Not a good design in Thinkpad T400 USB ports and some thougths on selecting an ebook readers

I received my T400 some weeks ago,Sure I create the recovery DVDs and installed a brand new Ubunut 8.10 on it. But so far there are two things which make me crazy:

  • First, why there is no horizontal USB port on the laptop and all ports are vertical? what if we need to plug a device which its height is bigger than T400 port distance with the desk? I didnt had the time to take some photos so I used an available one. this is the photo taken from Lenovo forums which shows Thinkpad T400
  • The other flaw, is the keyboard lamp which is supposed to let us see the keyboard clearly in the dark, but problem is that it is not angled enough to illuminate the keyboard and instead it blind our eyes.

And about the so called ebook readers:

About 1.5 years ago I searched to find a good ebook reader for myself and my digging into the market has no result except that I come across two "to be available" ebook readers which could be answer to all of my requirements, The first one was the Epson-Seiko ebook reader which as far as I can remember, based on the available information it was light, as big as an A4 paper with and comes with a multicolour screen. The other one was an ebook reader from a company named Plastic Logic. although at that time there was no detailed information about their ebook reader, but the amount of information which they provided in their website suggests that it is the best option that I can have.

few days ago one of my friends asked my opinion about the Amazon Kindle and it triggered another search in the ebook readers market. First I tried to find about the Epson-Seiko reader with no luck but I found that the plastic logic reader is going to be available early in 2009 which is very very good news for me.

Plastic logic reader is very durable, very lightweight, it is in size of A4 which is what I need at first place, It is can help in reading PDF and MS Office documents among others, come with wifi, bluetooth in addition to USB 2.0 support.

I am waiting to see this device hitting the shelves, I will definitely buy one as soon as It become available.

Using XML in Java refcard is available for download as free as speech


I wrote a new refcard for Dzone, the refcard is about using XML in java and generally covers:

  • What is XML
  • XML usage use cases, when to use and when not to use
  • what we have in Java for dealing with XML documents
  • What DTD and XSD are
  • How we can perform validation using XSD and DTD in different parsers
  • What is different between different techniques of parsing XML documents
  • Basics of XPath.
  • Some performance tips

This is my second Refcard, the first refcard was about GlassFish administration and it was an instant success. An updated version of GlassFish refcarsd is published and is available at GlassFish V3 refcard. The updated version covers some new features of upcoming GlassFish v3.

One suite of JSF components to rule them all

Sun Microsystems and ICESoft put a joined effort to back one single JSF component suite. It looks like that Sun realised that re-use and cooperation is another key of a successful business so they are trying to spent less resources on things that are already available in the community by providing some level of support and funding instead of starting the same suite from the scratch.

Sun abandoned further development and support of WoodStock components set which was the primary set of components in the NetBeans IDE visual web development project. And instead they put some effort together with ICESoft to provides a migration path from WoodStock suite to ICESoft component suite.

Although I like WoodStock compoents suite but the move is much more promising than development of the woodstock project in long term as there are more man power behind the ICESoft component set as from now that what was behind the WoodStock project.

ICESoft which is a long term provider and developer of JSF components has a NetBeans module which let developers simply use the ICEFaces components in their projects. New version of the module support working on projects with both ICEFaces and WoodStock components.

There is a comparison matrix between between the two component suite and promising roadmap which you can consult.


Some thoughts on the JBoss AS 5 release

JBoss application server 5 GA released after a very long period of silence from "JBoss, a division of Red Hat". The new version of JBoss application server supports Java EE 5 and is based on modularity concept with a small kernel named JBoss MicroContainer in the core and all functionalities as modules around the kernel. JBoss kernel is POJO based and all modules follows the same principals, some configuration files are required to configure the services which the kernel will load. JBoss modularity system is niether based on OSGI nor drafts of the to be released Java SE modularity system.

JBoss 5, uses the MicroContainer to ensure an easy implementation of Java EE 6 profiles and also let the developers and administrators to easily disable some features and enable some other features.

I think from version 5, JBoss application server development will see some dramatic changes, the modules will be developed independently and therefore, the release cycle will be a mixed model of hot module releases like updates and patches and major releases which is an integration of all available modules. Although JBoss is far from providing a solid foundation in term providing a package distribution system and all required software to keep an eye on the updated modules and installing them, but that is the path which I think they will follow.

With all this architectural changes, JBoss 5 has a drawback. There is no changes in the administration at all, 3 years of development produces no changes in what administrators use to manage the servers, clusters and applications which are assets of the company which they work for. The same old JMX based administration console is what administrators should deal with for some few months or years until Red Hat finishes the development of their new administration console. Yes, the have a project named Jopr to provide a neat SEAM based administration console, but when it will be ready to get bundled with AS, no one knows.

Today GlassFish is the dominant open source application server and it gained the market share in absence of the Open Source application servers steward, JBoss. The steward re-appeared but its re-appearance is not that promising because of many advantages which its replacement, GlassFish, provides over it.

GlassFish v3 uses a modular architecture based on the standards.The OSGI as the bundle layer and HK2 which is an early implementation of JSR-277, Java SE modularity system, for the service layer. There is no need to edit an XML file, just drop the bundle and it is installed or remove the bundle and it will not load the next time. Also you can utilize the very easy to use update Centre which in addition to managing the currently installed modules, let you install updates or brand new features by selecting the features that you need and waiting for the download to finishes.

GlassFish v3 distribution is based on a solid binary distribution system named pkg(5) Image Packaging System or simply IPS which is a operating system independent software distribution system based on network repository of the software packages. The IPS helps keeping GlassFish up to date automatically with in the blink of an eye. it let you install the new features and updates by some clicks in the desktop GUI, web based administration console, or using the command line

GlassFish v3 provides very solid administration channels including the JMX console, the web based administration console and the command line administration tools which one can use to administrate all aspects of the application server from mere deploying an application to large scale management of a cluster farm.

And Finally GlassFish version 3 supports Java EE 6 and its final version will be available by the middle of 2009. if you want to know about GlassFish for Java EE 5, you should know that the version which supports Java EE 5 released in May 2006 and its 3rd major updates is GlassFish 2.1 which is scheduled to be released on Jan 2009