Ajax Programming in BEA WebLogic Portal

Ajax Programming in BEA WebLogic Portal, Part 1 by John Margaglione — John Margaglione explains the rationale for using Ajax programming methods within the BEA WebLogic Portal environment, and offers some best practices and advice to avoid the many pitfalls awaiting the new Ajax programmer.

BEA, Weblogic, portal, ajax, tutorial

dev2dev> Developing Ajax Applications That Preserve Standard Browser Functionality

Developing Ajax Applications That Preserve Standard Browser Functionality by Mark Schiefelbein — Ajax applications are praised for their richness, interactivity, and responsiveness, which are achieved by loading data asynchronously using the XMLHttpRequest object instead of loading new pages. In this article, Mark Schiefelbein shows how to preserve standard browser history functionality while taking advantage of these Ajax features.

ajax, xmlhttprequest, bea, dev2dev, back+button

FeedLounge vs. FeedDemon

I use FeedDemon for all my blog/feed reading and have done so for many years. I really love FeedDemon and I cannot think of a feature that it is missing. Nick Bradbury has done a great job with FeedDemon and it continues to flourish with the NewsGator acquisition. I love the fact that I can keep my feeds and what I’ve read vs. not read in sync between many computers. My typical usage pattern is to use FeedDemon at home and the NewsGator browser interface at home. So if I subscribe to something new or mark something as read at work, I don’t have to do that again at home.

Nick has just put out the beta of the latest version (v2.0) and he’s made a great product even better. My only compliant so far is that the synchronization is renaming my feeds – I will typically rename the feed from the creative title/tag-line to the person’s name so I know whose feed I am reading and it seems like FeedDemon is re-discovering feed attributes on sync.

Along with the beta of FeedDemon, I have been playing with the latest web-based, AJAX enabled feed (RSS/ATOM) reader from Alex King called FeedLounge. Alex has done a great in creating this PHP Phyton based feed reader and it is really very functional for a web interface. I signed up for a paid account and have been playing with it for the past week and you can tell how popular FeedLounge is as I am noticing growing pains. The application has gotten slower and slower and crawls to a halt for a couple of minutes every once in a while. FeedLounge is really a beautifully written web application and offers the 3-pane layout, (among others) which usually sells me on user interfaces. FeedLounge imports OPML files, allows you to tag blog entries and works great in FireFox.

I started my paid subscription of FeedLounge to ‘check-out’ the application and not because I was looking to replace FeedDemon as my primary feed reader. FeedLounge does have all the features that I like and require but there is still something about a fat-client application running on your machine that can run offline. There is nothing missing in FeedLounge but I still can’t seem to make my self switch to it and that’s really odd and something I can’t explain. I am and have always been a huge proponent of web applications over fat-client application but I can’t seem to leave FeedDemon. Maybe FeedDemon is just that good?

Update: Alex corrected me – Apparently most of the backend for FeedLounge is written in Python. Thanks Alex

FeedDemon, FeedLounge, NewsGator, alex+king, nick+bradbury, rss, atom, opml, php, web2.0, ajax, fat-client

Daily Del.icio.us for Jan 25, 2006

  • Download Performancing for Firefox 1.1 | Performancing.com
    Performancing for Firefox 1.1Performancing for Firefox is a full featured blog editor that sits right within Firefox. Just hit F8 or click the little pencil icon at the bottom right to bring up the blog editor and easily post to your WordPress, MovableTypTagged as: blogging extension extensions firefox performancing
  • Presentation Zen: Where to get quotations for presentations? via LifeHacker
    In my presentations, I may have several slides which feature a quote from a famous (sometimes not so famous) individual in the field. The quote may be a springboard into the topic or serve as support or reinforcement for the particular point I’m makingTagged as: presentation
  • Inside Firefox – The Inside Track on Firefox Development
    From a development point of view, the idea of Firefox 2 is to deliver significant user experience enhancements on top of a relatively stable rendering engine as significant retooling is done on the main development trunk for what will become Firefox 3, anTagged as: blog browser features firefox mozilla

Daily Del.icio.us for Jan 23, 2006

  • BBC NEWS | Business | The world according to Google
    According to Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products at the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters, Google likes to release new products "early and often". And that means, she cheerfully admits, that nine out of ten ideas will fail.Tagged as: Google article bbc interview news
  • Mano’s Blog: Why do I need Windows Vista?
    Expect more of these in the future; what I will do next is DIVE into some of these things, especially the AERO user interface and the new functionalities (improved copy+paste workflow, etc).Tagged as: Vista microsoft upgrade windows

Windows Live Mail – The emergence of a framework?

I’ve been following Microsoft’s launch of Live.com or Windows Live as it’s officially called and the other offerings included under ideas.live.com. I’ve raved about Windows Live Custom Domains and I finally got an invite to try out Live Mail. Live Mail is essentially a replacement for Hotmail and it is AJAX enabled with 3-panes ala Outlook with drag and drop capabilities and a snappy and responsive interface. Firefox support is there but it still needs some work while IE offers all of the rich functionality.

I am a loyal Google Mail user and so I am not planning on switching over any time soon but it’s great to see Microsoft up the ante in the free email space and compete with Google and Yahoo. I still haven’t seen Yahoo’s new AJAX enabled email client and so I cannot compare but GMail is still very robust and feature-rich in comparison to Live Mail. Live Mail is still in early beta and so I am hoping the feature-set keeps on growing and offer Google a compelling reason to keep on improving GMail.

Here are screenshots of Live Mail Beta in action. I’ll post more after I spend some time with it but the calendar feature looks very nice. While Google calendar is still missing in action, Live Mail does have a nice calendar feature that competes with some of the Web2.0 calendar apps out there.

  • The Mail page or your Inbox view:
    windowslive-mailinbox
  • The Compose New Mail Page:
    windowslive-mailcompose
  • The Calendar Page:
    windowslive-calendar

The one thing that’s really interesting to me is the emergence of Live.com as a portal framework with ASP.NET 2.0, WebParts and all the stuff. Once Live.com is actually live and if it ever gets out of beta (maybe that will be Web3.0 :)), it will be compelling development platform for people that use .NET for their development. And where does that leave SharePoint?

microsoft, live.com, ideas.live.com, live+mail, ajax, .NET, webparts, asp.net2.0, sharepoint, scoble, google, gmail, yahoo, web2.0, web3.0, calendar

WordPress Upgrade Woes

I had a couple of interesting days last weekend fighting with MySQL, WordPress and DNS. This past weekend, I decided to upgrade this blog, which has about 800 posts and 4000+ comments to WordPress 2.0. As part of this move, I was also going to move hosts from pair.com to Kattare, a kick-ass hosting company (more about Kattare later).

Now I have 7 other blogs and sites that use WordPress and I’ve upgraded them all successfully to WordPress 2.0 without any problems. But my primary blog is the biggest and so I saved it for last. Since I had two different hosts and servers, I was able to setup everything without doing an upgrade in place. So I start by backing up the database from my current host using the WordPress backup plugin. I then use the MySQL Query Browser to upload the script and create the database and load up the content. The database creation worked but I ended up with some SQL errors in the process as it was loading data in the tables. But the MySQL query browser didn’t articulate the errors and so I assumed that the WordPress Database Backup plugin might have some issues and created the extract with some errors. So I use the MySQL Administrator to backup the original database and then restore it over on the new host and I got the same errors. So I look at the backup SQL script and I notice that some of the posts that are missing from the database have a special character in them that looks like this image. I’m guessing this is a weird issue with the textile plugin I use to create most post entries but I am not sure. So I start manually updating the database and fixing the missing posts. After I got all of the special characters out of the SQL dump file, I recreate the database and fire up the WordPress upgrade script. As promised, the upgrade scripts spins for a while and then returns successfully with the upgraded blog now running under WordPress 2.0.

I take a cursory look and everything appears to be ok (mistake #1) and so I go over to my host registrar and switch the DNS over to my new hosting company. I did this without updating the TTL on the DNS record (mistake #2) and the default TTL was 24 hours. The DNS changes propagate right away and I see my upgraded blog in minutes and so I start doing a little QA to make sure everything is working as it should. I soon discover that something is awry as some of my pages don’t work. I see them in the database and the WordPress admin with the correct post slug, but I get a 404 when I try to view it. I verify that .htaccess is setup correctly and the page is setup correctly but still cannot view. Some of the comments are missing as well and so my hand-edit of the WordPress database didn’t fix everything or maybe fixed one issue and created 2 new ones. Since I have a working installation of WordPress 1.5 on my old host, I go back to update the DNS to switch back to pair.com. My second mistake of not updating the DNS TTL record bites me here as it’s now going to take anywhere from 24-48 hours to go back to the old host. Good lesson learned here for when I try this again.

Vinny's blog performance chart
The chart is courtesy of the Stephen Pierzchala’s GrabPERF blog performance monitoring system.

One interesting thing I noticed about WordPress 2.0 was the built-in caching features do work but it’s still significantly slower than using the WP-Cache plugin. The average load time of my blog homepage went from 0.3 seconds to over 1 second.

After reading what I just wrote, I guess the title is a little misleading as most, if not all of the issues were caused by me. 🙂 But there are people that are having some issues upgrading to WordPress 2.0 and so I think I will wait for the 2.0.1 release which is coming soon. Kudos to Matt, Ryan and the rest of the WordPress team on another great release of software that just works.

mysql, wordpress, wordpress2.0, upgrade, kattare, dns, isp, blog, sql, java+hpsting, jsp+hosting, tomcat, GrabPERF, performance, monitoring

Daily Del.icio.us for Jan 21, 2006

  • [JavaSpecialists 119] – Book Review: "Wicked Cool" Java
    This book is more than just a rehash of the JavaDoc changes. It points you to all sorts of cool utilities and open source projects that let you do things from playing music to writing neural networks.Tagged as: book-review java wicked+cool
  • ONJava.com: Spring: Integrating iBATIS
    iBATIS walks a very different path than many OR frameworks: "iBATIS makes no attempt to hide SQL from you at all. In fact, it embraces SQLTagged as: Spring java orm
  • The Story of Stardust@home – What We Do | The Planetary Society
    Stardust@home, a project that will draw together users from around the world to search for tiny grains of interstellar dust. The particles are the first samples of distant stars ever brought to Earth from space, and you can help find them!Tagged as: science seti space

book-review, java, wicked+cool, seti, ibatis, spring