Tuesday, October 28, 2003

JSR 168 Portlet Specification is final

JSR 168 Portlet Specification has been gone final.
This specification defines a set of APIs for Portal computing addressing the areas of aggregation, personalization, presentation and security to enable interoperability between Portlets and Portals,

Thursday, October 23, 2003

First Snowfall

Today the first snow began to fall here in Vienna.
Two hours ago it was not much - like we say in Austria "etwas flankeln", but now there's already a thin layer visible everywhere :-)

Metalog - the semantic web query/logical system

Metalog - the semantic web query/logical system: "Metalog is a next-generation reasoning system for the Semantic Web. Historically, Metalog has been the first system to introduce reasoning within the Semantic Web infrastructure, by adding the query/logical layer on top of RDF."

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

EU Publishes Open Source Migration Guidelines

The IDA Open Source Migration Guidelines provide practical and detailed recommendations on how to migrate to Open Source Software (OSS)-based office applications, calendaring, e-mail and other standard applications.
These guidelines have been designed to help public administrators decide whether a migration to OSS should be undertaken and describe, in broad technical terms, how such a migration could be carried out. They are based on practical experience of a limited number of publicly available case studies, and cover a wide range of management and technical concerns.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Linux Security Auditing Tool (LSAT)

The Linux Security Auditing Tool (LSAT) is a post install security auditor for Linux/Unix. It checks many system configurations and local network settings on the system for common security/config errors and for packages that are not needed.

Developing for the Sony Ericsson P800 on Linux

Edd Dumbill has an interesting article about Developing for the Sony Ericsson P800 on Linux.

Just4log

Just4log is a library to enhance dynamically the performance of various logging systems inside a java application. Dynamically because the sourcecode in java is not modified but rather the optimization occurs on the compiled ByteCode files.
It supports Log4J, Apache Commons Logging and JDK 1.4 Logging by post-processing something like this:
for(int i=0; i<500000; i++) {

logger.debug(" remember this is a problem with this: "
+ someLongTaskToExecute());
normalCodeToExecute();
}

into this:
for(int i=0; i<500000; i++) {

if (logger.isDebugEnabled()) {
logger.debug(" remember this is a problem with this: "
+ someLongTaskToExecute());
}
normalCodeToExecute();
}

This way it keeps the sourcecode clean from too much debugging-related statements, while don't have to pay the hidden cost of parameter construction.

Currently it provides an ant task to do the job.
In the future you can benefit from the following uses:
* A classloader implementation allows Just-In-Time optimization.
* A command line program allows optimization from normal scripts.
* Access via a GUI.

A really useful tool!

Friday, October 17, 2003

XForms 1.0 finished

XForms 1.0 is finally available as W3C Recommendation.
This XML-based client form technology will hopefully make form processing less painful and integrate well with XHTML.

DSPAM

DSPAM: "DSPAM (as in De-Spam) is an open-source, freely available anti-spam project. DSPAM effectively filters spam system-wide using advanced techniques combined with one or more of the supported algorithms (Bayesian, Alternative Bayesian, and Chi-Square are currently supported). A majority of users achieve filtering rates ranging from 99.55% - 99.9%, with some users reporting an actual 100% accuracy rate during long periods after initial learning. DSPAM is currently effective as both a server-side agent for UNIX email servers and a developer's library for mail clients, other anti-spam tools, and similar projects requiring drop-in spam filtering."

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Clustered JDBC

C-JDBC is a database cluster middleware that allows any Java application (standalone application, servlet or EJB container, ...) to transparently access a cluster of databases through JDBC. You do not have to modify client applications, application servers or database server software. You just have to ensure that all database accesses are performed through JDBC.

Mozilla 1.5 released

Mozilla 1.5 has just been released.
It has again many new features and claims to have improved performance, stability standards support and Web compatibility.

iCalendar/vCalendar standards

I had to search quite a while to find the official locations of both standards.
Here they are:
* iCalendar
* vCalendar

Perhaps the TUWIS++ system (information system of TU-Wien) will support downloading the time table in one (or both) of these formats. At least I suggested them to do so.
Well, let's see ...

Monday, October 13, 2003

Resources for URL Design

URL design is something which I'm very picky about and therefore I want to know what's the perfect URL.
Today I googled the web for the best resources I can find quickly.

Here are the results:
* User-Centered URL Design by Jesse James Garret (2002-09-24)
* Designing Web Usability (Chapter URL Design) by Jakob Nielsen (1999-12)
* URL Design on Keith Devens.com's Wiki
* URL-Design Links and News by Már Örlygsson
* URL syntax/usage/implementation run-down by john at illuminent
* Cool URI's - great resource collection by pixelcharmer
* More on URL design by Asterisk
* URL design by Phil Windley
* URL design of his weblog by Michael Himsolt
* Sensible URLs with PHP by Simon Willison
* Towards Next Generation URLs by port80 Software
* Organizing your Site by Joshua Allen
* Article URLs week (Day 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7) by Nathan Ashby-Kuhlman

I might update them if I find even more interesting resources but that's enough for today.
I want to go to bed now ;-)

Sunday, October 12, 2003

HEROLD Marketing CD - The next Big Brother Award?

HEROLD, an austrian company providing telephone books printed, on CD and online, want's to sell a very questionable new product: The "Herold Marketing CD private".
It contains contact information (phone number, address) of more than 4 million people and additional marketing data of more than 2 million people.

Herold says on their website:
Die HEROLD Marketing CD private wird Name und Adresse von mehr als vier Millionen Privatpersonen in Österreich enthalten. Zu zwei Millionen Personen werden darüber hinaus marketingrelevante Zusatzinformationen zur Verfügung stehen, die auf statistischen Hochrechnungen basieren.

Für den Anwender werden nur Informationen zu Name und Adresse ersichtlich sein. Das heißt, man wird nach den tiefergehenden Daten selektieren können, sich diese aber nicht zu einzelnen Personen anzeigen lassen.

Sensible Daten wie Religionsbekenntnis, Krankheiten, Blutgruppe oder Bonität sind selbstverständlich nicht enthalten.

Das Datenmaterial wurde von der dm-plus Direktmarketing GmbH erhoben, die HEROLD die Einhaltung aller datenschutzrechtlichen Bestimmungen bei der Ermittlung der Daten bestätigt hat.

Derzeit prüft die Datenschutzkommission das CD-Projekt. "Wir von HEROLD begrüßen die kritische Betrachtung durch die offiziellen Datenschützer: Sie hilft uns, in einem gesellschaftspolitisch besonders heiklen Feld nicht nur rechtlich korrekt, sondern auch allen Betroffenen gegenüber verantwortungsbewusst vorzugehen", sagt Unternehmenssprecherin Margit Kaluza-Baumruker.

Die HEROLD Marketing CD private kann nur von Firmen erworben werden. Sie wird nicht im Fachhandel, sondern nur bei HEROLD direkt erhältlich sein. Vor Verwendung der CD muss beim HEROLD Kundenservice ein Zugangscode angefordert werden, wobei der Kunde natürlich von HEROLD erfasst wird. Die CD kann nur auf dem dafür registrierten PC verwendet werden. Der Kunde verpflichtet sich, dass er die Daten ausschließlich im Rahmen der gesetzlichen Vorschriften verwendet.


Although they claim that the "deeper data" (like family status, building type, estimated bying power, number of children, ...) can not be displayed about a certain person, I doubt, that the software can't be hacked (which has been proved many times). And the data must be on the CD - otherwise you couldn't do marketing relevant queries which would make the CD rather useless.

What can you do about it?
First you can fill out a form (available as PDF) on the Herold website, that you don't want your data to be removed from this product.
Second you can spread this information to everybody you know, to prevent them from being victims of unscrupulous marketing people abusing the data on the Herold CD.
Since I don't know when the first versions will be shipped I'd advise you to do this rather sooner than later.
It's your privacy!

But I'm very sceptic that the process of removing your data will be sufficient, because according to this information on the FAQ the deletion of an entry is done through a forced update of the marketing data, which I'm sure can be prevented too, once the data has been ckracked by dubious users of this CD.

You can also get you some more information:
* Datails
* FAQ
* Hotline

What will happen?
Even if Herold is allowed to sell the CD according to the privacy law (which is presently being investigated by the austrian privacy commission) they open the door for a broader abuse and generating spam with a higher quality, than has been common until now.
I think everybody knows that SPAM IS a problem (I'm getting more than 200 spam mails every week), which has to be stopped somehow. Unfortunately there are currently no practical solutions available and this CD really doesn't brings us one step further to the right direction.

I'd wish that Herold would not only think about how gain profit whith their data but also think about the consequences which will arise from possible abuses.
And I'm sure that abuses can't be prevented - history has proven that many times!
I fear the day when you can download a decrypted version of the Herold Marketing CD from the Internet ...

In this spirit I'd like to nominate "Herold" with their product "Herold Marketing CD private" for the next Austrian Big Brother Award.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Evolvica

Evolvica: "Evolvica is a Java Framework for evolutionary algorithms. It is the successor of eaLib, which has been developed at the Department of Electronic Circuits & Systems of the Technical University of Ilmenau, Germany from 2000 to 2002. The development on eaLib has been stopped and focuses now on Evolvica."
Noteworthy seems to be that it uses the Eclipse Platform.

Plattform Wissensmanagement - A semantic search engine

Plattform Wissensmanagement provides a semantic search engine (in german) for knowledge management.
It has a very interesting way of searching for knowledge.

OpenSource Whiteboard Systems

At the Cocoon GetTogether 2003 the attendants were using a whiteboard system (SubEthaEdit for Mac) to collaboratively take notes of the talks.
Bertrand suggested one more (Coccinella) on the Cocoon Developers Mailinglist for doing a virtual Hackathon on the first Friday every month (which BTW is an excellent idea suggested by David Crossley).

This made me have a closer look at these tools and provide a short list of OpenSource software I found.

Peer2Peer:
* SubEthaEdit (Mac, with screenshots)
* The Coccinella (Java, also Client/Server using a Jabber Server, with screenshots)
* Privaria (Windows, soon Linux, with screenshots)

Client/Server:
* Babylon Chat (Java, client and server with Demo)
* Drawboard (Java, client and server with screenshots)
* Tulka Whiteboard (Java, client and server with screenshots)
* CodeApplet (Java, client and server with SICS Demo)
* Volley (MacOS X, client and server)

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

uPortal

uPortal is a free, sharable portal under development by institutions of higher-education.

Apache Pluto

Apache Pluto is the Reference Implementation of the Java Portlet Specfication.

Monday, October 06, 2003

OpenOffice 1.1 released

OpenOffice 1.1 is available for download (also in german).
It has many new features.

JSDoc

With JSDoc you can use JavaDoc-like comments for JavaScript files.
Very handy, if you want to document you Cocoon Flowscripts.
Another solution:
* Mozilla jsdoc.js

News from the Cocoon Hackathon 2003

If you (like me) weren't able to attend the Cocoon Hackathon and GetTogether you are watching for all the information you can find online.
The best sources I found are the Cocoon Wiki and many blogs of attendants:
* Search for GT2003 in the CocoonWiki
* Bertrand
* Carsten
* Matthew
* Steven
* Sylvain
* Torsten

Cross-Browser Rich Text Editor

Cross-Browser Rich Text Editor allows to WYSIWYG-edit webpages with IE5.5+/Mozilla 1.3+.

Cocoon Hackathon 2003

If you wondered like me, why there was so less traffic on the Cocoon Developers Mailinglist then you might have found the reason too: Today is the Cocoon Hackathon 2003 and tomorrow the official Cocoon GetTogether in Ghent (Belgium).
Too bad, I can't be there, but the next time I will ... promised!

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Apache Agora 1.2

Stefano announced the availability of Apache Agora 1.2 (Java Applet Version) on the Cocoon Developers Mailinglist.
It's also available for download as standalone application and has a nice User's Guide.

It's a really amazing to see this great visualization of community dynamics. If you're participating to some of the Apache Mailinglists (like I do for example on the Cocoon Developers Mailinglist), you'll find yourself and how you are related to others or to the community in common.

You have to check this out, really!

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Xen virtual machine monitor

Xen is a virtual machine monitor for x86 that supports execution of multiple guest operating systems with unprecedented levels of performance and resource isolation. It is Open Source software, released under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

The performance impacts are quite impressive - almost as fast as running on the real machine!

Nice to see, that there's some more competition to VMWare, Plex86 and Bochs.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

WfMOpen

WfMOpen is a J2EE based implementation of a workflow facility (workflow engine) as proposed by the Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC) and the Object Management Group (OMG).

It's the first Open Source workflow engine I saw, which complies to the reference model of the WfMC... very interesting!