Falling in line…

I had to move my site to a new host, because my previous hosting company suddenly shut down.

After years of neglect, I decided to take it as an opportunity to update the site as well, but I didn’t feel like doing yet another custom, JSP-based website. Like so many others, I used WordPress instead. The greatest thing about WP is that there are so many plugins and other contributions available. Almost no matter what you want to do, there is a way to do it without having to write a lot of code. In most cases you don’t have to edit a single file.

Coming from a Java background, having helped develop the Servlets, JSP and JSF specifications, I can’t help but wonder why nothing like WordPress evolved based on those technologies. Or have I missed something? I know there are plenty of Java-based CMS’s, but I’m not aware of any that has a sizable community…

For this site I use just the basics: a Twenty Eleven child theme, with some CSS tweaks and custom header and footer templates, plus the Shortcode Exec PHP (for shortcuts that get the base URIs for things like images and other files) and the WP Captcha Free plugins (to see if it really gets rid of spam posts without forcing visitors to enter a captcha). I imported some of the posts from my old sites using the RSS Importer plugin. On another site I also use the Types plugin to create custom types with parent – child relationships.

That will have to do for now, but maybe I’ll play around with some more stuff later on.

Back to web applications again

After years of trying to get a new company off the ground and consulting gigs, mostly focusing on GUI Swing development, I have started to pay attention to web application development again. But this time around, I’m interested in what can be done on the client-side. It’s amazing how much cool JavaScript code is available, and how well it works across modern browsers. Combined with public APIs for services, like the Google Maps API, it’s not all that hard to offer information to your site vistors that would have been far too complex or expensive just a few years ago.

To learn more about these technologies, I’ve set up a website about Hermosa Beach, where I’ve lived since 1994. It contains information about the city and what’s going on, pictures, slideshows and reference lists with maps for hotels, restaurants, clubs, etc. It’s a work in progress and I’ll add more features as time permits. Check it out if you want to see what I’m up to nowadays.

Customizing JSF messages

An article I wrote for Oracle’s Technology Network is now available online. The article provides some general advice on web application interface development and describes how you can use generic attributes and a PhaseListener to customize the standard JSF error messages in a very flexible way.