Weeknotes: Ubuntu, messaging and Open Correspondence

It has been a while since the last weeknotes. I’ve finally made the move to Linux, or at least dual booting, by installing Ubuntu so I’m currently learning a little the OS and getting a development environment set up for it.

I’ve nearly finsihed the ongoing accounts project at work. The framework is up and it went through testing over the last couple of weeks. There are a few rough edges and some bugs which still need fixing but it largely seems to be there now.

I’ve also installed the first part of a messaging server written in PHP (taking ideas and concepts from JMS and Python’s Routes for service urls) which takes a message from the core CMS system and routes them to the correct service using SOA. If there’s an issue with the service then it logs it and queues the message using Redis (athough an array might be quicker, I wanted the queue decoupled from the server if it failed or had to be restarted and the memory was wiped). I need to finish up the worker to dequeue at certain points in time but it is expected that I’ll get it finished in about four days once I’m back at work.

I’ve done one or two things on the Open Correspondence site as well. I’ve tidied up the source XML and the sources XML as well to expose them so I need to update the site itself. The next thing I think we need to do is to start writing stuff to expose the underlying data and to show what you can do with the data. One of the things that I want to do is to write a function which I can put behind either Protovis or Javascript Infovis Toolkit to convert a SPARQL query into the relevant JSON and I’m thinking of using Lee Feigenbaum’s sparql.js script. Quite possibly I need to write some sort of API to the dataset to allow other queries to be run.

My friend, Simon Biles who owns Thinking Security, and I have been talking about a Knowledge Management project which is slightly aligned with some stuff I’ve been thinking about storing research pages for RSS and web pages. He’s thinking in terms of MS Office documents which means a little investigation into the various types of structured storage in Office and the ways that Office has changed to mine different types of documents. It does appear at first glance though that newer versions of Office and Open Office are similar in terms of finding the metatadata being collections of XML documents in an archive.