The personal site of Grahame Murray

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October 2017
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OSCON: Day 3 [Computing,Java,Journal]
Today is the last day, and the keynotes were quite a bit more interesting than previous ones. First off was the CEO of Linden Labs, the creators of the amazing alternative world/economy/lives Second Life. It was cool to see the new tech coming to SL but I thought his points were rather vague and basically obvious. The founder of Wikimedia was next, talking mostly about how important it is that Wikia, an open source search technology, is to the world and how important it is that search and its data is “open.” Simon Wardley was originally slated to give a speech about the open sourcing of Zimki, but as the owning company decided against OS, he gave a very witty and duck-oriented speech on why commoditization of infrastructure and IT is so important. I thought this was brilliant and not often said enough: every company spends way too many resources on solving the exact same issues (what he referred to as yak shaving), from networking and server processing power to email and file sharing. We should be pooling our resources into what is basically a grid. Nat Torkington, the conference chair, gave a cute set of keynotes on the psychologies of various open source conferences. And then James Larsson demonstrated some very novel and dangerous uses for older hardware, from an electrocuting monitor-based mousetrap to a leather fetishist’s version of Pong. read more »
OSCON: Day 2 [Computing,Java,Journal]
The keynotes today weren’t quite as crunchy. A open source guy from Microsoft did give me hope that MS has some people with a clue there. Steve Yegge from Google gave an interesting talk about the importance of branding, especially how it relates to open source projects and software. There was also a crazy Swedish guy who create the Pirate Party: a political party who’s main mission is massive copyright reform, in the sense of basically removing copyright. Another interesting talk was by an academic who was pointing out how biased we can be in our interactions with others. This was especially poignant with the open source crowd, which often tends to be opinionated, vocal, and active yet often assume that their neigh sayers are idiots, corporate stooges, or just plain evil. read more »
Resume Tool [Java]
Well, I’ve had this sitting around for a while and I realized I could just post it for whoever’s use. I’m pretty sure this is not an original idea anymore, but when I wrote it back in 2002 I don’t think too many people were doing it. This resume tool takes a single XML file which represents the information in your resume or C.V, and generates a HTML, text, and PDF version all at once. So you only need to edit stuff in one place, saving you time and reducing errors. This magic is done with XSL, which isn’t so magical anymore, but still very cool. I’m processing these files with Xalan, Jakarta’s XSLT engine, although any compliant XSLT processor should work. I’m using Jakarta’s FOP for PDF generation. Enjoy, but please use your own resume.xml, these are my life’s experiences, not yours. XML file XSL file for HTML XSL file for text XSL file for PDF Put the two together with calls like:
org.apache.xalan.xslt.Process -IN resume.xml -XSL resume-txt.xsl -OUT resume.txt
You can see the output in the resume section of this site.
RSS Utilities [Java]
My friend Rodrigo just told me that he has an article on java.sun.com about the RSS Utility JSP tag library he wrote for Sun during his last contract there. It is a fairly short article, but it is a pretty well formed utility that I would imagine could be useful to a number of organizations. It basically lets you format and display RSS derived data in any JSP page. This taglib should save you the step of parsing RSS (XML) and displaying its contents. Way to go Rodrigo!
Java Server Faces [Java]
Java Server Faces is in its 2nd Public Review stage in the JCP. I can’t wait for this spec to become final, and for it to be implemented well. It is such a natural extension to Struts, and is much needed by us Java webappp developers.