Castor JDO: false advertising?

I have to agree with David Jordan's most recent OnJava article. "Castor JDO" is a confusing name for a product that does not support JDO. I don't know or care who was using the JDO acronym first; the Castor folks need to drop JDO from the Castor name.

Webapp configuration.

I have two complaints with the XML-file approach to webapp configuration approach that Jeff and Matt have been discussing (and the one that Roller currently uses):

  • It does not work well in a distributed situation. If my application is distributed across multiple servers, then app instances cannot easily share one XML file. In that case, I'd need to copy the XML file to every server. If I want to make configuration changes while the app is running then I'm are out of luck. A better approach would be to store this type of information in a database, not a file.
  • There is no meta-data. I would rather not have to write a configuration UI for every webapp that I write. But, to write a generic configuration editor UI, I need to have meta-data about each configuration property. For strings and string-list properties, I'd want a list of possible values. For integer properties , I'd want a range. For a real configuration API, I need meta-data about properties and acceptible values.
Is there a configuration or preferences API that supports meta-data? I don't believe that the Java 1.4 preferences API does this. I wonder why not? Maybe Sun was just trying to replicate the Windows Registry.

Back on the grid.

Like those other RTP bloggers, we are thankful to have our electricity back and thankful to have kind friends and neighbors. Thursday night we stayed with friends who have a working fireplace and a nice little camping stove. Friday morning, we decided to drive up to Washington, DC to stay with the in-laws. We drove back to our house to pack up and much to our happy surprise we found that our power was back.

So, we stayed in town and everybody came over to our place. Our fireplace friends came over to spend the night because they still had no power. My parents and brother from Chapel Hill also came over for the same reason. We had a nice evening and quite a feast with a freezer load of food from Chapel Hill that would have otherwise spoiled. Chapel Hill and Durham were hit harder than Raleigh and power may not be restored over there until Tuesday. So we will probably have visitors in the house for a few more days.

Despite the weather disaster we still managed to pull off a really nice space-themed 6th birthday party for my son Alex. We had about 15 kids under 6 here today making alien balloons, throwing star gliders, playing asteroid toss, running, screaming, and generally driving all of us adults totally insane.

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