Quick tip: SHA1 or MD5 checksum strings in Java

In a recent project (OK, I was processing FOAF data), I needed to be able to generate the hex-encoded string of a SHA1 checksum. The built-in Java security classes can do the heavy-lifting, of generating the checksum itself, but they deliver the resulting checksum as a byte-array. I needed the string encoding of that array. There are various code-snippets around on the web to do...

Ruby, rvm and Eclipse

I’ve switched to using rvm for all of my ruby development. Rvm makes it trivial to have multiple copies of ruby installed side-by-side, while trying to do that using apt-get was proving a big headache. It has brought one minor gotcha though: rvm runs a script from the .bashrc or .bash_profile to set up the environment so that a current – default – version of...

Maven, Eclipse and Tomcat: alternative to WTP

Despite some frustrations, I like using Maven in my Java projects for its dependency management and standardized project layouts. Since I develop in Eclipse primarily, I use the m2eclipse plugin to make Eclipse maven-aware. Which generally works well, except in the case of developing web applications. Eclipse’s primary tool for managing web application development is the web tools project or WTP. WTP takes a fairly...

Design vs engineering: not an either-or

A serendipitous collision of two worlds through links passed via Twitter today. First, a nice rant from Andraz Tori from Zemanta: Do semantic web interfaces have to be ugly?. Tori bemoans semantic web applications that let their clever technological underpinnings and perfect abstractions hang out for all to admire, rather than focussing on helping the user to achieve their goals through superior user experience design....

Skype and Ubuntu: lost notification sounds - solution

I use Skype for Linux very successfully on my 64bit Ubuntu 10.04 distribution – it’s a great way to call in to the daily scrum at work, for example. Recently update-manager upgraded my Skype to version 2.1.0.81, at which point I stopped hearing notification sounds (e.g. the incoming-call notification, which is pretty handy!). I still got on-screen popup notifications where enabled, and I could still...