We all know "Notes doesn't print". Nevertheless the topic of document output and reports is not going away, even if I'd like to ban the reports. There are plenty of ready made tools, but today I'd like to start with home cooked reporting.
Why the effort? Using only tools that use open standards you gain more control over the whole process and you can use whatever deems fit. The downside: it is more things you need to know and might not be suitable for business users (but its great to torture interns). In the long run you have a portfolio of source transformations that you can combine potentially faster than any reporting tool. The general principle is "Extract Transform Render":
Extract: Whatever will pull out the XML for the second step will do the trick. For list type of rendering ?ReadViewEntries will do the trick or simple DXL exports. Quite often you might opt for some bespoke code to extract code with an eye of a fast and/or easy transformation phase. You also might consider to extract your data in conformance with an established international standard
This step usually takes the XML from the extract phase and runs it through one or more XSLT transformations. XSLT is kind of IT Black Magic (other say it's just settheory) and can use quite some computing power. For high performance the pros use a dedicated applicance. Once you get the heck of XPath you can do some amazing reporting (e.g. "give me all sales guys where withing the last 5 sales of the 3 guys next to his ranking there was a carpenter")
Rendering is easy. The outcome of the transformation step will be XSL:FO which is a page description language. Use a free renderer or a commercialoffering and a few lines of code. The output typically is a PDF file, but you can target graphic formats too.
Tracking down slow internet on SingTel Fibre to the home
Tue, Sep 16th 2014 8:12p Stephan H Wissel SingTel makes big claims about the beauty of their fibre offering. I do not experience the claimed benefits. So I'm starting to track down what is happening. Interestingly when you visit SpeedTest, it shows fantastic results. I smell rat.
So I ran a test with Pocketinet in Walla Walla, WA. SpeedTest claims a 5ms ping response, but when I, immediate before or after such a test, issue a ping -c5 www.pocketinet.com I get results rather in the range of 200-230ms.
Ein Schelm wer böses dab [read] Keywords: ibm
Foundation of Software Development
Fri, Sep 12th 2014 6:13a Stephan H Wissel When you learn cooking, there are a few basic skills that need to be in place before you can get started: cutting, measuring, stiring and understanding of temperature's impact on food items. These skills are independent from what you want to cook: western, Chinese, Indian, Korean or Space Food.
The same applies to software development. Interestingly we try to delegate these skills to ui designers, architects, project managers analyst or infrastructure owners. To be a good developer, you don't [read] Keywords: ibm
Flow, Rules, Complexity and Simplicity in Workflow
Wed, Sep 3rd 2014 6:13a Stephan H Wissel When I make the claim "Most workflows are simple", in return I'm hit with bewildered looks and the assertion: "No, ours are quite complex". My little provocation is quite deliberate, since it serves as an opening gambit to discuss the relation between flow, rules and lookups. All workflows begin rather simple. I'll take a travel approval workflow as a sample (resemblance of workflows of existing companies would be pure coincidence).
The explanation is simple: "You request approval from [read] Keywords: google
Rethinking the MimeDocument data source
Mon, Sep 1st 2014 12:13p Stephan H Wissel Tim (we miss you) and Jesse had the idea to store beans in Mime documents, which became an OpenNTF project.
I love that idea and was musing how to make it more "domino like". In its binary format, a serialized bean can't be used for showing view data, nor can one be sure that it can be transported or deserialized other than through the same class version as the creator (this is why Serialized wants to have a serialid).
With a little extra work, that becomes actually quite easy: Enter JAXB. [read] Keywords: domino
Bikepad SmartPhone mount review
Mon, Sep 1st 2014 10:12a Stephan H Wissel This is my field impression of the Bikepad SmartPhone mount having used it for a few weeks on my Montague Paratrooper pro
TL:TRThe Bikepad is a highly functional accessory to keep your phone on your bike fully functional. Is has quality craftsmanship and a sleek design. If I had an editor-refuses-to-give-it-back award to give (I actually paid for it), I would award it.
I do cycle for longer durations and some rough spots, so I like to keep a phone in reach. Not at last to keep SWMBO updated. [read] Keywords: iphone
Long Term Storage and Retention
Thu, Aug 14th 2014 6:14a Stephan H Wissel Not just since Einstein time is relative. For a human brain anything above 3 seconds is long term. In IT this is a little more complex.
Once a work artefact is completed, it runs through a legal vetting and it either goes to medium or long term storage. I'll explain the difference in a second. This logical flow manifests itself in multiple ways in concrete implementations: Journaling (both eMail and databases), archival, backups, write-once copies. Quite often all artifacts go to medium term [read] Keywords: domino
Time stamped encrypted archives
Wed, Aug 13th 2014 9:12a Stephan H Wissel Developers use Version Control, business users Document management and consultants ZIP files.
From time to time I feel the need to safeguard a snapshot in time outside the machine I'm working with. Since "storage out of my control" isn't trustworthy, I encrypt data. This is the script I use:
# Saves the given directory (%1) in an SSL encrypted zip file (%2) within
# the personalFiles folder. The name [read] Keywords: connections
Designing a REST API for eMail
Sat, Aug 9th 2014 11:12a Stephan H Wissel Unencumbered by standards designed by committees I'm musing how a REST API would look like.
A REST API consists of 3 parts: the URI (~ URL for browser access), the verb and the payload. Since I'm looking at browser only access, the structured data payload format clearly will be JSON with the prose payload delivered in MIME format. I will worry about calendar and social data later on.
The verbs in REST are defined by the HTTP standard: , PUT, and DELETE. My base url would be http://localhost [read] Keywords: ibm
Workflow for beginners, Standards, Concepts and Confusion
Thu, Jul 24th 2014 10:12a Stephan H Wissel The nature of collaboration is the flow of information. So naturally I get asked about Workflows and its incarnation in IT systems a lot. Many of the question point to a fundamental confusion what Worflow is, and what it isn't. This entry will attempt to clarify concepts and terminology
Wikipedia sums it up nicely: "A workflow consists of an orchestrated and repeatable pattern of business activity enabled by the systematic organization of resources into processes that transform materials, pro [read] Keywords: collaboration