Sebastian Thomschke

IT Consultant – Java, J2EE, IBM WebSphere Portal, Lotus Notes/Domino
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  • OVal 1.40 released

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    Posted on 28 September 2009 Sebastian Thomschke*/?> No comments

    I am happy to announce the immediate availability of Version 1.40 OVal the Object Validation Framework for Java. This release fixes some minor issues and provides the following two new features:

    1. Enabling/disabling constraints based on the object state:
    Using the newly introduced when attribute for constraints it is possible to specify under which circumstances the constraint will be considered during object validation. The when attribute holds a formula in one of the supported scripting languages. If the formula returns true, the constraint will be activated for the current validation cycle otherwise it is ignored. In the following example the alias attribute must have a value only when the name attribute is not set.

    public class User {
       private String name;
       @NotNull(when = " == null")
       private String alias;
       // . . .

    2. Fine grain control over how constraints are applied on arrays, maps, collections and their elements
    The newly introduced attribute appliesTo allows you to specify if and how a constraint declared for a map, a collection or an array is applied to their elements as well or exclusively. See the following example how this works:

    public class BusinessObject {
       // the ids field may be null, but if it is not null 
       // none of it's items must be null
       @NotNull(appliesTo = { ConstraintTarget.VALUES })
       private String[] ids;
       // only the field itself must not be null,
       // the list can contain null values
       @NotNull(appliesTo = { ConstraintTarget.CONTAINER })
       private List items;
       // the field must not be null as well as all keys 
       // and values of the map
       @NotNull(appliesTo = { ConstraintTarget.CONTAINER, ConstraintTarget.KEYS, ConstraintTarget.VALUES })
       private Map itemsByGroup;
       // . . .

    You can get the latest binaries and source files of OVal from here:

  • Installing WebSphere Portal in a local network

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    Posted on 6 July 2009 Sebastian Thomschke*/?> 4 comments

    Recently I had to setup some WebSphere Portal 6.1 installations in VMWares within a private network. Unfortunately the portal installer aborted with the following message “EJPIC0067E: Portal requires a fully qualified host name that is recoganized by the DNS Server.” Even when adding the fully qualified hostname to the hosts file the installer may still fail with the same message.
    The workaround is to disable the hostname check by invoking the portal installer with the following parameter specified: -W”False”. You should however only do this for test or development installations.

  • Comparing version numbers in Jython / Python

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    Posted on 14 March 2009 Sebastian Thomschke*/?> No comments

    Here comes a function to compare version numbers of e.g. Maven artifacts in Jython / Python.

    import re
    def cmpver(vA, vB):
        Compares two version number strings
        @param vA: first version string to compare
        @param vB: second version string to compare
        @author Sebastian Thomschke
        @return negative if vA < vB, zero if vA == vB, positive if vA > vB.
        >>> cmpver("0", "1")
        >>> cmpver("1", "0")
        >>> cmpver("1", "1")
        >>> cmpver("1.0", "1.0")
        >>> cmpver("1.0", "1")
        >>> cmpver("1", "1.0")
        >>> cmpver("1.1.0", "1.0.1")
        >>> cmpver("1.0.1", "1.1.1")
        >>> cmpver("0.3-SNAPSHOT", "0.3")
        >>> cmpver("0.3", "0.3-SNAPSHOT")
        >>> cmpver("1.3b", "1.3c")
        >>> cmpver("1.14b", "1.3c")
        if vA == vB: return 0
        def num(s): 
            if s.isdigit(): return int(s)
            return s
        seqA = map(num, re.findall('\d+|\w+', vA.replace('-SNAPSHOT', '')))
        seqB = map(num, re.findall('\d+|\w+', vB.replace('-SNAPSHOT', '')))
        # this is to ensure that 1.0 == 1.0.0 in cmp(..)
        lenA, lenB = len(seqA), len(seqB)
        for i in range(lenA, lenB): seqA += (0,) 
        for i in range(lenB, lenA): seqB += (0,)
        rc = cmp(seqA, seqB)
        if rc == 0:
            if vA.endswith('-SNAPSHOT'): return -1
            if vB.endswith('-SNAPSHOT'): return 1
        return rc

    Theoretically lines 43 – 49 could be written in a more compact way but using the short circuit evaluations (as below) lead to wrong results – at least in Jython 2.1:

        seqa = map(lambda s: s.isdigit() and int(s) or s, re.findall('\d+|\w+', vA.replace('-SNAPSHOT', '')))
        seqb = map(lambda s: s.isdigit() and int(s) or s, re.findall('\d+|\w+', vB.replace('-SNAPSHOT', '')))
  • Running TomCat 6 in Debug Mode under Windows

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    Posted on 11 March 2009 Sebastian Thomschke*/?> 2 comments

    While tracing some problems in one of my grails applications I had the need to do step debugging on a remote Tomcat server. Eventually I came up with the following lines to launch TomCat in debug mode:

    @echo off
    set JPDA_TRANSPORT="dt_socket"
    set JPDA_ADDRESS="8000"
    set JPDA_SUSPEND="y"
    catalina.bat jpda start

    Simply create a debug.bat file in TomCat’s bin directory and add these lines.

  • Determine the user who logged on via SSH

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    Posted on 23 February 2009 Sebastian Thomschke*/?> No comments

    Today we had the need to determine the initial id of a user who logged onto a Linux box via SSH and executed the su command. When the su command is issued the effective user is changed and whoami or id commands will report that new user id instead.

    For anyone who is interested, that is what we came up to put the initial user id into a variable named ${LOGIN_USER}


    or alternatively

    LOGIN_USER=`who -m | cut -d' ' -f1`
  • Lotus Notes’ [Send only] and [Send and File] buttons for Outlook 2003

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    Posted on 19 February 2009 Sebastian Thomschke*/?> 24 comments

    You can say what you want about Lotus Notes, if you have used it for a while and switched e.g. to Outlook, you’ll find yourself missing one or the other nifty Notes function.

    Already two of my customers “forced” me to use MS Outlook 2003 and since this isn’t likely to change in the near future, I implemented two of these handy Notes functions for Outlook 2003:

    1. The button [Send only] sends e-mails without storing a copy of it in the local mailbox.
    2. The button [Send and File…] prompts you for the folder where to store the e-mail being send.


    1. Download the Visual Basic module in the favored language.

        Send Mail Macros for MS Outlook 2003 (EN) (4.9 KiB, 4,346 hits)

        Send Mail Macros for MS Outlook 2003 (DE) (5.1 KiB, 2,648 hits)

    2. In Outlook open the Visual Basic editor.
      open VBE from within outlook
    3. Import the Visual Basic module.
      Import the VBE module Select the VBE module The VBE module was imported.
    4. Save the project.
      Save the VBE project
    5. Install the buttons in the toolbar.
      Open the Macros dialog Installing the button [Send and File...] Button [Send and File...] installed Installing the button [Send only] Button [Send only] installed
    6. When composing a new e-mail the additional buttons should appear in the toolbar.
      New buttons in the toolbar
    7. When clicking “Send and File…” the folder dialog is displayed before the e-mail is send.
      Selecting the target folder