Thursday 29 January 2009

Twitter in an NSF (follow up)

Yesterday I posted about my playing with twitter in a NSF, since this fiddling came from a request of "how to read XML from an external URL in LS?" I didn't google or PL twitter and NSF and as a result didn'f find out about a fine little app put together by one of our own Thomas Adrian who hales from Sweden. He has got a really sweet little NSF app has matured to Version 2 and does all that I planned to do. So any of you that are interested take a look at his post here.

Kudos Bro!

A fine wee app! Thanks for sharing it :-)

Wednesday 28 January 2009

Twitter in an NSF

Greetings and felicitations peeps and peepettes,

In a fit of pique at not being at LS09 and wishing that I could get a decent Twitter client that had a decent search, sorts and message threading also I was asked a question by a virtual colleague about "how to read an XML data stream in LS?"

So I threw together some LS at an NSF and "DYMTweetlet" was born. I now have a local NSF that sits and merrily polls my twitter stream every 3 mins if my notes client is up. Stores the tweets in a notes doc and then has all the notes-ee goodness of message threading, views, sort, search and the like. It also finds tweets from your chums that are "reply to" people you aren't following and sends them "Can I follow you" request.

It looks like shite at the minute, but it works, all I need is a way of getting the avatar piccies down to add to the PEEP document. Wild Bill & Matt White have pointed me at Java for this which I was investigating this evening, tomorrow I will give it a go and see what happens

Friday 23 January 2009

Bill Buchan's secret anchestry revealed

Much was said this past week about Mr Mooney's Scottish parentage in that he is indeed the skinny love child off our own Mr Buchan, this may or may not be true and is not really anything to do with this post ... I was reviewing the LS09 Flickr stream and I came across this picture .. go look at it now ... i will wait ... the similarity struck me like large lump hammer wrapped in enlightenment.. I knew exactly who bill looked like and had at once to put pen to paper...before the mood went off me. To Find out what the Feck I am talking about click the button below

Wednesday 21 January 2009

My First V8.5.0 project - Getting a decent floating layout

I have been fiddling with a variety of layouts of late and I really wanted a fluid 2 column plus header and footer arrangment, like the one on the left (but not in those colours) And I did not want to involve tables. So I tried I floated things left and right, up and down, in and out, but could not get it just the way I wanted it without going all position: absolute. the main problem being floating the footer to the bottom.

It seemed that the only way to do this was with absolute positioning, which I wanted to avoid if at all possible!

Then I came across this article by Shaun Inman and my problem was solved! He describes the solution much better than I can so I advise you to go have a look see if such things make you moist.

He has a really simple CSS and JS resolution to the problem so I copied it down and into a NSF page to see if it would work and it does!! Wonderfully fluid centered [div]s with a header at the top and a footer at the bottom ..(see below) ... Yippee ... Just what I wanted. Now if I can just get it to work in xPages which is being somewhat of a puzzle, but I shall continue on regardless. More tomorrow.

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Memories of my Father that made me smile

My father was a great fan of Gerald Hoffnung, and I came across this the today, which made me smile and brought back memories of a life long ago. There is no video and if you haven't heard the bricklayers lament before.. give it a go... you will enjoy it:-)

Tuesday 20 January 2009

V8.5.0 designer - my first play

I have had about 4 hours playing with the v8.5.0 designer client and I could be all serious and professional and say how well it fits the paradigm of a modern designer interface. How the interplay of the various components react together with a synergy that excels even my jaded sensibilities .. on the other hand I could yell ...

and run around the room naked waving my arms like a demeneted dervish. Since I am at home and everyone is in bed i think I will [pause for silliness]

Now as you may have noted I am not at LS so I don't have the benefit of listening to thoses that know how it all fits together AND I have only just this weekend downloaded the 8.5.0 code so I have had 2 hours yesterday and perhaps 3 today to play with it.

I of course dived straight into xPages and yes I can see how wonderful it is going to be. However I couldn't get CSS to work the way I wanted it, floats and clear's didn't seem to work and you can't set the left and right margins to "auto" ... as in (margin-left: auto; ) from the properties panel of an object. But this is probably me not doing it right rather than any fault of xPages.
I did manage without the aid of the help, or of my collegaues on the web to get a view working which is "bloody marvellous" and a testament to how easy it is to code! I will have to do a deep dive or two in the comming weeks to get to grips with all the bells and whistles!

On ordinary matters I really do like the fact that when I edit external style sheets I don't now have to remember to refresh the damn things. You just double click, edite them in the IDE, with a very nice properties panel at the bottom (no more typing maargin-botom: for me) enter your CSS, save and refresh your page in the browser. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! Remembering to refresh the CSS file in the NSF was the bane of my life and made many of my colleagues blush when I gave vent to my frustration in that regard!

The new editing layout or as it is called in designer "the perspective" is good, everything is at hand and easy to find for those used to the older designer clients. However I would challenge the "perspective" label. To an artist this means and image that is an approximate representation, on a flat surface, of an image in three dimensions as it is perceived by the eye. The two most characteristic features of perspective are that objects are drawn smaller as distance increases and are foreshortened along the line of sight but I suppose in this context it means the faculty of seeing all the relevant data to do with a project in a meaningful relationship ... ok I DO have my pedant hat on .... but because I have drawn and painted for a lot longer than I have coded it does midly annoy me. ;-)

I digress ... (as usual) ... my first impressions of V8.5.0 designer are very good but I can see a whole new set of tricks that will need to be learned to leverage max value out of it. So LS09 dev session folk we non-attenders really do need your examples and presentations so we too can get up and running ASAP with all these new toys! Pretty Please!

Monday 19 January 2009

Tony Hart RIP

Hey ho :(
Another great has left us to go on life's greatest adventure.
"Vision On" then "Take Hart" launched 10s of thousands of young brits off in search of pencils, crayons, sticky back plastic and paints. He launched Morph produced by Aardman who went on to bring us Wallace and Gromit.

But for me like many others it was the gallery that will stick in the memory. Particularly for me because one of my pictures was actually shown on it, many many many years ago on Vision on ... Tony ... thank you!

Wednesday 14 January 2009

Not Going to LS09? Join the proud non-attendee's who are not jealous at all!

After a tweet here and a tweet there from some of my chums on twitter
it has become clear that we non-attenders are feeling low and jealous as ***k.

So if you aren't going and are feeling down, hold you head high cos there are 1,000's
of us and we WILL be there vicariously on Twitter and sundry other sites.

Lotusphere Non-attendees UNITE!

PS Please feel free to steal this image and post it on your site

** Update **
Ben Langhinrichs has kindly added "Missing GONADs" to his LS Session Database
for those that that cannot attend!
Thank you Ben you shall reap your reward in Heaven!

** Update **

The Roll of Honourable Non Attendees
Steve McDonagh -&- Steve Lapthorn
Vitor Pereira -&- Bob Brodsky
Pedro Quaresma -&- David Vasta
David M Taylor -&- Ben Poole
Big Bear Freddie -&- John Turnbow
Vaughan Rivett -&- Tony Palmer
John Turnbow -&- David Killingsworth
Michelle O'Rorke -&- Chuck Dean
Ulrich Krause -&- Christian Tillmanns
Dave Harris -&- SvenM
Chris Harris -&- Chris Coates
Sean Cull -&- Guy Wakely
Grant Norman -&- Philip Storry
Per Henrik Lausten -&- Adam Gartenberg
Ray Bilyk -&- Mats
Alan Dalziel -&- Tim Lorge
Lars Berntrop-Bos -&- Sjaak Ursinus
Ian White -&- Gareth Howell
Marzel Laning -&- George Paglia
Simon Scullion

We will not be there in person but we will be WATCHING you that are!
(And if you don't enjoy yourselves we will come round and do unspeakable things to you with Custard and Herrings!)

My sepcial "hero" power recognised!!! Yippee!

Came into work today to find at the top of my inbox a message from Angela Petrelli no less! At long last my "hero" superpower has been validated! BAH! What good is being able to fly, see the future or travel in time if you can't peel a satsuma in one long bit with no breaks? Expect to see me in the next series as the "citrus-fruit-peeler-man"

Tuesday 13 January 2009

Does anyone fancy tweaking the Blog template with me?

Ben Poole was having a vent about the lack of movement in the "out of the box" templates over on his blog here. I responded there with an idea that post LS when youse folk are all fired up with enthusiasm that if a couple of us got together we could perhaps put some xpages gloss on the blog template.

It would be a learning experience for us all, we could blog about a collaborative development project, how it works and what we are doing and with a nod to professionalism even document our code... (did is say that out loud)

I am not looking for answers now, but think about it and after the fuss of LS has died down drop me an email.. the addy is on the left and lets see what we can do?

Do users pay lip service to Collaboration?

It is late at night again.

I have just finished doing some coding for a work project, which is a nice little collaborative app that should make life easier for the end users that will use it. It is not a Web 2.0 "wunderkind" it is just one of those 1,000's of apps we Domino/Noterati developers make live daily. It will trundle away doing what it does quickly and easily and after a brief period of interita fuelled "do we have to?" Users will get used to it and it will fade into the background noise of everyday work.

But will it be really collaborative?

What do I mean by collaborative?

Do end users know collaboration from a hole in the head?

And that is where this post started forming in my mind. I have I suppose a vision of "collaborative" that is viewed through my Black and Yellow tinted evangelist's glasses and I suppose there is nothing wrong with that.

In the wonderful Domi-No-Yes-Maybe world, Engineers are happy to share their expertise with Sales, Marketing will get moist at the idea of having closer links with Production and of course everyone will just LOVE the auditors. Sadly this is not often the case.

There are loads of examples where we in the geek community try our damnedest to light fires of enthusiasm. Marybeth and her team (bless their collective cotton socks!) are excelling in their goal of making the user's experience of the client the best that it can be. Chris Blatnick and his unbounded enthusiasm for the "Cool Interface", joined now by Tom Duff and his Plumber to Painter Damasene conversion to designing both the functional AND cool, to name but a few.

I am not dissing any of the above nor any of my geek readers who daily suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous project creep in an effort to make our end users happy. The target of my vented spleen on this occasion are the fecking end-users! There are days when I could see the whole end-user community impaled on a sharp stick and roasted slowly over a ligthly smouldering heap of now defunct project specifications.

Why if they can see the benefits of collaborating (or so they tell me) do they insist on sticking to the comfy and secure modality of departmental, regional or customer/client demarcation?
It just doesn't make a whole heap of sense ....

~sigh~ well that's now off my chest tomorrow I will put on my smiley face and get back to the job in hand and start re-coding an old app so that less people have access to the data ...

Sunday 11 January 2009

Best song of last year.....Phil Campbell "No Love Songs"

Best song of last year.....Phil Campbell "No Love Songs" ... check it out.

A Rock Pool in Winter is a Cold Place

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The nature of belly button fluff, the credit crunch and the dissonance of LS envy

It's 10 past midnight on a Saturday night, there is a week or so to go until lotusphere. the blogsphere is alive with Version 8.5, the new entry requirements for a visa waiver and all things X-page related. ~sigh~ the lotto once again did not make me financially independent enough to afford the beer bill let alone the air fare to Florida. I suppose it is time for one of those Gallic shrugs and a darkly muttered "c'est la vie" that my French colleagues are so found of.

Anyhow here I sit in the study sipping on a "left-over-from-xmas" Stella Artois feeling sorry for myself and finding new ways to make any combination of 3 colours of paint into yucky-brown. Why is that? Try it yourself, take any three colours from a paint box mix them and you get a sort of greeny-brown sludgey colour that is to fine art what Paul Mooney is to tall people. The magnetic effect of brownness when you mix paint is in that same cubby hole of unexplained shite that is inhabited by belly button fluff. (I believe my USian readers call it "lint"), i digress ... whilst any combination of 3 paint = brown, belly button fluff is ALWAYS greyish blue. WTF? I have a penchant for white or black tee-shirts and my belly button fluff is fecking blue, wearing the colours I do, surely my BBF should either be Zebra striped or like 1960's TV glorious monotone.

Zebra striped belly button fluff would be really cool would it not? It would be the perfect starting point for a conversation with a stranger at a dinner party. Imagine it ... that pregnant pause after saying "I work with messaging and collaboration Software?" when you have been asked "What do you do?" ... I could fill that pause with ".. but I have zebra striped belly button fluff wanna see?" What friendships could be forged on the anvil of such a wonderful statment? But as the fecking stuff is always bluey gray I will never find that out.

I am getting really naffed off with the fecking credit crunch for it has borked any chance of me attending LS09 ... yes I know I should be a bigger man and worry about all those who have lost their jobs and I should be terrified by the fact that we are circling the rim of the capitalist toilet all be it nicely deodourised by the Toilet Duck of media mediocrity in preparation for the final flush. But I am a shallow callous indiviual .. so sue me ;-)

My Stella is nearly done, so it is therefore time for bed ... nite nite for the now :-)

Friday 2 January 2009

Installing IIS7/php and MySql in under 20 mins on a Vista Home Premium PC

I don't take my position as a Geek lightly I can tell you!

When asked "Can I run IIS / PHP / MYSQL on my Vista Home Premium PC?" I must admit that after the bout of laughter induced hiccups had subsided I was intrigued. Could you do it? Personally my php/mysql stuff is all done via an old PIII with 512Mb of memory running Ubuntu Server, Apache PHP and MySql works like a treat too. However the person that wanted to do this has only one box and it is a relatively nice core duo 2gb yadda yadda and Vista HP. #involuntary shudder#

Now it does has to be said. I havent used Vista that much and I am reacting more on the inital reports rather than the way it is now but it is hard to get over that "EEEEEEUIUUUUUUU" moment when you see it first.

After a bit of googling I came across this link and followed the clear consice instructions to the letter and bugger me they worked. Two reboots in total and there it was an IIS server PHP and MySql all running. No Errors .....Nothing...... total time 23 minutes i am stunned and my chum is happy. 3 Cheers for that chaps at Maximum PC Guides!

3 Cheers for the Northern Ireland MLA's

That is not something you will hear me say very often!

For my foreign readers and MLA is a "Member of the Legislative Assembly". Sort of like an MP in Westminister except their mandate is provided by the voters of Northern Ireland which after 50 odd years of being "run" 100% by the Westminister Parliment having voted for these folk it is nice to see they actually "do" something.

What have they have done to deserve my praise?

Well they have slashed the price of a medical perscription fro 2009 and plan to make them free in 2010. For most folk this isn't a cause for much celebration but I was paying £7.00 per item on a perscription (and i need 4 items every 2 months) it is now £3.00 per item on a perscription!!

YIPEE thats my drugs bill down from £170 to £72 a year. Even better if I get a "PrePay" certificate that reduces it to only £25 for the year .... ~does small jig of delight~ ....

Now if we can just get them to forget about bringing in water charges !

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