Month: February 2004

Lenya WCM

Tried getting Lenya going tonight. I didn’t have any luck with the binary build so I went with the source build. That helped. Word to the wise, though. The Lenya site says it requires Cocoon 2.1.2. It looks like it has to be exactly 2.1.2 not 2.1.2 or higher.

I tried Lenya 1.2rc2 with Cocoon 2.1.4 and it didn’t work. It looks like that version of Lenya is expecting xercesImpl-2.5.0 rather than 2.6.1 which is what Cocoon 2.1.4 comes with. I updated the Lenya Ant build XML file to use the newer version of Xerces but Lenya choked on it when it tried to come up

Cocoon 2.1.4

I downloaded Cocoon 2.1.4 recently. I hadn’t looked at it in at least a year, maybe two. Tonight I got the chance to get it up and running. Man, has it come a long way! I don’t know enough about it yet but it seems very powerful. (I am easily impressed by the slick demos). I sort of got the same tingly feeling I got when I first installed Zope. Cocoon is much more XML-centric, though. It’s also got Apache Axis built-in so it is web services ready. There are many other built-in Apache projects that add to its power but they are too numerous to mention here.
Here are a couple of links…
and some of the OOTB samples I thought were cool…
— All of the form processing framework samples (JXForms, Woody)
— SVG, PDF, JPEG, and PNG on-the-fly generation (Batik, FOP)
— Web services (SOAP and Axis)
— Lucene search engine
— xMIDI (just for fun)
— Linotype blog example, although I had problems getting it to run
If you have the time or the inclination, download Cocoon and look through the samples. The build process is paineless. You don’t even need Tomcat to play with it because it embeds its own servlet container (Jetty).
In the early days of Cocoon I remember the install being sketchy and the samples library being pretty lame. You should see it now. Your head will start spinning.
Cocoon seems powerful but also complex. I’ve only scratched the surface but I’ve seen enough to want to learn more.

MySQL use expanding within Sabre

MySQL Profits From Open Source. Linux is still the most famous open-source app, but database software using the same model is getting some play. MySQL is giving established software firms a run for their money. By Joanna Glasner. [Wired News]

From the article…

While open-source applications are most closely associated with poorly funded startups, MySQL’s customer list also includes large firms. Its current users include Yahoo, Google, Caterpillar, UPS and travel reservation processor Sabre Holdings, which began a significant shift to MySQL in July.

“While we can definitely show cost reductions in the millions of dollars, it’s not simply a matter of licensing costs,” said Alan Walker, vice president of Sabre Labs, the research-and-development arm of Sabre Holdings. Claiming to process 40 percent of the world’s travel reservations, Sabre Holdings began using MySQL on a discount-fare search feature, Walker said, and now plans to expand its use throughout the company.

Go, MySQL, go!

Blogging for Business

Blogging for Business – 37 Signals. 37 Signals are a web design and usability firm based in Chicago. They’ve got a good prezzy introducing blogs, discussing blogging for business, and covering blogs as a business. They call Blogs “tiny but mighty cms”. Take a look: Blogging for Business… [cms~wire]

From the 37 Signals article…

Businesses are starting to use blogs internally to share knowledge, disseminate information across the entire organization, and manage projects. Some advantages of using internal blogs include:

  • An archive of contributions if an employee leaves
  • Central spot for communication instead of email here, IM there
  • Written record of who said what, approvals, comments, etc.
  • Central location eases bandwidth requirements
  • Central location for project assets (logos, fonts, documentation)

This is a really good article with many links to helpful resources, particularly if you are looking to use blogs within your company.

Steve Earle Bio

Finished Hardcore Troubadour: The Life and Near Death of Steve Earle, by Lauren St. John, a couple of weekends ago. Man, I knew the guy had had some hard times (just listen to his lyrics) but this gives new meaning to “rock bottom”. The incredible part of the story to me is that he actually lived through it and is now making some of his best art, ever. We came amazingly close to never knowing more than a couple of album’s worth of Steve Earle. St. John kept me involved in the story, but at times, the littany of producers, managers, label execs, and legendary artists were a little much for an industry-outsider.

Recent music purchases

Countrysides, Cracker. According to the liner notes, Cracker spent several months touring as a country band called Ironic Mullet. This CD is a result of that experiment. Every Cracker CD has a couple of tunes with a little country flavor. With this one, every song on the CD (with one exception) is a cover of a classic country tune. They are all awesome. I love this CD. For Cracker fans, this is a sure winner, but even alt-country fans who haven’t given Cracker a shot in the past should give it a chance.

Just An American Boy, Steve Earle. This is a live, two-CD album. It covers live material from 2002(?) and 2003. It sounds like he must have made a bluegrass tour at some point that I missed. I think the rest of the material is from the same tour as the show I caught in Dallas. The CD suffers from poor sound quality in places but that doesn’t diminish my enjoyment of it in the least. The album’s got a ton of great tracks as well as a fair amount of the chattering that Steve does in-between songs. There’s a pretty funny part where some guy yells out, “Copperhead Road!” and Steve Says, “Dude, do you really think I’m not going to play that? I’ll bet you ten bucks you won’t be awake when I do.” Two thumbs up.

March 16-20 1992, Uncle Tupelo. This is Uncle Tupelo’s all-acoustic third album. I haven’t got tired of listening to it yet. Several of the tracks are on 89/93: An Anthology but I’d heard so much about the album I had to get it. It did not disappoint.

A.M., Wilco. Other than Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, this may be my favorite Wilco album. “Casino Queen” rocks. “Passenger Side” is awesome as well. Actually, I can’t think of one that isn’t good. I’ve listened to this one repeatedly for days on end.

Bourbonitis Blues, Alejandro Escovedo. I liked A Man Under the Influence but it isn’t one that I play all of the time. So, when I saw Bourbonitis, I decided to give Alejandro another try. I liked this one much better. It’s not as mellow and much more bluesy.

Nocturama, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. I bought this one song unheard. Or at least song unremembered. I think I may have heard a track or two on Spinner or maybe I saw something in No Depression. In any case, I think this one is an acquired taste and I haven’t acquired it yet. 

Elephant, White Stripes. Although tempted, it’s probably a good idea not to listen to 100% of the time. The White Stripes offer an aural sorbet of sorts. “Ball and Biscuit” is probably my favorite.

Mother’s Milk, Red Hot Chili Peppers. For some reason, I didn’t get in to the Red Hot Chili Peppers until Californication. When I got that album, I realized I was a latent Chili Peppers fan. Ever since then, I’ve added a Chili Peppers CD every now-and-then.

Baby I’m Bored, Evan Dando. Evan Dando was the lead singer of the Lemonheads. I was a huge fan of the Lemonheads before they broke up so I decided to give Evan’s solo CD a try. If you’re an old fan, you’ll like it, but it’s not a must-have. A lot of the tracks sound the same. Maybe I was expecting too much.