Jan 27

Connect 2014: where can I read about the announcements?

I’d like to read something about the announcements made in the OGS. So I opened http://www-01.ibm.com/software/collaboration/events/connect/ and hoped to see a list of announcements.

Just as expected, there is no such thing.

So, I really would like to read some official stuff about what’s new at Connect 2014. But where should I look?


Jan 27

Thoughts about Connect 2014 opening general session

I just watched the OGS via livestream. And I’m somewhat puzzled what I was about.

We got some of the usual customer stories. I know they are interesting to a lot of people, but I’m not among them. Then there were some demos, but about what?

There is IBM’s E-Mail Next. The few screenshots I saw showed a fresh approach to mail. It’s neatly integrated into other stuff like project workspaces, a people directory and some social stuff. The look and feel is quite good, but that’s true for competitor’s offerings, too.

So far I didn’t get what kind of technology drives this. Most certainly some sort of Websphere. Since it’s an offer branded with “Connections”, it will be integrated in IBM Connections and that means it’s for the big enterprise, at least when you like to use it on premise and not in the cloud.

All the stuff we saw about E-Mail Next needs a lot of data already living in various places controlled by IBM software. Nevertheless, it looked nice to me.

So, we got a fresh approach to E-Mail. What else? 

I saw some specialized solutions for Analytics, HR and Content Management. Everything looked good and up-to-date. I can only imagine how much IT personell will be needed to install and support all of that.

On the other hand, the thought crossed my mind that all of that UI stuff could be developed with Domino, XPages and some JavaScript and CSS frameworks easily – but that should not be said I guess 🙂

One brand to rule them all

It looks like a lot of brands will be removed and summarized under the “Connections” umbrella, like “Sametime” is becoming “IBM Connections Chat” or something like that. Since IBM always does re-branding after some time, that’s no surprise. Personally I don’t understand why changing an established brand is a good thing, but I’m no marketing expert and I hope there is some sense in that behaviour.

Domino and XPages

I was right to have zero expectations regarding Domino and XPages. Both are proven and well engineered solutions which are far too powerful while being easy at the same time for IBM’s taste. They said something about Domino applications in the cloud for one time, other than that, there was no announcement in this area.

We all know there are some areas that could get some developer love, for instance in the NSF space (ancient limits, speed et al). But who cares about that with when all this hot and new Connections stuff is coming?

Other products

The more I think about the OGS and the announcements, the more it’s clear to me that it’s quite unclear what product got which new capabilities. There was nothing like “look, with product X you can now do this and that and solve those kind of problems”. I feel the OGS was more about the message “we are IBM and if you want to do social stuff with your business we can do that for you”. A very soft and unclear message from my point of view.

I’m curious if the upcoming days will bring some more clarification about new offerings and capabilities regarding IBM collaboration software.

 


Jan 07

Speedup Android Simulator for Appcelerator Titanium development

Android development can be very annoying, mostly due to the very sluggish performance of the Android simulator.

There is an add-on driver from Intel called “HAMX” which promised to speed up the simulator, have a look at http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/intel-hardware-accelerated-execution-manager/.


Jan 02

New toy: Sony HX-50V and some photos of Hvide Sande, Denmark

I’m in Hvide Sande, Denmark at the moment testing a new photo camera I got for christmas.
Hvide Sande is at the west coast of Denmark and has a harbour, a nice coast with beaches and dunes. There is a lot of wind each day which produces notable waves rolling onto the mole and beach. All of that produces good opportunity for interesting photos, unfortunately it’s very cloudy, too, so the light is far from being perfect.

Nevertheless I got some photos that are not too bad, have a look here: Hvide Sande, Denmark photo album

Camera: Sony HX-50V

Some photos are pretty washy because I used a wrong setting in the camera, there are still some options I have to get used to. Beside that, I’m very happy with the Sony.

One killer feature for me is the ability to transfer photos from the camera to my iPad or Mac wireless via Wifi: I get home after shooting, enable Wifi on the camera, connect my iPad to the camera’s WLAN network, open an App and then I can transfer photos to the iPad.
Alternatively I can connect the camera to my standard WLAN, push a button on the camera and then it transfers photos to my Macbook to a predefined folder. Very convenient!

And while the HX-50V is relatively big, it’s still small enough to easily take it with me when we go out for a walk. I don’t need a bag or something.

Amazon will tell you about all features of the Sony, my personal favorite features are:

  • Various options to shoot good photos in low light situations (I use a flash very seldom)
  • If I have to use the flash, there are options to keep nice, warm light even with a flash
  • Incredible 30x optical zoom
  • Enough resolution to use digital zoom and still get an acceptable photo
  • Optical and digital zoom combined result in 60x zoom – in a small camera which you can easily carry around
  • Dedicated rotary knob to adjust exposition
  • A lot of manual control if needed, and good automatic modes for everyday situations
  • Very good video support (1080i as MP4, otherwise up to 1080p)
  • Build-in GPS sensor for automatic geotagging
  • Transferring photos via Wifi
  • remote control of the camera via Wifi and iPhone/iPad App
  • Good UI, all options have a short explanation right in the menu and there is even an online help system

I’m really just an amateur photographer, and I would not have use for a big DSLR camera. On the other hand, a simple compact camera or the iPhone doesn’t suit me anymore, too. The Sony HX-50V is perfect for me, and I can recommend it.


Dec 23

Experiences from the first days after migrating from Domino Blog to WordPress

Some days has passed since I migrated this blog from a NSF based Domino Blog to WordPress. Some observations:

  • I got spam comments incredibly fast. Mostly trash in chinese. Solution: a plugin named “captcha”, which adds an easy to solve math question to the comment form. Simple and effective.
  • Bruce notified me about some CSS glitches I missed. Since my WordPress theme allows me to add custom CSS, I could fix all of them easily. Thanks, Bruce.
  • After some comments were written, I wondered myself if there is some way to let my readers subscribe to a comment thread. Found the plugin “Subscribe to Comments Reloaded” which adds an “subscribe” checkbox to the comments form. I even could adjust the text of the notification mails.
  • I wanted some “share” buttons below each post – again: quick search for a plugin, tried some and installed the “Canjo” plugin.
  • Tested my blog on iPhone and iPad – looks good.
  • Did some searches on Google to get deep links to my old blog, for example “domino to go performance“. The URL redirection works perfectly.
  • I like the autosave feature in the WordPress editor.
  • The WordPress App for iOS is great.

One open issue is how to migrate comments from the old blog. I did some research and found that there is no easy option. I have to look in the SQL tables in WordPress’ database.

So far, I’m quite happy with the migration. You know the saying “there is an app for that” for the iOS platform. It’s just like that with WordPress: “there is a plugin for that”.


Dec 21

How to migrate a Domino Blog to WordPress

As I wrote yesterday, I just migrated my blog from a standard Domino NSF blog to WordPress. Sean asked me to describe how I did it, so here we go:

First, you need the WordPress plugin “Really Simple CSV Importer“. There are various CSV import plugins, but I this one worked best for me.

The plugin imports data from a simple CSV file, where the content of the posts need to be in HTML. This is just perfect since a Domino blog stores RichText contents as MIME (HTML), which can be easily extracted out of the Notes documents.

Basically you simply need to write an agent which creates a text file starting with this line: Continue reading


Dec 20

The present to myself: a new blog

Yesterday I teased you with a post “a christmas present to myself”. A lot of people read the post, most probably expecting
some photo of a nice new car, Macbook or at least an iPhone 5 or something similar. No, my present is nothing like that, it’s simply
a new blog – new style, new platform and new features.

I was thinking about moving away from the NSF based blog for some time now, but I was unsure how much effort would be needed. In the meantime I created two new blogs using a WordPress installation of my own (both in complete other spaces than software) and got some experience with the WordPress platform.

And guess what? I like it.

WordPress is easy to use, easy to manage, there are tons of plugins for all kind of features and there are many nice templates out
there. And most importantly: I can create post from everywhere using every device:

  • From my desktop or Macbook using a browser
  • From my iPhone or iPad using a WordPress App, which works offline, too

So the blog is more “accessible” for me, allowing me to write more stuff in less time and everywhere I am.

For the NSF based blog, I needed Notes and thus a Macbook or my desktop iMac – which I do not
have readily available at any times. In contrast, my iPhone or iPad is always ready and available.
Furthermore, I don’t want to implement new features in my blog by myself anymore. I want a
proven platform with proven features where I can simply be a user in spite of a developer.

Luckily, the migration process was quite easy. There is a wonderful CSV importer plugin for WordPress, so
all I needed to do was to write an agent which puts out meta data and HTML of my NSF blog posts to a CSV. As far as I can see, it
worked very good. Only the comments are not covered by the importer, I still need to check how I can migrate comments.

So, welcome to my new blog.


Dec 19

Danke, fröhliche Weihnachten und das Beste für das neue Jahr!



Ich wünsche allen meinen Lesern ein schönes, geruhsames Weihnachtsfest, guten Rutsch und das Beste für das neue Jahr!

Und hier noch was nettes:

Geschenke, die nichts kosten

Öfter mal ein gutes Wort sagen.
Einen Fehler eingestehen.
Einem kranken Menschen Mut machen.
Einem alten Menschen das Gefühl geben, dass er zu uns gehört.
Die Leistung eines anderen loben.
Verzeihen, vergeben, vergessen.
Seinen Unmut unterdrücken und ruhig bleiben.
Wieder einen Brief schreiben oder eine E-Mail schicken.
Die Kinder ernst nehmen.
Fröhlichkeit ausstrahlen.
Nicht gleich beleidigt sein.
Unangenehme Dinge nicht immer wieder aufwärmen.
Zufrieden sein.
Versprochenes halten.
Sich selbst nicht so wichtig nehmen.
Traurige trösten.
Für einen Rat dankbar sein.
Seinen Nächsten lieben wie sich selbst.