Sunday, August 31, 2008

Best of this Week Summary 25 August - 31 August 2008

  • Water & Stone PDF with an analysis of 19 open source content management systems. WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal come out best.

  • Recently released Keyczar is an open source cryptographic toolkit designed to make it easier and safer for developers to use cryptography in their applications. It supports authentication and encryption with both symmetric and asymmetric keys. Keyczar is designed to be open, extensible, and cross-platform compatible. It is not intended to replace existing cryptographic libraries like OpenSSL, PyCrypto, or the Java JCE, and in fact is built on these libraries.

  • How to add custom columns to the association using Hibernate 3.2.5 (and Spring 2.5). Quite unbelievable that this has to be so complex. It's quite simple with a @ManyToMany or similar annotation if you don't want an extra column in the association (link table). But I think it's quite normal that you like to add more columns, for example a timestamp of when the record was created.

  • Great summary of Eric Meyer's talk at An Event Apart San Francisco 2008 about 9 CSS frameworks: 960, Blueprint, Content With Style, That Standards Guy, YAML, YUI, Elements, Tripoli and WYMStyle. In short: CSS templates are a good starting point, but to make the design unique you will very likely have to modify the templates.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Best of this Week Summary 18 August - 24 August 2008

  • Patterns-based Evaluation of Open Source BPM Systems: jBPM, OpenWFE, and Enhydra Shark. Report's conclusion: "Overall one can conclude that the open source systems are geared more towards developers than business analysts. If one is proficient with Java, jBPM may be a good choice, although if not, choosing jBPM is less advisable. Similarly, whilst OpenWFE has a powerful language for workflow specification in terms of its support for the workflow patterns, we postulate that it will be difficult to understand by non-programmers. Finally, Endydra Shark’s minimalistic support for the workflow patterns may require complicated work-arounds for capturing nontrivial business scenarios."

  • As part of their EC2 offering, Amazon introduced this week their Elastic Block Store, enabling you to mount an EBS and format it or setup a database on it. S3 is not really intended for database-like storage. Here's another introduction, including a link to an article on how to setup MySQL on EBS. Here's ESB explained, including some diagrams.

  • Article on the succesful execution of a large project (20 man years, 100.000+ lines of code) with an Agile approach using Scrum, with developers from India and The Netherlands. Includes lessons learned. Technologies used: Java, Spring, Hibernate, WebLogic, Oracle, Swing (UI) and Flex (for the displays) and Bamboo (continuous integration).

  • Handy short comparison between LWUIT (recently open sourced by Sun) and JavaFX Mobile. Here's another comparison from Sun.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Best of this Week Summary 11 August - 17 August 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

Best of this Week Summary 04 August - 10 August 2008

  • Good article on the current status of Ajax frameworks. Most interesting is the notion that in 2005 there were already 48 Ajax frameworks and in 2007 there were already 240! Clearly the expected consolidation did not occur yet. Nice conclusion I agree with at the end: for Ajax use Prototype and, they have been around for 3-4 years. For more heavyweight RIA applications use Flex (Silverlight is in a too early stage). What about AIR? I'd say the same. Though AIR needs its own runtime, so is a bit different.

  • Good intro on google's recently introduced open sourced binary encoding format Protocol Buffers, including references to pros and cons articles.

  • Recently the Open Web Foundation was launched. It "[...] will be focused on developing the technical specifications of protocols used for communication and inter-operability between applications on the web. The foundation will also set out the legal terms and best practices for the use and transport of both private and public data, and the usage of web services". Here's how it relates to the Data Portability Working Group and who's in it.

  • Microsoft is now sponsoring the Apache Software Foundation. Note that is not a move away from IIS, as mentioned in the referred blog in the article.

  • Drizzle is the name of the new lightweight MySQL spin-off, which aims at systems that have to process massive amounts of concurrency (mostly reads) on multicore systems. Think Cloud and Net(?) applications. Or, as they say it: "A High-Performance Microkernel DBMS for Scale-Out Applications ".

  • Quite elaborate article and comparison on how secure the current major web frameworks are.
    Discussed are: Struts, Spring MVC 2, Struts2, Spring, Webwork, Stripes, JSF, MyFaces, Wicket and MS .Net.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Best of this Week Summary 28 July - 03 August 2008

The iPhone Push Notification Service: what to watch out for

This week Apple introduced its Push Notification Service API to a restricted set of developers.
What's so special about this? The new iphone 3G does not allow developers create applications that can run in the background. An example would be a chat application for Facebook that sounds a 'ping' when one of your contacts goes online; this chat application would need to be running all the time on your iphone and now and then ask the server "anybody new?". Or it just has to sit listening for a message from the server telling that one of your contacts logged on.
This push notification service sits between the 3rd party server (e.g the facebook application server) and the iphone device. See here for a clear basic architecture picture. It allows any 3rd party server to contact this Apple(!) service, which in turn then contacts the related iphone device. This means Apple will have all the knowledge of all the 3rd party applications and their communication with the connected iphones!! Scary. This sounds sooo Microsoft.
Here's another post dedicated to this too.