Thursday, December 30, 2004

Integrating instant messengers into a website

Websites are an asynchronous media. You visit you view and maybe write a mail either via your e-mail client or via a web form. But there are times, when you want to be contacted synchronously. Some people just like being available to the world, others (e.g. sales representatives) want to have a way to directly be in contact with their customers. Whatever reason you might have to provide a synchronous contact to yourself. Here are various ways to do it.

ICQ (download)

I don't know if this is still the best or even a good IM but I started out with it and now I am stuck. However ICQ is very omnipresent.

Message Center

All of the techniques described here are also accessible though a user's message center. This is basically a web page located at

which stores about all information about the user.

Sending a message

If you also have ICQ installed you can have links everywhere on the web which will open up your ICQ providing a chat window to the addressent. Those links must look like this:

Adding user to your contact list

Same thing as above: Interaction with your ICQ to add a user. Uses the following link:

to do so.

Skype (download)

Skype is currently the best tool I know for VOIP-Telephoning. Recently with their first stable release, you can also globally call into the telephony-networks. It uses pretty little bandwidth and is completely free of charge if you stay on peer-to-peer VOIP-calls.

Calling a user

You can embed simple links into your website, which (if Skype is installed on the client) open up Skype and initiate a call to the user. The Links must look like this:


AIM (download)

AOL Instant Messenger was probably second most popular, when I was using it back a few years ago.

Send a message

Just like with ICQ you can directly send a message through you client installation of AIM to the addressent by clicking a link like:



I know that I have currently been missing out on other instant messengers like MSN or Yahoo now. Sorry for that maybe later. Also you may always want to integrate a chat, possibly on an IRC base.

Under review

I have entered this site into some forums and boards now, so that people start to criticise my site. In case you are one of those people, feel free to leave a comment here as well (even if it's just a reference to your board entry). This way I hope to remember more properly what I still need to do.

Currently I have review entries in the following boards:

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Upcoming articles on this blog

I just wanted to inform you what to expect on this blog in the next days/weeks. I have been experimenting with three main subjects over the last weeks, which I now want starting to present to the world ;-)

JavaScript classes and code distribution

As a preparation for the following two subjects I have implemented JavaScript classes, meaning I have been looking around the web and aggregating method how to create JavaScript structures which behave like classical object oriented classes providing features such as inheritance, polimorphism and the likes. Also I wanted classes to be distributable in multiple files across multiple servers and still be loadable on the fly, in order to increase cross-domain reusability of JavaScript objects.

Interaction between JavaScript and Flash

This became critical when designing the MP3-Player for the music section of this homepage. I wanted a generic way to interact with Macromedia Flash objects via JavaScript guaranteeing a bidirectional communication via remote function calls and distributed event publishing, even across the domain scripting border and across all browsers I use (being Internet Explorer, Mozilla/Netscape and Opera).

Client-sided TagLibs

Developers in touch with J2EE or at least JSP know JSTL (Java Standard TagLib), also know about the power to such a templating language. Now there are mechanisms which allow tag lib type technology on the client using JavaScript. Sound interesting? It certainly is! So stay tuned on this blog!

This site is done... at least the contents exist

Hi all,

finally this site is completed. I have provided content for all the existing sections. This includes media such as the drawings and mp3 streaming via JavaScript and Macromedia Flash. Hope you like all of this! Even if not, don't hesitate to comment the contents of this site and the blogs contained. Hope you find some of the stuff on this page either useful and/or entertaining.


Fantasy Interactive (FI)

Fantasy Interactive (FI) - Interactive Design & Development is a great crew of web designers who obviously understand how to take internet to the next level. Specialized in very high quality flash applications, which even outperform most of what I have seen at 2advanced. They are responsible for the roadrunner network site, which a completely new cool flash experience, the ford vehicles site. They quality put in their work is tremendous.

On their site I particularly like the way they show case their major projects. Having a nice HQ-project site together with background info on how the project was completed and which tools were used to tame the beast. Also I like the HQ-FlashVids on the site showing the people behind the scenes, their vision and how they do their work. Great site and worth a look or two.

Monday, December 27, 2004

The ABAP Developer´s Guide to Java

This is the first book that I have officially been named as an author. The ABAP Developer´s Guide to Java is a book which aims at SAP ABAP Developers, who want/need to get into Java and J2EE development - as the new SAP technology platform SAP NetWeaver heavily relies on J2EE technology.

The quote from the sales catalog reads as follows:

"You already know the ropes in the world of ABAP programming. Now, how can you utilize those finely tuned skills to speed up your journey on the road toward Java proficiency?

This all-new reference book is an indispensable guide for readers who need a rapid and in-depth introduction to Java. Detailed insights and step-by-step instruction help you leverage ABAP development skills you’ve already honed, for a smooth transition to Java. The authors highlight each fundamental aspect pertaining to the development of business applications in both languages, and the differences as well as similarities are analyzed in detail. This must-have resource helps any serious developer learn exclusive techniques to master development tools and objects, application design, application layers and much more. Learn about Beans, OpenSQL for Java, JDBC, Security, and that’s just for starters. This unique book helps you save countless hours of trial and error and avoid costly mistakes while quickly advancing your essential Java skills."

With this book I have been responsible for the overall project management during the decisive phases. Also I have written a majority of the chapters. In this sense my work with this project has produced parts of chapter 2, 4 and most or all of chapters 5 through 7. Although the book was written mostly in a hurry and besides daily work, I am pretty happy with the result.

English Releases

buy at

buy at

German Releases

buy at

buy at

Diploma Thesis - Web Application Design

A Component Framework Based On Web Services

Web Services are an XML-based set of technologies to enable remote function calls over about any web-related transport protocol like HTTP, SMTP or FTP. As it is a specification based on the maxim of extensibility and customizability this technology is also suitable for communication across platforms and programming languages. The key feature that both IT analysts and the businesses put their hopes on is the possibility of supporting the automation of business processes even across company borders and the aggregation of these processes to complete workflows that follow the mechanism of recursive composition which means that a workflow itself can be exposed as a business process to be reused within a more comprehensive system.

All concepts of Web Services are based on standards that are developed and confirmed

by consortiums of independent organizations like the W3C and OASIS consulted by the

industry leaders of infrastructure and ERP software like Microsoft, IBM, SAP, VeriSign and many more. While the terms of service location, registration, data transportation across systems, formatting and embedding into other protocols has been dealt with successfully, security, transaction and meta-descriptive standards have yet to be finalized.

On the basis of this scenario this document develops a concept of a distributable,

scalable, reusable and extensible component architecture that uses Web Services as its foundations. The theoretical model is then implemented using the server-sided scripting language PHP that itself has become the most popular server-sided scripting language for web-related purposes over the last three years. The component architecture thereby adds a model for business logic, encapsulated within distributable entities to the overall concept of multi-tiered application design, like it is popular with enterprise level applications built on the foundations of e.g. J2EE, Microsoft .NET or SAP NetWeaver.

The applicability of the concepts and the model presented is proved through both

example implementations of the basic features and a case study that creates a context

for a Web Service based application.

download the whole document

Monday, December 20, 2004

LAUNCH: Music on Yahoo!

I don't know if many people know this, but I am afraid they don't.

LAUNCH is a music video/entertainem portal on the Yahoo platform. You can get access to the latest music-vids there, have a lot of cool radio stations to tune in and stuff. I really like it although I must admit that I got registered there about 3 years ago long before Yahoo had a part in the portal. Since then performance and reach have decreased a little in my opinion but maybe that is only due to the public exposure.

Anyhow if you were looking for a place to stream your favorite music vids from. Launch is the place to go for you.

Macromedia "On Demand"

Anyone who has been to Macromedia's website in the past year or so must have stumbled over the omipresent Breeze Presentations. Those nice pieces of multimedia, Macromedia uses to provide/broadcast product information in the sense of infotainment. Although I know it's basically advertising I frequently catch myself watching those nice presentations over and over again. Ok, I am a huge fan of Macromedia in general but in my opinion Breeze Presentations are a great alternative to just reading text, especially since audio and video a frequently embedded in those presentations.

As I am a developer (or at least I call myself one) Breeze online tutorials are currently one of the favorite things to watch on the web. You get a little inside/general overview of the products and how to work with them and although it's obviously just advertising, you "just need to stay". It's kinda addictive. At least for me.

Now all those tutorials - called modules - are centrally stored in a searchable library called Macromedia On Demand. So whenever you feel you would need to get to know a little more about the macromedia products launch Macromedia On Demand to get your daily brainwash.

Macromedia Breeze

So I am a huge fan of Macromedia in general. But I particularly like Macromedia Breeze. For about a year now I am fascinated about the various infotainment breeze presentations that are spread around for almost all subject. I think it's a real benefit to enable you visitors to view presentations and have a truely multimedia experience instead of just having them read text.

Now I have requested a trial account for Macromedia Breeze and I must say that I a quite impressed. It's not that you could not accomplish all of you web conferencing using MS NetMeeting but Breeze comes along so much more integrated into the web. Stop worrying about ports, bandwidth and platform. Breeze is launchable through any browser that has a flash-player 4 or higher installed. Integration into the Microsoft Office Suite is also a snap using the power-point plugin to instantly publish Powerpoint Slides (including audio) to your Breeze server. Also with Outlook integration you can directly scedule meetings in your calendar. An additional feature I like very much is the recording of meeting (either particially or completely) to enable people who could not participate in a meeting access at their convenience.

Breeze is probably best suited for small to medium size teams. But altough I doubt that it's currently effective for broader audience interaction (broadcasting works great as shown multiply on, I would not know a better tool for realtime collaboration.

Monday, December 13, 2004

First day of my vacation

Ok, this is the first day of my vacation and I am already pissed. I am up since 6 am this morning and had the phone on my ear ever since.

Seems natural that the mother calls on the first day of my vacation, it's even nice that my girl is calling me from work to see what I am doing. But then I got 2 calls from work... wait here is the 3rd one.

Then I got a call from some call-center in Tokyo. WTF!!! I don't exactely know what they were even try to sell me. Their English was just so bad. And where the hell did they get my German phone number from. Very strange and probably very illegal...