Monday, May 30, 2005

Tips: Using JSTL with Struts

A hands-on approach:
a. JSTL 1.1.2 requires a JSP container that supports the Java Servlet 2.4 and JavaServer Pages 2.0 specifications. Jakarta Tomcat 5 supports the new specifications.
b. Download and install JSP Standard Tag Library (JSTL) version 1.1.2
c. From the jakarta-taglibs-standard-1.1.2\lib folder:
Copy the jstl.jar and standard.jar into your applications WEB-INF\lib folder and copy the c.tld, fmt.tld, sql.tld and x.tld files into your applications WEB-INF\lib folder.
d. Use the appropriate taglib directives on your JSP pages where you want to use JSTL, for example:
<%@ taglib prefix="fmt" uri="" %>
Many of the JSTL tags can replace the existing difficult to use, Struts tags.
e. A lot of confusion exists about Struts-EL tags. Please note that if a Struts tag can be replaced by a JSTL tag, then that tag is not implemented in the Struts-EL tag libraries.
f. JSP 2.0 supports the use of EL expressions directly on a JSP page. Since we are using Servlet 2.4 specification, EL is enabled by default. Of course your applications web.xml file must have this at the beginning of the file:
<web-app xmlns=""

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Sunday, May 29, 2005

41 Blogging Questions

41 Blogging Questions, you ask? Well, why not? Here are some nagging questions related to blogging that are at the top of my mind. Hopefully some of you, would provide me with answers / pointers. Don't worry, I am a grateful person, and will mention your name and the solution here. Remember I am using Blogger and Blogspot and that this post is a work-in-progress. So here goes:

How do I -
  • know more about the various Blogger tags? These tags are still not very clear to me. However, the article Blogger Template Tags does clarify some of my doubts.
  • upload images directly through a native Blogger interface instead of through indirect methods?
  • upload .zip files? Later, I want my readers to be able to download these files. I realised that Geocities can hold 20MB of my files and that's where I will upload my files.
  • edit my list of Links in Blogger, the easy way?
  • search other blogs on Blogger?
  • merge Adsense with my blog background from the UI perspective?
  • Categorise my posts? Two blogs that I frequently read - A Consuming Experience and Quick Online Tips mention that Blogger does not support Categories. Just my luck.
  • add Adsense between my latest and second-latest post? Studied Blogger tags and figured out where to place my Adsense ads. It works! Akshay of Trivial Matters uses Adsense in his latest post and I wanted in-between posts. Anyway, thanks Akshay.
  • add Adsense to my feed on Bloglines? I found the answer to this, while searching on Google Adsense for Feeds. Just my luck, I can qualify for participation provided I have more than 100 active subscribers to my feed!
  • edit my Blogger template to remove the errors flagged by W3C Markup Validation Service? I am no html expert, but I know that this would help cross-browser compatibility and that the web page would load quicker.
  • change the size of my header block box? I am not a html expert. It's something in the #header css
  • receive email notification of replies to my comments posted on other Blogger blogs, without paying for an upgrade to ProBlogger service? This has been suggested by Vaspers the Grate and I agree.

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Blogs linking to this article

Blogging Effectiveness

Advanced Business - Blogging in its recent post talks about Three developing trends that will significantly impact your business blogging effectiveness.

Point 1 states 'Readers (and advertisers) want relevancy - so give it to them with a mix of longer posts mixed in with shorter ones'. ProBlogger too, in it's recent post Frequent Short Posts - A Secret of A-List Bloggers Success talks about the same point. But then, if you have observed, the formula for success for five top blogs: lots of short posts?

Point 2 states that 'niche equals target traffic', namely 'Keeping your business blogs tightly focused on a specific niche, or small blend of directly related niche areas, will yield highly qualified traffic and better pre-qualified prospects'. What happens to blogs like mine, who try and generate some income through say Adsense to cover costs, that have posts on varied topics?

Update: Advanced Business - Blogging has just posted a reply to my questions. Thank you John-Paul Micek.
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Saturday, May 28, 2005

8 Ways To Decide What To Blog About Next

I have started reading Steven Streight's blog - 'Vaspers the Grate' regularly. His current post 8 Ways To Decide What To Blog About Next makes an interesting read. The eight ways according to him are:
Good food for our thought process. Read on.

Update: I found this related, informative post 10 Ways To Get the Creative Juices Flowing on another blog.
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Friday, May 27, 2005


I love to see children,
Playing at the garden side.

They create new and fun games,
To be played with each other,
Games that are to be seen and heard,
For the years to come ahead,
I would like to see these games treasured.

For it is children's games,
Which enlighten our load;
So that we may see a brighter tomorrow,
On the morrow to home.

Credit: Swati Satish Talim
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Blogs I definitely read

I have about 114 feeds in Bloglines, that I read every day. However, some of the blogs I definitely read are:

Darren Rowse's blog at ProBlogger. It's a blog that Darren says 'helping bloggers earn money'.

Improbulus' blog at A Consuming Experience. The blog, as she says, are her thoughts on her experiences as a consumer of products, services, from reviews to raves, rants and random thoughts - concentrating on technology, gadgets, software, product usability, consumer issues, customer service.

A group blog at Mandarin Design. An informative blog on web site design.

Steven Streight's blog at Vaspers the Grate. It's a blog that Steven says is about 'Web research. Web usability analysis. Blogology'.

Rajesh Jain's blog at It's a blog that Rajesh says is about 'Emerging Technologies, Enterprises and Markets'.
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IndicThreads is a Java/J2EE portal with a distinctly Indian touch, brought to you by Harshad Oak. Some time back they had interviewed me and I even wrote an article on 'Quick Hibernate' for them. Harshad the site is very informative. Keep up the good work.
Update: You can now download the Quick Hibernate tutorial.

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Technorati support is Slow

Technorati support is slow. For the past four days, I have been trying to get help from the Technorati support team but I have had no luck at all. I tried to search for any Technorati support forum but again no such luck. As a member of Technorati, I want to claim my blog, Satish Talim's Personal Blog. When I type in the URL and click on the 'Claim this weblog' button, I get a message Missing params! That's it, a very unfriendly message. I am stuck. Any pointers on what needs to be done?

Update: Thanks to Ryan King who works at Technorati, the problem has been fixed.
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Thursday, May 26, 2005

E-Governance Pune Municipal Corporation

A little known fact is about E-Governance Pune Municipal Corporation. This website is useful for all of us staying in Pune, to know the status of say our Property Tax, Birth/Death Certificates, Water Meter etc.
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Hope Oasis

This post is dedicated to Vernon and Doris Logan and all the friendly people at Hope Oasis. We have benefited a lot by the discussions in the forum and their timely help when medicines where not available in India. Thank you guys!

Addison's disease (condition) is a rare endocrine, or hormonal disorder that affects about 1 in 100,000 people. It occurs in all age groups and afflicts men and women equally. The disease is characterized by weight loss, muscle weakness, fatigue, low blood pressure, and sometimes darkening of the skin in both exposed and nonexposed parts of the body.

Addison's condition occurs when the adrenal glands do not produce enough of the hormone cortisol and in some cases, the hormone aldosterone. For this reason, the disease is sometimes called chronic adrenal insufficiency, or hypocortisolism.
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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Create your Family Tree for Free

I had been wanting to create my Family Tree website, for long. Today, during one of my searches on Google, I ran into a terrific free site TribalPages. TribalPages is a free online service that lets you document and view your family history and ancestry online. Your data will be stored securely on their servers. Give it a shot!
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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Your Blogshares are being traded!

Did you know that virtual shares of your blog site are being actively traded? No? Well, go to the link provided and search for your blog in the URL box provided.

BlogShares is a fantasy stock market where weblogs are the companies. Players get to invest a fictional B$500 on shares in blogs. Blogs are valued by their incoming links and add value to other blogs by linking to them. Prices can go up or down based on trading and the underlying value of the blog.

I would strongly suggest that you register on the site and at least claim your blog. What we could do to promote as an industry at BlogShares is, invest in each others shares! I am enjoying BlogShares!
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Monday, May 23, 2005

Here is to the musical baton

Oh! I got it too, thanks to Amit Karmakar. Right then, here's mine -

Total volume of music files on my computer

LOL. One full hard disk; size you guess.

The last CD I bought was

I never buy CD's. Shhhhh. Well, my daughter gifted me Mahamantras - Pandit Jasraj

Song playing right now

An oldie. To Sir With Love - Lulu

Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me

What five? I have a big enough list to fill up my entire blog! You said 5 songs, well here they are:

1. To Sir With Love - Lulu
2. One moment in time - Vanessa May
3. Hasta Manana - Abba
4. Summer Holidays - Cliff Richard
5. Oh! What a feeling - Flash Dance

Five people to whom I am passing the baton

Five 'bakras' - Chirayu, Ravi, Saswat Pattanayak, Helen, Akshay
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Calling all Pune Bloggers

Calling all Pune Bloggers - how about setting up a loosely coupled distributed blogging network type thing, using Technorati's new tagging feature? How about using a virgin tag like PuneBlogs?

Then apply the same tag to our Flickr photos, bookmarks and so on, and hey presto - a new Pune group blog. 'How to put Technorati tags on your posts'. Well, you can check out ConsumingExperience Blog blog for full details.

Update: Chirayu is the first one who has started using this tag, though it's hidden. Check it out. Also, Sebastian plans to start using the same soon.
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Sunday, May 22, 2005

My First Post

It's been nearly three weeks since I started my blog on Chess. It has been a great experience.

Today, most of my free time is spent on reading other blogs, writing for my Chess blog and playing chess. Professionally, I have been in the Information Technology and Training field for over two decades.

The last couple of weeks I have been working to get this blog going. I have been thinking about the blog's focus - should it be a technical blog, a personal blog or a mix of both. Finally, I decided that it should be a mix of both Personal and Technical.

The reason I decided on Blogger was (a) it's free (b) I can set up my blog within minutes. About my URL? Again, I spent many days thinking about the URL name and one day, I ran into, and read this blog entry at FunMoneyBlog. Now you know!
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