Posts Tagged ‘technology’

Working on Yet Another Podcast

March 31, 2009

I’ve been working on a draft for the next podcast we hope to put out in April.
Its going to be based on the WSO2 Mashup Server V2.0 release that’s due within the next couple of weeks, hopefully 🙂

While doing the draft I searched online to see what’s already said about the product and found some great reading materials for anyone interested in the javascript based composite application development platform.

Here they are in no particular order:

  1. WSO2 Mashup Server Takes First Steps

  2. Enterprise Mashups

  3. Sprint Wrangles Mashups

As Galen Gruman puts it, Everything old is new again with mashups!
Will post the link here, once we are done with the podcast.

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Networking Basics

March 30, 2009

Here’s probably the easiest way to set up 2 computers to share files without being limited to USBs or optical disks. The steps are:

  1. Have a cross over cable in place. The presentation above contains the color code as for reference. We used a Cate5e cable. Cable assembly instructions including crimping are ommitted here to keep the tutorial short. (Here’s a link for those who are still interested. Google for many more 🙂 Booting provides a guard against dust. In the picture below, I have used the cable that we created during the training to connect a Apple computer running MacOS with a Dell running Windows.
  2. Make sure Ethernet drivers are in installed.
  3. Ensure proper IP addresses are obtained. IP addresses from a DHCP server is good enough (when you are on a network), but make sure not to confuse yourself with any wireless addressing here.
  4. Ping the machines to confirm the 2 machines are talking to one another.
  5. After you have set up the 2 machines talking to one another, go ahead share files and folders from each machine. On a Windows machine this can be done by
    – select context menu of file/folder
    – select properties
    – select ‘sharing tabOn a Mac, Read ‘How to Connect to Windows File Sharing (SMB)‘ for details.

Audacity and the Eventing Podcast

March 25, 2009

Here are some of the lessons learnt and requirements for a podcast recording.

Technical Requirements:

  1. Use the best microphone you could get your hands on. We use a podcast microphone (I will add the specifications the moment I’m back in office next). While it does a decent job, I am also waiting to get my hands on Katie’s world’s smallest super quality microphone that she’s recently got for herself. Its expected to pay us a visit end April, and I will be sure to post a picture when I get my hands on it (With my reputatoin for collecting tiniest gadgets that my bank account can tolerate, she’s already sent me picture. But, yeah, I’m going to wait for the real thing)
  2. Use a good voice editing software. Free and open source Audacity works for us. Comes with standard options to remove noise, amplify, add echo etc, plus there are distros for both Windows, Mac (make sure to choose the right distribution based on your processor) and even for Linux .
  3. Audacity supports MP3, WAV and AIFF sound formats. We use mp3. Make sure to download and use the LAME MP3 encoder to enable you export your recordings as mp3 files. Simply download the Windows/Mac/Linux versions of the encoder and point to it when asked during export.

Other Requirements

  • Find the quietest room in the universe and try your best to choose one that is furthest away from the road (Turn off noisy air conditioning units AND make sure to tell that ultra noisy SysAdmin guy to be quiet when opening doors!) .
  • Complete the entire recording in one location. Again, there is huge variations in surrounding noise levels and also how your voice comes out when the location changes. So basically, no patches:(
  • Have a script ready, but the actual recording should never be a reading session. The variation in voice streams when you look down and start reading against having a conversation is huge. Use the script as the base, but chat.
  • Take as many shots as possible. Option to play with a couple of additional tracks is really helpful when you are doing the edits.

We’ve just published yet another podcast in our quest to create more and more valuable content for OT users. This particular one I did with Asanka Abeysinghe discusses various aspects of WS-Eventing specification implementation in the WSO2 stack. Asanka is our in house eventing guru. He recently implemented the WS-Eventing Aug2004 specification in the WSO2 ESB. Implementing eventing for the entire WSO2 stack as a Carbon component is already in the works. In the podcast, Asanka shares some of his thoughts and experiences in the implementation. Kudos to Asanka on agreeing to spend more than a couple of hours with us to sort out the script and to do the actual recording.

There is also a wealth of knowledge awaiting to be explored in Asanka’s personal blog. Its his brain dump and is seriously worth wasting time on!

Drupal Module: Node Access

March 17, 2009

Sometime back there was a requirement to publish certain content on OT which required access be granted to specific users only.
The Drupal configuration we had at the time would required user roles be granted access permission to nodes, which was huge limitation. With that configuration, we found ourselves created unnecessarily large number of roles which after the requirement was met, were largely unused and forgotten.
Hunting for a better solution, we came across a newer module that would allow us grant access permissions to users on a per node basis in addition to granting permissions to user roles. This new module titled NodeAccess makes possible to perform the following:

  1. Enable grant access (view/edit/delete) based on content type.
  2. Enable grant access for a given content type, based on user role.
  3. Enable grant access for a given content type, based on user role, on a per node basis.

See: http://drupal.org/project/nodeaccess

Did a Podcast!

March 3, 2009

Just yesterday, we published the first ever podcast on the WSO2 Business Process Server product. The product itself is only months old, so I’m positive the podcast will turn out to be a useful resource.

“The open source WSO2 BPS enables developers to easily deploy business processes written using the WS-BPEL standard, and it also serves as the business process management and hosting environment for a service-oriented architecture (SOA). Based on WSO2 Carbon, the industry’s first fully componentized SOA framework, it provides developers with a level of flexibility and ease of integration unmatched by any other business process management (BPM) solution on the market.”
Read WSO2 BPS Full Press Release here.

Kudos to Milinda, WSO2’s Technical Lead for the Business Server project, for making it for the recording last week despite not being in perfect health.
WSO2 has also planned a Webinar titled “Better Business Processes in your SOA with WSO2 BPS” this March, to review the evolution of BPEL and introduce the Business Process Server.

It was a brand new experience for me too, as it was the first time I actually hosted a podcast. Needless to say, it was to a certain degree, a huge learning experience. Its been 5 years since I last took part in anything like this and the last one being a news read at RMIT’s youth radio station synFM.

Listen in and feel free to give your feedback. I guarantee, things are going to get better:)

Airbone Wifi and Nobody’s Happy!

February 26, 2009

I myself was discussing with friends after my last trip, how for the last 25+ years the commercial airline industry has almost had no improvement at all (mostly compared to advancements in IT perhaps). A couple of days ago Sanjiva too mentioned this in his post on “Airborne WIFI”.

It is also true that we become a generation that demands for more and more – quite obviously very difficult to satisfy. Nothing reminds it better than in this video pointed to by Jonathan in his post: “Airbone Wifi and Nobody’s happy”.

Guess the difference is that when times are different, and the entire society has evolved. What was acceptable a long time ago, is not so quite acceptable anymore. The part I like most? “That’s it, I can’t do any more things now”. Wish it could be all that simple;)[Image credits: http://www.savagechickens.com]

Living the Dream

February 26, 2009

Its not everyday that you actually get to live a dream.
Some, as we approach them, realize are just too grand. Too far fetched. Some others fall by the way side, as we continue to dream. (Just like how Woody Allen said in his great movie Match Point, ” in the grand scheme of things, smaller ones are pushed aside and sometimes even crushed, to make room for the bigger ones”.
Yet others just fade away, as mates who ones promised to “do it together”, won’t stick it out.

So, while some are just too far fetched, and others falling by the way side, which others could come true? Coupled with great vision and a lot of hard work (team work), it is those like that of the Carbon dream that come true. Carbon is the dream of a unified SOA platform.

We dreamt, we followed and we achieved it. And now, what’s more, we get to live it.
Live the Carbon dream. Download the Core, the feature packs, read instructions and watch how it is done. Know that “teachers could only open the doors, it is you who must walk through the door”.

And, don’t forget to keep dreaming.. For much like how venture capital firms invest in hundreds and probably thousands only to see just 1 startup make it through – we too need to dream lots and work on several all at once. For who knows, which ones, will go the distance..
[Image credits: http://www.savagechickens.com]

Flash Demo: What is WSO2 Data Services

February 26, 2009

Looking for ways to expose data stored in heterogeneous data sources and expose them as services? Find out what WSO2 Data Services is capable of in the following short Flash presentation.

Yes We Did a Make Over

February 15, 2009

But it wasn’t for nothing!

If you are regular reader you probably recall the post I wrote on Architecture Astranauts.
We know that there are also the right-brained elites who’s innate desire is to recreate over, and over, and over, and over again 😦
Is that what we did? Just make up to cover up bad site architecture? Or a make over to bring in a temporary rush of visitors? Our re-designs of project, download, library and the home page was not ”just because’. Here I illustrate some of the background behind the changes, and how we approached the challenges:

  1. New Project Home Pages Redesign
    New home pages were designed from ground up to remove the clutter and make it easier for the project user to find all project related information from a simple design.
    We’ve categorized all project resources in a simple 3-column table under ‘Get Started’, ‘Get Help’ and ‘contribute’ – each gradually engaging the user a little more than in the previous level.
  2. New Download Pages Redesign
    Our earlier download pages were basically lines and lines of text with actual downloads hidden in between these lines of descriptions. Resource links most developers look for just prior to and after a download, were also sidelined did not catch visitor attention.

    However, probably the biggest changes is behind the the actual project and download pages, and is in the dynamic page generator module that re-creates pages upon feeding in the bits and pieces of data.

  3. New Library Redesign
    This probably needed the most attention. Out previous library was only a listing of the most recently published 12 stories in addition to a navigation bar that allowed browsing content based on story type (i.e. articles, tutorials, Webinars, podcasts, screencasts etc).

    This was clearly a huge limitation for most of our library users including out WSO2 users!! They constantly looked for content based on projects, such as all ESB resources or all Mashup Screencasts. The new library solution helps solves both. Simply by logging in to wso2.org/library users can now choose a WSO2 project and hit ‘Go’ in order to receive a full listing of all project specific resources categorized by story type.What’s More? We now have a popular key word tag cloud for those who yearn for content on more exciting buzzwordy topics that we specialize in:) Check out it out where it sits just below the project select drop down list.

    All library content are not effectively within the /library page and encapsulates all written, audio, video, blog and news content.

  4. New Front Page Redesign
    Revamped project home page for wso2.org’s main attempt was to reduce clarity and engage the user on the range of SOA products available on the tank.

Coming up, new /projects page and the /downloads page on OT!!

What Is Carbon?

February 6, 2009

.. from the CTO at WSO2.