Jul 21

Google map’s infowindow is not showing up today due to a bug in Google map.  Here is the thread.

Jul 18

I tried out clearspring’s platform today to develop and deploy a widget.  It is as easy as drinking milk and eating cookie.  In less than 15 minutes, I was able to develop a widget and publish it to major platforms like facebooks, Yahoo, Google, MSN and Netvibes.  If I were to do this for each platform, it will probably take me days.  They clearly have a wonderful platform.  The question is how they are going to monetize it.    If it is going to be based on advertising, they will probably need to put some ads on all the widgets that they host.  If it is not based on advertising, they will need to charge a fee but that won’t be happening because the service is now free and users will scream if they start charging.   The other revenue model could be charging Enterprise.  Assuming that business might want to create business widget and used them within their intranet, clearspring might provide them a good platform to do that with a fee.

Jul 17

I was trying to install ruby-xslt on my Ubuntu laptop after I installed on my Mac. When I do a sudo gem install ruby-xslt, I got the following:

gem install ruby-xsltBuilding native extensions.  This could take a while...

ERROR:  Error installing ruby-xslt:

ERROR: Failed to build gem native extension./usr/local/bin/ruby extconf.rb install ruby-xslt

checking for xmlParseDoc() in -lxml2... yes

checking for xsltParseStylesheetFile() in -lxslt... no

checking for exsltRegisterAll() in -lexslt... no

extconf.rb:4: command not found: xslt-config --cflags

creating extconf.h

creating Makefile

/usr/local/lib/ruby/1.8/mkmf.rb:1102: warning: global variable `$preload' not initialized

make

gcc -I. -I. -I/usr/local/lib/ruby/1.8/i686-linux -I. -DRUBY_EXTCONF_H=\"extconf.h\"  -fPIC -g -Wall -I/usr/include/libxml2  -g -O2 -DUSE_ERROR_HANDLER -DUSE_EXSLT  -c xslt_lib.c

In file included from xslt_lib.c:19:

xslt.h:36:27: error: libxslt/extra.h: No such file or directory

xslt.h:37:26: error: libxslt/xslt.h: No such file or directory

xslt.h:38:35: error: libxslt/xsltInternals.h: No such file or directory

xslt.h:39:31: error: libxslt/transform.h: No such file or directory

xslt.h:40:31: error: libxslt/xsltutils.h: No such file or directory

xslt.h:41:29: error: libxslt/imports.h: No such file or directory

xslt.h:44:30: error: libexslt/exslt.h: No such file or directory

After I do some Googling, here is the solution:

sudo apt-get install libxml-ruby1.8 libxslt1-dev
sudo gem install ruby-xslt

That is it!

Jul 11

No software can last forever. My first commercial rails app (revolution health’s symptom checker) has been retired. The reason for the retirement is that we want to replace one that doesn’t require paying license fee for the backend and data. The original one used rails as front end and talked to a Cold Fusion backend app (which we licensed through Mayo Clinic) through web service. Just 3 days before we retired the old app, the old symptom checker get mentioned in Rachael Ray (the TV show). Yes, very ironic. It reached its highest moment and then it died. But better die at the top then live at the bottom. Here is the segment:

Jul 8

My sister-in-law works for one of the big old companies.  She told me the bureaucracy and weird policy in her company.  She has to take a safe driving course (every employee have to do that) once a year because the company are afraid of lawsuit in the even if an employee get into an accident during traveling for company business.  The also installed a software called Workpace which force the user to take a break every 5 minutes.  I didn’t make this up.    The reason is that there was a lawsuit from an employee complaining about repetitive motions (I ask using a mouse or typing) causing his/her injure.   The big oil companies have too much money that they are targeted for many lawsuits.  They can’t move or change because of bureaucracy and the fear of being sued.   The only reason that they are still here is that we haven’t changed.  We still depend very much on oil.  Once that is changed.  All the big oil companies will go under.  They won’t change to an energy company which can use other energy resources beside oil.  No, they will die because they are dinosaur.  I don’t know when this will happen but I think it is going to happen within a couple of decades.

Jul 3

I was able to get Groovy installed on my Mac installed, up and running in no time. I can now start playing with it. It is pretty simple, just download, uppack and change two environment variables and you are good to go. The only thing about Groovy is that there aren’t many good examples or tutorial yet so show case the language. I will spend more time to play with it and see if I like it. I will also spend some time check out Grails also.