new project –

Finally a new project going live. Here a short intro on what it is all about.

I read a lot of blogs to keep up to date with all the different technologies I need for my work. Further to that, I used a lot of open source projects, which I need to follow, to keep up with new releases. For all that information gathering I just cycle through all kinds of blogs, github and freecode sites to gather the necessary info.
After a while, I was looking around to find something more automated, to get update notifications for these different sources. I found a few RSS-feed aggregators which had this feature for feeds, but most of them cost quite a lot (at least in cost per notification, which are rather few in my case). Also, they only can be applied to RSS-feeds and nothing else.
Hence missing alternatives, I tried to build it myself. What I came up with is a simple site, which takes an URL and tries to figure out, whether there is a way to attach to this source, so notifications can be emitted. Basically, when the site provides an API (or even RSS), it is possible to parse it programatically. So most of the heavy lifting should be hidden by the simplified UI.
In case this sounds interesting to you, just try it out.

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BusinessEvents 4: using Scorecards in a clustered environment

Scorecards have a special purpose in TIBCO BE. There are often used for static (as in Java-style static) values which should be globally accessible through the whole engine. As Java statics, TIBCO describes its main purpose in instance dependent Variables which are only valid in the context of one Processing Unit in an Inference engine.
Here a little citation of the TIBCO documentation on this topic (p.144 – Understanding and Working With Scorecards):

A scorecard is a special type of concept. A scorecard serves as a set of static
variables that is available throughout the project.

It is more accurate to say there is one instance of a scorecard per inference agent.
Each inference agent in an application has its own instance of the score card.
Scorecards are not shared between agents.

So you can use Scorecards without any Issues as long as you consider the per Instance rule. Now I have a project where Timeouts are calculated an stored in Scorecards. This solution works perfectly in single instance environment because of the special behavior described above. Now there comes a new Requirement into the project. The Agents should be clustered over 2 Instances to ensure high availability. This really ruins the simplicity of the scorecard approach.

Digging a little deeper into the documentation I came to the conclusion that all the scorecards had to be stored in the cache-server. Knowing this, it came to me mind that the only thing I must accomplish would be, that all inference agents use the same instance of the scorecard.

To achieve the single Instance per Agent approach, TIBCO uses Instance keys for every Processing Unit. So if you could change this instance key, all agents had to us the same instance of the scorecards and the timeout-solution would still work. Searching the documentation the answer was also found really quickly on page 144 (Understanding and Working With Scorecards).
On that page TIBCO described how to set this instance key via CDD.

Any agent that uses scorecards, and also uses Cache Manager, must be assigned a
unique key so that the correct scorecard can be retrieved from the cache. The key
is set in the Processing Unit tab of the CDD.

I also tried this approach on a little test project and it worked right away.

What this means is, you can change the behavior of Scorecards depending on your needs. If you need a per Instance Variable you just have to set different Instance keys for every Agent. On the other hand if you want a globally shared Variable you can achieve this by setting the same value to all instances.

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URL encode / decode in JavaScript

Decoding and Encoding URLs in JavaScript should be a pretty easy thing to do especially since all browsers still have the functionality built-in. Interestingly no browser allows the JavaScript runtime to use this feature. So I had to write it for myself.
The code I came up with is far from perfect but it worked for me. To decode an URL use url_decode(url) and to reverse it just call the utf16to8 function. The rest does your browser for you.

function url_decode(str){
var hex = /^[0-9a-fA-F]{2}/;
var out='';
var arr = str.split('%');
if(arr.length<2) return str;
for(var i=0;i= 0x0001) && (c <= 0x007F)) {
	    out += str.charAt(i);
	} else if (c > 0x07FF) {
	    out += String.fromCharCode(0xE0 | ((c >> 12) & 0x0F));
	    out += String.fromCharCode(0x80 | ((c >>  6) & 0x3F));
	    out += String.fromCharCode(0x80 | ((c >>  0) & 0x3F));
	} else {
	    out += String.fromCharCode(0xC0 | ((c >>  6) & 0x1F));
	    out += String.fromCharCode(0x80 | ((c >>  0) & 0x3F));
    return out;

function utf8to16(str) {
    var out, i, len, c;
    var char2, char3;

    out = "";
    len = str.length;
    i = 0;
    while(i < len) {
	c = str.charCodeAt(i++);
	switch(c >> 4)
	  case 0: case 1: case 2: case 3: case 4: case 5: case 6: case 7:
	    // 0xxxxxxx
	    out += str.charAt(i-1);
	  case 12: case 13:
	    // 110x xxxx   10xx xxxx
	    char2 = str.charCodeAt(i++);
	    out += String.fromCharCode(((c & 0x1F) << 6) | (char2 & 0x3F));
	  case 14:
	    // 1110 xxxx  10xx xxxx  10xx xxxx
	    char2 = str.charCodeAt(i++);
	    char3 = str.charCodeAt(i++);
	    out += String.fromCharCode(((c & 0x0F) << 12) |
					   ((char2 & 0x3F) << 6) |
					   ((char3 & 0x3F) << 0));
    return out;

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