Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Java and HTTPS (Globalsign)

It seems that Java 1.4 doesn't have to Globalsign root certificate installed which means it fails to connect to some Websites using HTTPS. You can grab the certificate from: and then install it with a command like:
keytool -keystore /usr/local/j2sdk1.4.2_07/jre/lib/security/cacerts
-import -file root.cacert -alias globalsign
The standard password is "changeit" and after saying you trust it you should be able to connect to sites through HTTPS that are signed with a globalsign root certificate.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

CruiseControl for Bodington and WebLearn

One thing we have had running at Oxford for a little while is an automatic build tool for both WebLearn and Bodington which after each change that is made to the software (each CVS commit ) it attempts to build it. If the build fails due to a compilation error it starts spamming the people involved in the last set of CVS commits until the problem is fixed. This helps to keep the projects buildable all the time. Another benifit is you can also grab a built copy the codebase from the Build Artifacts directory (eg the quickstart WAR). WebLearn Build (4th October 2005) As you might have guessed from the URL it uses CruiseControl which Java project consiting of the build tool and a webapp to publish everything. Which reminds me the new version of CruiseControl has an RSS publisher so people can keep up to date using a normal feed reader, must upgrade sometime...

Monday, October 03, 2005

ChangeLogs from CVS

One nice thing about CVS is that you can get ChangeLogs between versions for very little work. For example we like to know what have changed between two stable versions of WebLearn (the Oxford deployment of Bodington),at the moment we are going from 2.6.4 to 2.6.5 and there is a nice tool called cvs2cl with which you can query your CVS tree and ask for all the changed between two versions. I build my ChangeLogs with the command: --delta WebLearn_2_6_4:HEAD -F branch_WebLearn_2_6 -r .
and it will give me all the changes between 2.6.4 and the latest version on the branch called branch_WebLearn_2_6.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Linux Router (WRT54G)

I finally started using my Linksys wireless router (WRT54G) which runs Linux in the form of OpenWRT for my home network. Although nothing much has changed from the service point of view, the laptops still see a wireless access point connected to the internet, it means I can run wondershaper (can't recommend it enough) on it which allows me to keep the ADSL link useful for other people even when I am doing a large downloads/uploads. The only other small change is that it runs a DNS cache so recent lookup should be faster and if does hostname resolution for machines on the lan ( resolves to router.lan). That was my geeky achievement for the weekend.

Content - Creator and User Divide

Why in the world of VLEs do we have this divide between the creators of the content and the users of it? In the typical VLE the creators of the content are the staff who are running the course and the students who are taking it. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone could create content? My idea is to allow everyone who has an account in our VLE (Bodington) to create content. As Bodington isn't based around the idea classes and courses it is reasonable easy to grant administrative rights to each user in thier own little area and have them manage it themselves. In my next posts I'll write about why I think this is a good idea and how it might work ing Bodington.