Looking back, planning ahead

Again a year has passed and it’s time to take a short look back and plan for the next year. A year ago I wrote that in the year 2012 the blog would be more active and I partly managed to keep up that promise with 9 articles. Not quite at least an article per month as I planned.

The articles in 2012 started with technical issues like running Crucible as a service, JSF 1.2 and value from dropdown menu and using CAcert.org signed certificates for TLS. In the Autumn as a Fujitsu LIFEBOOK4Life Insider I reviewed Stylistic M532 Android tablet and wrote about my visit to Fujitsu Forum 2012. There were more technical issues to write about software development but again the time ran out. It’s so much easier to say couple of words in Twitter or Google+ than write a coherent and insightful post about it :)

The year 2013 is almost here so it’s time to plan ahead. There are already some articles about Apache Wicket and running different development tools on Linux in the backlog waiting to be finished and some technical tasks like upgrading the theme and maybe changing the VPS provider are to be done. Will see if I manage to achieve one article per month so subscribe to the RSS feed and stay tuned.

Happy New Year!

Insights to future workplace from Fujitsu Forum 2012

This year my Autumn holiday was a bit different as I was one of the four bloggers who were invited by Fujitsu’s LIFEBOOK4Life campaign to visit Fujitsu Forum 2012 in Munich to hear about how the future workplace might look like and to experience new technologies to support that. We also got a tour at Fujitsu’s factory in Augsburg which provided some views how computers are made from mainboards to final product. The three days in Germany were insightful and fun. How can you not like to hear about new ideas, see innovative things, meet new people and of course experience the excellent German food and beer.

Fujitsu Forum is the largest IT-event in Europe which is visited by professional users and IT decision-makers, as well as Fujitsu channel and technology partners. In 2012 more than 12,000 IT experts from around the world attended the Fujitsu Forum in Munich. And I was one of them invited by Fujitsu LIFEBOOK4Life campaign with three other bloggers (called Insiders). The chance I wrote last time came true. Our trip to Fujitsu Forum 2012 was scheduled to contain breakout sessions and keynotes on Wednesday and a tour at the Fujitsu factory in Augsburg on Thursday.

This year the Forum’s motto was “Reshaping ICT – Reshaping Business”: How to combine business processes and IT to form a stable basis that will ensure growth and success in the future. Kind of redefinition of last year’s “Reshaping IT” theme. In short some buzzwords I heard most were: consumerization, BYOD, tablets, virtualization, in-sync, cloud and win 8. “One workplace – on any device”.

First day, Wednesday 7.11


photo by Kim Ekman, Vision 51

The first day at the Forum was full of exciting breakout sessions and keynotes and the exhibition area provided some innovative ideas and services from Fujitsu and technology partners. And of course you got to test new devices like Windows 8 enabled STYLISTIC Q572 -tablet with AMD Hondo platform and STYLISTIC Q702 hybrid tablet with Intel Core i3/i5. There were also some prototypes of future Fujitsu products.

The breakout sessions and keynotes provided some good insights about how the future workplace might look like, which decisions and technologies are needed to support that and what kind of tools are we using in the future. In short the three breakout sessions I listened “Has the Post-Pc Era Begun – What will be on your desktop tomorrow”, “The War Between Enduser Devices” and “Tablets & More – Cool scenarios for hot devices” can be summed to words: consumerization, byod, tablets, virtualization, in-sync, cloud and win 8. “One workplace – on any device”. The materials for all sessions can be found at Fujitsu Forum 2012 documentation page.

The three breakout sessions’ ideas about the future of workplace and tools were similar what I think about the issue: the work and workplace is changing to support mobility and working anywhere anytime. Some of the driving actors for this is that the borders between business and private life are blurring, consumerization (same devices home and work) and BYOD (bring your own device) are coming more common. We should think more about user-oriented workplace. Although the mobile computing is big the traditional desktop computing model isn’t going anywhere as there is always need for more computing power, larger screen, data protection and security.

In the future the devices we use will be more diverse and we have more of them. Thus there will be need for virtualization, syncing data and support for “One workplace – on any device” ideology. Different tasks have different needs for the device so we need a dynamic desktop experience. The sessions also provided some views about the tablets’ platforms and in Western Europe Windows, iOS and Android will be about equals in strength. It will be seen. It was said about Windows 8 that there will be a challenge with transition and touch monitors are needed to deliver significant impact on Win 8.

There were also some suggestions about the devices which can support our future workplace needs. At the desktop we could find the ESPRIMO X -series which has integrated desktop computer at the base of the monitor and the same form factor works in multiple use cases. And with the integrated Web camera with presence sensor you can lock the screen when leaving and login with face detection. Crafty. For the mobility aspects there are STYLISTIC Q572 and Q702 tablets and for laptop needs you have Ultrabooks LIFEBOOK U772 and more traditional LIFEBOOK T902.

After the day at the sessions and exhibition area it was time for lunch. A nice buffet with currywurst, burger and Weissbier. The final event for the day was Celebration Night with some comedians with guitars and then the stage was open for Amy McDonald. It was a nice gig by Amy but last year’s Anastacia was better :)

Second day, Thursday 8.11

The second day for us at the Fujitsu Forum 2012 was dedicated to for a tour at Fujitsu’s factory in Augsburg. It was kind of surprising to see how many workers there are although the automation percent was something like 85-90. Some mainboard components and checking is more easy to do by humans. Also the storage and putting things together were done manually.


After the visit to the factory it was more or less free time to roam the exhibition area because we didn’t have time for anymore sessions or keynotes. At the exhibition we found about Fraunhofer’s nLightened workplace with touch, rotate, scan, change light, adjust hight features and which runs on top of Linux. Again we saw the Made4You customization service which engraves with laser any product you want. Like my Twitter name and Fujitsu Forum 2012 hashtag to a metal cased pen.

The second day was interesting and it looked like there was some party starting when the Insiders and moderators had to head back home. It would have been fun to spend some more days in Munich but as usual the work calls.

Summary

Fujitsu Forum 2012 provided insights and ideas about how the future workplace might look like and we got to experience new technologies to support that. The three days in Munich went (too) fast and it was again great to visit Fujitsu Forum and to see other Insiders and LIFEBOOK4Life crew. Thanks LIFEBOOK4Life and Fujitsu.

If you want to read more check out what Antonia wrote about our trip to campaign site and Aba from FujitsuFans.com has made some previews and reports from the Forum.

Fujitsu Forum 2012 has insights for the future of IT

Germany is known for it’s technology expos like CeBIT but for more detailed and in depth view about the state of information technology you might want to go to Fujitsu Forum like I did a year ago invited by LIFEBOOK4Life. This year it’s held November 7th and 8th at the ICM in Munich and enables you to get an insight what the Japanese multinational information technology equipment and services company and world’s third-largest IT services provider thinks about information technology and where the IT is going.

Fujitsu Forum is the largest IT-event in Europe which is visited by professional users and IT decision-makers, as well as Fujitsu channel and technology partners. In 2011 more than 10,000 IT experts from around the world attended the Fujitsu Forum in Munich. And I was one of them invited by Fujitsu LIFEBOOK4Life campaign. As I’m a LIFEBOOK4Life Insider there’s a chance to visit the Forum also this year so let’s look what events I’m looking forward to the most and why I would want to visit those.

Fujitsu Forum 2012’s motto is “Reshaping ICT – Reshaping Business”: How to combine business processes and IT to form a stable basis that will ensure growth and success in the future. Kind of redefinition of last year’s “Reshaping IT” theme. With keynotes, breakout sessions, exhibition area and expert talks there is plenty for everyone to see and listen. But as I last year got to experience the time is not enough for everything so you must choose your own agenda which is made easier with the Individual Agenda Builder.

My agenda contains mainly topics about how the workplace in changing and what new devices there is to expect and their use cases. As a software developer the technical development affects the software and provides new innovative ways to use software. So it’s good to know which things are just around the corner or little further away. Here is my take of the events I look forward to the most (my Fujitsu Forum 2012 Agenda, pdf). I think the events’ descriptions tell all the reasons to participate. It was hard to pick just three but managed to get it down to one Keynote and two Breakout Sessions.

Keynotes – strategic perspectives:

Keynotes are addressing the questions like “The direction of future IT developments?”, “Which technologies will be on the CIO agenda?” and “What strategic factors will be of importance to decision-makers?” and although as working in a big corporation it would be interesting to know how the CIO thinks, as a tech geek more interesting one is the future IT development. From the Keynote sessions I would attend “Deriving Value from the Connected Economy”.

“Deriving Value from the Connected Economy” by Benno Zollner, Fujitsu and Kim Stevenson, Intel:

The world is changing as new technologies enable information, opinions and idea sharing like never before. Such rapid evolution is breaking down the barriers for creating businesses and economic value. We see an opportunity to harness the knowledge and ideas of the world’s population as large- scale business potential. We have tools available to be ahead of the curve in supporting this transition; and more solutions become available. Having the right strategy to produce solutions customers want, leverage technology and enable employees is paramount. Inspiring examples of the strategies and tools that are needed to pace ahead of these transitions and enable value creation for company.

Breakout Sessions – IT perspectives:

There is around 50 breakout sessions which discuss technologies, best practices and innovative solutions that are relevant to the modernization and further development of IT so you can’t attend every one of them. For more business oriented people there is “the benefits and threats of the cloud”, “in-memory computing for “big data”” and “solutions for data centers that cut costs and increase IT flexibility” but for technology oriented geeks hearing about “new developments in IT mobility” and “behind-the-scenes looks at current IT-research” is something to look forward to. So “Tablets & More – Cool scenarios for hot devices” and “The War between Enduser Devices” are obvious choices.

“Tablets & More – Cool scenarios for hot devices” by Meinolf Althaus, Fujitsu

Media tablets and mobile centric applications are new top priorities for business users and IT. How can combinations of current and new technologies help you to securely and efficiently merge the opportunities offered by business and privately owned devices? Find out about the effective and secure blend of accessing business and private IT environments from new mobile devices.

“The War between Enduser Devices” by Thomas Meyer, IDC

New formats for enduser devices are appearing very quickly. Netbooks, Ultrabooks, Tablets, new types of thin clients and also operating systems such as Android are raining down on IT departments. This analyst presentation looks at what can be expected in the near future. Which device for which purpose and how to deal with such a complex range.

Expert Talks – specialist know-how transfer:

Sometimes a specific in-depth know-how is required and Expert Talks are the place to attend. They are focused on specific topics and supplement the strategic approaches outlined in the keynotes and the concrete information presented in the breakout sessions with specialist discussions in small groups. Expert Talks are ideal for those who want to exchange information, discuss specific issues in detail and share ideas with other specialists. There is many topics to choose like “How to mitigate the headache caused by BYOD?”, “Secure your valuable data: Easy to use and scaleable security solution”, “Android tablets in Business Environment – A challenge for CIOs?”, “New LIFEBOOK notebooks meet trend of consumerization” and “Oracle Applications Strategy”. Would like to go couple of those but my agenda is already full.

And between the events it’s a must to visit the exhibition which holds 3,500 square meters of innovations and presents over 250 highlights from Fujitsu and its partners. For example I look forward to get hands-on with Fujitsu STYLISTIC Q702 hybrid tablet PC and Windows 8 running on new touch devices and hear about a brand new way of running desktop environments.

But there is also something more. On the Wednesday evening singer-songwriter Amy MacDonald takes the stage at the Fujitsu Intel Celebration Night. Not to forget the delicious bratwursts and weissbier which I hope are provided also this year :) Technology, entertainment and nourishment: what could a professional user wish more?

Fujitsu Forum holds many interesting keynotes, sessions, insights and experiences which I last year got to experience. The chance to do it again this year is open so let’s hope I get to travel to Germany for Fujitsu Forum 2012 experience, meet other Insiders and see NDA devices like last year the Ultrabooks which Fujitsu released this Summer.

LIFEBOOK4Life Ultra Test Flight adventure starts

Fujitsu’s LIFEBOOK4Life is here again with “Ultra Test Flight” and new challenges for Insiders. This year it’s about Ultrabooks and the Autumn will be full of interesting tasks to fulfill. In the end if successful the Insiders can keep their Ultrabooks, be it U772 or U572. Last year I took part in Fujitsu’s “LIFEBOOK4Life: Accept no boundaries” campaign and tested LIFEBOOK S761 laptop. It was very interesting couple of months. This year is not going to be any different and looks like it will be even more exciting.

LIFEBOOK4Life: Ultra Test Flight challenges 40 independent IT- and lifestyle-bloggers (called Insiders) from all over the world to a quest through virtual airport passing all stations from check-in to the gate. Each station contains a solo and a group task in which the Insiders unveil the features of Fujitsu’s Ultrabooks (U772 and U572) in aspects of mobility, reliability, elegance, connectivity and security. In the end if an Insider solves at least seven test tasks he or she can keep the Ultrabook. There is also extra bonuses with a change to go to Fujitsu Forum 2012 in Munich, which I went last year, and the Top 10. will get a flight voucher.

There are total of 10 test tasks and couple of extra tasks for the enthusiasts. Last year there was overall of 15 tasks but unfortunately the project site is not available anymore. It was and will be quite brain teasing and interesting to solve those with travel themed and somewhat tongue-in-cheek like articles. For example “mobility” contains a task to pack a lightweight luggage with the five items and “security” is about discussing and showing which security feature is your favorite. “Elegance” is for thin-telligence and design & style as “connectivity” is for 3G/UMTS and 4G/LTE. And the fifth theme “reliability” is about features which combine German engineering with Japanese quality.

Fujitsu LIFEBOOK U772 unboxed

LIFEBOOK4Life: Ultra Test Flight started last Friday which was convenient as the same day I got my package from the local post office. As usual, everything starts with unboxing and as a special Silver Insider (last year went the extra mile and expressed extraordinary commitment) my package contained a red LIFEBOOK U772. In short: Intel Core i5-3427U (2.8 GHz, 3 MB), 4 GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 14″ 1366 x 768 LED backlight and Anti-glare screen, 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4, 3G/UMTS, 4G/LTE, (WxDxH): 327 x 225 x 15.6 mm and 1.4 kg. I will later write a short review about it.

The project has also something for everyone. You who can take part in a raffle and win a flight. To improve your chances of winning you can earn badges which gives you an extra raffle ticket. Just comment on 10 different blog articles, “Like” 10 different blog articles, share 3 articles with your friends on Facebook and log in on 6 different days.

You can follow my quest at the LIFEBOOK4Life site from my profile or follow me in Twitter.

Fujitsu Stylistic M532 review

Tablets have become more and more common in recent years and I have thought about getting one but haven’t quite got myself to buying one. Too many choices and didn’t know if I really needed one. When Fujitsu suggested to test their new Stylistic M532 Android tablet in part of their Lifebook4Life project i gladly took the opportunity. Couple of days later the postman brought their brand new 10″ Android tablet which is powered by quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor and has 1280×800 resolution screen, 1 GB memory, 32 GB flash and weights 560 grams. In Finland it costs about 612 euros.

Fujitsu Stylistic M532

In short Fujitsu Stylistic M532 is a 10″ business grade Android tablet powered by quad core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, 1 GB memory, 32 GB flash and has 1280×800 resolution Gorilla Glass protected LED backlighted and glossy screen. By 8.6 mm thickness and 560 grams it’s a bit slimmer and lighter than Apple’s new iPad (660g, 9,4mm). It runs vanilla Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and has 8 Mpix and 2 Mpix cameras. The black bezel has no physical buttons, is rounded by a red metal trim and the back is covered by rubber like material which gives you a good grip. Physically and visually it stands out from the crowd of Android tablets. In positive sense. The connectivity is enabled with Bluetooth, WiFi and 3G and you can extend storage with microSD card. Charging is handled by proprietary dock-connector at the bottom. There’s also microUSB connector (can’t be used for charging) and 3,5mm audio plugin.

The tablet’s performance is great and test results are in line with other Tegra 3 powered tablets (see results below). Movies and games ran without problems and with 32 GB storage plus microSD extension it would be a great traveling companion. But the most surprising thing is that the tablet has only 3,170 mAh battery as almost any other manufacture has over double the power. New iPad has 11,560 mAh and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 has 7000 mAh. And as the charging is done only by docking connector you always have to carry it around on longer trips. And depending on what you want to do with your tablet the camera isn’t so good. In general tablets are lousy devices for taking pictures and although M532 has an 8 Mpix camera I would use any other available camera (test picture), eg. my HTC Sensation. You need a steady hand and good light to take decent pictures. I take the 2 Mpix front camera is fine for video conferences.

In overall, during my couple of weeks use of the Stylistic M532 tablet I found it convincing with visual appearance, physical structure, feel of robustness and performance and although it stands out of the crowd it isn’t really something to be excited about. Just like you could imagine a business grade tablet to be. And after work you can take it home with you for entertainment use. It’s light enough to hold easily and was pleasing to use for reading ebooks, news and seeing lecture videos. Also the games ran fast. Battery life is moderate compared to competition but I didn’t find it as a problem in my use but the glossy screen was sometimes annoying. The preinstalled apps are good extra for corporate users.

For more detailed review with videos you can check Aba Müller’s review in Lifebook4Life blog and read TechRadar’s verdict.

Technical details

  • Processor: Nvidia Tegra 3 T30S, Quad-Core ARM Cortex A9, 1.4 GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB
  • Storage: 32 GB Flash
  • Interfaces: SIM card slot, MicroSD (SDHC) slot, Audio, Micro USB, Dock connector
  • Display: 10.1″ (25.7cm), TFT, 1280 x 800 (WXGA), Gorilla Glass
  • Camera: 8 Mpix with flash, 2 Mpix front
  • Battery: 3,170mAh, video playback 8.4 h, charging 2.7 h
  • Muuta: 2x speakers, built-in microphone
  • Antennas: 2x dual band WLAN, 3G (UMTS), GPS, Bluetooth 3.0
  • WLAN: AzureWave AW-AH663 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • 3G: Integrated Huawei MU739 module, HSPA+ (downlink 21 MBit/s, uplink 5.76 MBit/s)
  • Sensors: 3-axis Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetic Field Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor
  • Weight: 560 g
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 262.6 x 175.4 x 8.6 mm

The tablet can be equipped with accessories like a dock with 2 USB ports and HDMI and the travel dock provides 1 USB port and HDMI. Also the tablet sleeve functions as a stand.

Performance

I quickly tested tablet’s performance with Quadrant, Vellamo, Rightware Taiji, GLBenchmark 2.5, Antutu 2.9, SunSpider 0.9.1 and Peacekeeper. Considering raw performance the Stylistic M532 is in line with other Tegra 3 based tablets.

Results

  • Quadrant: 4463
  • Vellamo: 1405
  • Rightware Taiji: 19,65
  • GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt Classic C16Z16: 5818 frames, 51 fps
  • GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt Classic C16Z16 Offscreen: 3306 frames, 29 fps
  • Antutu 2.9: 11157 (cpu 6627, gpu 1449, ram 2575, i/o 506)
  • SunSpider 0.9.1: 1708,5ms (1,3%)
  • Peacekeeper: Chrome 18, 417; Safari, 350; Firefox 15, 325

Preinstalled software

Fujitsu markets the tablet for businesses and as a Bring-your-own-device tablet and thus provides it with some preinstalled software for work related tasks. Otherwise it is just like any other Android tablet and isn’t equipped with manufacturer’s user interface customizations like Samsung and HTC tends to do.

For office documents the tablet is equipped with ThinkFree Office which provides MS Office 2007 (OOXML) compatible document, spreadsheet and presentation editing. Remote access to business applications can be done with Citrix Receiver, VMWare View Client and iTap Mobile RDP apps which are Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI) applications. Nitrodesk TouchDown keeps you email, contacts and calendar in sync with Exchange ActiveSync.

Norton Tablet Security with one year subscription keeps the tablet free of malware and viruses and combined with Norton Anti-Theft you can keep track of it in case of theft. Also with Absolute Computrace Mobile you can track the device and secure the data on the tablet.

Other preinstalled apps are ES File explorer for browsing and managing the files in the tablet and you can also access files from servers like Fujitsu Q700 NAS server. And for multimedia center there’s CyberLink’s PowerDVD.

One essential application for tablets is splittable keyboard which doesn’t come with Android 4.0 or preinstalled. The default on-screen keyboard is way too wide to use comfortable and by splitting it by half you get separate numpad and arrow keys. One possible free app for this is Open Split Keyboard.

Summary

Fujitsu Stylistic M532 is business grade Android tablet which also works for home and entertainment use. It convinces with good performance, build quality, feel of robustness and visual appearance. It stands out of the crowd but isn’t really something to be excited about. Which is a good quality for a business grade device. Battery life is moderate compared to competition and glossy screen is sometimes annoying. The preinstalled apps are good extra for corporate users but most of them can be bought from Google Play. Both WiFi and 3G connectivity enables you to connect easily where you want and microSD slot provides more storage if needed. It lefts little to be wanted and is a sleek and accomplished device.

Pros:

  • Performance
  • Robust and build quality
  • Connectivity: 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth
  • microSD slot

Cons:

  • Moderate battery life
  • Glossy screen

Fujitsu Stylistic M532 is a robust 10″ Android tablet and it would be interesting to compare the Stylistic M532 against the competition from eg. Samsung and Asus. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 tested by The Verge sounds on paper very interesting with pen functionality and all but at least The Verge said it was “Disappointing although S Pen works well”. Mostly the issues were with TouchWiz and build quality but the better drawing ability would make a big difference with prototyping applications and stuff. Other interesting devices are Asus’ Transformer Pad hybrid tablets like TF300 and TF700T which are more or less comparable in specifications, performance and price with Stylistic M532. And some people would compare Apples to oranges but as iOS provides features you can’t get with Android tablets and likewise the comparison isn’t meaningful.

Running FishEye & Crucible as a service in Linux

Atlassian’s tools for supporting software development are great but they aren’t really admin friendly to start with. For example FishEye & Crucible doesn’t ship with scripts to start it at system boot time but with the help of Atlassian’s Wiki, sysadmin tasks and scripts you can run it as a normal service. First we create a dedicated user for crucible and second we add a new service for it. I have done this on CentOS 5.7 x86_64.

Setting up the service account

As the root user, create a separate “FishEye & Crucible” service account at root shell:

# useradd -c "FishEye & Crucible service account" -d /home/crucible -m crucible

To make it easier for this to work also after FishEye & Crucible upgrades we create a symbolic link to the latest version (modify “/opt/fecru” to match your deployment).

# ln -s /opt/fecru/fecru-2.7.15 /opt/fecru/latest

Then, ensure that this user is the filesystem owner of the FishEye & Crucible instance (modify “/opt/fecru” to match your deployment).

# chown -R crucible:crucible /opt/fecru

Running Crucible as a crucible user

Save the following script to /etc/init.d/crucible. Be sure to edit the FISHEYE_HOME value to the location where your FishEye/Crucible instance resides:

#!/bin/bash
# RUN_AS: The user to run fisheye & crucible as. Its recommended that you create a separate user account for security reasons
RUN_AS=crucible
 
# FISHEYE_HOME: The path to the FishEye & Crucible installation. Its recommended to create a symbolic link to the latest version so the process will still work after upgrades.
FISHEYE_HOME="/opt/fecru/latest"
# FISHEYE_INST: The path where the data itself will be stored.
export FISHEYE_INST="/opt/fecru/fecru-data"

fisheyectl() {
        if [ "x$USER" != "x$RUN_AS" ]; then
                # If running without FISHEYE_INST
                # su - "$RUN_AS" -c "$FISHEYE_HOME/bin/fisheyectl.sh $1"
                su - "$RUN_AS" -c "FISHEYE_INST=$FISHEYE_INST $FISHEYE_HOME/bin/fisheyectl.sh $1"
        else
                "$FISHEYE_HOME/bin/fisheyectl.sh $1"
        fi
} 

case "$1" in
        start)
                fisheyectl start
                ;;
        stop)
                fisheyectl stop
                ;;
        restart)
                fisheyectl stop
                sleep 10
                fisheyectl start
                ;;
        *)
                echo "Usage: $0 {start|stop|restart}"
esac
 
exit 0

After saving the script, modify it’s permissions so that it can be executed:

# chmod 755 /etc/init.d/crucible

Running Crucible as a service

Now that we have an init script we can add it as a service and be able to configure the system to run the script on startup (more precisely, ensure that Crucible runs in runlevels 3, 4 and 5):

chkconfig --add crucible
chkconfig crucible on

Verify that the script has been installed correctly:

# chkconfig --list crucible

After this has been done you can manually start or stop the service by using these commands:

service crucible stop
service crucible start

And you’re done.

JSF 1.2 and getting selected value from dropdown

JSF 1.2 has some weird features which you just have to know if you haven’t read the documents. One example is getting a value from h:selectOneMenu dropdown after onchange event. The first what comes to mind is to use binding attribute with RichFaces’ a4j:support for rerendering elements after the event but it doesn’t work like you thought it would. In some cases using the binding attribute works just fine but as the binding attribute should refer to a request scoped bean property, not a session scoped one, you might get “Duplicate id error” when switching pages back and forth.

Fortunately there is valueChangeListener in h:SelectOneMenu which you can trick to do almost the same. It is executed during Validations phase, before the “Update Model Values” phase and is intended to get a handle of both the old and new value so that you can do some business stuff based on the real change. However, you can use it to invoke actions on a dropdown change only by combining it with onchange="submit()" and immediate="true" and the selected value is to be obtained by ValueChangeEvent#getNewValue(). (StackOverflow, BalusC)

For example:

Jspx:
<h:selectOneMenu value="#{fooBean.object.value}" 
	valueChangeListener="#{fooBean.statusChanged}" 
	onchange="submit()" immediate="true">
	<f:selectItem itemLabel="" itemValue=""/>
	<f:selectItems value="#{fooBean.selectValuesList}"/>
</h:selectOneMenu>
 
Java:
public void statusChanged(ValueChangeEvent event) {
	if (event.getNewValue() != null && 
		StringUtils.hasText((String) event.getNewValue())) {
		// ... Do something with the new value
	}
}

The negative side of using onchange="submit()" is that the form is submitted, validated and you don’t get the same dynamic feeling like with a4j:support.

In JSF 2 things are easier as you don’t need the valueChangeListener and you can use the listener attribute of instead.

Exclude JQuery libraries from Eclipse’s JavaScript Validation

Eclipse likes to validate JavaScript when doing Dynamic Web Modules and thus may give you false positive validation errors on 3rd party JavaScript libraries like JQuery. Although you can turn off the validation altogether but better solution is to configure it to exclude files as Alexander shows us at Stackoverflow.

Eclipse Indigo (3.7) has the option to selectively remove some JavaScript sources from validation. The information about JavaScript source inclusion/exclusion is saved into .settings/.jsdtscope file.

  1. Right click your project
  2. Select Properties → JavaScript → Include Path
  3. Select Source tab
  4. Expand JavaScript source folder
  5. Highlight Excluded pattern
  6. Click Edit button
  7. Click Add button next to Exclusion patterns box
  8. You may use wildcard pattern, or click Browse button to add the source by name.
    • Exclude all JQuery files with pattern like: js/jquery-*

The configuration with JQuery files excluded from validation looks like this:

eclipse_exclude-javascript

Eclipse and Maven Console

Eclipse 3.7 Indigo has integrated Maven m2e plugin but is missing some expected functionality which was previously present in Sonatype releases by default. If you want your Maven Console to show something you must also install the optional “m2e – slf4j over logback logging” plugin.

When installing the m2e plugin there is an optional feature “m2e – slf4j over logback logging” which is needed for the Maven Console to work. Without it the plugin produces no output to Eclipse’s Maven Console view so that it is impossible to track plugin’s activity (background maven builds, source and javadoc downloads, etc).

There is a bug filed about it but it is resolved with comment “As a tool, m2e is not in the position to impose any specific slf4j logging backend on the host Eclipse installation.” That seems kinda strange as without the optional component the plugin is missing useful parts.

Just “Install new sofware > Indigo > Collaboration > “m2e – slf4j over logback logging (Optional)” and your Maven Console is back in business.

Using CAcert.org signed certificates for TLS

Setting up Transport Layer Security (TLS), or as previously known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), for Apache, Postfix and IMAP like Dovecot is fairly easy. You just need some digital certificates and configuration. If you don’t want to pay for certificates from trusted sources like Thawte or you just don’t need that kind of trust (for development purposes), you can always produce your own certificates. But there is also a middle way: using CAcert.org signed certificates.

Background
Wikipedia tells us that CAcert.org is a community-driven certificate authority that issues free public key certificates. CAcert automatically signs certificates for email addresses controlled by the requester and for domains for which certain addresses (such as “hostmaster@example.com”) are controlled by the requester. Thus it operates as a robot certificate authority. CAcert certificates can be used like any other SSL certificates although they are considered weak because CAcert does not emit any information in the certificates other than the domain name or email address. To create higher-trust certificates, users can participate in a web of trust system whereby users physically meet and verify each other’s identities. They are also not as useful in web browsers as certificates issued by commercial CAs such as VeriSign, because most installed web browsers do not distribute CAcert’s root certificate. Thus, for most web users, a certificate signed by CAcert behaves like a self-signed certificate.

Generating Certificates
The procedure to sign your certificate at CAcert is rather simple. This guide assumes that the certificates are in /etc/ssl/cacert/ and you are as root.

0. Join CAcert.org and fill in your details. After email verification and login, add domain and service will try to verify that you can read mail on one of following accounts: root, hostmaster, postmaster, admin, webmaster or email addresses that can be found on whois data of domain that you provided.

1. Generate a private key that is not file encrypted:

openssl genrsa -out domainname.key 1024
chown root:root domainname.key
chmod 0400 domainname.key

Private keys should belong to “root” and be readable only by root.

You could also create a private key that is encrypted: openssl genrsa -des3 -out domainname.key 1024

2. Create a CSR with the RSA private key (output will be PEM format). Do not enter extra attributes at the prompt and leave the challenge password blank (press enter):

openssl req -new -key domainname.key -out domainname.csr

3. Verify the contents of the CSR or private key:

openssl req -noout -text -in domainname.csr
openssl rsa -noout -text -in domainname.key

4. Send your public key to be signed by and request new server certificate from CAcert.org web site (Class 1 certificate). When you are asked for CSR paste content of domainname.csr. It should look like this:

-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE REQUEST-----
MIIB3TCCAUYCAQAwgZwxCzAJBgNVBAYTAkZJMRAwDgYDVQQIEwdVdXNpbWFhMQ8w
...clip...
MQ==
-----END CERTIFICATE REQUEST-----

You can verify the content of request before sending it

openssl req -in domainname.csr -text -verify -noout

5. Copy the Server Certificate from the CAcert.org webpage and put it in domainname.crt file and add permissions.

chmod a=r domainname.crt

Check at least the contents of Validity and Subject fields:

openssl x509 -in domainname.crt -text -noout

6. Get CAcert.org root certificate

wget -nv https://www.cacert.org/certs/root.crt -O cacert-org.crt
chmod a=r cacert-org.crt

Check the contents:

openssl x509 -in cacert-org.crt -text -noout

After that you’re ready to configure your services like Apache, Postfix and Dovecot to use the new certificate. Read about it later.