Roxen User Conference

Ok, so now the first day of Roxen User Conference is about to end. The has been some interesting speaks today and a few new acquaintances. The most impressive thing is to have see how different companies and institutions have implemented the Roxen platform. To me Roxen is not just a CMS but a great development platform and from my new experiences from all over the world today my conclusion is I’m not the only one with that standpoint.

Of course there’s been a few drinks (beer, wine, whiskey and what not) but also some new friends and faces to known names. And of course there’s also been some sharing of code concepts and what not.

Tomorrow there will be some more hands on workshops. Roxen will demo their new “Link management module” which will be part of the 5.0 release. It looks really promising from the previews we’ve seen today.

In the 5.0 release they will also bring to live a new patch module which will ease the maintenance of a Roxen empowered server park in a tremendous way. That feature will be awesome.

One cool thing in particular is to have seen a demo of the Roxen Editorial Portal. A few newspapers are already running it located from Sweden to USA to Australia. A really cool achievement for such a new product! You guys at Roxen rules!

I will give a new sum-up of tomorrow’s events!

Back from vacation

So after five weeks of vacation I’m back at work. The most sensational thing must be that I didn’t write a single line of code in these five weeks! It was a much needed break from computers and the longest one I’ve had for the nine years or so I’ve been programming. The vacation it self isn’t much to talk about. I visited friends and family and spent a lot of time in the sofa watching the olympics – and playing some Play Station 3 as well ;)

I also just bought an Asus EEE which I think is quite cool. I’m actually writing this blog post on it. I threw out the Xandros operating system and installed Ubuntu EEE instead which feels a great deal better. I’ve installed a lot of developer tools and they actually run rather smoothly.

Screen shot Ubuntu EEE
Screenshot Ubuntu EEE

Roxen user conference

Next week, Thursday and Friday, I will attend the Roxen user conference which I’m really looking forward to. I’ll give a report from there when it happens.

International Womens Day

Logo: International Womens DayI thought I should honor the fact that today is the International Women’s Day. I think this is a day when we all should take the time to think about how the equality between men and women is holding up. It’s a fact that men has advantages in society at large; higher salary for equal work, more higher placed posts in powerful positions (take a look at Worldwide Guide To Women In Leadership) – more power for short – and the list can be made long. To honor this day I will below make a tribute to women I admire! And the order in which they appear i purely random.

Susanna Kallur

Susanna KallurSusanna – or Sanna as she’s called in Sweden – is currently the worlds fastest short hurdle runner and holds the 60 meters hurdle indoor world record – 7,68 seconds. I’m probably not the only guy (or woman) who like her since she’s probably the most beloved athlete in Sweden. What I like about Sanna is that she seems to be so incredibly secure in her self, extremely humble and very witty. It’s always great fun hearing her being interviewed after a race. So besides the fact that I find her to be very beautiful I admire her for the fact that she’s one of the most shining track and field stars in the world and still being so down-to-earth, but still you wouldn’t mess with her!

And by coincident she’s running in the World Indoor Championships this very day! Go Sanna

The image of Sanna Kallur is stolen from Aftonbladet.se and I am shameful!

Women in computing

Logo: LinuxChixIt’s no secret that women are under-represented in the world of web and software development! The reason for this I believe is purely an environmental/socializational thing. The same phenomenon can be seen in a wide range of areas and goes both ways for men and women. We are as children being taught what to wear, what to play with, how to speak and behave and so on, and the difference in how parents treat their sons and daughters is vast. It is, or at least it has been, a social standard that girls don’t get encouraged “playing” with computers which means they don’t grow any interest in using a computer in any other way than just using it! I’m will not bother ranting about this since there’s a ton of sociological studies addressing this problem – and I don’t mean the specific computer thing ;)

One thing that we male web and software developers can do to make it easier for women to participate in the world of software development is stop being so freaking sexist and boyish on email-lists and web forums. Sometimes you get worried when you see the tone in which some of the discussions is conducted on web forums for developers and I can really see why women get scared away. On one forum I participate in a girl asked a question – it was her first post on the forum – and the first reply she got was something in line with: Oh, you are a girl! Are you good looking?. No wonder I never saw her signature there again! I think we have a “Moment 22″ here: Since there’s almost only guys on these places it’s easy the tone gets boyish and that scares women away. So I think we guys need to think carefully about how we express our selfs on public email lists and web forums.

This is something that has been addressed by women and there seems to be a few organizations for “women in computing” that strives to make a change in, among other things, this area. Some organizations that deserves attentions is LinuxChix, Debian Women and GenderIT and I’m certain there are more than those two.

And here’s something to dig into: HOWTO Encourage Women in Linux, which I think also addresses women in computing in general.

Go ladies!

Women in my life

A day as this I must of course acknowledge the women that means the most to me, namely my Mom, my two sisters and my three sisters daughters. I love you all and I highly admire my sisters for their strength of personality, for what they have become and for how good mothers they are and for their beautiful families.

Now I just have to meet girlfriend!

A tribute to the International Womens Day

Firefox 3, Thunderbolted lightning…

What have they done to Firefox 3? I have a 64 bit system and still there are some things that doesn’t run on 64 bits, Adobe® Flash Player® being one of them. Another, more important, thing that doesn’t run when launched from a 64 bit browser is my Citrix® VPN client which I use when logging on at work from home. Anywho! There’s a browser called Swiftfox which is an optimized build of Mozilla Firefox® for Linux. The good thing is that Swiftfox runs in 32 bit mode so the Flash Player works and my Citrix client starts.

So what am I talking about! I noticed when I started using Swiftfox – which is built on a Firefox 3 beta release – that it’s insanely faster than Firefox 2. And I really mean insanely faster. Of course, as I said before, Swiftfox is an “optimized build of Mozilla Firefox for Linux” but I have used Swiftfox built on Firefox 2 before and that one wasn’t close to as fast as this last one is.

I think the Firefox team must have done some wonders to the rendering engine. I must admit that Firefox always has been a bit slower on Linux than on Windows and Mac so I pleased that Firefox 3 seems to be fastest browser ever known to mankind ;)

My first GIMP job, Gnomealicious!

Although I’ve been using Linux for eight years I have never really used GIMP since I’m brought up with Photoshop. But lately I’ve started using it to make a few layout elements for various web projects and although It’s quite frustrating when you all the time hit Photoshop shortcuts and end up with the wrong tools and what not, GIMP really isn’t that awful when you start to get grip of it.

Anyway, I did a re-install of Ubuntu the other day and found a theme for Gnome that I really liked but I had no desktop wallpaper that fitted so I though I’d better make my own. And so I did!

Screenshot
Gnome Compiz-Fusion screen shot

The wallpaper, 1680×1050
Gnomealicious desktop wallpaper

So I’m about to become better friends with GIMP!

Peace out!

Better late than never

It’s amazing that I havn’t posted an entry here for more than six months! I’ve had so much to do at work so I havn’t had the driving force to bother! We’re about to release a redesign of www.tekniskaverken.se which have taken quite much time. We’re also about to update both the server hardware and software. We’re going to use Roxen replication and load balancing which means we’re going from one standalone server to three servers!

I’ve also been busy developing “My Pages” at Tekniska Verken where our customers can log on and view consumption statistics for water, district heating, electricity and waste and much more. The statistics part has existed for years but the functionality has been rewritten from scratch where webservices SOAP) for our business system has been developed and the overall functionality has been extended and improved.

The fun thing is that I have written the SOAP clients in Java – since Pike (the language used in Roxen) doesn’t have a SOAP implementation yet but do talk to Java quite nicely – which I’ve never touched before. Java is a nice language but the Classpath thing drives you crazy! Anyway, with WSDL and Eclipse there has been no problems. There’s currently 13 webservices available and I don’t think I’ve even written 2000 lines of Java to implement them. SOAP is really nice I must say! So now I also can add Java to my CV ;)

Hopefully the new www.tekniskaverken.se will be released within a month or so!

Redroom with no comment spam?

So I’ve worked some on Redroom and the main thing was to stop the ability for robots to add comments. It will be interesting to see if it works or not, but if it doesn’t work I have a Captcha solution ready to use.

Since Captcha might be troublesome for people with impaired vision I tried a homebrewed version that doesn’t include an obscured image. The downside is that it doesn’t work with JavaScript turned off but on the other hand that means that robots shouldn’t be able to spam either.

Other than that this version of Redroom doesn’t include any new features. Some minor bug fixing was done and some code cleaning.

Syntaxer 2.0.2 released

This script is part of PLib

A few bugs was fixed in this release. I also noted a few new ones but that was mostly in the SyntaxMap class which gererates PHP arrays from the SyntaxMap files.

Changelog for this version

  • Fixed a bug where the end of strings (quotes) wasn’t found correctly in languages that has no escape character (like XSL, XML and HTML).
  • Also changed the Syntaxer::AutoDetect() method to return the extension of a file if no alias was found. In this way we can pass a path to the method and use the result directly as argument to `Sytaxer::__construct()`
4 lines of PHP
  1. $file = ‘/some/path/to/file.xsl’;
  2. $lang = Syntaxer::AutoDetect($file);
  3. $stx = new Syntaxer($lang);
  4. $stx>Parse(file_get_contents($file));

The Syntaxer can be read about and downloaded over here.

Comment spamming

It’s quite fascinating: It didn’t take many days from launcing this site until the first comment spamming began! This was of course something I was aware of but I never thought it would begin so soon. I let it go on for a while just to see what those asholes want and I just don’t get it!

Anyway! I will implement some, or a few, spam filter functions. I’ve looked into Akismet which looks good. And there’s of course Captcha. This will maybe be the project for the weekend!

Go f**k your selfs, spammers!