A blog looking at business communication, knowledge management, scripting tools, OS technology news and other things of interest to mobile tech workers. As I find interesting news this will also contain pointers to thoughts related to configuration managment, change management and general software development.
Ant is growing up. Here is an example of someone working through refactoring their build to take advantage of the new import and macrodef features in Ant 1.6.1.
The main features I have used are the 'import' task and the 'macrodef' task. The 'import' task imports (duh) a another ant file and includes it in the current file. Macrodef is a way to define a new Ant task in an Ant build itself. Macrodef allows you to define standard tasks that have attributes and elements given to them when they are called.
Sounds like Ant is getting stronger and smarter. Here is a good introduction by Mike Spille that explains why the import feature means we can finally use Ant in large enterprise builds.
A while ago I wrote about using FreeMind to manage a collection of bookmarks.
This was in response to a post complaining about how difficult it is
to manage bookmarks. Now here is what appears to be a better solution. Brad DeLong points to a post in John Battelle's Searchblog:
Grokking Furl - Storage, Search, and the PersonalWeb.
Furl is an application with huge potential. It allows you to create a
personal web or a set of copies of web pages you find helpful, interesting,
etc. Has fulltext searching and more. Here is what John says:
After all, it's just a web page-saving application. Right? Well, yes and no. Furl does a good job of helping you manage your web browsing. It adds several features that others don' t have - full text search on your saved pages, for example. But Furl saves the entire web page you've "furled", not just the URL, which prevents link rot, on the one hand, and creates what I'll call a "PersonalWeb," on the other.
Now, having your own PersonalWeb is a very cool thing. Every page you care about is now saved forever, and is searchable. How I wish I had Furl while I was researching my book for the past year. This application was inconceivable before the cost of storage and bandwidth began to fall toward zero.
But wait...there's more. You can share your PersonalWeb with others. And Mike just added a recommendation engine, so you can see links the service thinks will be interesting to you, based on what you've already Furl'd. Now, let's play this out. Imagine Furl on, oh, Yahoo, for example. Or Google. You now have a massively scaled application where millions of people are creating their own personal versions of the web, and then sharing them with each other, driving massively statistically significant recommendations, and...some pretty damn useful metadata that can be fed into search engine algorithms, resulting in...yup, far better search (and...far better SFO (Search Find Obtain) opportunities).