Friday, September 30, 2005

Identity 2.0 / Shibboleth

On I found a post about Identity 2.0 with a link to a really good presentation. The reason that it was interesting to me was that in my world everyone it talking about Shibboleth and extending it to handle multiple federations and allowing it to give out more information about people, which isn't what it was orginally designed for. The Identity people are more about just being able to prove some facts about yourself (one of which could be the university you are studying at and the course you are one). The only thing that Shibboleth seems to give you is the ability to say I am from Oxford and work in the Computer Center without saying that I am Matthew Buckett, so I can remain semi anonymous.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Sakai Developers Meeting

Monday and Tuesday of this week I spent at a Sakai Developers meeting in Cambridge organised by CARET. It was an interesting couple of days and I got to see a little into the world of Sakai. They are progressing along nicely and it seems that they are getting adopted at an institution level in quite a few places.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Tea Towel Holders

Cloth Holder
Originally uploaded by buckett.
I got these as a christmas present last year, they are simply the best tea towel holders I have ever seen. Inside the wooden jaws is a small marble that can move vertically. You just slide in the tea towel and the marble falls down and you can let go and the weight of the towel wedges the marble onto the towel holding it in place. Then to remove you just pull upwards and sideways and the towel comes out. Beautifully simple.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Tomcat Security and Development

Often when I am doing development with Bodington on Tomcat I have very little security enabled in the application so that I can easily login and so on. To slightly improve things I always make sure my development version of tomcat is only listening on the loopback interface. Todo this you just edit the connector section of your server.xml file: <Connector port="8080" maxThreads="150" minSpareThreads="25" maxSpareThreads="75" enableLookups="false" redirectPort="8443" acceptCount="100" debug="0" connectionTimeout="20000" disableUploadTimeout="true" address="" /> adding in the address bit, then only people on your machines will be able to access the tomcat web server. Just remember demoing things to other people becomes a little harder.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

PostgreSQL and datetime

I have just been looking at getting an old copy of Bodington to install. I wasn't even after having a working version, just a complete database schema so that I could see how the schema had changed between versions. I tried installing a WAR on my desktop box but it seemed to be failing when trying to create a table with a column type of datetime. Looking in the PostgreSQL 7.4 documentation for date types I found that datetime was no longer a supported date type (is was in 6.x). However after a bit of Googling I found that you can alias a type by creating a domain, eg:
upgrade=# \h CREATE DOMAIN
Command:     CREATE DOMAIN
Description: define a new domain
CREATE DOMAIN name [AS] data_type
    [ DEFAULT expression ]
    [ constraint [ ... ] ]

where constraint is:

[ CONSTRAINT constraint_name ]
{ NOT NULL | NULL | CHECK (expression) }

upgrade=# CREATE DOMAIN datetime as timestamp;
Creating this domain means that the database now thinks a datetime is the same as a timestamp and doesn't complain when it is asked to create a table containing one. Later versions of Bodington have the SQL changed so that it doesn't attempt to create timestamps, but people will probably see this bug if they try a new copy of Bodington with a very old PostgreSQL database.

Bodington 2.6

A little late but finally a new Bodington Release has been made. This release adds some new tools and fixes a few bugs, a fuller description is available in the release notes on SourceForge. Now onto working on Bodington 2.8!