Quick and dirty way to create DB2 update scripts

In on of our major projects we store some of our business logic data as database metadata, but provide GUI interface for updates. Since clicking through the project’s GUI is much easier, than creating and verifying scripts for each tiny modification, our developers got lazy and we had to find a way to create SQL scripts to bring releases up to date. This basically means, we had to create a script generator that compares the data in source and destination databases and creates SQL INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE statements that can be used to modify the destination to source.
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How not to use Java key stores

I spent half a day today trying to see why a the web start application created and deployed using a simple build script didn’t work after I’ve created a new certificate as our previous was about to expire.

First I suspected it was because I signed the application using SUN JDK 1.6, and it might have some compatibility issues (as if) then I suspected it was the IBM JDK 1.5’s ikeytool I used to create the key (NB. I’m lazy to learn the keytool paramers, so I prefer to use a GUI for creating keys)

It turned out I was presuming the keys use UTF internally, like most Java applications should, so when entering the locality I used “Vác” with accented characters. Neither ikeytool, neither keytool warned me about this. Once creating a new key without the accent the application started working straight away.

Since “Budapest” doesn’t have any special characters, I never noticed this, but I think it deserves to be mentioned, so others won’t run into this problem.

DIY Push-puppet toy

Remember the push-puppets you had when you were a kid? These little puppets collapse instantly when you push the button on the base they stand, providing hours of quality entertainment to kids like myself. Now it has returned from exile and is back grouped up with new technology to provide hours of entertainment to IT people like myself.
Puppet

For the original concept see:Availabot

For the cuter Linux version visit Push puppet toy

I can imagine my desk full of these puppets each representing a friend I usually talk to, these puppets would dance up and down all day depending on who’s leaving for lunch.

Also it would be great to have this extended to have an intermediary stage, ie. when the button is half pushed these puppets usually start letting their head down. So when the contact is not offline, but only away they could show how said they are to be away from their computer, and when they are offline they are completely splattered.

Off-line SWT application

One of our current Customers have a very interesting requirement for an upcoming project. The nature of the project requires mobile clients and frequent (or even instant) database updates, but there is no guarantee to have constant connectivity. We more or less have full control on the choice of tools to use for this application, but since our developer resources are limited, it would be great if we could use the architecture from a previous project. We’ve been working with András on this for quite a while and it seems we found a pretty interesting way to do this.
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The story behind a name..

I just came around the Winstone servlet container (related to the Hudson CI server). The project itself is fairly interesting, but it’s the naming choice which got me completely amazed..

Winstone is the name of a rather large Jamaican man a friend of mine met one night, while he was out clubbing in the Roppongi area of Tokyo. He (my friend) was a little liquored up at the time, and when Winstone suggested they head to “this really cool club” he knew, he didn’t think anything was wrong. It wasn’t until Winstone led him down a dark stairwell and dropped his trousers that my friend clued in and ran like hell.

It was too good a story to let die, so I named this project Winstone so that said friend will continue to be reminded of it.

Now who claims java devs should get a life? 🙂