Monday, November 27

Finally ... photos from our trip to Indonesia!

After promising and promising to upload the photos from our recent trip to Indonesia, my wife and I sat down this weekend and went through labelling and selecting images - here is the result of our efforts, enjoy!

Monday, November 13

Sun open sources Java under GPLv2

Amazing news ... Sun is going to release Java under the GPL! InfoQ has the full scoop at along with some interesting observations on whether classes extending a GPL'd java.lang.Object are a derivative work (thankfully they aren't - phew).

Monday, November 6

Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri 1427 H, Mohon Maaf Lahir Batin

Back from visiting Indonesia for Raya - we went to Padang and Bukittinggi in West Sumatra, where my mother-in-law's family live. My wife's lineage is Minangkabau, which is matrilineal, so when we have kids they'll also be Minang - how cool is that! Everyone was very friendly and interested to meet the new 'Inggeris' addition to the family. I learnt so many words in two weeks - much more than in Malaysia, mainly because not many people spoke english over there (older people can understand some dutch/german, as it used to be a dutch colony).

Food was fantastic, but oh-so-more spicy than I'm used to in KL. We had rice at every meal, even breakfast, along with various dishes like Rendang, Dendeng (like beef jerky with hot chili) and Cincang. We even managed to bring back some smoked eels, which smell horrible but taste great.

More to come later... hopefully with some photos!

Wednesday, October 18

Google Sitemap for Blogger Beta (was solved, now broken)

I've been trying to submit my Blogger site to Google for a few days now, and was stuck at the 'Add Sitemap' stage. I couldn't publish my own sitemap directly to the root folder because it's hosted on blogspot, so I was hoping to use the feed URL:

Unfortunately, the beta version of Blogger uses a newer version of the Atom format which Google Sitemap doesn't like. Thankfully there is a simple solution which I found while searching Google groups ... just use the RSS feed instead:

it's as simple as that :)

... at least it was until Blogger Beta changed over to the REST style feeds at /feeds/blogid/posts/default. The RSS version is available by using the ?alt=rss parameter (/feeds/blogid/posts/default?alt=rss) but for some reason the top-level rss.xml file redirects to the atom format!

Sunday, October 15

Footy Futsal

Just got back from Footy Futsal in Taman Megah - lots of fun and exercise as usual, but have to play in the evenings at the moment as it's fasting month. My wife and I had gone to Mid Valley earlier on in the day to recycle the mountain of paper and plastic that we'd accumulated over the last few months (including far too many Dunkin' Donut boxes!).

After breaking fast with kurma (dates) we prayed Maghrib while the Surau was relatively quiet. Most people were waiting to break fast in the various restaurants - it was weird seeing row on row of tables with steaming hot food, with everyone checking the time on their mobiles.

We had hoped to eat in Chili's, but by the time we got there the waiting time was 1.5 hours! Our original plan was scuppered by their no reservation policy :( Oh well, we managed to get seats at a nice italian instead, and had plenty of time to let the food settle before the futsal.

Time to finish this post, so we can read a bit of the Qu'ran before going to bed ... have a religious class tomorrow at Al-Khadeem led by Ustaz Hussein Yee, who gives very thoughtful sermons.

Saturday, October 14

Task orientated Java development

Yesterday I stumbled upon a neat Eclipse plugin called Mylar which helps you manage tasks: for example you're working on a new module, but suddenly need to track down and fix a bug in another part of the project. With Mylar you can jump into the new task, safe in the knowledge that your previous GUI context (ie. open files, layout etc.) is stored under the old task. If you find the bug belongs to another developer, you can even share the relevant context to save time.

It also keeps track of how long you spend on each task, which will keep micro-managers happy :)

The site I was surfing when I saw Mylar is called InfoQ, and so far it's been a really good source of the latest news and innovations in the Java/Enterprise world. It also has one of the best Web2 interfaces I've seen this year where the videos sync with the slides - understated, but helpful.

ssshh... Pisang Quiet

After several months of playing around with blogger settings, and somehow never having the time to write down my thoughts (or write up, depending which hemisphere you're in) I finally got bored of choosing a colour scheme and decided to start posting.

So... 'pisang quiet' ('peace and quiet' for those of you who enjoy malay+english puns, 'quiet banana' for those of you who like bananas) is my new blog, after my last one reached the heady heights of 11 posts. There have been a lot of changes since then - I'm now married to Hayfa, and we're living together in KL.

Married life is really good - my isteri and I went to Terengganu for our honeymoon and tried snorkelling for the first time: I normally keep to my depth when swimming, but my wife helped me overcome my nerves and explore further out at sea (the life jacket helped too!). It was so cool seeing herds of fish sweep majestically across... sorry, wrong vacation. Seriously though, the trip to Redang Lang Tengah was amazing - soft white sand, clear seas with brightly coloured fish, and my sayang at my side :)