Sunday, December 30, 2007

Fuzzy Egg Sandwich

I have somehow become a legend in my home for my egg sandwiches. My belated Christmas present to my readers is the recipe. You of course will not be able to replicate exactly, but you can try ;)

  1. One pad of butter to the frying pan (lowish heat)
  2. One organic egg cracked open to the frying pan (sunny side up) - cover
  3. 2 pieces of Dave's Killer Bread to the toaster
  4. When toast is done, egg is generally done. Turn off heat to egg
  5. One slice of Horizon Organic Cheddar Cheese to the top of the egg - cover
  6. As the cheese is melting (1 minute), start the toaster again to maintain crucial bread-heat-ratio
  7. Remove egg and place on one piece of toast
  8. Place ample amounts of hot sauce (either Marie Sharp's Habanero or Bali Spice Hot Chile Sauce) on the other side of toast
  9. Put hot sauce side on top of the egg side
  10. Slice in half
  11. Hand out to your family / devour
  12. Bask in the glory of your egg-sandwich-making-prowess

Monday, December 24, 2007

Remember the Milk = Neat

People who have worked with me may remember me getting all excited about various task management approaches. I liked Getting Things Done and other techniques before that.

I typically go through phases of being very organized & very disorganized as I'm in various states of work flow/learning levels. Well I'm in an organized state right now as I have a lot to do for CSI and am learning at a high rate (Ruby, JRuby, the Rails way, etc).

I saw on somebody's a link to Remember the Milk. I remember hearing about it from Jive's Bill Lynch in the spring.

I gave it a try the other day and am pretty happy with it so far.

Here is why:

  • You can have as many lists as you want. Categories don't work for me.
  • It can IM you when things are due
  • It has an offline mode with Google Gears
  • It works well with my phone
  • You can email it tasks - for instance I was on a plane yesterday and I mailed it like 20 tasks. I categorized them today
  • You can render it by URL (like Evolution's task manager)
  • Very searchable
  • Integrates your task lists into views across them well

Time will tell if I stick with it, but so far so good on Remember the Milk.

Update 30-DEC

I forgot to mention perhaps the best part: Keyboard Shortcuts.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Changing the rules of enterprise software

I had a good conversation with Matt Asay yesterday about open source moving up the stack & CSI. I got to know him a bit over the last few years via blogs, OSCON, OSBC, & Alfresco. He's a lot of fun to talk to about open source & everything else.

2008 is going to be an exciting year.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Starting to think about 2008 Predictions

I had fun making some predictions last year.

I plan to do the same thing this year in a week or so.

It is a bit funny looking back at what I thought for 2007.

I was spot on for some of it, but way off for others. I voted with my feet with one of them ;)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Recruiting == Lots of Work

One of the things that I like to think I'm good at is putting together lethal software teams.

Whenever I have had the opportunity to build a team, it consumes me entirely until the team is in place. My logic is you can't do jack until you have the team. Once you identify the need for people, there is no priority that is more important than getting the best people you can find.

I think I'm close to being done for this round, but I suspect we'll be doing a lot of hiring in the future.

Stay tuned.

I hope that this round is nearly over. Although I like putting together teams, it exhausts me.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

JRuby Book

I read Practical JRuby on Rails Web 2.0 Projects: Bringing Ruby on Rails to Java over the past couple 2-3 days.

It is a pretty good book. It was released in September and is already a bit out of date. JRuby & the Ruby world in general seem to move pretty fast.

The topics I liked the best were:

  • Nuts & bolts of Java & JRuby integration
  • Talk of REXML limitations and the (nice) option to just bang out to the multitude of Java XML APIs should you need extra features
  • JRuby & JMX
  • JRuby & MOM (Message Oriented Middleware) - ActiveMessaging

After reading it and messing with JRuby a bit, I'm more certain of what I thought in May (ok I didn't say that exactly & I've lost track of Scala - focus on the JVM :) ).

There clearly is a very bright future for Ruby in general & in particular Ruby on the JVM.

What (obviously) makes JRuby + Java so compelling is:

  • There is a Java API for *everything*. I hope to stay in Ruby code as much as possible, but it sure is nice knowing that the APIs I have been using for the past 10 years are easily available
  • The majority of companies run Java in their data center & are very comfortable deploying to it. Many are also not comfortable adding platforms (e.g., C Ruby)
  • The JVM has had a tremendous amount of engineering put into it
  • Ruby is a fantastic language that truly is a joy to work with
  • Ruby has heaps of momentum & enthusiasm behind it

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Job Opportunity

Please contact me if you are interested & have the skills (mike at-sign csinitiative dot com:

Collaborative Software Initiative

Web application developer(s) to join an all-star team building a high quality, commercial open source, platform neutral, public health application utilizing state-of-the-art FOSS tools. This is an opportunity for a self-starting individual to participate in a ground-breaking effort that combines non-technical subject matter experts with skilled professional developers in a major, well-funded, open source community and project.

Job Details

Reports to: Project Program Manager

* Compensation: Salary & Benefits or Contract

* Location: North America work from home (if out of Portland, OR) with occasional US travel


* Develop high quality test cases and application code

* Contribute to release planning, iteration planning, and retrospectives

* Communicate clearly via strong oral and written communication skills

Technical Skills


* Ruby

* Java

* Testing frameworks

* Relational databases (Postgres experience preferred)


* Javascript



* Ajax

* Linux


* JRuby

* RESTful Web Services

* Java GUI / Java Web Start / Eclipse RCP

* Systems integration


* Open Source Software Development Best Practices

* Lean Software Development / Agile

* Test Driven Development

Update 11-DEC-2007 I got several questions on preference of Ruby vs. Python. Ruby is the preference. To make that clear I removed Python and Jython. Sorry for the confusion. I also added systems integration as there will be a fair amount of that as well.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Rails 2.0 - gem install actionwebservice

I'm kicking it in Sunriver before starting full time at Collaborative Software Initiative Monday.

Rails 2.0 is out.

From the link:

ActionWebService out, ActiveResource in

It’ll probably come as no surprise that Rails has picked a side in the SOAP vs REST debate. Unless you absolutely have to use SOAP for integration purposes, we strongly discourage you from doing so. As a naturally extension of that, we’ve pulled ActionWebService from the default bundle. It’s only a gem install actionwebservice away, but it sends an important message none the less.

Take that WS-* !!