Barcamp Belfast – easier to get to than Barcamp Cork or Galway

Fresh from Barcamp Dublin , we’re glad to hear that Barcamp Belfast has been announced. I can only hope that the organisers are a better looking crew than this (apologies to With the exception of Elly). But will they have better T-Shirts?

Barcamp Belfast Logo

For most people in Dublin , the Belfast Barcamp is nearer than the forthcoming Galway and Tipp events. It’s 2 hours by train from Dublin (with the venue pretty close to both the Central and Botanic rail stations) and about the same by Car , with Motorway for all but 15 miles of the journey.

If you haven’t been to Belfast before, this could be the reason you need to visit. And the excuse ‘I’ll wait until Gerry and Ian sit in the same room together’ no longer holds water.

Wanted : Microsoft Visual Basic .Net trainer

It may not be worth USD 135,000 per year, but a colleague asked me to post this requirement of a Microsoft Visual Basic .Net trainer. Experience in Visual Basic and VB.net required, even better if you’ve delivered training before. Location is Ireland (sorry to be deliberately vauge).
Drop me a line at Paul@Firstpartners.net and I’ll pass on your details. Even better, post me a link to your blog.
We’d do it ourselves, but we’ve the problem of being ‘nicely busy’ and everybody that I’d recommend is likewise.

Introduction to Visual Basic and the .Net Framework

Microsoft’s .NET

The .NET Framework and the Common Language Runtime

Test-Driving a Visual Basic Application

Introduction to Object Technology and the UML

Overview of the Visual Studio 2005 IDE

Menu Bar and Toolbar

Navigating the Visual Studio IDE

Using Help

Using Visual Programming to Create a Simple Program

Displaying a Line of Text

Creating Your First Console Application in Visual Basic

Displaying a Single Line of Text with Multiple Statements

Adding Integers

Memory Concepts

Arithmetic

Decision Making: Equality and Relational Operators

Using a Message Dialog to Display a Message

*Introduction to Classes and Objects *

Introduction

Classes, Objects, Methods and Instance Variables

Declaring a Class with a Method and Instantiating an Object of a Class

Declaring a Method with a Parameter

Instance Variables and Properties

Value Types and Reference Types

Initializing Objects with Constructors

Validating Data with Set Accessors in Properties

Control Statements: Part

Introduction

Algorithms

Pseudocode

Control Structures

If … Then Selection Statement

If … Then … Else Selection Statement

While Repetition Statement

Do While … Loop Repetition Statement

Do Until … Loop Repetition Statement

Visual Basic Programming in a Windows Application

Essentials of Counter-Controlled Repetition

For … Next Repetition Statement

Examples Using the For … Next Statement

Do … Loop While Repetition Statement

Do … Loop Until Repetition Statement

Using the Exit Statement in Repetition Statements

Using the Continue Statement in Repetition Statements

Logical Operators

Methods: A Deeper Look

Introduction

Modules, Classes and Methods

Subroutines: Methods That Do Not Return a Value

Functions: Methods That Return a Value

Shared Methods and Class Math

Notes on Declaring and Using Methods

Method Call Stack and Activation Records

Implicit Argument Conversions

Option Strict and Data-Type Conversions

Value Types and Reference Types

Framework Class Library Namespaces

Passing Arguments: Pass-by-Value vs. Pass-by-Reference

Scope of Declarations

Recursion

Arrays

Introduction

Arrays

Declaring and Allocating Arrays

Examples Using Arrays

Passing an Array to a Method

For Each … Next Repetition Statement

GradeBook Case Study: Using an Array to Store Grades

Sorting an Array with Method Sort of Class Array

Searching Arrays

8. Searching an Array with Linear Search

8. Searching a Sorted Array with Method BinarySearch of Class Array

Rectangular Arrays

Variable-Length Parameter Lists

Jagged Arrays

Using the ReDim Statement to Dynamically change array size

Passing Arrays: ByVal vs. ByRef

*Classes and Objects: A Deeper Look *

Introduction

Time Class Case Study

Class Scope

Default and Parameterless Constructors

Overloaded Constructors

Partial Classes

Composition

Using the Me Reference to Access the Current Object

Garbage Collection

Shared Class Members

Const and ReadOnly Members

Exception Handling

Introduction

Exception Handling Overview

Code in a Try and Catch Blocks

Catching Exceptions

Uncaught Exceptions

Termination Model of Exception Handling

Flow of Control When Exceptions Occur

.NET Exception Hierarchy

ApplicationException and SystemException

Determining Which Exceptions a Method Throws

Finally Block

Exception Properties

User-Defined Exception Classes

Graphical User Interface Concepts: Part 1

Introduction

Windows Forms

Event Handling

Control Properties and Layout

Labels, TextBoxes and Buttons

GroupBoxes and Panels

CheckBoxes and RadioButton s

PictureBoxes

ToolTips

NumericUpDown Control

Mouse-Event Handling

Keyboard-Event Handling

Menus

MonthCalendar Control

DateTimePicker Control

LinkLabel Control

ListBox Control

CheckedListBox Control

ComboBox Control

TreeView Control

ListView Control

TabControl Control

Multiple Document Interface (MDI) Windows

Visual Inheritance

User-Defined Controls

Multithreading

Introduction

Thread States: Life Cycle of a Thread

Thread Priorities and Thread Scheduling

Creating and Executing Threads

Thread Synchronization and Class Monitor

Multithreading with GUIs

Files and Streams

Introduction

Data Hierarchy

Files and Streams

My.Computer.FileSystem Object

Creating a Sequential-Access File

Reading Data from a Sequential-Access File

Random-Access Files

Creating a Random-Access File

Writing Data Randomly to a Random-Access File

Reading Data Sequentially from a Random-Access File

Creating a Sequential-Access File

Reading Data from a Sequential-Access File

The last Rails For All mail you will ever get, maybe

Most websites do one thing : grab information from the user, and store it in a database.

For these simple websites , using Enterprise Java is like using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut – you’re much better off using a solution like Ruby on Rails. Off course, once you go off the usual path (e.g. to implement complex business rules and workflow) things become a lot more difficult. That’s how we make a living – a post for another day.

So, if you’re a business person looking for a web site ‘that has to be done by the end of the week‘ or a technologist looking to solve the pain of ‘I can’t believe building web sites is still so difficult‘, then it’s worth checking out Ruby on Rails.

Rails for all inon

A good place to start is Rails for All, which has recently moved home to Google Groups, and. The official announcement is below.

Rails For All – No more RFA email Hello everybody, This may be the last email you will get from Rails For All. You loved our email updates you say? Well, we have created two Google groups for your reading pleasure – one for discussions and one for announcements. Good stuff. Tell all your friends.

See you there!

Sincerely,

Robert Dempsey

Founder Rails For All, Inc.

—————

Promoting Ruby on Rails to the developer and business communities

More posts on Ruby

Business Rules (Drools), Workflow (jBPM) and Seam – anybody want a training session?

Update: The presentation to the Irish Java Technologies Conference: Life and Death Workflow, using JBoss jBPM is partly based on this training session. (Link to Slides)

We’ve given Enterprise Java Training, Struts 2 Training (the most widely used Java-Web framework), and now it’s the turn of JBoss Rules (Drools) , Workflow (jBPM) and Seam. A lot of the material is coming from the forthcoming Masters Dissertation on Enterprise Web 2.0.

The course (summary below) is a private session. If there’s enough interest I’ll setup a public training session, or cut it back to 1 hour and do it as a ‘free’ intro session. If you can’t wait for that, Mark Proctor’s blog has a lot of useful rules information, and Tim Shadel has the pdf of a presentation that he gave in Phoenix Arizon on his blog.

Knowledge and Process Management

JBoss Rules, jBPM and Seam

Executive Briefing

Description: Success or failure in your business depends on dealing with information faster and better than your competitors. This briefing shows you how the JBoss Business Stack (Rules , jBPM and Seam) can do this and how to apply it to your organisation. Crucially, the briefing shows you when not to use these and details the alternative approaches.

The briefing will give delegates an overview of JBoss Rules within a web / enterprise development environment, how to architect an distribute rules within multi-tier applications and how to link these components with existing sources of information using Enterprise Application Integration (EAI).

Audience: This Briefing is suitable for IT Managers and Directors, IT project managers and technical staff who need an insight into the latest JBoss technologies and business processes, and business managers who need to be aware of the new application models and to give buy-in and commitment to applications developed within it.

Duration: Half-day

Objectives: On completion of this Briefing, delegates will:

  • Understand the benefits JBoss technologies offers your business and the key areas where it should be used.
  • Know how to successfully use JBoss Rules, jBPM and Seam with new and existing systems and technologies, including the use of Enterprise Application Integration (EAI).
  • Be able to boost projects using pre-built components and frameworks and be able to choose the right one for their needs.
  • Be aware of the main precepts of good application design within the Java component framework, as well as knowing the main Enterprise Java architecture components, terminology and acronyms and their interaction.
  • Understand how end-to-end applications are built using the JBoss frameworks (Rules, jBPM, Seam) and appreciate their organisational impact.

Presenter Biography

Paul Browne has 13 years experience delivering IT Projects in the Financial, IT/ Telecoms, Pharmaceutical and Public sectors. An author on JBoss Rules for O’Reilly Books, he has delivered courses for Limerick Institute of Technology, Siemens, Dell, Trigraph and IACT. Holding a Degree in Business from UUC, he is awaiting conferral of an Msc. in Advanced Software Engineering from UCD.

Briefing Content

Introduction and Problem Space

  • Delegate introduction
  • Trainer introduction
  • Course introduction
  • The problem we are trying to solve
  • Who is JBoss
  • 3 Tier Applications
  • What is a rule engine
  • Alternatives using Java
  • Alternatives to Rules
  • Alternative Rule Engines
  • Section Summary / Intro to next section

Rule Engine overview

    • Business Rules (examples)
    • Sample Business Uses
    • If then statements – can we do better?
    • Rete Algorithm
    • Forward and Backward Chaining
    • Domain Specific Languages (DSL)
    • Decision Tables (what the user sees)
    • Decision Tables (for the Developer)
    • Rule Editors
    • JBoss IDE (Red Hat Tools)
    • Advanced Rule Language
    • System Development Roles
    • Section Summary / Intro to next section

    Integration and Deployment

    • Web environment
    • 3 Tier system
    • Integration with Spring
    • Integration with EJB
    • What is workflow
    • What is jBPM
    • What is Seam
    • Seam and JSF
    • Seam and jBPM
    • Drools.Net
    • Section Summary
    • Course Summary and Feedback

Business Rules (Drools), Workflow (jBPM) and Seam – anybody want a training session?

We’ve given Enterprise Java Training, Struts 2 Training (the most widely used Java-Web framework), and now it’s the turn of JBoss Rules (Drools) , Workflow (jBPM) and Seam. A lot of the material is coming from the forthcoming Masters Dissertation on Enterprise Web 2.0:

The course (summary below) is a private session. If there’s enough interest I’ll setup a public training session, or cut it back to 1 hour and do it as a ‘free’ intro session.

If you can’t wait for that, Mark Proctor’s blog has a lot of useful rules information, and Tim Shadel has the pdf of a presentation that he gave in Phoenix Arizon on his blog.

JBoss Rules Logo

Knowledge and Process Management

JBoss Rules, jBPM and Seam

Executive Briefing

Description:
S
uccess or failure in your business depends on dealing with information faster and better than your competitors. This briefing shows you how the JBoss Business Stack (Rules , jBPM and Seam) can do this and how to apply it to your organisation. Crucially, the briefing shows you when not to use these and details the alternative approaches.


The briefing will give delegates an overview of JBoss Rules within a web / enterprise development environment, how to architect an distribute rules within multi-tier applications and how to link these components with existing sources of information using Enterprise Application Integration (EAI).

Audience:
This Briefing is suitable for IT Managers and Directors, IT project managers and technical staff who need an insight into the latest JBoss technologies and business processes, and business managers who need to be aware of the new application models and to give buy-in and commitment to applications developed within it.

Duration:
Half-day

Objectives:
On completion of this Briefing, delegates will:

  • Understand the benefits JBoss technologies offers your business and the key areas where it should be used.



  • Know how to successfully use JBoss Rules, jBPM and Seam with new and existing systems and technologies, including the use of Enterprise Application Integration (EAI).



  • Be able to boost projects using pre-built components and frameworks and be able to choose the right one for their needs.

  • Be aware of the main precepts of good application design within the Java component framework, as well as knowing the main Enterprise Java architecture components, terminology and acronyms and their interaction.

  • Understand how end-to-end applications are built using the JBoss frameworks (Rules, jBPM, Seam) and appreciate their organisational impact.

Presenter Biography

Paul Browne has 13 years experience delivering IT Projects in the Financial, IT/ Telecoms, Pharmaceutical and Public sectors. An author on JBoss Rules for O’Reilly Books, he has delivered courses for Limerick Institute of Technology, Siemens, Dell, Trigraph and IACT. Holding a Degree in Business from UUC, he is awaiting conferral of an Msc. in Advanced Software Engineering from UCD.

Briefing Content

Introduction and Problem Space

  • Delegate introduction

  • Trainer introduction

  • Course introduction

  • The problem we are trying to solve

  • Who is JBoss

  • 3 Tier Applications

  • What is a rule engine

  • Alternatives using Java

  • Alternatives to Rules

  • Alternative Rule Engines

  • Section Summary / Intro to next section

Rule Engine overview

  • Business Rules (examples)

  • Sample Business Uses

  • If then statements – can we do better?

  • Rete Algorithm

  • Forward and Backward Chaining

  • Domain Specific Languages (DSL)

  • Decision Tables (what the user sees)

  • Decision Tables (for the Developer)

  • Rule Editors

  • JBoss IDE (Red Hat Tools)

  • Advanced Rule Language

  • System Development Roles

  • Section Summary / Intro to next section

Integration and Deployment

  • Web environment

  • 3 Tier system

  • Integration with Spring

  • Integration with EJB

  • What is workflow

  • What is jBPM

  • What is Seam

  • Seam and JSF

  • Seam and jBPM

  • Drools.Net

  • Section Summary

  • Course Summary and Feedback

Microsoft Word 2007 file format – the same bad old tricks

Here’s the good news – Microsoft is using a new file format for Office 2007 , which is due out shortly. It’s fairly simple – just text with tags (aka XML), zipped up to make it smaller. For example a 5Mb Word file shrinks down to 10% of it’s size in the old format.
Office Logo

Here’s the bad news – Microsoft is up to the same old tricks in the hope of forcing people to upgrade to a newer version of office. The new format cannot be read by the versions of Word, Excel or Powerpoint that most people have installed on their machines. By default , the new version of Office saves in the incompatible format, so eventually most people will be pestered into buying the new copy just to save them the embarassment of having to ask

Can you send that file again, but save it as the older version of Word?

Not a line that I’d want to say to important client. A friend of mine finds himself in that predicament. How do you convert Office 2007 files into ones that Word 2000 / Word 2003 can read. So far I’ve tried the following to help him out.

  1. Used Google’s online Documents and Spreadsheets. No joy – which is surprising , given that the new format is (techically) easier to read. Perhaps something to do with software patents?
  2. Tried the excellent (and free) Office clone – OpenOffice. No joy – even more surprising given that Microsoft seems to have ripped off the idea for the new format from OpenOffice in the first place.
  3. I’m now trying the ‘Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack‘ which promises to solve the problem for older versions of Word.

Watch this space.

Update:

Number 3 (the pack from Microsoft) works. Even more importantly , it allows you to save into the new format. However , not everybody is going to know / be bothered to install this large (27mb) download.For a change this important, why isn’t it installed automatically as part of windows update?

I’ve only tried this for Microsoft Word, but it should be able to convert from Excel 2007 into Excel 2003 and Excel 2000 as well.

I expect OpenOffice and Google docs to catch up with this fairly shortly. That is , if they can get around the legal tricks that Microsoft are playing with the new format.