What have I been up to? and what do I have planned?

Yamaha YP250 scooter

(If the picture above never gave you a big enough clue)

Well I have not been blogging as much recently, thats one thing.

Recently I have been messing with Apache Cocoon 2.1.7 and been trying to get it to play nicely in a shared JVM environment. It looks like Cocoons security manager can not be turned off, so this may mean the end of the road for cocoon in this case. I've also been trying to sort out some of my ideas and projects. I see a personal wiki as an ideal way to do this but want to deploy one which might be able to do more content management type things later in the day. The two I'm looking at our xwiki and daisy. I was very impressed by the papers and presentations they both gave at Xtech and feel I could use them for myself and bigger.
Daisy is servelet based and basicly uses cocoon to do a lot of its transforming which means I can easily hack it into doing anything I like. Xwiki on the other hand seems to be a typical LAMP (linux, apache, mysql and perl) project and requires me to install all this other stuff which I dont normally use. Yes it is odd, but I find Resin 3 quick enough to server static files for me not to need apache on the front end. The Mysql server option is needed for both daisy and xwiki so it looks like I need to install that no matter what now. I'm hoping if all goes well I will end up moving either wiki to my live webspace in america.

So how far have I got with Daisy? Well I ran through all the instructions and have everything run except Starting the Daisy Repository Server causes a nasty error on my laptop. I type daisy-repository-server c:daisydata and get

C:daisy-1.3repository-serverbin>daisy-repository-server c:daisydata
—- exception report ———————————————————-

Exception: org.apache.avalon.merlin.KernelException
Message: Kernel startup failure.
—- cause ———————————————————————

Exception: org.apache.avalon.merlin.KernelException
Message: Cannot deploy application.
—- cause ———————————————————————

Exception: org.apache.avalon.activation.LifecycleException
Message: Unable to create a new component instance in appliance [/daisy/jmsclien
t/jmsclient] due to a component deployment failure.
—- cause ———————————————————————

Exception: javax.naming.NamingException
Message: Failed to connect to JNDI provider
—- cause ———————————————————————

Exception: java.net.ConnectException
Message: Connection refused: connect
—- stack trace —————————————————————

java.net.ConnectException: Connection refused: connect
java.net.PlainSocketImpl.socketConnect(Native Method)
java.net.PlainSocketImpl.doConnect(Unknown Source)
java.net.PlainSocketImpl.connectToAddress(Unknown Source)
java.net.PlainSocketImpl.connect(Unknown Source)
java.net.SocksSocketImpl.connect(Unknown Source)
java.net.Socket.connect(Unknown Source)
java.net.Socket.connect(Unknown Source)
java.net.Socket.Unknown Source)
java.net.Socket.Unknown Source)
org.exolab.core.ipc.TcpService.TcpService.java:122)
org.exolab.core.ipc.Client.Client.java:91)
org.exolab.jms.jndi.mipc.IpcJndiInitialContextFactory.openConnection(IpcJndiInit
ialContextFactory.java:210)
org.exolab.jms.jndi.mipc.IpcJndiInitialContextFactory.getInitialContext(IpcJndiI
nitialContextFactory.java:140)
org.exolab.jms.jndi.InitialContextFactory.getInitialContext(InitialContextFactor
y.java:109)
javax.naming.spi.NamingManager.getInitialContext(Unknown Source)
javax.naming.InitialContext.getDefaultInitCtx(Unknown Source)
javax.naming.InitialContext.init(Unknown Source)
javax.naming.InitialContext.Unknown Source)
org.outerj.daisy.jms.impl.JmsClientImpl.getContext(JmsClientImpl.java:217)
org.outerj.daisy.jms.impl.JmsClientImpl.initializeJmsTopicConnection(JmsClientIm
pl.java:101)
org.outerj.daisy.jms.impl.JmsClientImpl.initialize(JmsClientImpl.java:93)
org.apache.avalon.framework.container.ContainerUtil.initialize(ContainerUtil.jav
a:244)
org.apache.avalon.activation.impl.DefaultComponentFactory.incarnation/images/emoticons/laugh.gifefaultCom
ponentFactory.java:402)
org.apache.avalon.activation.impl.DefaultComponentFactory.incarnate/images/emoticons/laugh.gifefaultCompo
nentFactory.java:130)
org.apache.avalon.activation.impl.SingletonLifestyleManager.refreshReference(Sin
gletonLifestyleManager.java:144)
org.apache.avalon.activation.impl.SingletonLifestyleManager.commission(Singleton
LifestyleManager.java:60)
org.apache.avalon.activation.impl.DefaultAppliance.commission/images/emoticons/laugh.gifefaultAppliance.j
ava:94)
org.apache.avalon.activation.impl.DefaultRuntime.commission/images/emoticons/laugh.gifefaultRuntime.java:
86)
org.apache.avalon.composition.model.impl.DefaultSystemContext.commission/images/emoticons/laugh.gifefault
SystemContext.java:362)
org.apache.avalon.composition.model.impl.DefaultDeploymentModel.commission/images/emoticons/laugh.gifefau
ltDeploymentModel.java:122)
org.apache.avalon.composition.model.impl.Commissioner.run(Commissioner.java:185)

java.lang.Thread.run(Unknown Source)
——————————————————————————–

If anyone knows what could be the problem I would be greatful. Otherwise I may try it on my server and see if its just my unconfigured laptop which could be the problem.

For Xwiki I will install it directly on my server and see if thats any good.

Some of the other things I'm planning on doing at somepoint in the future includes.

Calendaring – Getting Sync4J up and working with Outlook, my 3g mobile and pocketpc. I assume this will stay on my local server. SchoolBell Calendar server (unless I can find a servlet version) looks very simple and seems perfect for calendaring between me and sarah. This might not be so needed with us both using Outllook again, plus sync4j should help in this area.

Email – Finally getting Zoe if its still being worked on up and running to store all my email so I can do away with the silly email problems I currently get when away from home.

Wiki – Explained above, either xwiki or daisy to store thoughts and do something which doesnt quite work in a blog.

XMLDB – I have done quite a bit of work with xml databases but would like to try it out for total replacement of flat filesystem files. Theres also quite a need for some serious search logic and I see Lucene being really useful in this area, which means I need to learn and understand what it can and cannot do. This could be quite challenging but thats a good thing.

Aggregation – Rome is a Java API for RSS and ATOM feeds. Cocoon can deal with these feeds no problem it seems to be lacking on caching ability? ROME seems to have caching sorted which means it shouldnt be too hard to use the ROME jar in Cocoon if needed.

IM – Not only am I really interested in learning jabber bots but also using IM as a transport network for content. Punjab seemed to be perfect for my needs as it was a XMPP to SOAP/XMLRPC/REST bridge. But it seems to need to be installed on the actual jabber server which is a pain because who would install it then open it up for all to use? I really do not want to run my own jabber server any time soon either. Theres are also some interesting projects opening in the area of Transporting ATOM notifications over XMPP. I also still need a decent jabber client for my Sanyo S750.

Wireless – I have yet to get deeply involved but I would like to help Bristol Wireless or some south London community wireless some time soon. I also signed myself up at warchalking London and should hopefully be delivering some nice blog posts from South London where there is open or cheap wireless access.

Webservices – I'm still generally collecting a load of RESTful APIs using del.icio.us idea being I will start using them to generate some quite unique services and applications. One I can let you in on is simpleflickr which will simply turn flickr into a image search engine. Yes I know flickr is quite simple already but I remember introducing my mum to flickr over the holidays. She found flickr quite confusing because there are so many aspects to every single part of flickr. So simplfying it so my mum can use it to see and print great pictures sounds like a nice easy project. Many afterwards I could use the APIs and routines which I've built up to generate something a little more wild and creative. Oh and I still need to do my attach images to bbc worldservice news stories for backstage.bbc.co.uk. Maybe I'll do it in time for backstage.bbc.co.uk Open Tech 2005

Other things holding me back from blogging recently. I am 100 percent legal to drive my Yamaha YP250 Majasty Super Scooter around the UK. I passed my A2 motorcycle test on the same day as the Geek dinner which was the 6th June. The A2 licence basicly means I can drive any automatic motorcycle up to 33 bhp for 2 years. After those two years (2007) I will be able to drive any automatic bike I like regardless of power or size. I have my eyes on a Yamaha Tmax (500cc) next or even a Honda silverwing (650cc), but till then my Majesty (250cc) is fantastic during this hot summer were currently having in London. Honestly I adore driving it around in everything except the rain. A lot of people ask why I went for automatic only? Well if you look at the range of touring bikes you will see Tmax's, X9's, Silverwings, Burgmans, etc all running between the ranges of 200cc and 700cc. There all automatic and work really well. So I see a great future for scooter driving. Maybe the first 1000cc scooter will launched soon and I bet it will still use a automatic engine. For me personally 500cc scooter will do nicely and I dont see the need for more.
I also just recently finally got Orange to swap my old 3g handset for a new firmware version which solves most of the bugs with bluetooth connectivity. It also comes with a few extras which the previous firmware never had but generally its the same handset and works no differently. Sanyo did launch there 2nd european phone which is the same as the S750 but with a different design. Yes you guessed what the model number is, yep Sanyo S750i.
And last of all, my main workstation computer went down recently and I have no idea why. All I did was put in a new fan/heatsink and a pioneer dvd burner. Neither should cause the machine to go crazy and not boot ever again. I tried swapping things in and out, but no matter what I do, I can never get the bios screen back. So I shifted everything over to my spare linux box /images/emoticons/laugh.gifual Pentium3 500 xeons) and reinstalled windows xp. You'll be glad to hear I also put Ubutu linux and BeOS (5 max edition) on the machine too. Maybe in the future I will beable to put Apple OSX on there too…

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.