Blackboard has a tag library which allows you to put familar Blackboard looking html objects into your Building block. One element in the tag library is an inventoryList, which gives you a nice looking list of items. An inventory list in Blackboard might render something like this:


ActiveRecord is to Ruby on Rails as Active Objects is to Java. Ideally it would be called AwesomeObjects. At last, persisting data for your Java web application is not all xml, POJOS, EJBs and did I mention xml? I don’t hate xml but I find configuring your application extremely inefficient after working with other frameworks that utilize convention over configuration.

Why do I have to specifiy a log4j properties file, hibernate persistance.xml configuration. And there’s soooo many options of how to develop: JPA, Wicket, OJB, Spring, Struts, Torque, Cayenne, Jaxor, TJDO, JDBM, pBeans, JPOX, Simple ORM, Ibatis, XORM, Speedo, Smyle, PAT, LiDO, JDO, IntelliBO, KodoJDO, Hamlets, Faces, RIFE, Shale, Sling, Stripes, Vaadin, Poopdeck (okay, I just made that one up). Point is that It can be a real headache to develop a Java web app.

Furthermore, why do I have to create my POJOs and SQL for my database? Why can’t a framework just create my data objects, along with nice RESTful CRUD operations for each. Why, crow, why?! So at least for the moment, finding ActiveObjects is lemonade to quench my thirst for answers.


Am I head over heals for Blackboard CourseSites? CourseSites offers anyone who signs up as an instructor 5 free courses, templates, plenty of integration such as Blackboard IM and Facebook, which means you can chat with your students that are in your course. Anyone who has a Facebook, Google, twitter, Hotmail, yahoo, i.e. OpenID account can login to CourseSites as a student - without ever creating a Blackboard account. This seems like an awesome step forward for online education. Unfortunately, it may take a few years for universities to realize that net ids and expensive custom SSO portal integration offers little value for the cost.


Signed up for a Google+ account a few days ago. If Google+ goes public in the next year (2012), then it may be the end of the world and Facebook. When they go public, it is on like Donkey Kong. I think the guys at Facebook know this and have a plan but given that Google has a larger customer base (1 billion strong) and their innovative products are used by the entire world - they have made their mission clear: become the world’s Social network. Only a powerhouse like Google could do this, with the level of integration between Picasa and Android and the budget to make it #1.


If you want to replace the keys in an array there is no native php function that does this currently. So I wrote one. It takes the keys from the first array and replaces it with a new key. See code snippet below.


I spent some time working on providing teachers, students and university staff some resources for online videos within Blackboard 8 (Vista/CE) and Blackboard 9. Read more for some context…


I took a ride on the way back machine to find something that is interesting to me. Even since Google first started their search engine in the 90’s they have kept the same consistent layout.


Below is a story (youtube) I made up in ASL which is similar to the 3 little pigs. However, since the invasion of technology into our daily lives, not just children but everyone has been affected by the explosion of social networking and instant gratification of timely communication. Text messages and Facebook devour our minds and time but we all still love it. It truly is Sophie’s choice for the previous, current and next generations.


I have created many websites and blogs. Many of which have diminished and faded away due to my lack of motivation, time and interest. In the end, my laziness has the last laugh and boredom dominates the website and eventually the dust settles in. So… why go to all that extra effort to setup another website if it is just going to flop? Perhaps this site will be different?