the bloggard

No Safe Haven in Maven (Some Real World Challenges)

Posted in Technology by conorpower on March 25, 2010

I first came across Maven a number of years ago at a client site we were doing some work at and got my hands dirty integrating it with a custom development project that was ongoing at the time and was very impressed with the efficiencies it brought to the project once some initial scripting was completed and the proper conventions were followed. At this stage, Maven 2.x was recently released and from all everything I read was a big improvement over the the earlier 1.x versions.

In the intervening years, my “usage” of Maven has been mainly around enforcing it’s adoption as the build and deployment tool of choice for a development team or recommending its usgae to other technical leads and architects. More recently however I was fortunate, or unfortunate as the case may be, to get my hands dirty with it again and integrate it with a Google App Engine project I was involved with. I was so moved by the experience that I am going to summarize my more recent experiences of it in this blog post … (more…)


PDF generation in Java w/ App Engine

Posted in Technology by conorpower on January 11, 2010

Adobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF) has become the de facto standard for sharing documents across operating systems and as such is encountered extensively  on the web when documents are required to be downloaded for off line usage or alternatively to present web based content in a more traditional and professional format, providing better print quality over printing web pages directly.

I’ve been looking into using the PDF format to create my resume on demand and also to generate documents dynamically on an application I’ve been working on on Google App Engine. I had previously used Apache FOP for PDF generation but wanted to do a little more research to see what other options were available and came up with the following shortlist:

  1. Apache FOP (Formatting Object Processor)
  2. iText PDF Library
  3. PDF my URL
  4. PDF Jet

The following briefly describes my experiences with each and what I finally settled on … (more…)