20051006 Web 2.0 is going on
Thursday October 06, 2005
Category: General
The Web 2.0 conference is being held now in San Francisco. A little too far and too expensive for me to make the trip to be there physically, but I have been listening to podcasts from IT Conversations for last year's seminars. Really inspiring speeches (most of them), and makes me learn a lot more about all the new and exciting developments.

I must say that IT Conversations is one of the two podcast sites (the other being Adam Curry's DailySourceCode) that really got me hooked on the idea of utilising my "drive-time" with podcast listening. IT Conversations is funded by listener contributions, and I think I am really going to contribute to their TipJar. Kudos to IT Conversations executive producer Doug Kaye and his Team ITC volunteers for bringing such a valueable service to all!

Posted on (2005-10-06 04:03:38.0) Permalink Comments [0]
20051006 Google Maps - the first Web 2.0 platform
Thursday October 06, 2005
Category: General
Got this from the O'Reilly Radar article.

Has been looking cursory at Google Maps, but the issue that is stopping me from spending more time on it is that for where I living (Singapore), the map information is not as detailed as that available for the States.

shooperman showed my his installation of Google Earh today and I realised that the information is out there, but somehow it is not included in Google Maps. Anyone out there knows if it is possible to send a request to Google to include that information in Google Maps?
Posted on (2005-10-06 03:49:56.0) Permalink Comments [0]
20050928 Eclipse Tip: refresh plugins
Wednesday September 28, 2005
Category: General
I am sure this is a tip that has been going around for a while, but I think I should blog it down so that I can remember it in future when I encounter the same problem.

I recently upgraded to Eclipse 3.1 (only to find that Eclipse 3.2M2 is already released later, but that later), and wanted to use the Sysdeo Tomcat Plugin with e3.1. After downloading the new Sysdeo plugin file for e3.1, I place the unzipped folder in the plugin folder of e3.1, but the tomcat plugin was not detected.

Searched for a solution and I came upon this article that tells me the solution straight away: to start eclipse with java -jar startup.jar -clean. However, in my case, because I installed a copy of Oracle on my machine, and Oracle messed up my path by adding the path to a JDK1.3 installation at the front of the path, I have to start e3.1 with %JAVA_HOME%\bin\java -jar startup.jar -clean at the e3.1 folder, with %JAVA_HOME% pointing to the correct java SDK version I want.

The same command can be used to refresh eclipse whenever a new plugin is installed.
Posted on (2005-09-28 11:59:25.0) Permalink Comments [0]
20050924 My first GreaseMonkey script
Saturday September 24, 2005
Category: General
I have two other blogs on blogger: Happy Eternally, where I blog about my 18-month boy, and TotallyConfused, where I blog about random thoughts.

Before I found out about the captcha functionality in Blogger, I encountered a few cases of comment spams, and the only thing I could do was to delete the comment entirely. I don't really like to do that, because I don't want other genuine readers to think that I am a blog owner that delete comments that I don't like. My preferred way was to edit the comment to remove the href links, but keep the original comment with a remark from me.

I found out a way to do this from Blogger Templates, but I would prefer a one-click solution to the problem. Along with this, I recently discovered GreaseMonkey and thought why not try my hand at adding the comment edit link using greasemonkey?

So the result of a few hours' experimentation yields my first user script - Add Comment Edit Link in Blogger, hosted now at userscripts.org
Posted on (2005-09-24 02:53:49.0) Permalink Comments [0]
20050825 First look at AppFuse
Thursday August 25, 2005
Category: General
After trying out Ruby on Rails yesterday, and deciding that I should not be spending time to learn about a whole new universe of code, tools etc, I started looking at AppFuse today. Both RoR and AppFuse (correct me if I am wrong) have the key value proposition of allowing me to build a simple web app quickly. RoR did not wow me as much as it did others, not sure about AppFuse because I just started.

After downloading the 1.8.2-RC1 zip file and extracted it into my folder, I realised one thing about AppFuse - it does not use maven. Quite puzzled by this, because I have the impression that most of the active Java opensource projects have already moved to maven. So I had to go back to download a copy of Ant 1.6.5 (my copy is 1.6-alpha, and AppFuse requires 1.6.2+).

A few minutes later, I tried to run ant setup-db, but was told that ReloadTask is not found. In my Ant1.6alpha's lib folder I found catalina-ant.jar, which contains the ReloadTask class. However, I cannot remember if I copied it into the folder from elsewhere, or it came shipped with the ant distribution.

I took a while to look in the net where I can get the relevant latest jar file for ReloadTask, but was unsuccessful. In the end I copied the catalina-ant.jar file from the ant1.6alpha folder to the ant1.6.5 folder. So we have docjar.com, koders.com and maven repo search engines, but I don't know of a search engine that will take a class name as a parameter and return the jar files that contains the class. [Idea for a new search engine?]

Ok, on to the next step in the AppFuse tutorial, more later.
Posted on (2005-08-25 03:37:04.0) Permalink Comments [5]
20050825 Google Talk
Thursday August 25, 2005
Category: General
Everyone is talking about it, so why shouldn't I?

A quick download from http://www.google.com/talk and even faster installation. The application runs with quite a small foot print, smaller than that of Yahoo IM and Skype.

Downside is that my friends are probably too busy to try it out, so none of the people I invited are registered with Google Talk yet, and I can only stare at the IM window with nothing I can do.

One additional feature Google included in Google Talk is to have a new mail notification much like that in Thunderbird - when there are new emails received by the gmail account, the subject appears above the system tray and disappears after a few seconds.
Posted on (2005-08-24 12:37:10.0) Permalink Comments [1]
20050825 Google Account Signup Page
Thursday August 25, 2005
Category: General
Just got to know this from a comment on another blog: you don't need to rely on an invite now to get a Gmail account, although there should be enough gmail invites going around.

Google has announced a number of services and they are using the same account to integrate all these services, so they are providing an account sign-up page.
Posted on (2005-08-24 12:23:48.0) Permalink Comments [0]
20050825 [Not Tech-Related] You want a free trip to Singapore?
Thursday August 25, 2005
Category: General
I am from Singapore, and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is currently running a promotion for Singaporeans to send postcards to friends overseas. A free lucky draw will be held by STB to invite 5 overseas friends to a dream holiday in Singapore. More details can be found at http://visitsingapore.com/projectpostcard.

If you are interested in receiving a post card from me, drop me an email at choongyong.koh at gmail.com with "STB" in the subject. Even if you don't get to win the dream holiday, I think it would be a good way for me to know new friends from overseas. :)
Posted on (2005-08-24 12:09:33.0) Permalink Comments [0]
20050822 Google Search History
Monday August 22, 2005
Category: General
Ever had the problem of knowing a piece of information in somewhere in a web page that you came across while searching the web a few days ago, but just simply don't remember which URL the web page is on, or even the search string that was used to search the page?

I have such problems, and thanks to the good folks at Google, the Google Search History is a fantastic tool that has solved my problems.

There are two major selling points in Google Search History: first it remembers, and then it filters.

It remembers by automatically tracking the search strings, when the search is performed, and the links that you traversed from the search results. This in effect creates an automatic bookmark of pages that you might be interested with the "tags" made up by the search terms in the search string.

It filters by allowing you to search within your search history. I just began using this tool for a few days, so my search history that is tracked is quite short. When the search history gets too long, the search within search history helps to filter down the list to go through

This feature is very close to, but functionally different (as far as it works for me), to the system provided by del.icio.us. In Google, the bookmark list is automatic, no user intervention is needed to add bookmarks, all I need to do is to click on a search result. In del.icio.us, the bookmarking is done consciously. So when I want to go back to a link that I recognised as useful the first time round, I would go back to del.icio.us, but when I want to recall a link which I have come across, but only recognised that I needed it some time later, I can still go back to Google.
Addition: another added feature that Google Search History provides is that it becomes a barometer of how much I have worked in a day - by showing the number of searches performed using colour codes on a calendar.
Posted on (2005-08-22 04:46:12.0) Permalink Comments [0]
20050727 Velocity throws NullPointerException if not initialized
Wednesday July 27, 2005
Category: General
I was trying to write a JUnit testcase and attempted to load a velocity template using Velocity.getTemplate(). However, I keep getting a NullPointerException even if I used the correct path.

Searching yields this bug report saying that Velocity.init() needs to be called first to allow Velocity to initialize its ResourceManager.

Tried it and adding the call to init() works for me. :)
Posted on (2005-07-26 17:08:29.0) Permalink Comments [0]