This blog contains experience gained over the years of implementing (and de-implementing) large scale IT applications/software.

Broken 2,000 page views per month!

Just a quick note to say thanks to all readers who have recommended this site, my posts and articles, commented or just browsed.  I’m glad that it has served so many people and I’ve really enjoyed seeing the reader count increase over the past months.

I’ve finally made it past the 2,000 page views per month target after only 18 months of being an active blogger.  I’m now hoping to hit 5,000 in the next 6 months…

If you have found this site helpful, then help others find it by clicking the Google +1 link on posts, or linking on your own blog site or Linkedin or Facebook.

Many thanks,

Darryl

Downtime & Language Barriers

Whilst I took some time out on holiday, I was able to get away from the almost non-existent UK summer and off to a much warmer climate.
It got me thinking about the language of IT and the difficulties that other non-native English speakers may be exposed too when trying to decipher Oracle docs or SAP notes, or any other form of documentation.

In my experience, I’ve often had difficulty reading SAP notes that have been translated to English from German and Oracle docs that have been written in English from the off, but badly worded.
I think the Plain English Campaign would have a field day with some of the material I’ve had to put up with.

If you’re working with a mission critical system and you can’t be 100% sure on what the documentation is asking you to do, could it reflect badly on you as a professional?  Possibly.

I guess Google Translate is probably the most preferred tool for translating notes and docutentation, unless the reader is confident enough in what they already know.
So would this mean those that perform IT as a profession, in a non-English speaking country, must know the products more in-depth and rely less on the documentation?  Maybe.

Make Blogger.com Show a List Of Labels By Title Only

NOTE: I have since stopped using feed2js as blogged about below.  I’m writing a new post on how to do this using the Google Feeds API.

Do you use Blogger.com for your blogging?
One of the short comings of Blogger.com is the categorisation of posts.  Also known as tagging or labeling.
There is no neat way in Blogger.com that you can list all posts by a specific label.  The standard method produces a massive page listing all the contents of all the pages containing your selected label.
This is not very helpful if you’re looking for something and it’s also very slow to load.

After spending much time looking for a solution I found feed2js.  A Google Code project that allows you to embed an RSS feed into a web page using JavaScript.

Here’s an example I’ve been using on my blog since day one: https://www.it-implementor.co.uk/p/all-blog-posts.html
Not only is it just what I need, but I’ve managed to program it so that it can dynamically take a parameter on the end of the URL and display any specified label.
Example: https://www.it-implementor.co.uk/p/all-blog-posts.html?label=Musing   will only display pages containing the “Musing” label.

Want to see how it works?
Here’s the code:

<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on">
<script type="text/javascript">
<!--
var mylabel='<MyDefaultLabel>';
var key='label';
var regex = new RegExp("[\?&]"+key+"=([^&#]*)");
var qs = regex.exec(window.location.href);
if(qs != null)
   mylabel = qs[1];
var cssStr = ".rss-title {visibility: hidden; margin: 0em; border: 0px; font-size: 1;} .rss-box {margin: 0em; border: 0px;}";
var style = document.createElement("style");
style.setAttribute("type", "text/css");
if(style.styleSheet){// IE
style.styleSheet.cssText = cssStr;
} else {// w3c
var cssText = document.createTextNode(cssStr);
style.appendChild(cssText);
}
document.write ('<h2>All Posts For Label: ', mylabel, '</h2>');
document.write('<script src="https://feed2js.org/feed2js.php?src=http%3A%2F%2F<BLOGURL>%2Ffeeds%2Fposts%2Fdefault%2F-%2F', mylabel, '&amp;desc=100&amp;date=y&amp;utf=y" type="text/javascript"></script>');
// -->
</script></div>
Thanks to <a href="https://feed2js.org/">feed2js.org</a>

Copy and paste the code (as text without formatting) into a new Page in your blog (not a Post!, a Page).  Call the new Page all-blog-posts.html
In the code (in “HTML” mode when editing the page) change the line containing “<MyDefaultLabel>” to be your default label name (case sensitive).
You should also change the text “<BLOGURL>” to be your blog’s URL without the “https://” bit.
By default the code is set to display 100 characters of each entry under it’s title.  You change the number 100 to be 0 for none or a larger/smaller number.
You can also choose to remove the “Thanks” line, but it’s nice to give recognition for hard work.

Now you can call the all-blog-posts.html page from anywhere in your blog (or outside your blog) and just append the label name (case sensitive) after the page URL plus a question mark and the text “label”.
E.g. https://yourblog.blogspot.com/p/all-blog-posts.html?label=MyLabel

IBM WebSphere IHS Plugin Hostname Cookies Conundrum

Whilst attempting to set up IBM WebSphere with a remote IBM HTTP Server (IHS) using the WAS Plugin, I was hitting an issue whereby cookies would only be served to the client browser when accessing the IHS server using the real host name and not the DNS alias I had created.

After 2 days of trying different combinations of configuration, I finally found this article here:
The host name DNS alias I had created used underscores.
Whilst this is permitted in the system, it is not a valid host name accord to the IETF RFCs, and therefore no cookies are served/retrievable by the WebSphere application server.
In short, always use hyphens instead of underscores in your WAS or IHS DNS aliases.

Checking Sun/Oracle GlassFish Server Version

Here’s how to check the version of Sun/Oracle GlassFish application server which is installed in a Linux environment:

From the bin directory of the GlassFish binary home directory:


$ asadmin version
Version = Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server v2.1
Command version executed successfully.