported to give huge cost savings. I figured that must have been because they used an application database and prevented the complexity of an integration database.

But of course, our hero Martin Fowler has already thought of that. Its right there in the second link.

Lessons from giving a workshop Introduction Spring

Yesterday I lectured a small group of students at the Hogeschool of Amsterdam to introduce them into the wonders of the Spring framework. To my surprise it was quite hard to convert the abstract ideas from Spring in to something lively and concrete.

Luckily one of the students suggested to explain the workings of dependency injection by working through the 'hello world' application from the book 'Spring in Action'. This I did using Eclipse with all keyboard shortcuts I known.
But even then, I am not sure I could really explain why Spring is useful. Simple examples never do just to Spring's power as they are more easily written directly in Java.

I am afraid that seeing why you need Spring only comes when you are building a real application.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Charles -JRuby- Nutter visits The Netherlands

December 19, JRuby author Charles Nutter will talk about his work on JRuby in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The meeting is organized by my colleagues at Finalist. The presentation is free and open for everybody. If you're interested (and of course you are), send an e-mail to

More information (Dutch)

Note: There is a rumor that Thomas Enebo, another JRuby author will also be there.

My first (bad) Ubuntu experience, long live SuSE

SuSE 9.1 is no longer supported so it was time to update my home firewall. SuSE has been my choice since its 6.0 version many year ago. But now that there are so many hallelujah stories on Ubuntu, I thought lets give it a try. The installation went well but as soon as it was prime time the computer simply rebooted right after grub had loaded the kernel and the initial ramdisk. No error message or anything else to shed some light on the matter, just a friendly beep and the process started all over. I tried the 6.06 and the 6.10 versions, with the same results. The weird thing is, the hardware is not even that old (its an AMD-K6 at 400MHz) and has more than enough memory (almost 400Mb) and harddisk space (6 and 30 Gb).

After that I went through hell to get the firewall running again. My steps included:
- installing an ancient SuSE 7.0 from CD
- figuring out how to get that SuSE 10.0 installation DVD copy I accidentally still had on my MP3 player to the firewall's second harddisk
- trying to update SuSE 7.0 to 10.0 (it refused)
- figuring out how to make a SuSE 10 installation boot CD (see previous post)
- installing SuSE 10.0 from harddisk

Weirdly enough the hardest step was to copy the SuSE 10.0 installation files to the firewall's harddisk. First I tried WarFTP to serve it from my Windows machine. However, I kept getting access denied errors (configuring WarFTP is a science), and the ftp program is not really suitable for recursive retrieval. I finally succeeded by using the smbclient program.

Perhaps I'll try Ubuntu again when SuSE 10.0 is no longer supported. Unfortunately this is already next summer, sigh.

Update 2006-11-22: In my hurry to write this article I made a small mistake: my previous SuSE version was 9.2 and its support has been discontinued as of today. SuSE 10.0 is good to go until October 2007. See also SuSE lifetimes.

Creating a SuSE installation boot CD

Suppose you have a copy of the SuSE 10.0 DVD, but you don't actually have a DVD player on your target computer. Here is a way to work around that:

- target computer must have a CD player and a BIOS that supports booting from CD
- target computer must have some means to get to the installation files, preferably these are put on a not-in-the-way partition on the target computer (for example on the second harddisk)
- a (unix) computer with package mkisofs installed
- some way to burn an iso image to CD

- cd to installfolder/boot, where installfolder is the root of the installation source
- execute

mkisofs -R -b loader/isolinux.bin -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -o suse10-installation.iso loader

- burn the result to a CD
- make sure the target computer has a means to get to the installation source
- let the target computer boot from the CD

When you are in the installation program you can do a ' back' to get in the installation program's menu. From there you can configure an alternate installation source.

Note that if you choose to install from a harddisk partition you should NOT format it, and you should NOT try to mount that partition during the installation. If you want you can mount the partition after the installation.