Friday, November 30, 2007

2007-11-30 Friday

3rd Quarter Job Market report for Seattle. As far as I can tell - Seattle looks like the market is still on a healthy trend. You can also see reports for other
local markets

No More Self-Organizing Teams? An interesting discussion. I think the appropriateness and degress of the Agile / Scrum principles adopted for a given project depend on the complexities of the organizational dynamics that may be in play. In some of my drect experiences, certain large-scale projects, that have fixed-price bid dynamics in play, often with multiple clients working in partnershp to spread the cost of the effort, and multiple vendors - all parties working with different priorities and agendas make the soup very spicey - and difficult to achieve success with the hoped-for-altruistic principle that the self-organizing team will do what is right for the project. Just my $0.02

I recently came across the XWiki project.

"XWiki is an open source wiki written in Java and released under the LGPL license"

"XWiki is a second generation wiki (a.k.a an application wiki), ideally suited for developing collaborative web applications."

Friday, November 23, 2007

2007-11-23 Friday

Cusp - An Eclipse plug-in for Lisp.

RuleBurst Acquires U.S. Business Rules Technology Vendor Haley Systems

The 7 Highly Effective Habits of Successful Freelancers

The Open Source Web Design Toolbox: 100 Web Design Template Sources, Tools and Resources

70+ JavaScript Resources for Every Web Developer

I installed the IONA Fuse 5.0 Message Broker this last week at a client site (based on an implementation of the Apache ActiveMQ) - and will be evaluating it for use within the SOA / ESB infrastructure that we are designing.

The client has expressed an interest in deploying a Single-Sign-On (SSO) capability - and we are looking at several possible technical solutions. One that I'm keen to investigate further: JBoss Federated SSO .

Next week I will install the Drools business rule management system (BRMS). Download Drools 4.0.3here

For an interesting example of Drools, see Dr. Gernot Starke's blog post, The Golfer Riddle. Drool developers blog - Scalable, Reliable, and Secure RESTful HTTP

I came across the IBM Research Ponder web site tonight. That's an interesting way to expand one's problem solving skills.

As a consultant that travels frequently on client engagements, this looks like an excellent stocking stuffer for the Technophiles in your life: Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-950 TV Tuner Stick/Personal Video Recorder

Another option...


Saturday, November 17, 2007

2007-11-17 Saturday

FIPS and SSL - Bad Mojo

I run several tools to help secure my computer systems - and frequently run updates for the latest releases for my firewall, antivirus, and operating system patches. But recently I wanted to step up my security game a bit - and began implementing a number of additional security measures.

There are several good sources on the web for additional tips and tricks to enhance the security of your computer - and as I worked through various recommendations, I decided to turn-on the Windows XP FIPS cryptographic option for critical information stored in certain file folders that I selected for encryption.

Big Mistake

Since I had downloaded the latest updates for my internet security software and Microsoft Windows XP, there were a significant number of variables in flight. When the HTTPS connection to a number of critical financial web sites stopped working, I began the laborous process of root-cause analysis (while other HTTPS connections did appear to continue working).

I had created a Restore Point before beginning this adventure, but I always prefer to learn from problems - not just "get it to work".

After a few hours of investtigation, and acquiring some new computer forensic skills, I found out that the Microsoft FIPS cryptographic option is not compatible with SSL.

Bad Microsoft.

Monday, November 12, 2007

2007-11-12 Monday

Google has released Android - An Open Handset Alliance Project

This is a bit dated (Sept. 27, 2006), but has some interesting information: Prototype the most popular Ajax framework across Java, .NET, & Rails communities - 2006 Survey Results

I love being in High-Tech. I love being part of the energy that is a startup. I took a detour early in my career - and was almost seduced into the "golden handcuffs" that large corporations offer...

I discovered my true passion when I was still in the U.S. Army, living in a basement apartment in Bamberg Germany in 1983-1984 - sitting at the kitchen table late into the night - teaching myself to program 6502 Assembler and Basic. Later, working as a programmer for a small bank in the mid-South, developing high-performance real-time transaction systems that connected to the national ATM networks - I still enjoyed "tinkering" when I went home - developing code - stretching my abilities.

I've overloaded my stress capacitors on a few projects over the years...a $100M+ project to redesign their call center infrastructure [for a major telecom company], a $100M+ project to redesign a Customer Account Support System [for a major Japanese automotive company] , the $100M+ VC funded Paul Allen startup venture, leading the successful development and launch of another start-up as their CTO in 2001...and came out the other end of the whole crash as a burned out husk of a man. In the years since, I have searched for ways to avoid burn-out - and to find sustainable ways of earning a living doing what I love: leading software development teams to produce exceptional solutions.

In 2004, while sailing in the Sea of Cortez aboard my magic carpet (S/V Renaissance) - taking a sabbatical to recharge my internal batteries - I found that passion again - as I reworked a code-generating framework that has been a pet project of mine for almost 8 years. This story reminded me of that passion - and stirred those embers again: John Cook's blog: Ready, set develop: How to create a six hour startup. - Startup Weekend site

Sunday, November 11, 2007

2007-11-11 Sunday

The Executive Development Program, offered through the Michael G. Foster School of Business, University of Washington, has an interesting program that I would like to explore sometime in the future.

I have just run into an unusual installation error message. I've been able to install Flyspray under Windows - but when I tried to install on a hosted Linux site (FreeBSD 4.11?), I got the error message: "SQL file required for importing structure and data is missing".

It turns out that the hosted Linux server doesn't allow a directory name such as \

I copied the files out of the \setup\upgrade\\ to \setup\upgrade\ and was able to proceed with the install.

See the following code from setup\index.php(lines 968-981)

function PopulateDb($data)
// Check available upgrade scripts, use the script of very latest version
$folders = glob_compat(BASEDIR . '/upgrade/[0-9]*');
usort($folders, 'version_compare'); // start with lowest version
$folders = array_reverse($folders); // start with highest version
$sql_file = APPLICATION_PATH . '/setup/upgrade/' . reset($folders) . '/flyspray-install.xml';

// Check if the install/upgrade file exists
if (!is_readable($sql_file)) {

$_SESSION['page_message'][] = 'SQL file required for importing structure and data is missing.';
return false;

This weekend I received a book from a publisher to review. I'll be publishing my review within the next 2-3 weeks. The book is "Java EE 5 Development using Glassfish Application Server", by David R. Heffelfinger (PACKT Publishing). Since I'm currently working with Glassfish for a client engagement, this will be a very timely opportunity to review this new book.