Sunday, November 25, 2007
Meanwhile, my customer has agreed to donate some hardware (a couple of old Sun servers) so we have an opportunity there, also, the EU have agreed to fund the Histio Net project but with far less cash then we asked for and far less than we need. Given the Google scare and the general lack of time we're not going to pitch Medys/MediBlog for the work - too risky!
There have been a few "full & frank exchanges of view" about how to divide the new reduced budget amongst the clinicians' institutions and across the Work Packages. One of the original team has already pulled out and it's make-or-break time this week to agree the new budget or lose everything. If things are salvaged I will be travelling to Vienna, Austria this week to discuss this and also to review the offerings from the potential IT providers. It will be interesting to see what sort of quotes provided as I can't see how any normal IT company could deliver the services to the meagre budget that is now available.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Well we've actually started work on the system. The first, prerequisite, application is "Registration and Log In". This actually proved to be more complicated than one might expect at first but is actually quite logical in hindsight.
Users need to register before they can log in, and when they've registered they need to maintain their details. Then they need to log out and then log in again... etc. This required some thought and a bit of time joining eBay again to see how they do it (thanks eBay). I created a "spec" in Visio, Mike has produced the data model in the MySQL database and we discussed & refined it with help from the nice Entity Relationship diagram that was produced from the MyEclipseIDE database tools, which reverse-engineered the database. So we now have the first part of the database designed and ready to go. Mike produced a script to build the database and populate the various drop-down fields then emailed it to me & Steve so we could reproduce it locally simply by running the script in either the MySQL Query Browser or the MyEclipseIDE SQL tool.
This first version now includes the rather irritating but essential capability of supporting different languages. This makes it quite tedious for some jobs because some Lookup tables need an entry for every language we want to support - and of course we need to be careful about using Unicode. Initially we will be concentrating on English and French.
While we're on the subject of languages, Steve has found the best way to handle multiple languages with JSFs - all you need is a bundle for each language and away you go. You still need to maintain them though!
Saturday, June 30, 2007
While I'm here, I got an invitation to the Liferay/Alfresco conference (http://alfrescoliferay.osmeet.com/) which unfortunately is in LA - a nice opportunity to go there but can't really justify the time or money yet :(
Friday, April 20, 2007
I did find one interesting new thing about the Message boards, you can subscribe to them and receive email updates when a new item is added - the emails are sent from Joe Bloggs though, so I now have find out how to change that...
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Monday, April 09, 2007
I should know better but I was sort of hoping that getting the email hosting on the VPS to work would miraculously make the email portlet work too. It didn't. Having read some stuff on how to do it:
a) I can see why Liferay didn't have time in the day they spent installing 4.2
b) I can see that I'm not yet the kind of person I want trying to make it work
...because we need the portal user base to syncronise with the email user base which appears to require integration at the database level, etc. etc. etc. and getting a novice like me to do it is likely to prove dangerous and expensive.
Oh well. Must check the budget...
I have only been asked to help with just the patient/parent aspects of the portal and I think the the existing hrtrust site will already do most of it. I'm not sure if all the languages are supported though - which might make it tricky. The HRTrust site will certainly be Ok for a pilot study though.
If you (are sad enough to) read the stuff on the DG SANCO site you will see that the potential market for Liferay (and any other portals of course) in this area could be very large. I did look into the idea of using the SAP Portal (which I know much more about) but the cost would be prohibitive and the benefits of the SAP Portal are only really realised when you use it to integrate with the other SAP applications. Pity, I really like the NetWeaver technology...
I now have loads of crap from the EU to read through, as if I didn't have enough to do.
This was a pain because I forgot that I needed the site to open up at the Liferay portal (D'oh!) and also didn't appreciate that the mail (MX) settings would switch too. Hence I surprised myself three times:
1. It all worked, almost instantly, as proved by www.pingability.com
2. ..but it directed www.hrtrust.org to the Apache standard pages
3. ..and all my email accounts stopped working
So, as is my usual practice now, I read as much as I could find in the "How-to s" on the Rimu site, tried a couple of things then logged a support ticket with them and waiting for them to fix it. As usual, I get a response very quickly, the work had been done (some minor config as described at http://rimuhosting.com/mod_jk2.jsp) and now hrturst.org resolves to the portal without the ports appearing in the URL.
With the emails, I managed to fix that myself by re-re-re-reading stuff about Postfix and Dovecot on the Rimu site. I had in fact set everything up correctly the first time but missed one essential re-start command and caused myself an hour or two's heartache. Anyway, the portal and the pop email works fine now although the mail client packages (Outlook/Express/Thunderbird) all needed some minor adjustments to cope with the new host.
I'm sure I will have missed something else but we'll see what happens over the next few days.
I may be repeating myself here but just in case I haven't already mentioned it: getting the hrtrust.org installation/upgrade of liferay 4.2 was painful. In the end I had to admit defeat and get the experts in and paid Liferay for one day's consultancy to install it. There is an important lesson here for anyone who just wants a portal but doesn't know how to do it! Essentially, the excellent people at Rimu Hosting do offer a great Liferay hosting service (no really, its great) but they are not Liferay consultants. Hence when the basic installation doesn't work you really can't expect them to fix everything so:
Open Source Portals:
1. If you want the best open source portal, choose Liferay
2. ...but its Java so its not easy or cheap to host it (compared to PHP platforms)
3. If you can't host it yourself use Rimuhosting, as advertised on the Liferay site
4. Buy as much resource as you can afford on the Rimu VPS
5. If you're not a java/opensource guru, forget trying to install it yourself; expect to pay a Liferay consultant at least ONE DAY to do it for you
Then you will have the basic installation of Liferay and have established some kind of relationship with the nice people who work there.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Saturday, January 27, 2007
On top of that we have received more stories from parents who have lost children to Histiocytosis of one sort or another including Daniel Connacher and Andrew Jones. It is ironic that now we have our new site (built on Liferay) up and running at a redirected http://www.hrtrust.org and yet the first new stories have been tragedies of one sort or another.
On the positive side, Jon's legacy is alive and well with meetings planned in UK and of course the website is finally live (more postings later about that). Things, as they say, can only get better...
Friday, January 19, 2007
Strangely, we still don't know what the problem was, although some earlier blood tests had been "suggestive" of FIP again. The Vet school are going to do a Post Mortem to see if they can find out more about it - clearly they are interested to know what effect the Interferon had on him, and how it influenced the course of the disease.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
To illustrate the point I, unfortunately, have the cases of FIP in our cats which to share with the Net. Over there--> is a picture of Basil who was the first to be diagnosed with it. He is not a fat cat here, his insides have been surrounded by fluid, caused by a destructive reaction to a virus.
This is an x-ray of him. All the white haze is basically "fluid" surrounding his organs. His symptoms were basically just lethargy and loss of appetite before he started to swell up. The vet attempted to treat him with a new regime of Interferon + steroids. Unfortunately this had no effect on him and he was euthenased (put to sleep) shortly afterwards, following a series of fits.
This in an x-ray of Biggles, his half-brother taken about a week after Basil died:Here the dark area in his chest is the air in his lungs - a closer look shows some more white haze around them, this is fluid caused by FIP. Interestingly, Biggles' reaction to the virus was in his chest area - limiting his ability to breathe hence he did not swell up in the same way but was likely to die sooner.
He too was given the steroid and interferon treatment and he responded, within a couple of weeks the picture was different:
Biggles survived all through the summer on regular but reducing doses of treatment until he was off all treatment.
He then got ill again with weight loss and loss of appetite in Dec -Jan-2007. This time his latest symptoms were not quite as one would expected for a cat with FIP so an x-ray was to examine other possibilities: here the stuff at the bottom is his collar (complete with bells and magnet catflap key).
And this is where the limitations of clinical images on the internet can be seen - or rather not seen as there is, apparently, a mass in there somewhere near his heart. I'm not a vet so I wouldn't know an unusual mass if it jumped out and bit me but one would expect that to "see" a mass that the image would have to be better than you see here!
Friday, January 12, 2007
As he is still cared for under Sainsbury's Pet Insurance we have some options for him which seem rather exotic and expensive: believe it or not, he has to go to Cambridge University Vetinary Hospital for a biopsy, surgery and possibly chemotherapy. This is on top of his earlier bad luck - when he was born his mother died and all his siblings along with her, before he was born his father died too. He was rushed to a foster mother at 2am where he survived for a week before being swapped to another mother and then started, at last, to thrive. Then he & his adopted brother Basil both got FIP, Basil died and Biggles (as above) managed to survive again.
Well if cats have nine lives, maybe he has one or two left..? Watch this space...
Monday, January 08, 2007
(..and that reminds me of something I read about the Capricorn Africa Society, started by the same guy who invented the SAS during WWII...)
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Arrived home to hear that the guys at Liferay have now re-installed the HRTrust portal for me and it all seems to work Ok. So as if 18 hour days on SAP webshops aren't enough I'll be spending some time at the weekend on my Liferay content ... ah well,