Riding the WebSphere Bus

At my current client that unfortunately is keen on IBM and thus we are on the AIX and IBM WebSphere 6.x servers.

We are in the process of evaluating some ESB platforms that must run in WebSphere 6.1, so in that perspective I had the fortune to ride the IBM WebSphere Bus today. Yes I didn't think it had a Bus but this is what its internal JMS provider more or less is re-branded as.

Eventually I had a ride with the bus, but as always it wasn't a joy ride. The goal is to use WebSphere 6.1 embedded JMS for messaging. So the task was to create a queue to store messages that the various ESB candidate platforms can use to publish messages to.

I have spent the most of the afternoon in the dreadful IBM console to setup the Bus and configure the JMS providers, connection factories, jndi bindings and whatnot. During trial and error with a candidate (Mule 2.0.1) it was quite a ride to decipher all these WebSphere exceptions. One good point worth mentioning is that WebSphere uses an token ide for the given exception that is easy to google. However its online documentation that you get when you click "Help" in the console wasn't to much use.

The morale of the story is that it wasn't a very easy task to setup and know we need to write multi pages word documentation with screenshot of every single step with red circles and precise instructions for the operations management when they get to the point where they are responsible for installation and configuration of the WebSphere Bus.

That's a pity we have to ride this Bus when there are more sexy transportation's out there!


Intellij IDEA plugin compablility

I discovered IDEA back in 2001 when there was no Eclipse and JBuilder was more or less the best choice at the time.

Its truly the best Java editor at the moment (however I would love it to be faster at startup). Well my story is that it had a plugin system from early days and plugin developers started producing add-on features both commerical and free. Over the time these features has also been embrased by JetBrains and included in the standard distribution.

Myself developer a generate toString() plugin that could at the time generate those boiler plate toString() implementations for your domain models that we used to crank in manually. I do think I got a first release of my plugin in late 2002 - can't remember the date exactly.

Over the course of time and new releases of IDEA plugins had breaked due changes in the plugin API. And I must admit that a few times I had started to fall behind and give up on it to refactor and dig into the strange errors why the plugin doesn't work the newer version. And yet again you do have the version issues. How do you support the older version of the plugin at the same time. Yes you can have a CVS/SVN repository and start have branches etc. But at the time most people did only have the source on their local computer and didn't share it in public.

Well the story is that in the next IDEA 8.0 I got an issue reported that my plugin doens't work.

With all these breaking API's during the course of IDEA I do think they have lost quite a few great plugins and plugin developers. Am I the next one? Only time will tell.



Its amazing how many new terms first spun on the internet that widespread with rapid pace and suddenly is what you hear from the young teenagers and later in an article in the free papers you read coming back from.

Now an avatar is used for the nice old fashioned passport photo as well, so when my blog needed a little nifty mugshot then I was looking for an avatar and stopped at Gravatar. Its actually quite cool as it integrates with my gmail account so I am able to switch the mugshot later on.
Gravator must be the next company that is acquired by one of the bigger fish - if not already.

When I needed to upload a photo they even had a simple and slick UI to crop the picture. It just works. And this is my point. I am in this part of my life now that I don't want to use 2-3 nights to figure out how it works - I just want it to work out-of-the-box. The days are over where I was reading magazines about new computer parts and using 1 week to assemble all the parts bought from several vendors to save costings.

So make software that "Just works".