Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Grils jbpm plugin

We recently contributed a Jbpm plugin to the grails plugin project.

Here is a brief overview of what it does

Jbpm is an open source workflow / BPM solution. It helps coordinate business processes involving multiple people or services. The goal of this plugin is to make it easier to use Jbpm in a grails application


  • Easy integration with jbpm (handles all the configuration changes required)
  • Manage processes - deploy, update process definitions
  • Worklist application to quickly prototype new business processes
You can read more about it here

setting svn ignore property

I was trying to configure svn to ignore changes to certain files and directories. I have been mostly using either Smart SVN or Subeclipse to work with SVN before. But recently I am trying to work with the command line version.

It took me a while to figure how to do this on the command line. Here is want I did
svn pe svn:ignore direcotry-name

This will open up the default editor (you will get an error if one is not set with the instructions on how to set it up)

Type in the list of files / direcotries one entry per line, save the file and exit. That will do the job.
svn status
will now not report those files as modified / added

I need to figure out how to specify multiple entries on the command line directly instead of having to open up an editor.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

jarnal - java tool to annotate pdfs

Jarnal - is tool that can be used annotate PDF documents. It is java based. It also has support for collaboration. One person can start it in server mode and another can connect.

One thing that it is useful is to highlight text in a PDF. You can also add small notes to the margin. If would have been good if there was an option to hyperlink some portion and add annotation as a tool tip.

It does allow you to do a lot more stuff, but pretty difficult to use with a mouse. Maybe it would be more useful with a tablet.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Taare Zameen Par - truly inspiring

A very well made movie. It makes an attempt to highlight the issues with the current education system in India. It breaks away from mainstream Hindi movies in many ways. It shows that you can make a commercially successful movie , one that appeals to the common movie going public, and at the same time convey a message.

I like movies that make me think, linger around in my thoughts long after I have watched them. This is one such movie.

Education is an area that India needs to do a lot if it has to realize the dream of becoming a developed country. We would need more than just doctors, engineers and MBAs to take us there. People need to be prepared to think & act on their own instead of following instructions, they need to have the confidence to think differently. Fortunately we have some people today who are leading the way, most of them have reached there inspite of the system not because of it. We will need a lot more. Is privatization a possible solution? Or will it change only when the demand changes, can we afford waiting that long? Is there anything that we can do pro actively?

One thing that is in my control is not force things on my kids, let them pursue their interests. Not make them bear the burden of our ambitions. 15-20 years from now the world will most probably be quite different. I am pretty sure that the traits that have made people successful today will not last that long.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Indian software industry - tranisition from silk farms to butterfly parks?

While on a long drive today I noticed some strange things lining the streets. On closer inspection I realized these were the frames which are used to grow silk worms. This triggered another thought - the Indian software industry (especially the services part) has been treating its employees like silk worms. After a few years it manages to drain out all enthusiasm, creativity, innovation, initiative and many other good qualities.

Every now and then a few of them manage to break the shackles and emerge as beautiful butterflies. The last couple of years I am noticing that the numbers are increasing and the butterflies are becoming more & more beautiful. I am now confident that in a couple of years in the midst of these huge silk farms, there will be pockets of butterfly parks that shelter & encourage the breeding of beauty of a higher order.

Friday, January 18, 2008

kalloori - A movie about life in a small town college

I watched this movie based on a review in "The Hindu". It is an entertaining movie. Brings back memories of the good old college days. The movie is very well made, all the actors look genuine and fit into the context. The comedy scenes & the songs are a integral part of the movie rather than standing out as extra accessories.
The ending seems to be forced upon, it sort of comes up suddenly. Also the movie could have been made a lot more shorter & crisper. There are a lot of repetition of similar sequences and it appears to loose steam half way through.

SOA & Portals

A good description of soa (key advantages, what context it is useful in, how it is similar to / different from earlier ideas), how a portal fits into the equation. Even though it is a marketing manager speaking it devoid of hype.
An interview with IBM's Chris Lamb on WebSphere Portal SOA