Dave Johnson on open web technologies, social software and Java
Anton Zuiker wrote to tell me about the 2007 North Carolina Science Blogging Conference coming up January 20th, 2007. I just registered and I'm looking forward to learning more about how scientists are using blogs and RSS/Atom blog tech in their work.
Over the weekend, we drove about three hours west towards the mountains to Statesville, NC for the annual Carolina balloon-fest. We saw a tank, an assortment of military helicopters and we even saw some balloons attempt to inflate. Unfortunately, it was way too windy for ballooning. So it was a bit frustrating, but the kids love any chance to take a road trip so it wasn't a total loss. You can see some of my photos on Flickr.
Don Brown has written an interesting history of Struts 2. In case you don't already know, Struts 2 is the result of the merger of two competing open source communities: Apache Struts and OpenSymphony WebWork.
I meant to blog it last week, but I forgot. When I arrived at Cafe Cyclo last week for the bloggers meet-up I found Josh and Sam standing under the awning taking shelter from the rain. The outside tables were gone and peering through the dark windows, I saw that everything was gone. Wow. Sad to lose such a unique place (unique for Raleigh, that is). I'm not sure what happened. Maybe the Raleighing folks have a clue.
So now we need a new meeting place. Josh and I think Helios is probably the best choice. Any other ideas, Raleigh bloggers? Ideally we'd like a relatively quiet place with good coffee, beer, food and free WIFI.
Lots of reading material on rules or lack of rules for blogging today.
First, some posts about Tim Bray's use of the F-word in a blog about Sun's new Project Blackbox. My take on the F-word? It's good and I use it, but I haven't had the guts or the reason to use it on my blog (although I have posted quotes that include the word). I'm with Scoble on this one: when somebody like Tim says something is F-ing cool, then I sit up and take notice.
Sun VP Dave Douglas' point about corporate vs. personal blogs seems valid, but as Douglas points out, it's not clear whether Tim's blog personal or corporate. Tim's posts are included on the front page of blogs.sun.com through the magic of aggregation (actually, only the first sentence or two). Do we need to add a bad language filter to the aggregator? Should Tim and other externally hosted Sun bloggers provide a safe-for-Sun feed for our aggregator that includes only polished professional posts?
And second, some links from Raleigh News and Observer's Sunday feature on blogging, which included articles by Triangle blogging mavens Ruby Sinreich and Anton Zuiker:
We're just about ready to create a first release candidate for Roller 3.1 so I've installed it on this site. The major new user-facing features are tagging (thanks to Elias) and a new WYSIWYG editor (thanks to Xinha).
I'm still playing with tags and how to add them to my blog. Roller 3.1 won't copy your categories to tags, so I had to use some SQL to do that -- I don't want to start from scratch. For now, I put my tag cloud at the top of the page but it will probably end up on the sidebar.
The Blogapps project provides what is essentially a complete RSS and Atom development kit, which includes feed parsers, generators, blog client libraries, an Atom protocol implementation, a set of ten useful blogapps, and an easy-to-install blog and wiki server. This article explains the project's purpose and how to install and use the project's products, the Blogapps Examples and Blogapps Server, to jump-start your RSS and Atom development.
Simon P. Chappell writes "We've all seen them, those icons that decorate blogs and websites; sometimes they're just little orange squares with white stripes, while others say RSS or Atom. Many of us have heard of feeds and podcasts and aggregators. What are these things and where did they come from? Well, Dave Johnson, the author of the open source Roller blogging software, is glad you asked and by way of an answer, he's written RSS and Atom in Action." Read the rest of Simon's review.Woohoo! Simon likes the book and gives it an 8/10 rating.
Finally, the new blogging extension for StarOffice and OpenOffice.org is available. Browse to the Sun Store at http://globalspecials.sun.com/ and click the link or go direct to this pageI haven't tried it yet, so I can't say whether or not it's worth the $9.95 download price. I must admit, I'm a surprised that it's payware (not that there's any wrong with that). Is the pay-for-plugins model something new for OpenOffice.org and StarOffice?
Now formatting your Blog is as easy as in Writer. Include pictures. Use the spellchecker.You can retrieve your existing blog entries, edit them in Writer and then upload with a single click.