Maven again

The 1.0 release must be better

I really like the idea behind maven. Basically it’s an automated make tool that avoids the lenghthy configuration you can get into with ant. There’s only one problem. It seems to be incredibly buggy.

I tried maven quite a few months ago, but I had trouble even getting it to load dependent libraries over the net. Eventually I got fed up and gave up. Then since I saw the 1.0 release I thought it might be worth another shot. An hour or so later after trying to setup a simple ‘cactus:test’ I couldn’t get past target not defined errors and I just gave up again. Maven just isn’t there yet. You can really tell this when you try to look for help. After 30 minutes on Google I came up with nothing. Nuff trouble, I’ll stick with ant and it’s big configuration files.

Chemo, Radiation, Bone Marrow Transplant

Why I don’t like popsicles

I sent a little donation to a cancer patient today. It started with a casual browsing of <a href=>Wil Wheaton’s</a> site. He’s a alpha geek type who is best known for being the whiz kid on Star Trek the Next Generation, Wesley Crusher. Strangely enough my favorite newsgroup in the very early 90s was alt.wesley.crusher.die.die.die.

I saw a <a href=>post</a> on there from his wife about a their friend, Kris, who was diagnosed with lukemia not too long ago and is now undergoing her final treatment cycle:

For the week prior to her stay at City of Hope, Kris was taking anti-seizure medication and going to her doctor to do chemotherapy tests before beginning her intensive treatment. When she begins her stay on February 13, she will be doing several days of chemotherapy followed by several days of full body radiation therapy. Then they will transplant the stem cells they harvested from her (she was not a match with her brother, children, or the National Donor Registry). This option gives her a better chance of her body not rejecting the transplant. Then the slow recovery begins.

I read the entire post and immidiately tears welled up and my hands shook a little. I have the statistics for my own NHL battle firmly planted inside my head. 80% chance of a full cure for the first round of chemo and radiation treatments. If it does reoccur it is likely to come back within 5 years and then the treatment is transplanting bone marrow and the survival rate is 50%.

I sent them a small donation. I really hope she makes it, the support network helped me a ton, in fact my wife Micki saved my life during the worst part when I had a severe allergic reaction to compazine and my throat started to swell shut. My parents, brothers, the Gibbscrew network of friends, the people at my company, and a horde of others all let me know in various ways that they would help in any way they could. I still remember some little things like my brother and sister in law buying me an O’Reilly book of all things on Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma or a project manager from XUMA pulling me aside and urging me to fight it all the way and not to give up because he had watched his Dad give up after the diagnosis and pass away soon after.

I still politely turn down popsicle offers from my daughter, Kassie. I had popsicles, Otter Pops actually, during the chemo treatments at the Nevada Cancer Center. I don’t touch them anymore. Some day I’ll have to explain why I hate popsicles to Kassie.

Xplanner Running

In an effort to get off track

Well, I’ve been attempting the last week or two to get off track again from my goal of working on a wireframe tool. I’ve looked at numerous open source projects, all J2EE related, but none specifically for wireframes. I now find myself installing <a href=>XPlanner</a> which I wanted to a long time ago after seeing it mentioned in some Agile methodology book I was reading on O’Reilly’s <a href= >Safari</a>. Anyway XPlanner looks pretty cool, but I’ll probably try to adapt it to Scrum and make use of it as I build the wireframe. More on it as I take a look at it. I have to nod off to bed soon.

On a completely unrelated note, I must investigate the Lego craze behind <a href=>Bionicle’s</a> I just got a bunch of them for one of my daughters friend’s birthday party and the intiguing thing is I can’t figure out how they are much more interesting then regular legos. Is there a game angle or something I just don’t know about. Must quiz the 6 year old tomorrow on this fascination.

Wireframe Tool

Time to build a tool.

After using a decent wireframe tool on a project, one that’s ColdFusion based, Rebar, I’ve decided I have an itch to scratch. I think I could build a better wireframe. Rebar works alright for its purposes, but it’s kind of limited, it doesn’t really lend itself to a bit more representation which is good and bad. On a lot of wireframes you want to focus on the navigation and the content which a spare wireframe serves pretty well. But when the tool won’t even let you represent common layout formats or simple html forms it feels a little limited. I do like the file based system, since it takes out the hassle of having a particular database to worry about. I’ll probably do it with Struts and simple java io, or possibly the new NIO package.

Oh definitions first–wireframes are simple HTML mockups of a site. They don’t have the real look and feel of the final web site, and the focus is just to flesh out the web site in advance of any actual coding