StaticMesh first cut

Rune Toalango Johannesen has created a first cut of StaticMesh – an offline version of SiteMesh for building static web-sites.

Like SiteMesh, it takes a plain HTML document (content) and an HTML decorator (presentation) to generate some pretty content as its output.

Unlike SiteMesh, it does not require a runtime Servlet engine to do this. It gets it content and decorators from files and outputs to more files.

You can run it as a standalone application, embed it in existing apps or use Ant to invoke it.

The Ant task usage is as simple as you’d expect:





Content pages are plain old HTML. Anything can generate these (even MS Word!).

Decorators are also plain HTML with lots of prettyness. SiteMesh parses the content pages, which are made available to the decorator using Velocity variables such as $title and $body. Velocity is very friendly and doesn’t confuse web-development tools such as DreamWeaver.

SiteMesh.NET in CVS

Jeremy Clymer has ported SiteMesh to .NET. And it works like a charm!

Here’s the feedback that I’ve had so far.

bq. “SiteMesh.NET rocks dude!”

bq. “I downloaded and it just worked.”

You can get it from “CVS”:http://sourceforge.net/cvs/?group_id=26435 if you can’t wait for a release. It’s already stable.

MockObjects Java 0.09

The latest release of the Mock Objects Java project is available. The dynamic mock generation API has been improved greatly and it now allows a lot more flexibility in setting up expectations and return values resulting in less brittle tests.

“Website”:http://www.mockobjects.com/
“Download”:http://sourceforge.net/projects/mockobjects/

NMock 1.0

After many months of little changes, we deemed NMock production quality. It stabilised quickly many months ago and has changed very little since.

Documentation is somewhat sparse – contributions welcome!

http://nmock.truemesh.com/”:http://nmock.truemesh.com/

Blogging software

My last blog was powered by “Radio”:http://radio.userland.com. It was a great introduction to the blogging world.

Apart from being easy to use (single client download, no server setup necessary) it was a very elegant all in one blog poster and blog aggregator. Many bloggers I know still don’t use aggregators and miss out on the joys of inter blog communication. Blogging isn’t an excuse to stand on a box and shout loudly – it’s a two way thing (two ears, one mouth). If you’re blogging and not using an aggregator, please explore what you’re missing.

My new blog is powered by “MoveableType”:http://www.moveabletype.org/ and “SiteMesh”:http://www.opensymphony.com/sitemesh/ (“Mike’s”:http://blogs.atlassian.com/rebelutionary/ suggestion). MT powers the content and SiteMesh powers the presentation – orthogonal components at their best!

I am still experimenting with aggregators, but so far “Newz Crawler”:http://www.newzcrawler.com/ seems to be me favourite as it has an intuitive interface allowing me to (quickly!) read blogs, websites and newsgroups all in one place – even offline. Here you go, a “screenshot”:http://joe.truemesh.com/images/newzcrawler.gif.

So if I loved Radio so much and wanted its babies, why did I switch? Here’s the advantages the new setup has:

* Ability to post new entries from anywhere via a web-interface instead of a fat client sitting on one machine only.
* Decoupling the presentation from content allows me to add new content sources (static pages, forums, wikis, …) without having to duplicate the presentation.
* More control.
* Eating my own dogfood (SiteMesh).

Saying that I’d still recommend Radio to any blogging newbie.

Update Jan 2009: I’ve now switched to WordPress.com, so I don’t have to manage my own servers.