Category Archives: Uncategorized

Interesting interactions between Google Talk, Facebook Chat, and Adium

Late last week, I briefly gave Facebook Chat’s Jabber support a try, since there are still a few contacts on there that don’t regularly run another type of IM. As I altered the groups of some of the contacts, I noticed that Adium seemed to be trying to set it on the Google Talk account instead. It seemed a little confusing, but no ill effects.

Strangely today though, I started receiving bounces to my GMail account:

Subject: Delivery Status Notification (Delay)

This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification



Delivery to the following recipient has been delayed:

Message will be retried for 1 more day(s)

Technical details of temporary failure:
DNS Error: Could not contact DNS servers

—– Original message —–

Subject: Brett Porter wants to chat


Brett Porter wants to stay in better touch using some of Google’s coolest new products.

Er, I want to do what?

I’m not sure if this is Adium messing up and trying to subscribe my Facebook contacts via Google Talk, or something intrinsic to how Jabber works with multiple servers, but it seems strange that Google would send out that sort of request on my behalf in this way. On the GMail interface you need to click through a few times to try and invite someone to Chat. I’d be interested in figuring out what is going on here.

Regardless, I’d already found that having all my Facebook contacts in my IM client at once is not really something I need and disabled the account. Besides, it was becoming disconcerting to see how much time my contacts (that aren’t using it from their IM) spent logged in to Facebook through the day!


Removing SPAM Comments From Old Wordpress Exports

When it came to migrate my blog from an older installation of WordPress to the latest version on, I had a problem. The content export was 20Mb, but the limit was 15Mb. The cause was obvious – SPAM comments had filled up the old one (even though marked as SPAM, they are still exported), and until recently there has been no way other than modifying the database to get rid of them entirely. I had hoped to do that from the new system, but I couldn’t get past square one.

To resolve this, I put together this XSLT to remove SPAM comments from your WordPress exports:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<xsl:stylesheet xmlns:xsl="" version="1.0" xmlns:wp="" xmlns:content="" xmlns="">
  <xsl:template match="//wp:comment&#91;wp:comment_approved = 'spam'&#93;">
  <xsl:template match="//content:encoded">
      <xsl:value-of select="." disable-output-escaping="yes" />
  <xsl:template match="*">
      <xsl:copy-of select="@*" />
      <xsl:apply-templates />

Unfortunately, I had to manually go and fix some malformed comment HTML (or in the case of SPAM, just delete it) for it to work, since the XML wouldn’t even parse, but once that was done the result worked perfectly for the import. Then it was just a matter of cleaning up old blog links and some HTML that didn’t look quite right in the new template by searching within WordPress.

I hope someone else finds this useful!

Blog Moved to Wordpress

It’s been a busy time of late, and my blog has been much neglected, so it is time to get back into it. I’ve started by re-invigorating it and since I have become used to WordPress, I’ve moved it to Everything should redirect over there soon, and if you are subscribed to the feedburner URL you will already be reading this there and nothing need to change.

Catch me over at !

A Cuil new internet time-waster

Forget searching for a googlewhack. With the launch of Cuil, now you can waste your time trying to find the elusive one search that shows the correct image next to a result!

Inspired by Charles’ mini-review, I also searched for myself, and here is what I found in the first page:

brett porter - Cuil
brett porter - Cuil-2
brett porter - Cuil
brett porter - Cuil
… and so on.
Jokes aside, there are some neat ideas behind Cuil. It has a long way to go before being really useful, and if anything this has to be a complimentary tool to other search engines by the looks of it. Will keep an eye on it.

Maven is going where, you say?

Warner asks Is Maven going away?

Gee, I wish someone had told me, considering I’ve been spending an increasing amount of time on it again recently.

I see daily postings on either the love or hate of Maven, mostly containing no really new insight. At the risk of taking the bait, there were two reasons I thought this one was worth responding to.

Firstly – the title. Sensationalist attempt at traffic? It could be. But it raises the interesting question of where Maven is going. On the one hand, Maven’s core has been stable and usable by a large number of people for a long time (coming up on 3 years now). It’s not perfect, but it is certainly more than good enough to be the tool of choice for many developers. Because of that, much of the effort has been going into the plugins steadily over time, and into supporting infrastructure (there are now 3 alternatives for repository managers, countless continuous integration servers that support it directly, and solid integration options for all major Java IDEs). Most of the proposed alternatives to Maven build on top of infrastructure intended for Maven. These are clear signs it is not going “away” any time soon.

But on the other hand, development on Maven itself has been frustratingly slow (said as both a developer and a user). Between attention to other tools and the sufficient stability and wide adoption of the 2.0.x series, new releases have been a long time coming. This is, however, a good time to ask the question of where Maven is going, because there are signs that things are turning around.

I recently gave a talk about open source communities and highlighted the importance of both activity and diversity in making progress. Over the last 6 months we’ve seen bursts by individuals (including myself) that have either not landed in the mainstream development, or have but have not been pushing towards a release. But in the last few weeks, as some focus has been given to isolating a milestone release to potential regressions from 2.0.x and that integration tests are running under various set ups, there are positive signs that the elusive first release is coming. If a group of people can continue working together, momentum will build and it will be out in short order.

In my opinion, a first milestone release will be the trigger for momentum towards a high quality, and much-improved, release of Maven that starts to address some of the long known practical issues that people commonly bump up against. It will certainly lay a platform for more important changes. But even without many flashy new features, Maven 2.1 will be a worthwhile upgrade. We’ve already seen efforts in error reporting, build determinism, plugin classloading, memory handling and embedding – and I hope this trend continues as we attempt to make Maven easier to use in more places and easier to fix when things go wrong.

Tangential to the core itself, we’ve seen a lot of work by a group of developers in pushing the site generation tools into new releases and the steady elimination of issues. In the transport layer – particularly around deployment, work was done to eliminate most known bugs.

I hope this is good news for the blog author, who is a self-professed fan of Maven. In the end, the basis for his post was a simple thing, that it lacks flexibility. This is one of the older arguments surrounding Maven, and again here it was seen his problem could be addressed by a simple and widely available plugin. This is often the case.

However there is also something to the point that he raised about new languages on the JVM, and the incoming stream of new build tools that utilise a lot of Maven concepts and infrastructure while remaining based in scripting languages that merits a closer look. I will save this second point for a follow up post.

I know a few people will be disappointed to hear me say it, but it seems Maven isn’t going away just yet.

Update: while I had this draft open, I see Brian has responded as well. It seems the author knows how to push the buttons of the Maven developers 😉