Vita Rara: A Life Uncommon

Getting Into Scrum


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At Vita Rara we're beginning to use Scrum to manage our software projects. Our first pure Scrum project is going to be a SaaS Scrum tool. Stay tuned for more on that as we make progress.

We're currently starting to use Scrum to manage our Quadran project. We have identified a client to act as our model customer, and have explained the Scrum process to them and they have bought in.

An UnRally Tale: Part I


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Well, Sylva and I are mostly done with The UnRally VI. The event itself is over, now it's just some simple cleanup of a few loose details and closing the financial books.

I've never organized an UnRally before. It was an interesting experience. I'm glad Sylva and I chose to say yes. I don't know with the changes rapidly unfolding in our lives when we'd have the time to do one in the next several years. So, I'm glad when asked, we said, "yes."

My trip to the UnRally was a long one. My overall route was from home; Troy, NY; to Waynesboro, VA; to Charlotte, NC; to Atlanta, GA; to somewhere in TN; to Lexington, KY; to the UnRally in Fayetteville, WV; and from the UnRally home via Akron, PA and a lot of back roads. Including some riding at the UnRally I clocked 3,106 miles in total. Far more than the 1,300 mile round trip from home to the Un plus some riding would have been.

Groovy Works 0.1 Release


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Groovy Works has been the benefactor of a lot of development this past week. With upgrades for better class caching, better utilization of the GroovyClassLoader, and integration with Groovy-1.1-beta-3-SNAPSHOT and Spring 2.

Google Code Project and SVN Access

I have moved Groovy Works to Google Code. To get the latest release please see the download section on Google.

Quick Start Directions

  • Download the current release from Google Code.
  • Unzip it in a directory: tar xfzv groovyworks-0.1.tar_.gz
  • Change directory to the groovyworks-core directory: cd groovyworks-core
  • Install the Groovy Works artifact with Maven: mvn install
  • Change directory to the sample application: cd ../example-app
  • Run the application with the Jetty plugin: mvn jetty:run
  • Point your browser at http://localhost:8080/groovyworks/

To use the plugin in your Struts projects you'll need to remove the standard Struts Spring plugin. Groovy Works provides all of the functionality of the existing Spring plugin.

Where's the Tilde ~


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So, I'm sitting here learning some DHTML and Javascript using my Mac and personal web sharing. I want to look at the page. My URL has a tilde in it. That's the way to access personal sites using Apache, and it's the way OS X comes configured stock. So, I hit the number key to get to the ~ and IT'S NOT THERE! Huh? It's a legal character, and it's the method used by Apple themselves.

Apple where's my tilde?

iPhone: Day Four


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It's amazing. I don't know that there is much more to say. In true Apple fashion, it works.

Activation

My activation went totally smoothly. Sylva's took a bit longer than mine did. Overall it is a much better experience than I have ever had getting a cell phone.

Applications

I've been cruising the web looking for apps. There are some out there but they are a bit thin on the ground so to speak.

Typing

It is good and I'm getting better at it. The main thing is I'm better with my right hand than I am with my left. Also the closeness of some commonly used letters such as the i & o, a & s, and some others has me wondering if a Dvorak layout might be better.

iPhone: Day Three Thoughts


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I've had an iPhone for three days now. I'm absolutely thoroughly impressed. Apple has done an amazing job with the iPhone.

My wife, Sylva, and I went to the Apple Store on Friday evening. We stayed away from the lines early in the day. My brother went to the store right around 6PM and the place was a mad house. There was a long line. He called us later around 8PM and said the line was gone.

So, we headed out. I wasn't intending to buy it right there and then. Problem was it worked as advertised. The touch interface works, the browser works (more about that later), the email program works... in usual Apple fashion it works. Are there some issues. Yes, there are, more on those in a later post.

Urban Black and Whites


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I've done very few black and white conversions of my digital pictures in the past. Recently a friend of mine, Jim, from the local brew pub showed me some black and white shots he's done with 4x5 field camera, and it inspired me to go out and shoot with black and white conversions in mind.

The More I Use Struts 2 the More I Like It


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It's a quiet Saturday and I'm working. Yea, I know some people would scoff at that, but lately my office and business life during the week are so hectic I can't get into that "place" where development just flows.

Well, today I'm the only one in the office and I'm getting development done. I'm tackling a very tricky screen in Quadran, and Struts 2 is making it a joy. The more I use Struts 2 I realize that a lot of development and thought has gone into solving real web developer needs. When I think of some new feature I'd like in Struts 2 I frequently find that it's already there.

I've started using the "method" property on submit buttons. I know I'm late to the party. This is just so neat. I used to use hidden properties and switches to get to the right logic. Now, just set method on the <s:submit> tag, and voila! I'm in the right place in my action.

Apple's ProCare is BS for Professionals


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I make no secret of the fact that I'm a Mac user, and in general an Apple fan, but I have one serious bone to pick with Apple.

I own a lot of professional Apple equipment, some Mac Pros, a G5 Quad, a Mac Book Pro, Apple screens, and scads of other iBooks, and PowerMacs. (At the moment I think I have about 12 macs total.) In general I purchase professional level machines for professional work. Problem is when something goes wrong with one of them Apple makes no differentiation between a consumer level machine or iPod; and a professional machine, in their treatment of your needs. You pay a professional price, but get treated the same as someone who bought an iPod Shuffle or a Mac Mini.

Compiling JasperReports JRXML Files with Maven


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I recently started using JasperReports in Quadran. I'm using Maven to manage the Quadran project, and I wanted the JasperReports to fit into the process like everything else.

There is a Maven plugin in the Mojo collection for compiling jrxml files. Currently the plugin is in the sandbox, so you will need to check it out of Subversion and install it yourself in your local Maven repository.