4th Annual 2010 Lillian Trinkaus Pie Baking Contest Winners!

Yep, you are reading it correctly. Kim and I won the 4th Annual 2010 Lillian Trinkaus Pie Baking Contest with our traditional Banana Cream Pie. After coming in second for the best filling we were not sure if we could win the overall best pie but as the votes were read it was clear we were going to win. Kim and I were shocked but I can say our test pie and feedback from our kids really paid off. The final pie was excellent and it looks like the voters thought so also.

Lillian Trinkaus was my Grandmother and Godmother, I know she would be proud. She taught her daughters, including my mother how to bake, and my mom taught me everything I know about interior food preparation. Thanks Mom! And I can not thank Kim enough, thanks Baby!

Maybe I will post a picture of us and the trophy soon…stay tuned…

Prediction: Chrome will be #1 by end of 2011

As Neil predicted last year about Chrome, I will make one myself – the Chrome web browser will be the number one browser in the world by the end of 2011.  That is probably a crazy prediction considering its only at about 15% of market share today.

My blog is by far not a complete census but it clearly shows Chrome way ahead of every other browser besides FireFox.  Interestingly, I still use FireFox most of the time but I do find myself going over to Chrome every now and then.  Chrome was about 15% of browsers hitting my site just a month ago and IE 8.0 was close behind, the gap is getting larger.

Here is a chart of the browsers that hit my site in a single day:

Is open source sustainable?

There is an interesting post over on Alex Kings site – he is a plugin developer for WordPress.  The conversation makes me wonder about other open source initiatives like OpenNTF.  I know many people across the community contribute amazing material to OpenNTF and I have often wondered if it was maintainable.  I know that every thing I contribute either in an article, blog post, or on OpenNTF will have some level of “support” in the future.  It may be days, weeks, months or even years but an email, a question, or a enhancement is inevitable.   I would have to say if you are not an open source enthusiast and simply do it because you love it or you in fact do “get paid” enough through donations then your interest over time supporting free enhancements and upgrades will diminish.  I do think many people, especially in the Eclipse and Lotus communities contribute to open source for many other reasons – building a community, promoting a technology, or just polishing skill sets.  Many, like myself, have a vested interest in seeing the community or technology grow so it creates more opportunities in the future – that to me is the essence of open source.

Google contributes GUI designer tool to Eclipse!

Wow, perfect timing for our Lotusphere presentation. You can download the tool right from Google or you can read about the functionality it brings.

Tools being donated include the WindowBuilder Java UI design tool as well as CodePro Profiler, a runtime Java analysis gauging factors like memory leaks. Both tools became Google property when the company bought Instantiations in August; they will now become open source projects at Eclipse. WindowBuilder has been used for development related to Standard Widget Toolkit, GWT (Google Web Toolkit), and Swing.

Check out the full article on InfoWorld.

Being social in the Lotus Community

Larry Bird Balfe

I just got off of the Lotus Technical Information and Education (LTIE) community call and there was a loud voice that IBM executives be “more social” in the community.   The community wants more executives like Ed Brill to be engaged on a daily basis.  I can definitely understand the reasons for such a request but the problem I see in general with social communities is you either get paid to contribute or you want to contribute (usually in your own time).  Like Ed, I also work out of my house and my “cooler talk” is actually the internet – so I blog, tweet, linkedIn, Facebook, etc more than most of my peers.  Of course I am not an executive and I do it because I enjoy it and I want to understand what the community wants and needs.  I also don’t have an office mate, unless you count my African Grey Parrot Larry (his full name is Larry Bird Balfe, see right) so it gets a bit lonely but he can carry on basic conversations .  I don’t get paid to do it and outside of being a person who spreads the news about development with IBM technologies, my boss never says “we need more posts” or “post something about X”.  What I post is what I feel like sharing or, I do post things that are referred to me by colleagues.  I also have a very different agenda – I am a geek who writes about software development and coding.  My level of posts are more granular and usually never focus on product futures.  You may take away that if I blog about certain topics then the development team is looking into it but it may simply not be true because I also have a wide range of development interests outside of IBM technology.

For those that want to be more involved then I would suggest following PlanetLotus and the wikis.  Being engaged in Twitter, LinkedIn and even Facebook is pretty important these days because many discussions go on in those places but they are usually a bit raw and may be hard to follow.  There are also more and more groups, meetings and people joining these other social sites and many times that is where I get invites to meetings like the LTIE one today.

And I must add, this is strictly my voice and not the voice of IBM.

Top posts for 2010

Every year before the Christmas holiday I like to see what my most popular posts were for the year. Considering I have a mixed bag of followers – mostly in the Eclipse and Lotus Notes communities, it is interesting to see what posts have the most hits.

Home page 14,335
Is GWT the future of web development? 1,500
Which Java sort is faster – MergeSort, QuickSort or Arrays.sort? 889
Get the Lotus Notes attachment viewer today! 871
Introducing jDojo! 687
Finding the XPath in Internet Explorer 671
A great Lotus Notes Composite Application tutorial 611
Free charting in Lotus Notes 604
plugin_customization.ini and Eclipse preferences 532
New Mail Rule Utility for Notes 8.5.1 and 8.5.2 498
Tutorial: How to add the Attachment Viewer to your mail file 496
Learning JDojo Part 1 480
Learning the Android SDK 477
Attachment Viewer on Steroids 438

Jackass IT Stunt #2, awesome…

Read this article on InfoWorld, had to share my favorite one below.  Working in IT for over 10 years I had to do my fair share of “jackass stunts” along the way.  At one point at Key Bank I was referred to as “agent boy” because I often wrote Lotus Script agents to do massive data corrections in databases and the names.nsf.

Jackass IT stunt No. 2: Set storage devices to 350 degrees
Set your time machine for 1995 — when 5.25-inch hard drives contained as much as 9GB of data, if they were really expensive — and preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.Of course, back then you could fit an awful lot of information in 9GB, including the entire mail spool of a 5,000-user dial-up ISP. But when that disk decides to stop spinning up after a power outage, you might have a problem or two — especially when it’s discovered that the 2GB DDSII DAT drive has been stretching tapes for the past several months and nobody knew until now.

The problem wasn’t access — the disk presented to the SCSI controller just fine — but it also didn’t seem to spin up at all. It would whine and the motors would click, but the spindle didn’t appear to be spindling. Lacking any other options, a trick from an even older era of MFM and RLL disks was put into practice: bake the drive.

An oven was set to 350, and the full-height 5.25-inch disk was placed on a cookie sheet in the middle rack. Bake for 5 minutes, remove, do not let cool, plug immediately into power and a controller, and turn on the computer. Voilà, the grease that had hardened around the spindle had loosened enough to permit the platters to spin and the data was recovered – and immediately copied to two spare drives.

Although it was speculated that the disk might be best served with a chilled Chianti and rice, we’ll leave it to you to whip up and wolf down what is sure to be a culinary delight.

How to Debug and Detect Deadlocks

Want to re-share this for the Lotus community.  I also want to remind the Lotus community the importance of Planet Eclipse – it is an invaluable resource for Java plug-in development.  This post below from Serge Beauchamp is pretty low level but worth the link and read!

How to Debug and Detect Deadlocks

After you read that article you can get the source code for the Deadlock Preventer in a more recent post here.

Targeting your applications for Google Chrome OS

Google Chrome OS (learn about the operating system) is scheduled to be released mid 2011, is your site ready for it?  Is your company ready for it?  Do you even care about it?  Say goodbye to rich applications!  The entire concept of the operating system is 100% web.  There is no doubt this will entice companies to move and to “trust” the cloud.  The concepts that are touted here are ground breaking to say the least.  The question is, will companies and the public in general “trust the cloud” with everything?  I am not sure I would today, but it seems inevitable as more and more things move off of the device and onto some server.  So to follow my previous post about web applications and the rich client this is a great leap forward altogether – ie. no rich applications!  Will the casual business user see 100% web based desktops in less than a year?  I guess we will see…