SnipSnap running

I have installed a SnipSnap Weblog/Wiki at Not sure how to make it start as a service because it launches an instance of a Jetty web server which is a Java Daemon process that can’t be killed by killing the shell script that started it. Thus you can start the server using an init script, but killing the server is not so simple!

Plan for today

  1. Catch up with email (allow an hour).
  2. Play with OpenCMS for a while:

  3. Install documentation modules if necessary.

  4. Create a new engineering web site.

  5. Report any problems.

  6. Install SnipSnap:

  7. Create a blog.

  8. Play with the Wiki.

  9. Report any problems.

  10. Interview a student re his GDE

  11. Catch up with Blogines.

Installation Blues

I’ve just spent the whole day trying to install OpenCMS on my SuSE 9.1 box. I got stuck trying to get access to MySQL. In the end I had to delete MySQL and delete the old databases. When I reinstalled I noticed that it advised my to

mysqladmin -u root password ‘password
mysqladmin -u root -h hostname passwd ‘password

I didn’t do the latter first time around! When I fixed the error and changed the DB url to jdbc:mysql:<em>hostname</em>:3306/ it finally all worked. Permissions on MySQL is a black art at the best of times, but I wish there was a note to this affect somewhere in the documentation. Oh, for a decent user manual!

Anyway, after about 5 hours of hair pulling, here is my new OpenCMS server: I hope that SnipSnap goes better tomorrow.

The Serendipity of Google

I just did a google search for “collaborative programming” + wikki on google and came up with (the only match!) Pair Programming: More Learning and Less Anxiety in a First Programming Course. Not exactly what I expected to find, but very relevant nonetheless. Perhaps even better, the paper is hosted at The GE Master Teachers for Freshman Engineering at Northeastern University which seems to be a clearing house for best practice. A partcular gem is Chalk Talk with Jonas Chalk which is a essentially a L&T Best Practices FAQ written in the form of an Agony Aunt Column.

New Blogger Composition Client

I just noticed that Blogger has updated its blog posting system. Along with the standard HTML composition window, Blogger now has a Compose window that gives a WYSYWIG view.
It includes picture upload, numbered and unumbered lists, text coloring, fonts layout and keyboard shortcuts. Great stuff!

Blinkx Trial

After an interest piquing article in yesterday’s Guardian Online All Eyes on Blinkx, I downloaded a beta copy of the Blinkx client. It’s currently 67% through indexing My Documents at the moment. Key features:

  • It uses AI techniques to index the content of document rather than Google’s page ranking algorithm.
  • It indexes documents and email inboxes on your own computer.
  • It has smart searches
  • It can produce a sort of concept map of the results of your search.
  • It scours USENET and Blogs as well as static web pages.

The home page claims to have indexed 10% of the Internet.

Interesting technology!

Plan for Next Few Days

Over the next day or so I plan to work my way though Thomas Risberg’s tutorial Developing a Spring Framework MVC Application Step-by-Step. Read in conjunction with Rod Johnson’s new book, which I skimmed this morning, I should be up to speed with Spring in time to decide if it will work with my module EG-M42: Client-Server Programming with Java. If all goes well, I plan to have a look at Spring IDE for Eclipse and Spring Live before starting my own case-study project which will either be a reimplementation of the* World of Zuul* from Objects First with Java or George Reese’s bank account example from Database Programming with JDBC and Java.

UWS Moving Towards a CMS

At at meeting of the web strategy group various options of CMS were discussed. University is pursuing a tender from each of the following:

Also mentioned wais an open source alternative OpenCMS which runs in a Tomcat+MySQL context. We hope to have a demo of the OpenCMS system in LIS later this week.

In related news I installed Tomcat on eehope (my new SuSE 9.1 Server). Installation was via YaST and very smooth. It took some time to discover the right settings for the server (see Webserver Log Entry for Today) but now have a running demoserver at

Installed Java 2 SDK 1.5 Beta 2

I today installed the latest beta of the new “Java 2 Version 5″ SDK on my laptop. I also received my copy of Java 1.5 Tiger A Developer’s Notebook by Brett McLaughlin and David Flangan, just released by O’Reilly. So I’m all set for some serious playtime.