Eric D. Schabell: November 2006

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ubuntu java, moving from 1.4 to 1.5 using java alternatives

Today I migrated my box at home to Ubuntu Edgy (6.10), went pretty smooth but borked out my locales (I can deal with that) and removed Perl for some reason. After straightening that out I wanted to move on to java 1.5 for my Java projects. This is when I hit the 'java alternatives' setup in Ubuntu for the first time.

The problem is I don't want to remove java 1.4 so I had to figure out how to reset the links in the alternatives system to point to java 1.5 and not java 1.4 anymore. Here is what I did:

# first install java 1.5. 
$ sudo aptitude install sun-java5-jre

# After the install finished I still had java 1.4 linked via the alternative system.
$ java -version

java version "1.4.2-02" 
Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition (build Blackdown-1.4.2-02) 
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build Blackdown-1.4.2-02, mixed mode)

# here we can look at the current settings in the alternatives system. 
$ sudo update-java-alternatives --list

java-1.5.0-sun 53 /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.5.0-sun

# we want the 1.5 version so need to set that. 
$ sudo update-java-alternatives --set java-1.5.0-sun

# results are clearly that we are on java 1.5 now! 
$ java -version

java version "1.5.0_06" 
Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition (build 1.5.0_06-b05) 
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 1.5.0_06-b05, mixed mode) 

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Setting up eruby with apache2

I was trying to get my AbTLinux project trac site to display the ruby files in the browser today and thought it might save someone a bit of work by placing my solution here.
# 1)  installed eruby which gives you /usr/bin/eruby.

# 2) copy or symlink eruby to the apache2 cgi-bin direcotry. 
{cp | link -s} /usr/bin/eruby  apache2/cgi-bin/eruby

# 3) add the following code to your apache2 httpd.conf file.

AddType application/x-httpd-eruby .rhtml 
Action application/x-httpd-eruby /cgi-bin/eruby

# 4) add ruby file extensions to the DirectoryIndex 
#    directive, so it looks something like this. 

DirectoryIndex index.html index.shtml index.rhtml 
Just restart apache2 and you are ready to go, see the AbTLinux trac browser for the results! ;-)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Google page ranking tools

Today I checked out my sites Google Page Ranking and was surprised to see my ranking numbers. I guess I am getting some traffic after all! ;-)

There are a few sites and tools you can use to check any sites page ranking. They almost all include an option to generate some code to include a reporting counter on your site, some of them are pretty nice. I have added some to all my sites just to be able to keep an eye on this value. Here is a list of some of the nicer sites providing this sort of tooling:
  • CheckPageRank
  • BlogFlux
  • MyGooglePageRank
  • PR Checker
My favorite counter is the one on CheckPageRank, here is their code to add the counter to your site:
<!-- PageRank script -->
<a href="" title="Check Page Rank">
  <img src="" 
    alt="Check Page Rank" border="0" />
<br />
<script type="text/javascript">
     checkpagerank_url = '%domain%';
     checkpagerank_display_icon = true;
     checkpagerank_display_text = true;
     checkpagerank_new_window = false;
<script type="text/javascript"
For a counter with simplicity I love the one from BlogFlux, here is their code to add the counter to your site:
<a href="">
  <img src="" 
    alt="Google PageRank Checker - Page Rank Calculator" 
      width="80" height="15" border="0">
Good luck with your page rankings!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

AbTLinux package manager progress

This last week I got some time free in the evenings to work a bit on the abt package manager, part of AbTLinux distribution. I am working on it this weekend still but have implemented the following functionality based on a test package (fortune):
  • abt -h | –help
  • abt [ -n | news ]
  • abt show-details fortune
  • abt show-journal
  • abt [ -d | download ] fortune
  • abt [ -i | install ] fortune
I have all of the above functionality working and the install function is up to and including queuing the package for install. For more information you can see the project site and check the mailing lists or code repository (SVN on sourceforge) for progress reports.
I have been digging into Ruby as a programming language on the way and received my Ruby book (The Ruby Way, second edition, by Hal Fulton) order this weekend. That has sped up my work considerably! I am expecting to make some good progress over the coming month, so stay tuned! ;-)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Trying out a new technology:

After helping some people at work set this up, I thought I might try it for a bit myself. It is called Meebo and is a chat service that you can run from your browser (ajax based). It includes all major chat services, AIM, YAHOO, MSN, JABBER and ICQ.

One of the more interesting features is the chat widget that you can include in your website. I have added it to the bottom right corner of my site and if I am logged into my chat account, anyone can see that I am online and reach me by putting a message into the chat window there. This is a neat idea from the Meebo people, but I am not too sure how functional it is on the open Internet, so I am going to run a bit of a test for awhile and see if my family and friends overseas find this useful.

Hope to chat with you soon! ;-)

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Signed up for Basic Teaching Qualification (University level)

This week I became aware of the possibility at work to take a course, IOWO: LBK, that provides me with a basic university teaching diploma. Since I have been teaching from time to time at the Radboud University Nijmegen I decided to get together with my boss and discuss the possibilities. It seems to be funded by the University if you are teaching there and my boss thought it would be good for me too.

It involves 6 courses over a total of 260 hours, taking anywhere between one and two years to complete depending on how you plan it. Pretty interesting and would be a good refresher on the various courses I have had on teaching in the past.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Published my LogManager to PHP Classes

You can find my LogManager class on PHP Classes.

Published my BiBTeXManager to PHP Classes

I have wanted to do this for some time, but have now finally gotten some free time to submit some of my work to PHP Classes. I have started by uploading my BiBTeXManager. I plan to post more classes I have made soon as this seems like a nice central place to post my personal PHP library of classes. ;-)