30 January 2007

Amy Winehouse - Back to Black

I was amazed by Amy's album 'Back to Black' the first time I heard it.I had never heard of this girl before, but I've put the album on repeat once the CD was done. I really had to listen to it again, because I really liked a lot of songs on this album. It's not as with most albums where you have only two or three really good songs.

The album starts off good with the opening song 'Rehab'. It's one of those songs you're not getting bored with for a while. 'Back to Black' is a good mixture of soul and jazz music. It's really amazing to hear Amy sing, because she sounds like a 40 year old woman from Brooklyn, but she's actually only 22 years old.

My personal favorites on this album are: 'Rehab', 'You know I'm no good', 'Me and Mr Jones', 'Back to Black' and 'He can only Hold her'.

ApacheCon EU 2007

Well it seems the word is out and our ApacheCon talk has been accepted! We were waiting for a confirmation before spreading the word, but the schedule seems to be final now.

Jasha and I were pretty amazed to hear that our proposal was selected out of all the submissions. Looking at the speakers list it's amazing to see us between all those well known Apache member and committer names. The fun part is though that if you look at the list, it seems that we're almost the only two speakers who are not in some sort affiliated with the Apache Foundation other then using one of it's great products: Apache Cocoon.

It seems that us rookies will have to compete with two big shots for audience. It's too bad that Ate Douma is speaking at the same time, since I was curious about his talk on "JSR-286: Portlet Specification 2.0 for Portal and Portlet Developers". I've been working closely with Ate lately on a new and exciting Hippo project, so the portal subject really interests me.

It seems Apache Cocoon is closing the ApacheCon Friday with Andrew coming right after us with "Web 2.0 with Cocoon 2.2". I think the order is great, because you can go from a novice to an experienced session. We hope to get your Cocoon knowledge up to date for Andrews session later that day.

If you're interested in what Apache Cocoon is all about, be sure to come and visit our session! Remember: "Basic web application development with Apache Cocoon" is where you have to be! ;-) We're more then willing to answer all your questions and hope you will enjoy our talk.

See you on the 4th of May!

29 January 2007

Debugging with FireBug is great!

I guess I don't have to tell everybody how great FireBug is for Web Development, but I'm going to do it anyway. FireBug is so easy to use and so feature-rich that I think it's the best plugin available for FireFox. I think it's a must for every web developer these days and I can't image working without it, since I first started using it.

I've your not familiar with FireBug yet then here is a good article for you to read. In short: FireBug is an open source feature-rich web development plugin for FireFox. It has features like, debugging, profiling and javascript logging within your browser.

This month FireBug is more then a year old and has grown enormous over the past year. A couple of days ago version 1.0 came out and it's extremely stable. I use FireBug all the time while working on Hippo CMS, since it's full of Javascript and XMLHttpRequest calls and it helped me out a lot.

If you're not using FireBug yet, be sure to check it out and play with it for a while to get familiar with it.

19 January 2007

ApacheCon EU photo tour

Yesterday I faced the storm to go buy my new portrait lens. I bought the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II for only 89 euro's, which I've heard a lot of good stories about. It's one of the cheapest Canon lenses, but the image quality seems to be a lot better then the default kit lens.

Since the store was closed between 6 and 7, I had to walk around facing the heavy storm. I wished I had my camera with me, because the wind made some exceptional scenes. People almost flying by and trees trying to keep standing in the heavy wind.

That made me come up with the idea of doing photography during the ApacheCon. I know that there are a couple Apache people that like their camera's and love taking pictures, looking at the pictures of Arje and Andrew when they were at the ApacheCon in Austin Texas and my experience with the Cocoon GT. I guess it would be cool if we could do something similar in Amsterdam during the ApacheCon Europe.

I wonder if there would be any interest in that..

18 January 2007

New mobile phone: SE m600i

My Samsung D500 served me well over the past year, but I was in search of a new phone. After playing with a smartphone at work, I was fully hooked. Luckily I was able to pick a new phone, because my subscription ended in august last year.

I went for the Sony Ericsson m600i, which looked to me like a good replacement and one of the smaller smartphones available. So I've sent in my order and the phone appeared after a couple of days. I've been playing with it for a while now and I really like it! It has a lot of great features like: Push email, UMTS, Flight mode, Opera and it even supports SVG.

One of the big pains is getting your contacts over to the new phone, since they were not stored on my SIM. This seems to be a big issue with every new phone I get. I got my Samsung working after spending a day on it connecting through bluetooth with my office Dell laptop. So you would expect it would be fairly easy when installing the SE software some years later, but even with the USB cable it was a real pain in the ass. After spending halve a day on getting bluetooth and the USB cable to work I switched to my desktop and the USB cable worked instantly. So for now I'm fine, but I have to get this stupid thing working with my Dell laptop, since I don't want to plug in the cable all the time.

But after a week I still really like the phone. Standby time is fine and I haven't explored even 50% of the features.

13 January 2007

ApacheCon Europe 2007 proposal

The ApacheCon EU 2007 is coming up and the deadline for proposals ended last night. I've seen several ApacheCon proposals come by over the past weeks and was thinking together was Jasha that we had to do something ourselves this year.
We've both worked on a lot of projects build with Apache Cocoon for a couple of years now and know most of the pains when starting with Cocoon, so we decided to submit a proposal ourselves: "Basic web application development with Apache Cocoon".

If the proposal gets approved the session will be very low level. As less code as possible, but more of an explanation about what can be done with Cocoon, how Cocoon handles itself in the web 2.0 hype these days and why Cocoon could be useful for you.
Cocoon can do so much more then most people think. You can create really powerful applications, high performance websites and multi-publishing platforms.

We'll just see what happens next!

02 January 2007

Happy New Year

First of all: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

As you might have noticed another year has past and 2007 is already here.
Lots of great things happened last year and many more good things are planned for 2007.

My highlights for 2006:



Possible highlights for 2007 will be:


  • Hippo CMS 7

  • Hippo Portals first release

  • ApacheCon Europe 2007 in Amsterdam

  • Moving to Hoofddorp

  • Soraya will finish up school