Wednesday, 28 February 2007

ThemeWeaver - Like DreamWeaver but ..... for themes

ThemeWeaver's objective is to help you create/modify WP6 themes and skins to your requirements.

There is no actual "installation" process required. All you need to do is download and save the whole directory structure somewhere on your hard disk, then open the index.htm file in your browser.

It is based on modifying a "base theme", of which there is only one at this time, called the "OmniCorp" theme. When time permits I will create more base themes to choose from. The idea is that you choose a base theme as your starting point, then adjust the various settings to modify it to what you need. Therefore it is not suitable for modifying your own theme because your settings will be in different from what is documented, which only applies to the selected base theme.

ThemeWeaver is also partly educational tool, as you have discovered. It is not meant to do everything for you, but only act as a guide. By making the adjustments yourself, you soon get a good understanding of the theme/skin file structure and parameters and you will be able to make your own changes beyond what ThemeWeaver offers. If the tool did everything for you, you will be restricted to what it can do and nothing else.

And yes, it is definitely shareable outside IBM. There is nothing there that is proprietary and if it makes customers/business partners more productive that is all good. Just make sure you tell them it is on an "as is" basis and there is no support commitment, although feedback is welcome (using the integrated feedback channel).

Make sure you read the important notes in the index.htm start page under "Setting up and getting around" and all will be sweet.

A darn good tool .....

It's not Portal but ......

If you get: -

PC Sync has encountered a problem and has terminated the synchronisation.

try clearing the contents of: -

C:\Documents and Settings\hayd\Application Data\Nokia\PCSync\SynchData

and setting up, and running, PCSync again

Works for me, anyway :)

Sunday, 25 February 2007

More fun n' games from the VMware camp

Was still suffering from major performance problems using a variety of VMs on VMware Workstation 5.5.3 and VMware Server 1.0.1 ( using VMs created for Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 Professional ).

In all cases, the overall responsiveness of the VM was absolutely abysmal, even when running with 2 GB ( in the VM ) on an 8-way server with 16 GB RAM ( running W2K3 as a host OS ).

After some serious Googling, it turned out to be a setting in the .vmx file ( same directory as the actual VM image ).

Simply by adding: -

mainMem.useNamedFile = "FALSE"

and physically restarting the VM ( actually shutting down the guest OS, and stopping/starting the VMware session ), the performance seemed to improve drastically.

This, combined with VMware Converter ( as blogg'd about previously ) allowed me to take a demo deployed on a native WinXP OS, convert it to a VM and then run it as a guest on the same machine that used to host it full-time.

As far as I can establish, this setting prevents the guest OS from paging its memory back to the host OS' disk. What's wierd is that I'd allocated 2+ GB to the VM, and Task Mangler didn't imply that memory was short but ..................

Remember kids, ymmv


Friday, 16 February 2007

VMware - Slow, slow, quick, quick, quick

I was bashing my head against my screen, trying to work out why a particular Windows 2003 Server VM was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo slow.

I'd done all the usual things - checked the memory allocation, removed un-needed hardware, defragged the virtual SCSI disks etc. but to no avail.

Thankfully, Google had the answer, Google is my friend :)

"Display Hardware Acceleration

Windows Server 2003 has display adapter hardware acceleration disabled by default. This slows down graphics performance and mouse responsiveness in the guest operating system.
To enable hardware acceleration in a Windows Server 2003 guest, open the Control Panel, and then open the Display Properties control panel. On the Settings tab, click Advanced. On the Troubleshoot tab, drag the Hardware acceleration slider all the way to Full."


Obvious really :)

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

WebSphere Portal - My Download Guide


I'm always forgetting what specific images I need for a WebSphere Portal 5 or 6 installation. Therefore, I decided to create, and post, my own personal download guide.

This works for me - caveat emptor for the rest of you: -

WebSphere Portal 6.0

Download this: -

WebSphere Portal V6.0 and Workplace Web Content Management V6.0 - Portal Install V6.0 (W-Setup)

WebSphere Portal V6.0 and Workplace Web Content Mgmt V6.0 - WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment for Windows, V6.0.2.9 (W-1)

WebSphere Portal V6.0 and Workplace Web Content Mgmt V6.0 - WebSphere Process Server for Windows, V6.0.1.1 (W-2)

WebSphere Portal V6.0 and Workplace Web Content Mgmt V6.0 - Portal Server (Disc 1 of 2), V6.0 (W-3)

WebSphere Portal V6.0 and Workplace Web Content Mgmt V6.0 - Portal Server (Disc 2 of 2), V6.0 (W-4)

WebSphere Portal V6.0 and Workplace Web Content Mgmt V6.0 - Personalization, V6.0 (W-5)

Unpack it like this: -

unzip -d d:\temp\WP6\W-Setup
unzip C93LWML.exe -d d:\temp\WP6\W-1
unzip C93LRML.exe -d d:\temp\WP6\W-2
unzip -d d:\temp\WP6\W-3
unzip -d d:\temp\WP6\W-4
unzip -d d:\temp\WP6\W-5

*UPDATED* WebSphere Portal

Download this: -

WebSphere Portal V5.1.0.1 - Portal Install (Setup), V5.1.0.1

WebSphere Portal V5.1 - Certain Components of WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation for Windows, V5.1 (1-1)

WebSphere Portal V5.1 - Certain Components of WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation for Windows, V5.1 (1-2)

WebSphere Portal V5.1.0.1 - WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation - WebSphere Application Server, V5.1 Fix Pack 1 Cumulative Fix 3 for Windows (1-15)

WebSphere Portal V5.1.0.1 - Portal Server, V5.1.0.1(2)

WebSphere Portal V5.1.0.1 - IBM Workplace Web Content Management and Personalization, V5.1.0.1 (3)

WebSphere Portal V5.1.0.1 - WebSphere Application Server Archive Install for Windows, V5.1.1.3 (4-1)

WebSphere Portal V5.1.0.1 - WebSphere Portal Archive Install for Windows, V5.1.0.1 (5-1)

WebSphere Portal V5.1.0.1 - WebSphere Portal Archive Install for Windows, V5.1.0.1 (5-3)

Unpack it like this: -

unzip -d d:\temp\WP5\cdSetup
unzip C814GML.exe -d d:\temp\WP5\cd1-1
unzip C814HML.exe -d d:\temp\WP5\cd1-2
unzip C82XUML.exe -d d:\temp\WP5\cd1-15
unzip -d d:\temp\WP5\cd2
unzip -d d:\temp\WP5\cd3
unzip C82WEML.exe -d d:\temp\WP5\cd4-1
unzip C82WLML.exe -d d:\temp\WP5\cd5-1
unzip C82WNML.exe -d d:\temp\WP5\cd5-3

I use a command line tool called UNZIP.EXE which I've also posted here: -

( I'm sure you know what to do with the .xex file )

Hope this helps

Dave Hay

Sunday, 11 February 2007

VMware Converter - It Rocks !

This may be of use/interest: -

I'm just in the process of using it to convert my Café Culture demo from a Windows XP hard drive image to a VMware virtual machine.

It was smart enough to read the entire WinXP setup ( two NTFS partitions ) from a SATA drive installed in the Ultrabay of a Thinkpad T60p, and turn it into a set of .vmx and .vmdk files on my new 320 GB USB2 drive.

I'm now in the process of pruning down the content of the VM, as the image is a bit large - but disk is cheap, right :)

PS Three things to be aware of: -

1) You will need to reactivate Windows XP, as the underlying hardware on which it runs has changed from a real Thinkpad to some VMware virtual hardware - therefore, make sure that it's a pukka copy of XP before you start
b) You will need to remove all the Thinkpad/ThinkVantage drivers n' stuff, and install the drivers for the VMware hardware e.g. network cards etc. but this is pretty painless
iii) You'll need to install VMware tools ( as per usual )

Saturday, 10 February 2007

Caution - Problem with Windows maximum path length and WebSphere Portal node name


Learn from my mistake

If your nodename is 8 characters or longer, you may get this exception: -

2007-02-08T11:42:00Z Result: [wsadmin] The system cannot find the specified file, either the filename is too long on Windows system or run out of file descriptor on UNIX platform. D:\ibm\WebSphere\profiles\wp_profile\wstemp\Script110a1279556\workspace\cells\stargate\applications\BPEContainer_stargate_WebSphere_Portal.ear\deployments\BPEContainer_stargate_WebSphere_Portal\compensate_ejb.jar\META-INF\ibm-ejb-jar-ext-pme.xmi.workspace_save (The system cannot find the file specified)

This is because the nodename pushes the length of the path out to 261 characters, which exceeeds the Windows 256 character limit: -


I'm using Windows 2000 Server SP4.

Hope this helps.


Sunday, 4 February 2007

WebSphere Portal Express v6 - First Thoughts

Well, the installation went well - I used a 2 GB VMware image, running on my home Athlon64 server ( running OpenSuSE 10.2 ).

No major problems with the installation, although I did find it strange that the DB2 installation prompted me to reboot the PC whilst, at the same time, the Portal installation had just completed and was prompting me to access the portal via the First Steps menu.

Other than that, I did see an issue where the server startup would appear to fail ( more details to come ) due to a problem with the OS setting ServicesPipeTimeout. However, the server actually worked OK - it was merely an issue with the fact that it runs as a Windows service ( NOTE; the installation doesn't give you the choice of service/no service - however, it is a manual, rather than automatically started, service.

See re the ServicesPipeTimeout hack. I'll post the error messages later .......

First impressions of WP6X (!) - looks very nice, the initial site offers intranet and internet pages, and a slightly different dynamic launch menu.

Also noted that WP6X is based on WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment ( WAS ND ) rather than WebSphere Process Server, which kinda makes sense. Also noticed that the Portal version is actually

Only other comment at this time - the automatic DB2 installation is very nice, and almost invisible ( apart from the need for a reboot ).

More to come .....

Saturday, 3 February 2007

Woohoo - my first Workplace Dashboard Framework 2.6.5 portlet


I've just spent a couple of hours following this most excellent tutorial from one of my IBM colleagues: -

Building dashboards with IBM Workplace Dashboard Framework

I did hit a problem with a java.lang.NumberFormatException which slowed me down a tad. It turned out to be a problem with, quelle surprise, the format of some numbers in my spreadsheet.

I've documented this in the attached files below.

Hope this helps someone


Problems with Excel import in WDF

WebSphere Portal Express v6 - The Story So Far ....

Well, my first installation was in a VMware Windows 2000 Server SP4 environment - note to self; make sure you have more than 1 GB in the VM, or the installation takes a wee while :)

I noticed that the Portal installation also installs DB2 9.1 and, I assume, uses that for the underlying database rather than Cloudscape.

Early days yet, and more to come


Thursday, 1 February 2007

WebSphere Portal Express v6

**Updated as at 3 August 2007**

Please note that two of the download images have been refreshed/replaced: -


Old @ 270 MB
New @ 400 MB


Old C97Q5ML.exe @ 370 MB
New C1192ML.exe @ 373 MB

**Updated as at 3 August 2007**

Well, I've just downloaded the newly released Portal Express product, and will be installing it today. I'll post my observations but, in the meantime, here are the details of the included images: -

WebSphere Portal Express V6.0 - IBM WebSphere Portal Express Quick Start and Server Install, V6.0 (W, IL, I - Setup)

WebSphere Portal Express V6.0 - IBM WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment for Windows, V6.0.2.15 (W-1)

WebSphere Portal Express V6.0 - IBM DB2 UDB, Express Edition for Windows, V9.1.0 (W-2)

WebSphere Portal Express V6.0 - IBM WebSphere Portal Express (1 of 2), V6.0 (W-3, IL-3, I-3)

WebSphere Portal Express V6.0 - IBM WebSphere Portal Express (2 of 2), V6.0 (W-4, IL-4, I-4)

WebSphere Portal Express V6.0 - IBM WebSphere Portal Express, V6.0 (W-5, IL-5, I-5)

WebSphere Portal V6.0 and Workplace Web Content Management V6.0 - IBM Tivoli Directory Server for Windows V6.0 (W-6)

WebSphere Portal V6.0 and Workplace Web Content Management V6.0 - IBM Tivoli Directory Server Fixpack for Windows V6.0.0.1 (W-7)

IBM Lotus Sametime 7.5 Server Cumulative Fix Pack 1 for Windows

Note that I didn't download Notes/Domino 7 or Sametime 7.5 because I already had them on my USB drive.

Watch this space......