### Moving on .. to new laptop art!

Well, today is my first as a member of the Oracle Alumni. It was sad to leave all of the great people and friends I've made over the years at Oracle, but greener pastures beckoned etc etc.

I don't expect the change will affect the blog much (bar editing the disclaimer), since it has never really been so specifically about what I do at work.

What it has changed is my choice of laptop art! Switching machines is traumatic at the best of times no matter how carefully you have backed up. For the time being I've switched to an old Compaq Presario we had at home called "Sunshine". It may no longer be the fastest chip in the mill, but it has a custom paint job to care for me through this transition;-)

I've always wanted to pimp my PC! It's more common these days to find designer cases and stick-ons, but not full custom jobs. This is acrylic with a hardy varnish finish. Unlike a spray job, it creates a nice texture that actually feels great under your wrists.

It's a long story why I painted a Care Bear, but I daresay it makes it the cutest Compaq ever. I can almost half imagine myself firing up on wireless at Starbucks;-) Boy am I glad it isn't Hello Kitty!

### Blogging as RWT (Remedial Writing Therapy)

A collegue of mine said I must have a case of blog-addiction since I'm maintaining two personal blogs - tardate and pratalife - as well as a group internal blog. So of course, how could I respond other than by blogging about it? ;-)

For me, the motivation to blog actually stems from a recognition that after 20 years of a technical consulting career I find myself with a kind of literary disability! I've been trained too well to think and write like this:

• Background

• Early years: enjoyed art. English teacher voted me "most likely to write a novel"

• Shift to science/math high school major

• 4 years of engineering/computing degree

• 20 years in IT - development/project management/consulting

• Understanding of the problem

• Think in bullet points

• Focus on logical presentation of argument/point-of-view

• Descriptive and narrative writing not needed

• (may be spoken)

• drop adjectives - except for sales-related like "best practice", "open standards-based", "agile"

• Solution

• Start a blog

• Start writing full sentences again

• Focus on story-line, experiment with techniques for getting a message across

• Cover wider range of topics and subject matter

• Form of Remedial Writing Therapy (RWT)

• Benefits

• Rediscover vocabulary

• Build story-telling skills

• Rekindle interest in broader range of intellectual pursuits

• Even with a small audience, some chance of feedback

• Not in scope

• Won't help learning how to use a real pen again!

So is it working? I think so. The first effect I noticed is an almost immediate improvement in my ability to sit down with a topic, get into a flow and quickly produce a finished piece. Remember essay writing at school? Yes, like that.

I will leave you to be the judge of whether what I have to say makes any sense or is of any interest!

NB: Yes, you may have noticed my homage to Aaron Swartz' Powerpoint Remix, which is included in Joel Spolsky's excellent anthology The Best Software Writing I

### Heaven and Hell

Never expected another chance to see Black Sabbath live - let alone in Singapore. But this last weekend, they stormed Fort Canning Park for a huge crowd.

Although the band I saw (Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Vinny Appice) go under the Heaven and Hell name to distinguish from the Ozzy version of the band, this is classic Sabbath. As good or better than a flashback to the Live Evil tour.

I don't think Singapore will see such a brilliant live act for a long time yet. Flawless playing by all, Iommi just magic, Dio as good as ever .. I think they blew the doors of the clubroom at the back of the park.

And the crowd loved it. Any hard rock act that thinks Singapore isn't worth the effort betta check with Dio or Megadeth (who played the night before).

Here's my crap concert photo. I took some video too, but the audio track is useless -the band was pumping out about 100,000 watts too much power for my poor handphone mike!

Thanks to Aat for telling me about the concert and getting the tixs..

16th May 2010 - rumours that Ronnie James Dio succumbed to cancer, but it seems he fights on.

### Registering namespaces with SOAP::Lite

About time to post about something ... too many OpEd pieces of late!

An interesting question came up on the soaplite mailing list concerning how to modify the namespaces registered in the SOAP envelope. Documentation is not especially clear on this point.

Of course, a quick hack is to attach a full namespace to an element directly, as in:
SOAP::Data->name('itemName')->attr({'xmlns:mns' => 'http://my.namespace'})

With version SOAP::Lite 0.65 and above, the register_ns serializer method helps to correctly construct the envelope, as shown in the following example:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
# $Id$
#

use strict;

#SOAP::serializer->register_ns requires 0.65
use SOAP::Lite 0.65 +trace => 'debug';

my $soap = SOAP::Lite ->proxy( 'http://localhost/blah/DummyService' ); my$serializer = $soap->serializer();$serializer->register_ns( 'http://my.namespace', 'mns' );

my $som =$soap->call(
SOAP::Data
->name('mns:test')
=> SOAP::Data->name('mns:description' => 'an item in my namespace')->type('mns:mytype')
);

This generates the following SOAP request:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<soap:Envelope
xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
xmlns:soapenc="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/encoding/"
xmlns:mns="http://my.namespace"
xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema"
soap:encodingStyle="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/encoding/"
xmlns:soap="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/envelope/">
<soap:Body>
<mns:test>
<mns:description xsi:type="mns:mytype">an item in my namespace</mns:description>
</mns:test>
</soap:Body>
</soap:Envelope>