Month: April 2006

Excellent sailing two weeks in-a-row

Dad and I had the second week of excellent sailing in-a-row. Last week we went out on a Hunter 34 named Vesper Light. We covered about 30 miles in the 5 hours or so while we were out. Today we went out on a Catalina 42 named Cakewalk. Both outings were part of a “buddy sail” program at Texas Charters (link not working when I checked it last) up at Lake Texoma. They send out an email during the week with the name and model of the boat going out that weekend and whomever is interested replies and then shows up. Unfortunately, Jay is shutting down the whole operation to concentrate on his charter business.

Postfix fixed

I was tweaking the “dev tools” VMWare image today in an effort to get mail routing working. I had dropped Postfix on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 image but when it forwarded messages to our SMTP hub it acted like it was ignoring the “myorigin” config setting that told it to use only the domain name in the sender’s email address (rather than the fully-qualified host name).

Thanks to this thread, I was able to ascertain that it was probably a conflict with sendmail. Removing sendmail fixed the problem.

What was frustrating was that I got a couple of our Fedora Core 3 lab machines (non-virtual) working and they seemed to be able to coexist with sendmail just fine. I should have known to ignore that based on the different distro, sendmail, and postfix versions.

Handy use for VMWare #2: Instant training setup

My practice has put together a “Documentum Boot Camp” which is an intensive course aimed at taking folks with Java development experience and turning them into Documentum developers in much less time than if you were to take formal training on each topic. We cover everything from Administration, Security, and Workflow to writing custom Documentum WDK-based applications.

Keeping a pristine training environment set up, or better yet, providing each student with their own training environment wouldn’t be practical if it weren’t for VMWare. With VMWare we’re able to create a standard “client” and “server” image, each pre-configured with everything the student will need to get through the Boot Camp exercises. So, when it is time for someone to go through the Boot Camp, we give them a CD with the courseware, lab book, and instructions, and two DVDs with the VMWare images. They use the VMWare Player to run their images. If they trash their environment it’s no problem–they simply re-copy the image from the DVD.

I’ve seen training providers handle this with ghost images in the past. The nice thing about the VMWare approach is that the images run on the student’s machine on top of the OS they already have installed. This is the first time I’ve seen a training class where you can actually take the training “machine” with you when the class is over. The next time you pay for training, instead of asking, “Is this course material going to be available for download?” you should ask, “Is my training machine available over BitTorrent?”

Handy use for VMWare #1: Portable dev tools

Every once-in-a-while we will do a project in-house (or in our “studio” as we call it) but most of the time we do our work on the client site. In our studio we can easily leverage our in-house development infrastructure: source code control, continuous builds, bug tracking, wiki, etc. When we go on-site we obviously try to leverage the tools our clients have in place. From time-to-time, though, the tools aren’t accessible or simply aren’t present.

What we needed was a way to take our studio development infrastructure with us. So, we created a VMWare image with our server-based development tools on it. Voila! Mobile studio. At the client site we simply install either the VMWare Player or the VMWare Server (both free) and we’re off to the races. Because we use freely-available software from the OS on up we can leave the infrastructure behind to be leveraged by the client development team without worrying about license concerns. It’s a good deal all around.

Red Hat acquires jBoss

Red Hat has signed a deal to acquire jBoss.

How will this affect the world of ECM? jBoss has portal and workflow offerings. Although I’ve never seen it in real life, and I’m unsure of its origins, Red Hat does have a portal solution. I have no basis for this opinion but I’d wager that the jBoss portal is more complete than Red Hat’s.

Red Hat tried their hand at content management. Their offering was based on the now-defunct ArsDigita Community System (ACS). If Red Hat wants in to the ECM game they’d have a decent start with jBoss’ portal and workflow. All they’d need is a repository. How ’bout Alfresco?