Thanks for visiting

Whassup yall? I just wanna thank everybody that has been visiting my site lately. My stats are still pretty weak compared to the more polished Bloggers like Joel, Kathy, and Rory but I like to think of it as my little corner of the net. I just looked at my stat log and I recently has 177 feed reader hits last Monday! That’s the biggest surge I’ve seen ever. It sounds puny compared to other places but for a fool like me it’s pretty impressive. I still dunno who most of you are, though a handful of you have taken time to introduce yourselves. I’m puzzled by the recent surge. It’s sky rocketed from 5 readers per day on average to 177 and now it’s fluctuating around 75. I hardly ever view the feed stats. Instead I look at my hit counter which normally reflects the amount of drunks and people trying to sell me male enhancement substances. [deleted inappropriate comment on enhancement products (it was a funny one too, you missed it!)] Feed stats are different though. They reflect dedication. It’s a total number of people willing to put up with my half ghetto hip-hop references confusing the heck out of my otherwise helpful technical content. Feed stats reflect the number of people willing to put forth effort required to add my site to their feed reader. If I have over a hundred dedicated readers then I must be saying something worth listening to. I’m not quite sure what that is. If you figure it out could you tell me so I can keep saying it? Or maybe it’s not cool to say the same thing over and over again. (Holler!) Maybe I should come up with some original material? I know one thing is certain. I gotta get back into discussing some of my more interesting technical topics. Isn’t that what my site is all about anyway? With that let me update all of my faithful readers on some statuses.

I am behind on GSpec. I poked at it a little last week not making much progress. There is good reason behind my not keeping you all posted on it. If you knew the kinds of stuff I’ve been going through these past couple of weeks you would understand how impossible it is to keep up with something like that. In short my time has been completely overwhelmed with general stoopidity. The only thing I do keep up with is posting nonsense that you all will quickly get tired of reading. I do want to put GSpec out as open source but it needs just a little more polish before I can claim it as an alpha. Actually I can’t even claim it, somebody else wrote the code. So I’m want to rewrite it to be able to officially claim it as my own and plug it into JUnit as well. I’m thinking of a JUnit suite that will load and execute all of your GSpec files under JUnit. Right now GSpec has an overall shape similar to JUnit including initialization blocks and test blocks. Look for me to introduce the glue code shortly.

Secret Projects
The main reason I’ve been so unable to get anything done is because I keep taking on more work. I have these three other “simple” projects that I’ve been tinkering with for personal reasons. One of them is a thing for Career day at my daughter’s school. It’s about 25% finished and very rough but it’s a cool idea. Then there are two other projects that I can’t talk about. If I tell you I have to kill you and I wouldn’t want to get blood on my DKNY sweater so let’s just say it’s something necessary.

Work stuff
I created my own stylsheet language a while back and it works pretty good. It’s a simple XML grammar you can use for writing more complicated XSLT/FO stylsheets. I have unit tests and all that proove I know hwat I’m doing. The grammar was dveloped entirely using TDD while I put together a terrible looking UI that uses XStream in a half-assed way to serialize the GUI into the grammar. I slapped an abstract repository (that I still need help finishing) on the back end for users to be able to save their style templates and everything works horribly. The truth is I really don’t know what I’m doing once I get past the honeymoon stage of a particular project. The core is good but everything else suffers due to lack of focus. There’s a good idea in there somewhere waiting to be dug out.

Groovy Invaders
This embarrassment of a project reflects how terrible I am to both commiting to something and UI development. I’m able to move the ship and fire a rocket but that’s pretty much it. The aliens all have lead in their drawers and nothing else works. Theirs both a kink in the timing logic and a kink in my brain when it comes to opening the project. I can never get the right version of Groovy running in my development environment and things always seem to throw funny errors until I play with my project settings long enough to get it running like before. By that time its bedtime and I haven’t accomplished anything.

Groovy Maven2
After finding the secret to pandoras box (actually before that) I have managed to get Groovy code to compile under Maven2 without using trickery like Ant, GAnt, or the like. I’ve also figured out how to create M2 plugins using Groovy. All of this code was written by someone else and has been sitting on the Codehaus Mojo site for some time. I just downloaded and ran the stuff. There was also the missing Plexus compiler piece that I’m not sure I can remeber where I found it but hopefully someone will post a reminder.

XSLT Maven2
I’ve had a grwoing need or desire to treat my XSLT source as source code instead of resource files when using M2 to manage projects. For that reason I looked into copying the Groovy compiler Idea and creating an XSLTC plugin for M2. The idea started some time ago and stalled on my hard drive at work. I think I spun off on a tangent fixing some file system based logic I had no business touching. You know how you see one of those things (like the usage of a File path right in the middle of a unit test setup block) that you just can’t let go of? I modified some code from the Plexus compiler svn checkout and never could get things running the way they were before. I’ll look into it someday.

That’s most of the important stuff going on in my world. As you can see I’ve basically been doing nothing but getting stuck on FOP memory issues and more recently a X-platform SAX serialization issue. (Anybody know why sending System.getProperty(“line.separator”) to the ignorableWhitespace method on a content handler shows as an entity reference only on Windows?) While XML stabs me in the buttocks I get it from above with all the extra stuff I’ve been trying to do. Thanks again to all of my dedicated homies. If yall got other homies spread the word about my spot, it’s the best kept secret. Until later hit me up…

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