Thursday 28 June 2007

The iPhone looks amazing!

Ever since buying my first mac, the 1Ghz 17" Powerbook when they first came out (and its still going strong, although very very slowly :), I've been a self confessed Apple fan.

I thought the iPhone looked really cool & was drooling over it from the first time I heard about it and saw the early demos.

But after watching the guided tour and then the keyboard tour I'm amazed! They've done an incredible job getting so many of the little things sorted for the first release; am sure it'll keep on improving too. Things I really like...
  • the general user interface looks awesome
  • SMS support is really nice!
  • I love the google maps eye candy :)
  • the headphones & the way that little button works is really cool
  • I love the double click zoom (or pinch) and double click with 2 fingers zoom out
  • turn the phone to switch on cover flow; nice :)
  • tons of clever features added to the keyboard (I hope its easier to use than the apple mice I hate :)
I've just gotta wait months for it to come out in Europe. I guess at least most of the glitches should be ironed out by then :)

Monday 25 June 2007

More on LazyWeb: using VMWare and maven in a CI tool

more on my previous post on using VMWare with maven builds to run tests on different machine operation system & configurations. I spotted this interesting article on testing using VMWare and perl scripts to spawn different VMWare images and running the tests inside them. So we just need someone to wrap all that up in a shell script that mimicks the mvn script and we're done! :)

BTW Mike made the excellent comment that you could use the Bamboo build number which is a very good idea. (The only downside is sometimes its JMX / RMI ports as well as ActiveMQ ports so its a tad too complex for one single port number). Mark also provided details of how to use the build number in your build - cool beans! Am sure that'll be really useful for other things...

Thursday 21 June 2007

LazyWeb: spawning maven builds via VMWare in your CI tool

We're using the cute Bamboo tool from those nice Atlassian chaps to build projects like ActiveMQ, Camel and ServiceMix. Its got some lovely eye candy and reporting stuff.

The problem is, lots of the test cases of SOA projects like ActiveMQ often end up hard coding a port number to do some networking tests. The ActiveMQ test suite is probably one of the worst offenders :). (Yes I know, one day all those test cases should be refactored to use zero to create dynamic ports etc).

So we kinda have to run all of the test cases in a single build queue to avoid the test cases conflicting with each other on ports.

It'd be great if rather than just running mvn clean install or whatever, we could boot up maven in a separate VMWare image, with its own private ports and so forth - so the build runs in a separate virtual box and can't conflict with other tests.

e.g. using vmware-mvn clean install

Even better then, would be the ability to run different kinds of vmware images of maven (java 1.4, 1.5, 1.6 etc, then windows, solaris, linux etc).
mvn-win-1.5 clean install
mvn-linux-1.6 clean install

If the VMWare ninja could be wrapped up in a command line that looked like the mvn command, this featre would just drop into all the various maven-supporting CI tools (of which there is a fair few; Hudson, Continuum, TemCity, LuntBuild etc). So the caller of vmware-mvn would get the incremental output via stdout; and after the build, the build files would be synced with the caller, so from the CI tool's perspective its just like calling mvn.

Friday 15 June 2007

Tuesday 12 June 2007

Apache FtpServer available in a maven repo

Niklas mentions that Apache FtpServer is now available in the snapshot maven repo. Great!

As I mentioned in a previous post on mocking network protocols for testing; mocking is great and the next best thing to having a mock is to embed an in-JVM provider of some network service such as for testing JMS. If you want to create integration tests of your FTP logic you might want to take Apache FtpServer for a spin.

We tried using it to unit test the new FTP/SFTP/WebDAV component in Apache Camel and it worked a treat! :)

WWDC thoughts

Well WWDC is over and the dust is settling. I've gotta say I'm really liking the looks of Leopard; I love the cover flow in the new finder and the quick look feature. Why is it Apple always have really great ideas; which with hindsight seem so obvious :). e.g. the two fingers on the touchpad for 2D scrollwheel thing? Or the iPhone user interface with your fingers. Or the iPod music quiz game (if you've got an iPod, you have played that game right? Cool & addictive eh?)

Stacks looks cute (I like the eye candy of the reflections in the dock :). Spaces is welcome but no biggie as there are a number of alternatives that have been around a while now. Time Machine is awesome (ZFS really) and can't wait for that. And the new iChat looks fun :). Don't really care about Mac.Mail changes as I try and use gmail for all mail now. I wonder how much other Core Animations stuff will creap in...

I did kinda wonder if Leopard would have more native virtualization for out of the box support for Linux & Windows (X is already supported nicely); with maybe Parallels being integrated into Leopard; but I guess with Parallels and VMWare, its best to keep healthy competition in that space

The choice of using Ajax for the iPhone is great news; anyone can now develop applications for the iPhone in a standards based way that'll work on other platforms & browsers. (I was a tad worried it was gonna be Cocoa / XCode stuff for the iPhone :). Its also good to hear that the iPhone isn't gonna be locked down per se; anyone can write applications for the iPhone.

The other nice thing is now we have a single, fast browser (WebKit/Safari) that runs on the iPhone, Mac and Windows. See Joe's comments via Dion. If the iPhone takes off, especially with alpha-geeks; I wonder how many enterprises will start writing their intranet apps for the iPhone, Mac, & Windows; i.e. picking Safari as their standard supported browser instead of the usual FireFox (or IE for windows-only places).

I wonder how many windows users will actually explicitly choose to use use Safari on the Mac. I guess its used in iTunes anyway, so there's really lots of Safari (or rather WebKit) users already; so Apple might as well make it available. I wonder if Apple will release iLife for Windows as well?

Still its hard for WWDC to be as cool & exciting as the iPhone stuff; I suspect its gonna be increasingly hard for Apple to get us excited about the next OS X when often the really cool stuff is gonna be the non-PC stuff (phone, TV, remotes, tablets etc). e.g. have you seen the new ads? Amazing aren't they; especially the calamari one; I love the lovely google maps integration :).

Only 2 weeks to go to the US iPhone launch; can't wait for the european launch now! Hopefully they'll have fixed the few glitches in the early iPhones by then :)

Monday 11 June 2007


This is just so funny, I nearly wet myself. Notice the incrementing counter? :) Many thanks to Brian for spotting it.

Thursday 7 June 2007

We need way more FakeSteves...

As a FakeSteve fan, I found this post great :). We need way more FakeSteves!

FakeStrachan anyone? Go ActiveJelly! :-)