Ruby and Rails

I haven’t done any Ruby or Rails for about 5 years. I decided to get back into it a little. Maybe do a simple site to brush up on my fairly meager skills. Recent posts about the updates in the Flight apps were all about doing the same thing with Java. I hadn’t done much Java for a pretty long time.

I find that Rails has changed quite a lot. In fact, I threw away the book I had which was so far out of date that it was misleading me. Some of the problems that used to bother me about Rails have been resolved. I used to hate that one had to resort to various jiggery-pokery like FastCGI to bring up the Ruby environment from within Apache. This seems to have been nicely resolved with the mod_rails thing, And I I reminded again that I love Ruby. I think it is a delightful language.

Broken bones

Clambering around working on the garage I took a spill last Tuesday (9/18) and broke my ankle in three places. I’ve been having to get around the house on crutches.

You know the worst thing about crutches? That you can’t carry anything! To get the coffee from the kitchen to the desk where I work requires a succession of steps where I crutch to a location, stand still on one leg and move the coffee from the brewing location to a different spot in the kitchen, reposition myself, and stand on one leg while I move the coffee from that location to the pass-through counter, walk around into the other room, position and move the coffee from the pass-through to the worktable, reposition and move the coffee from the worktable to the desk. Then crutch over to the desk sit down, turn on the chair and I’m finally able to reach the coffee.

I won’t even describe what I have to do to carry stuff up the steps to bed at night.

Stupid TFR

It is a beautiful day today. Friday I tried to go flying but there was so much haze from the fire up near Wyoming that it was just no fun. So I’ve been looking forward to flying today. But I can’t.

OBAMA is in town.

I have no interest in this. I don’t care if he wants to try to drum up votes from the students.

But because of him, I cannot fly. There is a stupid Temporary Flight Restriction over the whole city – Denver and Boulder. I think this is insanity. I’ve been told that back in the 40’s Harry Truman used to walk around on the street in DC. People would say hello. Now the President thinks he is a God, and that all the citizens in the country are serfs that he can just walk on. Probably not fair — it probably isn’t really him that thinks he is a God – it is probably all the retinue of fascists around him. And I guess it is true that there are a lot of crazy people out there who want to do violence. But stopping air traffic over the whole city? Isn’t that too much?

Getting tomcat running again

It has been a hell of a struggle to upgrade the server (which hosts this site) from Fedora 13 to Fedora 17. The last step was to get my flying apps running in Tomcat again. I confess I don’t track what happens in the java world very closely. And it is a very active world – lots of stuff happening. So it is no surprise I suppose that when you jump four releases there are some adjustments to be made.

To get tomcat running I had to make the following adjustments, in addition to the obvious stuff of adding the FlightPlan war file to /usr/share/tomcat/webapps, installing the mysql jdbc connector, and updating /etc/tomcat/tomcat-users.xml.

Tomcat was unable to find org.apache.tomcat.dbcp.dbcp.BasicDataSourceFactory. I had to add:  JAVA_OPTS=”$JAVA_OPTS -Djavax.sql.DataSource.Factory=org.apache.commons.dbcp.BasicDataSourceFactory” in /etc/sysconfig/tomcat. It may be that this is a problem of my own making somehow. In an earlier post I commented about the ongoing evolution in the methods available to connect java apps/servlets with databases. My servlets now use java Datasources, which I think are the “latest thing”, and I’m a little surprised that I have to make special provision for finding the classes. This makes me think it probable that if I understood this better, and did things according to “best practice” in the java world, I wouldn’t have this problem. But as I said before, catching up with all the advancements in java over 7 years is a tall order.

Then Tomcat was unable to find apache-commons-pool.jar, so I had to add a symlink: commons-pool.jar -> /usr/share/java/apache-commons-pool.jar in /usr/share/tomcat/lib. This is less surprising I think. The reference to this part of apache commons is coming from the previous (BasicDataSourceFactory) classes. If the former aren’t there, we don’t need this.

The flying apps seem to be running properly now.