Software Development

I like to do little side projects that involve software development. This page is partly to provide a little information about them, but mostly for me to make notes for myself. As long as I keep these pages updated I can retrieve my info from anywhere.

Servlets, Tomcat, JSP

I have done a little work with servlets and Tomcat, to get the standings for the frisbee league to work. I'd like to do a little more like that, and move into JSP. One of the things that would help with that is integrating Tomcat/servlet support into the apache web server on this machine. That way I wouldn't have to specify port 80 as part of the URL.

Java Development for Pocket PC 2002, using IBM's WebSphere

I've recently changed over from Palm to Pocket PC. The best IDE I found for the Palm is Pocket C, which is a subset of C. It's really versatile and useful, and also the main alternative (as far as I'm concerned) to CodeWarrior. I used it to write my picker app which picks random teams for frisbee (or other) games.

There is a version of Pocket C for the Pocket PC, but there are also a lot of alternatives. I tried Pocket C, but found the alternatives are just better. The most obvious ones are Microsoft's Embedded Visual Basic (eVB) and embedded Visual C++ (eVC++). These are free (!) full-featured IDEs that give great results. Unfortunately they are a lot easier to use if you are familiar with MFC -- which I am not. I have written plenty of C and C++, but never in the Microsoft world. I was able to write some basic code, and to easily compile other people's code, but there is quite a learning curve until you learn the MFC way of doing things.

So it would make a lot more sense to work with a language and IDE that I am familiar with, like Java. Sun has an embedded version of Java, and IBM puts that into its WebSphere Studio Device Developer, which is also free full-featured IDE. I have worked with VisualAge for Java, which seems to be a predecessor to WebSphere, so I have some familiarity with WS. However, the whole process of setting up a development environment on your machine, plus configuring the Pocket PC is pretty complex. I have fooled with it some, and gotten basic functionality, but not really documented any of what I have done. I have learned from my wireless work that it really helps to keep a log of what you have done, so you can get back to a known good point. So here is the page where I log what it takes to get WebSphere running. Hopefully it will have a happy ending.

Web Publishing Software

All the content on the website was created with vi (the unix text editor). I would like to add a banner and a link list, and be able to update them automatically on all pages. I plan to write some simple web publishing software for people who still use vi. Right now I do use some simple shell scripts to manage the pages. I use server-side includes (SSI) to put the banner and links at the top of the page, and the links that sometimes show up on the left-hand side of the page (depending on where in the site you are). I have been hacking away with servlets and JSP, but nothing is ready for prime-time yet. My biggest problem is that I have no graphic design sense whatsoever. This site has plenty of content, and I like to think that it's well-organized, but it's lacking in slick graphics, fancy navigation tricks, and automated management. I keep trying new things, and waiting for something to evolve.