Finally Joined the Irish Internet Association Today

Or at least put in the application form for ‘professional membership’.

Whether they’ll let me join after attending their meetings as an ‘associate’ on and off since 1998 is another matter!

Like the name suggests The Irish Internet Association is a grouping of companies and professionals who work with the Internet in Ireland. These range from Customer facing companies (e.g. Dell , Aer Lingus , An Post) , through to the companies that provide the technologies (Vision , Accenture etc).

Easier Builds equals more work done

One of the ‘should be easy but takes up loads of time’ items is actually building your code , especially getting the first build working. Until now , the tool of choice has been Ant which means that as soon as one person on a team can get things up and running, everybody else can copy it and do the same (as opposed to having to set up each machine one by one).

Been getting more into Maven which is what the people from Ant did next. It can do everything Ant does , but is more project focussed and on getting results. For example , instead of making you worry about the technical details of the build (which it does very well) , Maven lets you think ‘I want to build the project’ and tries to do (trival!) things like download the necessary libraries for you …

The integration with Eclipse promises to be very good , even more natural than is currently possible with Ant. More details here.

What Business can learn from open software

How Business Can Learn from Open Source

There’s a lot more going on in this article than the title suggests. Rather than sticking to a ‘Open Source is Good everything else is bad’ mantra , Paul Graham suggests exactly why it is good , or rather what Business can learn from the forces driving Open source. Among the ‘very obvious when you hear them’ items are …

  • Offices can actually be very unproductive work environments.
  • People work far harder at things they are interested in.
  • Commercial Organisations are not competing with the average programmer / blogger on the web , they are competing with the best of them (and that there a so many that it doesn’t matter that 99% is rubbish , as the 1% is so good)

Writing for O'Reilly Books

Over the last couple of months, been working on a series of Articles for O’Reilly (online) . The articles are on J2EE / Drools (more later) , but it’s been an interesting process – about 4 weeks total effort (if you count it as a day job, in reality it was spread over many evenings and weekends).

The staff at O’Reilly have been very helpful – even if I went about the process backwards (whereas normally you pitch a couple of paragraphs as a summary , then get go-ahead to do the full article). The hardest / most tedious part was formatting the article in simple html , given that it was initally written using Word / OpenOffice.

The Article will be publish on OnJava in the next couple of days , source code for the article can be downloaded here.