Sunday, 22 May 2011

Another useful dialogue box ...

My first attempt at podcasting ...

This is really a rough n' ready Work-in-Progress, as I've only just started to play with this stuff, and haven't really got my thoughts into proper order.

One of my colleagues had asked me to help him edit a podcast - in this case, a MP3 file of two people asking and answering a prepared list of questions.

The brief was to edit the MP3, adding in a beginning and ending, and also inserting clips of me asking the questions, making it appear more like a "proper" interview, where I asked the questions to which the interviewees responded.

I started by asking an expert, notably @StuartMcIntyre who has a vast amount of experience after one whole year recording and editing @ThisWeekInLotus.

Given that we both use Mac, Stuart mentioned a few tools, including: -

  • Audio Hijaak Pro to record the MP3 - I already had the audio, but this is useful information for the future, especially as Stuart uses this to record TWiL from a multi-person Skype chat
  • Levelator to level off the voices - my voice was recorded in a different room to those of the interviewees, meaning that the levels were a bit different
  • Audacity to handle the import and export from one format to another
  • GarageBand to handle the actual editing
  • iTunes as the interface from GarageBand

I could've probably used Audacity instead of GarageBand, but, as I said, this was my first time through the process.

The process was, in brief, as follows: -

  • Use Audacity to convert the MP3 file into the AIFF format - this is what GarageBand (GB) appeared to like - it didn't want to import the MP3 :-(
  • Drag/drop the MP3 into GB
  • Add a new recording track onto which I recorded me introducing the podcast, asking the questions and closing the podcast, with thanks
  • Copy/paste the interviewees' answers into my new track
  • Export the podcast to iTunes
  • Use Audacity to convert the iTunes M4A format to MP3
  • Use Levelator to smooth out the bumps between me and the interviewees
  • Upload the file to IBM Connections and LotusLive for sharing

For me, GarageBand '09 is a "free" product, as it came with iLife '09 when I bought my Mac back in ... 2009. If I was doing more of this work, I may well upgrade to the latest version, as there were a few things that, in my limited opinion, could've been improved, including: -

  • It'd be nice to be able to label individual bits of the tracks e.g. "Dave's introduction", "Jon's response to question 1" etc.
  • It'd also have been nice to have the individual pieces automatically adjust the timeline when dragging a new piece on - I was hoping that the snippets of audio would shuffle themselves about on the timeline rather than me having to manually move things back and forth

In addition, I could've been smart with the use of multiple tracks, once I'd realised that I could tag each end of the snippet using [CMD] [T] and then drag n' drop lumps of audio back and forth.

As I said, this is very much early days for me, but I had a blast, even though it took over four hours to edit a 15 minute piece of audio :-)

Good times indeed

Thanks to Stuart and Bruce Elgort for their advice, guidance and encouragement

Thursday, 19 May 2011

WebSphere Portal, iFrames and Internet Explorer 9

I don't yet have much detail on this, but one of my customers alerted me to an issue where portal pages, containing portlets containing iFrames ( including the out-of-the-box iFrame portlet ) fail to render properly using Microsoft Internet Explorer version 9 ( IE9 ).

The same pages render perfectly using IE8.

This relates to the way in which IE applies the doctype to the iFramed content; IE8 used the doctype of the iFrame content itself, whereas IE9 uses the doctype of the parent frame.

The solution / circumvention is to add an http-equiv to force IE9 to render as IE8 as a workaround.

Again, this isn't something that I've yet experienced first hand, but I'm hoping that this may help my project, where we're using various versions of IE.

As ever, thanks to James for this ...

:-)

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

IBM Connections Mobile Jam - Get engaged ...

Thanks to Luis Benitez for mentioning this on Stuart McIntyre's most excellent Connections/Portal Skype chat.

The IBM Collaboration Solutions User Experience - Online UX Lab have their own Community on Greenhouse, and they've just kicked off a Connections Mobile design discussion, which runs until Friday.

Here's the link to the discussion - you will need to join the community to participate; it's open to all, so get in there ...

Whilst you're there, there's also a similar discussion around Sametime Mobile, Lotus Notes Traveler etc.

ConfigEngine on WebSphere Portal 7 - a surprise, albeit a pleasant surprise

I've just run through the process to add new attributes into the WebSphere Identity Manager (WIM) configuration on WebSphere Portal 7.0.0.1.

This is a relatively straight forward process, although there were a few learning curves for me, as I'd not done this before.

In brief terms, you: -

(a) Deploy an enterprise application (EAR) that's normally used for the Property Extension database ( aka LookAside ) via the command: -

$ ./ConfigEngine.sh wp-la-install-ear

( noting that the process is different for a clustered environment, where the EAR gets deployed to the DM rather than to the Portal instance as per this old-but-good Technote )

(b) Add the new attributes into the ConfigEngine properties file - wkplc.properties

(c) Add the attributes into WIM via the command: -

$ /ConfigEngine.sh wp-add-property

(d) Map the attributes from one place to the other ( in our case, the source data has been added to the LDAP schema, so we're mapping it from LDAP, via the Federated Repository, to WIM ) via the command: -

$ /ConfigEngine.sh wp-update-federated-ldap-attribute-config

(e) Validate the new attributes: -

- by eyeballing wimconfig.xml ( located under /opt/IBM/WebSphere/wp_profile/config/cells/<CELLNAME>/wim/config )
- by running the following command: -

$ ./ConfigEngine.sh wp-query-attribute-config

and inspecting the resulting availableAttributes.html file which is placed in the ConfigEngine/log directory 

Hay, Dave \(IBM\)
to:
Dave Hay
18/05/2011 07:48
Hide Details
From: "Hay, Dave \(IBM\)" <Dave.Hay@rbs.co.uk>

To: Dave Hay/UK/IBM@IBMGB,













Default custom expiration date: 17/05/2012
So there was one small "gotcha" which confused me for a while.

When running the wp-add-property command, I couldn't work out why the process appeared to stall midway through it's run, just as the ConfigEngine started to talk across to the Deployment Manager: -

[wplc-add-property]   Instance attributes (Set 1 of 1):
[wplc-add-property]     attribute=[ *** NONE_SPECIFIED *** ]
[wplc-add-property]     nsURI="http://www.ibm.com/websphere/wim"
[wplc-add-property]     customproperty=[ *** NONE_SPECIFIED *** ]
[wplc-add-property]     entityTypes="PersonAccount"
[wplc-add-property]     repositoryId="TDSCollaboration"
[wplc-add-property]     propertyName="ExchangeVersion"
[wplc-add-property]     ignoreDuplicateIDs= *** NOT_SPECIFIED ***
[wplc-add-property]     dataType="string"
[wplc-add-property]     trimSpaces= *** NOT_SPECIFIED ***
[wplc-add-property]     providerURL="corbaloc:iiop:dm.uk.ibm.comt:9809"
[wplc-add-property]     multiValued="false"
[wplc-add-property] [05/18/11 07:47:18.613 BST] Looking up EJB: corbaloc:iiop:dm.uk.ibm.com.net:9809...
[wplc-add-property] [05/18/11 07:47:18.718 BST] security.LoadSCI
[wplc-add-property] [05/18/11 07:47:18.724 BST] security.GettingConfig
[wplc-add-property] [05/18/11 07:47:18.725 BST] security.AuthTarget
[wplc-add-property] [05/18/11 07:47:18.748 BST] Client code attempting to load security configuration
[wplc-add-property] [05/18/11 07:47:18.757 BST] security.ClientCSI
[wplc-add-property] Realm/Cell Name: CollaborationWorkBench
[wplc-add-property] User Identity: 

<STOP>


[wplc-add-property] User Password: 

<STOP>  


[wplc-add-property] [05/18/11 07:48:12.711 BST] EJB ejb/com/ibm/websphere/wim/ejb/WIMServiceHome is found.
[wplc-add-property] [05/18/11 07:48:12.720 BST] Retrieving model schema...
[wplc-add-property] [05/18/11 07:48:12.762 BST] Model schema returned.
[wplc-add-property] [05/18/11 07:48:12.763 BST] Registering model schema...
[wplc-add-property] [05/18/11 07:48:12.797 BST] Model schema registered.
[wplc-add-property] [05/18/11 07:48:12.900 BST] Retrieving model schema...
[wplc-add-property] [05/18/11 07:48:12.939 BST] Model schema returned.
[wplc-add-property] [05/18/11 07:48:12.940 BST] Registering model schema...
[wplc-add-property] [05/18/11 07:48:12.962 BST] Model schema registered.
[wplc-add-property] Status = Complete

Yes, you guessed it ....

The script was waiting for me to enter my user name and password.

I'm sure that, in the past, the script would have simply fallen over because I'd not entered the Deployment Manager credentials on the command line, or elsewhere in wkcplc.properties or soap.client.properties.

So, this is actually good news - the script is prompting me - I wish the text was a bit more clear e.g. Please enter User Identity and press [Enter] but c'est la vie ...

For more information about adding attributes to WIM, please check the Wiki here.

Bonne chance :-)

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Out with the old name - WebSphere Portlet Factory - and in with the new - Web Experience Factory

I saw this on Raoul Munoz' Twitter stream.

IBM Web Experience Factory Next Beta provides new features and enhancements enabling faster and simpler creation of richer, more interactive and scalable applications including:
  • Mew mobile/multi channel builders
  • New CMIS (Microsoft Sharepoint and IBM Filenet) and IWCM builders for effective content integration
  • Leveraging latest and greatest including Web 2.0, Dojo, HTML5 and Offline Storage
  • Many new improvements making it faster and easier to develop
  • New samples making it quick and easy to learn
Up on the Wiki, Rob Flynn has also posted a PDF called What's New here.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

I love Firefox, and haven't really been drawn to the dark side of Chrome and Safari, but why does it sometimes cause my Mac's fan to race ?

Whilst I'm travelling so much with my job, I find the Mac more convenient for my travels, rather than carting my larger ( and more capable in terms of disk, RAM, Ubuntu etc. ) Thinkpad W500 around.

One thing that has recently started to bug me is that, from time to time, I can hear the Mac's fan start to race, implying that things are suddenly hotting up inside.

I started monitoring the fan using an open-source application called Fan Control whenever I heard it kick into life.

This morning, the same thing occurred, and Fan Control showed the temperature rising up past 70 degrees C, whereas it normally sits around 52-53 degrees C.

Apart from Notes, Symphony, Skype, Stickies and Lotus Mobile Connect ( my VPN client ), the only other thing I had open was Firefox 4.

I had a few tabs open to Twitter, Connections (W3), Connections (Greenhouse), Blogger etc. but wasn't doing anything that manic ....

As a test, I hit [CMD] [Q] to quit Firefox, and the fan noise AND temperature immediately started to drop.

Now I'm not blaming Firefox but ....

In the meantime, I'll keep my Firefox addiction stoked, with Plenty O' Plugins to keep me amused. To be honest, it's more likely that one of the plugins is causing the problem so I can't blame FF :-) 

Or can I ?

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Ubuntu Linux 11.04 Natty Narwhal and IBM Lotus Notes 8.5.X


Morning All   I upgraded from 10.10 to 11.04 on Tuesday 3rd May, but didn't get much opportunity to do anything significant with the machine ( 4061-BL5 Lenovo Thinkpad W500  ) until this weekend.   The first observation is that Lotus Notes 8.5.2 started to play up  post-upgrade. The client would start up normally, but I wasn't able to preview or open any emails, or access the Replication page. In all cases, the page/tab title would appear in the tab view along the top of the client, but the contents wouldn't appear.   When I first hit this problem, I applied the 8.5.2 fixpack (  lotus_notes852FP2_linuxUb.tar ) but to no avail.   The problem persisted through reboots, both cold and warm.

I then removed 8.5.2 and installed 8.5.3 CD4 ( notes853standard_linux_cd4_prod_deb.tar ), but saw exactly the same problem.   Thankfully, a quick bit of Googling later, and I'd found this: -

http://usablesoftware.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/lotus-notes-8-5-2-fp2-in-ubuntu-11-04-natty-narwhal-64bit-beta-1/   and followed one of the forum responses off to this bug on Launchpad: -

libgtk2 2.24.0 break Lotus Notes user interface

which directs one to download, compile and use patched "shared object wrapper"   I did need to install the libgtk2 header files: -   $ sudo apt-get install libgtk2.0-dev   and also ensure that the downloaded Makefile was correctly formatted - I'd copied/pasted it from the site, and used vi to create it, meaning that I'd forgotten to add in the leading tabs: -   all:
[TAB]gcc -Wall -Wextra `pkg-config --cflags gtk+-2.0`-shared libnotesgtkfix.c -o libnotesgtkfix.so -ldl

clean:
[TAB]rm -f libnotesgtkfix.so

Having done this, I copied the newly created module (  libnotesgtkfix.so ) and the wrapper script ( notes-wrapper.sh ) to the /opt/ibm/lotus/notes directory, and then use the wrapper script to start Notes.   Job done.

The power of the community ...

Kudos to Soren Holm for writing this patch so quickly ...


Friday, 6 May 2011

#LotusKnows ... that you should attend the IBM European Tivoli Technical Conference 2011 - 6-10 June 2011 - Prague

Whether your role in managing a dynamic infrastructure is executive leadership, security, operations, storage, production, delivery, facilities or communications service, the most valuable opportunity to gain the necessary service management skills is at the European Tivoli Technical Conference. 

Top Reasons to Attend:  The agenda will feature hundreds of sessions of deep technical training and strategic insight:

  • 190 sessions with over 70 hands-on sessions; certification available
  • Product roadmap and the latest product announcements
  • The best in technical education – a year's worth in a week
  • Access to visionary and technical leadership
  • Access to Industry thought leader sessions
  • View the latest Business Partner solutions 
  • Opportunity to network with peers in their industry
  • Spend time with IBM executives and staff to evaluate solutions

Tracks Highlights:
 
  • Tivoli Service Delivery & Process Automation 
  • Tivoli Asset Management/Maximo 
  • Tivoli Service Availability & Performance Management 
  • Tivoli Network Service Assurance 
  • Tivoli Storage Management 
  • Tivoli Security, Risk and Compliance Management 

Find out more on: 

http://www.ibm.com/training/conf/europe/Tivoli

Looking forward to meeting you in Prague!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Migrating to IBM Web Content Manager V7: A case study

Saw this in a Tweet from @LotusEducation earlier today, and thought it might be worth re-posting.

A rather useful white paper from my IBM colleague, Rich Gorzela: -

Customers are often challenged by migrating Web content from one content management system to another. This article describes an approach for migrating to IBM Web Content Manager V7, based on customer experiences, addressing topics including process, tooling, and mapping concepts.

• Introduction
• Content management artifact mapping
• Migration tooling approach
• Migration process
• Conclusion
• Resources
• About the authors