Friday, August 29, 2008

Connecting WSO2 Registry with WSO2 ESB

The recent releases of WSO2 ESB supported the use of a back-end Registry to store various configuration bits and other related information. The support comes in two flavors, local and remote. The use of a local registry is a fact that has been broadly discussed on the user guides. But, the same does not apply when it comes to using a Remote Registry.

Setting up WSO2 Registry is as simple as installing Apache Tomcat (can be downloaded from here) and deploying the wso2registry.war file. More instructions can be found in here. Having gone through the process, you should be able to access the WSO2 Registry from http://localhost:8080/wso2registry (please note that the port may vary depending on your configuration).

Now all that it takes is to inform WSO2 ESB to make use of your registry. This can be done by adding the following info into, server.xml (located in webapps/WEB-INF/classes/conf by default):


Please note that the port number and the username/password might vary according to your configuration.

Now, you will have to do some other changes to your synapse.xml. I assume that you know how to setup a local registry implementation (Simple URL Registry) in WSO2 ESB. If you don't please read this. In order to use the WSO2 Registry you will need to add this configuration information:

<registry provider="org.wso2.esb.registry.WSO2Registry">
    <parameter name="root">/</parameter>

Well that's it. You can now upload what ever documents on the WSO2 Registry and access it within WSO2 ESB.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Can the Human Brain be Buggy?

You might wonder while reading the subject of this post thinking whether I made a mistake in relating bugs found in computer software to the human brain. It has been thought that the human brain is far more superior than any other software (or machinery run using software, to be more precise) developed ever since Alan Turing began comparing the Computer to a Human. But the biggest question is that whether we have been taking things for granted.

Inspired by an e-mail sent to me by a friend I have been trying this activity over and over to realize that each and every attempt I make results in a failure. This is analogous to a bug found in a software, where you expect one thing to happen but something else happening instead. So here is what you have got to do:
  1. While sitting where you are, at your desk, in front of your computer, lift your right foot off the floor and make anti-clockwise circles.
  2. While doing this, draw the number 6 in the air with your right hand. Your foot will keep rotating as it was.
  3. Now, remain seated in the same way, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles.
  4. While doing this, draw the number 6 in the air with your right hand. Your foot will change direction!
As you will realize, this information is pre-programmed in your brain and you can't simply do anything about it. This should hold valid for most of the human population, but, there can be some who are not affected as well.

More information on this can be found at [1] - [3].

Please note that I'm not challenging the way in which a Human was created, stating an imperfection. Also, I have no intension in disputing one's religious viewpoints.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Formula CSE 2008

Formula CSE, is an annual toy car racing competition held by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Moratuwa, in which participation is required in order to pass the subject CS1960 Skill Development, a subject which is mandatory for each engineering undergraduate at the university. Each student of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering will make a toy car during the Level 1, in groups of 4-5 people which will race in the Formula CSE competition held at the end of the non-technical term.

Formula CSE competition is organized by the Level 4 students of the Department every year and the organizers will also mentor the students for a period of around 7 weeks teaching them how to build a remote controlled toy car from scratch. Formula CSE began in 2006, and the one held on 23rd August 2008 was the third annual competition.

Having participated in the first ever Formula CSE competition in 2006, as a student I was privileged to mentor a group of five talented juniors this year, who did a great job in designing one of the best cars out there. Even though my team did not become the champions, I accept the fact that we did a great piece of work.

As a member of the organizing committee I was in charge of timing each race, with the aid of a countdown timer software. In addition to that I evaluated the graphical user interface developed by each team (20 altogether) along with a panel of judges. I must say that each team has done a marvelous job and it was very hard to evaluate. The amount of effort put in was more than what we expected from an average group of 1st year students.

We are very happy and proud of what our juniors have done and hope that the Formula CSE competition will continue in it's mission of creating better and more competent engineers in the field of information technology and computing in years to come.

P.S. I will try my best to post some photographs if I happen to find any.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The IT industry is bigger than we think

Recently, Gartner published its report on spendings on IT industry's in the year 2008. It seems that we are all a part of a $3.4 trillion worth industry according to this media release. However, as it may seem, these figures may not be precise due to fluctuations in the US dollar. Gartner identifies that Cloud Computing will be the next revolutionary area in IT where people would focus on spending into services provided by a cloud rather than purchasing software.

A follow up discussion on the Cloud Computing discussion group @ GoogleGroups, [1], identifies several key areas that this post doesn't consider. For instance Open Source and Free Software are not paid for. And they also point out the fact that the post encourages CEOs, CTOs and CIOs to invest in cloud computing. This all means that the IT industry is growing even at this very moment and is much larger than we expect it to be.

Cloud Computing would give service providers the possibility to charge per service provided rather than software distributed. This means that you will be able to make more money in a fine grained manner. It return it means that the future IT industry is much bigger than what it is now. Computing will continue to be pervasive and IT will continue to grow. That means, the IT industry is bigger than we think.


Monday, August 18, 2008

I'm now a Microsoft Student Ambassador

The Microsoft Student Champ program in Sri Lanka, hosted by Microsoft Lanka Pvt. Ltd. has been something that I've been taking part in for the last two years. The program consists of two groups of students who take part in various volunteer activities conducted by Microsoft in Sri Lankan universities and colleges. They are, Student Champs and Student Ambassadors. Student champs are anybody who take part, whilst ambassadors are people who lead various activities. I was invited to be a Student Ambassador last Monday. A complete list of Student Ambassadors can be found here.

After being elected as Student Ambassadors, we were also invited to Microsoft's Technical Communities Open Day 2008. More information on that can be found here. It was day full of activities and fun. Must say that I enjoyed it a lot. During the event, I also got a small award recognizing my contributions to the student champ community and also various other technical presentations done for students.

As a student ambassador, my role incorporates updating and notifying the student champ community regarding various activities that are to be held. I will be sharing the responsibility with Bhashitha Jayawardhane.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Cloud Computing is not 100% Dell

Dell, which is a company that develops, manufactures, sells and supports computers and related products was trying to acquire the Cloud Computing trademark recently and failed. Sam Johnston has posted a lengthy account in this regard. Dell's attempt was also criticized in, as an approach to grab the future of computing.

To me it means that Dell was trying to coin a term in there advantage and create a confusion to what perhaps in the future someone would believe that Dell pioneered cloud computing which is not very true. The time at which the application for registration was filed, the term cloud computing was popular but Dell said that they believed it wasn't. Forrest Norrod, VP and GM - Data Center Solutions in fact implicitly stated the fact that cloud computing did not belong to a single entity.

However, as of now, the dispute seems to be resolved and cloud computing becomes something that is not a proprietary implementation that belongs to a single vendor such as Dell.