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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

TEIID + SQuirreL SQL tutorial

As I wrote before is quite simple, but it took me little time to produce this one so here it is.
Last version of SQuirrel (3.0.1) with last version of TEIID.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

TEIID and SQuirreL SQL

Continuing in the integration path: since I'm confortable in using SQuirreL SQL for accessing DBs I've tryed also to access the VDB from TEIID and I can say that after iReport the road is much more easy (once you learn the trick, magic comes easy).
So ... if I manage I'll produce another tutorial, for now warnings are:
* use JDK 1.6.
* include the teiid-6.1 snapshot client in the driver lib of SQuirreL SQL and create a new driver (I named mine TEIID with a great creativity effort); than create a new alias using that Driver (use the same data from the iReport example); test the connection and all should run smoothly.
Access the DB browse the tables and the data.
Will investigate on more complex usage tomorrow.

TEIID tutorial

Managed to finish integrating TEIID with iReport.
Since it has been a bit of a trouble and there is little documentation around I've made a tutorial to help my memory and maybe helping others around.
Here is the link.
I've created a VDB merging an Oracle DB and a MySQL one (that contain data from excel ... long way to integrate data ...)
The version used are TEIID 6.1 snapshot and iReport 3.5.2 (Java is 1.6), the PC is a windows box, but the stuff works also in linux (had to use that one this time).
Warnings are:
* mind the classpath it has been a pain to check it right.
* look for connector troubles at the firts sign of malfunction (there are some threads in the TEIID forum about it); it should be OK with this version, but in case of trouble is the first thing I'll look upon.

I'm really happy since now that all is tested and working can create a more useful VDB and get a bunch of data integrated and have a new view on information.
A great thanks to TEIID people for the product and the help in solving problems, hopes the tutorial can give something back.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Software liability

EU wants software to be liable like any other product.
This seems a good thing to me.
Since software is something that influence widely our life I think that is right to expect some liability from software producers.
Is absurd that people have to accept (even if they usually do not read it) something like EULA where is clearly stated that the software could well not work.
I'm paying good money for, it had better work.
This could go in the direction of introducing a higher level of professionals in code writing, something not always true, not all people employed to write code have the right skills to do it.
Obviously this apply to things you pay for and so it does not apply to open source software since is free software, you receive much more rights with the software than in a tipical proprietary software, you cannot also ask for liability.
In case of open source managed by companies like Red Hat, well this is what their customers are already paying for, they are paying for liability, they could have the option of getting the software for free, but since they need liability they pay.
So dear proprietary vendors, time is coming for you to accept your responsability: all products can heve problems a washing machine, a TV set, all heve to guarantee the customer that it works or thet it will be fixed.
With software is even more easy to give the fix, but the patch has to be produced no more "is not a bug is a feature" option around.
Software has to grow up and accept responsability.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Vision tracking

It's time to create some virtual reality or augmented reality.
Not only new methods of user interactions are possible using vision besed tracking.
For 2D tracking the reacTIVision project is really interesting.
RPG application can be a virtual tabletop controlled by "fiducial token ID".
It could be a nice integration for applications like MapTools.
For now installed the application and tested successfully.
Will have to find something for 3D tracking and eye tracking.
By the way it's an open source project.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Alfresco 3

It was long time I've not messed up with Alfresco (about a couple of years).
I wanted to see how it evolved in these months of development.
So installed it.
Really smooth installation (a thing I like much) obviously for a standard with no MySQL DB (for now) but this is something that I consider a plus in a software product.
The product is, as I had the pleasure to see time ago, a really solid solution and is evolving in a complete solution.
Really like it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Essential project installed

OK managed to install Essential Project for multi user configuration.
The documentation is well done.
There are just a couple of things missing so here are some notes on the installation should someone hit the same walls.

The installation environment is Ubuntu 8.10, Protege 3.4, Java 1.6, MySQL 5.0
All went correctly up to the metamodel editing.
Before doing anything and especially before converting it to a Database format make a backup copy of the metamodel files, since if something goes wrong you will not be able to recover a working protege_server.
First you need to create the annotations file for collaborative work.
These files do not come with the downloaded zip and you can generate them using protege:
Just open the essential_baseline_v1.pprj with protege and in the Collaboration menu choose "Show collaboration panel" leave the default option to create the annotation files anew and you will be proposed correct nemes for the annotation file (it will be created in the same folder unless you decide to change it).
Also you have to create also GroupOperation for Viewer and Architects so that they can DisplayInProjectList and give to the repository you create in the 8.2 step of the documentation also this role (otherwise you will not be able to see it and choose it once you connect to the server).
The annotation project the documentation ask to define will map to the files created before.
This annotation project should not be displayed in the project list so do not apply that rule on it.

Ok now is installed time to use it ...

Enterprise Architecture the open source way

OK. I knew I couldn't manage to keep myself away from enterprise architecture for long.
I must admit that is a topic that seems to me not so much connected to the real life in the IT.
In any case one of the big problems is that there are no nice tools to help you getting started and to do a good job, especially in the OSS world.
I found the Essential project and I'll give it a try, it has also good tutorials to manage to have a more real grip to something near the stuff one has to manage everyday.

Friday, February 27, 2009

joda_time calendar widget

Decided to create a project for a calendar widget for the joda_time library.

Monday, February 02, 2009


Started looking at VisualVM to check performance of projects.
It's a nice tool, gives all tha data you need even if I've not yet found a method hierarchy call.
I've seen infrared that does this job very well, but the project is not much updated so ...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

CakePHP new stable

I've played with CakePHP a month ago and is really good.
Now the new stable release look even more promising.
As soon as I manage to finish the java works I've got running it will be time to start a project with it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Harptos in joda update

OK the work went on more quickly than expected.
Much of the classes are created and the things are starting to work.
Will have to fix all the date math operations (addition of instants etc) and week behaviour.
I decided to use the "degenerated month" approach so that some month have just 1 (or 2 in the case of Shieldmeet leap year)days this create a mess with the week calculation since also "Degenerated weeks" come out.
All this complicate math a bit.
The lib is really well done, even if quite complex.
There a really wanderful decoupling implementation so that adding a chronology has been easy and did not request adding a single line of code to base classes.
Would see more of these projects around.

joda_time for Harptos

OK task started! I'm implementing a custom Chronology for the Harptos calendar.
This will allow for programs like MapTool to use a calendar that can be a standard one or a fantasy one all with the same classes, methods and so on (just configure a different chronology and you are going).
It can be done, but lot of code so ... time to work.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hacking macros in MapTool

I'm working on the really wanderful campaign file from Imarkus to hack some macros.
I always hated not being able to use all those rules in the books and not having at hand all the DC for all the possible actions you can do (yes I know as a master you RULE which IS the DC, but this means not using all the money spent on books).
I used to create tables to print and to consult when the need arised, but time has come short to update it and I end up loosing the table around.
Having something automatic was my dream.
The macro system of MapTool is really wanderful and powerful so took the existing macro for rolling skills checks and added the ability to list for the skill chosen all the actions possible and to show the DC and calculating success.
Here you can find the code.

Ethic and Government

I have red this, I had decided not to write about politics, but this is too good to be true.
We would need something similar here in Italy.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I've stumbled upon the DJ project a really nice tool.
I was looking for something to manage to place swf files inside a java application with the possibility to integrate the two worlds.
There is a lot of stuff well done in flash or flex around and many times is faster to get wanderful looking widgets using Flash than using Java.
The problem with mixing languages is that integration is not so easy.
The DJ project solve this with a nice approach: there is not only a JFlashPanel, but also a Video panel and browser panel (which is the base for the Flash one).
I'm experimenting it.
More in a few days.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Output sheet for PCgen towards MapTool

The work is proceeding well.
Thanks to PCgen community managed to solve a REPLACEALL tag problem: it seems that the correct syntax is TEXT.REPLACEALL{\W+,_}.TAGNAME so that it replaces all non word characters with underscore.
This allows to create a property in the XML file used to import characters in MapTool with a list of SKILL.
Since is not possible to have a list with element name with whitespaces, the replacement was essential.
Now can go on with the output sheet creation.
I've used the campaign file from pathfinder3.5 and I'm going to hack the macros since much of the math is done in PCgen.
With this, the speed of managing characters in PCgen and using them in MapTools is greately increased and when you are a DM with a young child it can mean managing to prepare a session or not.
The stuff is published in the MapTool forum

Java Date library

I was looking for a library to manage Date and calendar to add some time/event functionality to MapTool and I stumbled upon joda .
It's really a powerful library and should be possible to customize it to create also fantasy calendar like the Harptos one (the one used in the forgotten realm).
Using this to track time within MapTool could be a nice feature addition so to have a time management option.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

PCgen output sheet

OK crating a new output sheet is not so easy as it seems.
Still working on it.

Friday, January 09, 2009

PCGEN and MapTool

Decided to look on how to link the two programs since I'm lazy (I can say better I find useless to write more time the same data when using digital information we should be able to transform it).
There is the possibility to create a character sheet export xml that can be used to create a new tocken based on the information from PCgen so you can keep info from your PC in pcgen that is surely the best of the two, but can use MapTool for mapping during the session.

Creating the xml in PCGen is quite easy and there is lots of usefull data there.
All you have to do is than placing the saved file inside a previously saved rptok file.
To satisfy my laziness I'll try to automate the import in MapTool.

Vietnam goes open source

This is an interesting piece of news.
Vietnam is a growing economy, even if not a wealthy country, the choice to impose the use of open source is a good political decision given the economical condition of the country and could open up new energies for open source projects.

Monday, January 05, 2009


Decided to start a workspace in Huddle.
Not yet a clear idea og what I'll do with it, but ... you never know.
In any case it's an interesting tool to look upon.

DimDim 4.5 out

It's out since December 2008 and I managed to test it recently.
It's a very interesting and nice tool.
Just have the VM mounted so not tryed to look inside or hack it, but it look promising.
It's both a working and gaming opportunity.
For a DM that have to host an online game and have a fairly powerfull PC that can host a VM just install the DimDim machine and add MapTool and you should be up and running on your own.

Hacking MapTool

I'm hacking RPTool's MapTool program.
It's one of the best program I've used so far for RPG mapping and session helping.
Well coded and with a live community, an example of how open source can produce great works.