April 21, 2024

April Meeting

Update 20 April: We will now meet at the Philharmonic Pub as usual between 7:00 and 7:30pm. We'll move onto the Community flat at ca. 7:45pm. Mark will send some details on how to get there for anyone that can't muster at the Phil pub first.
We'll meet this time in the salubrious surroundings of the "Community flat" at Buckingham house, at the North of Sefton Park.

As this will be quieter, we'll hopefully be able to sit around a few laptops and maybe even do some coding... (Of course, as it's not in a pub, you may want to bring your own beer.)

Mark will send details/address etc. to the list.

If you aren't on the mailing list and you'd like to come, then please get in touch!

Posted by osfameron at 07:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 23, 2024

March meeting writeup - in brief

  • Java tutorial day for beginners
  • UML and test first as diametrically opposed methodologies
  • SMS aggregation. (Yes, you can make money out of it, but the aggregators themselves will take something like a 50% cut)
  • SVN setup, TortoiseSVN
  • Various colds and ailments.
  • Wikis, Blikis, and why RSS is cool.
  • Carl showed us an SMS service which answers simple FAIBML queries. GSM modem, SIM, and the appropriate Java application server setup. Very cool.
  • We surfed the net from inside the Philharmonic - wireless service providers and their wierd and wonderful range of payment strategies.
  • St Patrick's day considered inappropriate as a date for JUG meetings in a pub.
  • Diagramming tools, collaborative editing thereof (e.g. like version control/diff but by node instead of line of text.)
  • Alternate meeting locations for next meeting.
We moved from the Phil to the Everyman Bistro, a different experience from the usual crisps/beer followed by late-night pizza. Mark is going to check the community flat at his block to see if it is free for next month. (Near Sefton park: rough consensus is that it shouldn't be a problem for anyone, but let us know!)
Posted by osfameron at 11:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 17, 2024

March meeting

The agenda will include
  • Discussion of FAIBML project use cases and structure
  • Opportunities to promote LiveJUG
  • Time: 7:30 pm
  • Venue: Phil pub, Liverpool
If you haven't been before, you might want to get in touch to make sure that we don't miss you!
Posted by osfameron at 07:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 23, 2024

February meeting writeup

Mark, Suzanne, Ricky, Simon, Matt, Alexander, Hakim, and Carl met at the Phil Pub for drinks and a lively discussion on the LJUG project and other miscellaneous topics.


Projects proposed included:
  • Utility bill tool - Mark to calculate the real costs of your gas/electric/phone etc.
  • J2ME spreadsheet - Hakim a pre-existing but stalled project...
  • Spreadsheet synchronization - Alexander between desktops and phones, via some XML web-service transport
  • Enterprise Resource Planning - Mark SAP, here we come!
  • Tool to help develop software to the ZSpecification standard - Ricky
  • Local weather tool - Simon Scope for web-service; UI tailored to desktop or phone as appropriate.
The Spreadsheet Synchronization project appealed to most as a project that involves work on various platforms, server end development, XML transformation. This will involve some hard thinking about how to resolve conflicts in editing (in brainstorm, I particularly liked the idea that conflict resolution could be done by arbitrary criteria, for example the seniority of the person making the edit!)

But this is a complex project, and we'll need to spend quite a bit more time specifying it. A late proposal came in from Carl to do a simple task that we seem to need some help with, namely:

getting the drinks in at LJUG meetings
Some use-cases for this very important tool will include:
  • Allows addition/deletion/maintenance of new user
  • Allows addition/deletion/maintenance of each users drink order
  • Stores history of drinks orders per user. (Controversial)
  • Allows easy query of "last round ordered"
  • There should be a way for the pub to enter categorised menu items for selection, possibly including pictures and special offers.
  • Maybe it should be possible to attribute each order to a named group, like the JUG, so over time groups that always meet in a particular pub could get a rebate.
  • The waitress should be able to set the order to a new state, so that addition/deletion isn't possible after she has started to prepare the delivery.
The tool will allow us to make orders (hopefully for the next meeting!) by web-service, ideally even by SMS. The XML transport (which is also the working name for the project) will be callsed FreeAsInBeerML.

Also discussed...

  • Macromedia actionscript from a designer's perspective.
  • Java for SAP
  • Why the living dead need SMS alerts about factory production.
  • ZSpecification formal methods for specifying zero-error development projects.
  • Q: How to do triangulation with a mobile phone to find where another phone is (or where you are!) (A: Some mobile operators are experimenting with this, but it is probably a payable service, and there isn't a consistent standard)
  • Would you trust Mark to work from home?
  • The sad state of decline of Britain's public dental care.
  • Translating Crazywarp.
  • Speed cameras; monitoring speed across distances rather than at a specific point; and using Java to break the speed limit.
  • The utopia that is now.
  • Who buys from spammers?
  • How to sell your legal notice from Microsoft on EBAY.
  • Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
    Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep seas swell
    And the profit and loss.
       A current under sea
  • Laundering drug money.
  • Managing edit conflicts
  • Collaborative ascii art and collaborative spreadsheets?
  • Problem: phones connecting to servers, phones connecting as servers. (Phone OpCo as massive firewall: you can't get from the outside in to your specific phone).
  • Usabilitiy and website design. (See Joel's book)
  • Adapting Carl's OTASlang to J2ME
  • C# vs Java
  • Some positive comments about Visual Studio and .Net as developer environments.
  • Why .Net/JVM may not be best environments for running dynamic languages. See Dan Sugalski's blog. (But what about Jython?)
  • James Strachlan and Groovy. (Great, but buggy?)
  • $Perl{syntax}, and why those @sigils can make your $code cleaner
  • CVS and Subversion, some positive comments about MS SourceSafe (and some surprise thereat)
  • Dynamically changing schemas at runtime. Refactoring schemas.
  • Real life stories of software development.
Posted by osfameron at 08:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 18, 2024

February meeting

Our February meeting promises to be an interesting one, discussing the "LJUG project". Proposals for this project have included
  • Sharing business information in spreadsheets with mobile clients (smartphones etc.)
  • Crossword creator
  • Weather tracker
  • General purpose spreadsheet
and we're still interested in discussing more ideas!


  • Wed 18 Feb (3rd Wednesday of the month)
  • Time 7:30pm
  • Location Philharmonic Dining Rooms (pub), Liverpool
  • (possibly moving onto the Everyman bistro at 8pm for dinner, to be discussed)
  • If you don't already know us, please get in touch before hand so we'll look out for you. I will try to remember to take a Java book to put on the table at the Phil pub (forgot last month...)
  • Rough agenda
    1. Discuss (and possibly choose) the LJUG project
    2. Our name (LiveJUG, MerseyBean, NWJug etc.)
    3. Promotion (universities and colleges, SUN, newsgroups, etc.)
Posted by osfameron at 07:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)