About four years ago, we switched our office phone system from a proprietary ISDN PBX to Asterisk with Cisco 7940 handsets. It was an instant success and has been running without interruption ever since. It routes incoming faxes to email, provides voicemail, soft-phones and conference rooms, allows us to take our extensions with us wherever we are in the world, provides us with unlimited incoming and outgoing lines over SIP gateways and all the other amazing stuff which Asterisk provides. It was Asterisk which first made me realize that open-source systems can be a whole lot better than closed-source – especially in the proprietary world of telephony. The only thing which bothered me about our Asterisk PBX was that it[…]

Wicket components have a convenient getString method to load a (translatable string from a properties file associated with the component (or any component in its hierarchy). It also allows you to provide parameters to those strings in the form “${count} new messages” where count is looked up as a property of the model you pass to getString. Sometimes, however, I’d prefer to just have simple numbered parameters and provide them as varargs to getString(). So, in my properties file, I’d have “${0} new messages” and I’d call “getString(id, 15)” to get “15 new messages”. To do this, you need to add a method something like this:

This method takes your varargs and creates an object array which the standard[…]

A common issue which Wicket developers face is the need for an AJAX update of the HTML output of a repeater (such as a ListView) which is part of a HTML table (where the repeating element is represented by a single <tr wicket:id=”mylist”> line in the table). The problem is that you can’t just use “target.addComponent(mylist)” – you need some kind of container around the repeater. Using a nested table or div as a container may interfere with your table layout. The solution is to use a <tbody wicket:id=”mylistcontainer”> tag around the <tr> which you can add to your page with a WebMarkupContainer and then pass to target.addComponent. It provides you with a container around one or more table rows[…]

Here’s something which took me several days to figure out. If you have form fields within a TabbedPanel (or AjaxTabbedPanel), how do you ensure that they get validated and submitted correctly when the user switches tabs . The TabbedPanel unloads panels as the user switches tabs so only the currently selected tab gets submitted. One suggestion (from Julian Sinai) was to use AjaxFormValidatingBehavior as follows: AjaxFormValidatingBehavior.addToAllFormComponents(form, “onblur”); This ensures that form fields get submitted every time they lose the focus (which also happens when the user switches tabs). This however still leaves us with the problem that the tab switch has already occurred before you have a chance to react to validation errors. The solution I eventually found was to[…]

We just started using JRebel on a wicket project with hibernate and Spring. JRebel (formerly known as JavaRebel) provides true hot-swap development under Eclipse – i.e. you never have to republish and wait for hibernate and Spring to reload everything – whenever you save a class JRebel notices and simply reloads the class into the JVM. This greatly increases productivity on larger projects and, perhaps more importantly, removes a major annoyance factor relative to other languages which handle this better. Installation was a bit confusing because JRebel does not watch for changed classes in the directory where Eclipse puts them by default (at least that was the case for our installation of Eclipse on Mac OS X). To workaround this,[…]

Anyone who has a Mac is familiar with Time Machine, the almost magical, continuous backup capability of OSX. What many people may not know is that Time Machine is based on concepts which have been freely available for quite some time and which can easily be applied to corporate-wide backups. Because corporate backup is considered expensive to implement, many companies have outdated legacy backup systems based on tapes, tape-robots and offsite transport and storage of tapes. These systems are hopelessly outdated and can no longer keep up with the every increasing storage capacity of the disks they should be backing up and the decreasing backup time window in which backups should be completed. We have approximately 3TB of data (consisting[…]

This blog is running on a Turnkey WordPress appliance (www.turnkeylinux.org). Virtual appliances are of course fantastic if they work – a fully configured, just-works server which you can download and provision in seconds (this blog took about 5 minutes to download, install on a VMWare Server virtual machine and get running). Until now, most appliances we tried had enough gotchas to make us return to manual installation on a generic distribution, but the Turnkey appliances seem to be perfect. Based on Ubuntu or Debian and with just enough stuff pre-installed to make them useful, while still being compact enough to compete with a manual installation. Thanks Turnkey!