Archive - Nov 3, 2009
Today, I did continued testing on my Federated Google Wave server. As a starting point, I received an email with a test id for the WaveSandbox server. This is the server to test federation against and I was glad to be able to do some testing there.
I found that I was still having problems connecting to the sandbox server, and started reading my logs a lot more closely in search of clues. I tried a collection of different things to get the server to work. These included changing my certificate to being signed by CACert.org, adding signed certificates to my XMPP server, adding an SRV DNS record for my server, and ultimately, opening up ports 5269 and 5270 in my firewall. These steps are described in the wiki page about federation. It seems like the key was opening port 5269.
With that, I am now successfully discovering wave servers and sending messages back and forth with them. However, I have yet to successfully create a wave on one server and then add a user from another server and have the other user see the wave.
I did use the client-console to connect to another server and had a great discussion on the production wave server about ways of testing. To connect on Google Wave, do a search on “wave federation” to see the waves where we’ve been working on this.
It seems like a lot of people are having problems with signed certificates. In looking at various reports, it seems like it is if they are using a signed certificate from cacert.org and java-6-sun. I’m using a signed certificate from cacert.org, but I used java-6-opensdk and this seems to be working okay.
I also did have one crash when I attempted to connect to a wave server that does not yet have signed certificates. My configuration is looking for signed certificates.
I remember years ago someone talking about how their teeth were never as clean as when they work trying to write something. I know what they mean. I pace, I try to find other things to do, while I’m trying to conjure words for whatever I’m writing. Writing a daily blog post has helped with this, and for those who are not ready for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), there is National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), where you try to write a blog post every day for a whole month. I started doing this a long time ago, and as a general rule, have a daily blog post, although the blog posts generally are less than the 1667 words a day necessary to win at NaNoWriMo.
So, I surf blogs and work on technology projects. Right now, I’m trying to get my Google Wave server to federate with other Google Wave servers. If that sounds geeky to you, don’t worry, it is pretty geeky. It does provide something else to think about as I work on my novel. I also try to visit my normal round of blogs. I’m not visiting quite as many blogs this month as I usually do, and it may fall off even more in the coming days.
As I tweeted yesterday, my word count was 3,474, which is on track, but not breaking away from the pack. The first three thousand words were hard. I was setting up the characters and the setting. Then, I got to the fun part where the key idea gets introduced, as well as one of the plot twists.
It is an interesting experience for me. I’ve seen advice about how to properly write a novel. It sounds complicated; mapping out the main theme, the conflicts, the plot twists, the resolutions, the characters, how they are going to change, the settings and how they affect the characters and plot twists, and so on. It all seems so complicated.
I also remember the story about how to make a sculpture of an elephant. Take a really big blog, and start chipping away at anything that doesn’t look like an elephant. This is closer to my approach at NaNoWriMo. I know the overall theme of my story, a twenty first century remake of Pygmalion, where the creation takes place online in social networks. I have a good idea about the characters. I’ve been getting to know them in my mind for the past month. I have a sense of their histories, their motivations, and how the whole story will affect them. Yet their day to day lives have remained opaque, as have the conflicts they will face.
So, I start writing about them. As I do, their characters become clearer. The conflicts start to emerge. When I wrote my first few hundred words, I didn’t have enough ideas to make it to a thousand words. Now that I’ve written my first thousand words, the ideas are rapidly expanding. Hopefully, this will carry me to the finish line the way it did in 2007.
One other thing that I’m doing is sending copies of my first write through to friends that understand the idea of the first write through and are likely to share ideas that will help me further bring my characters to life and add exciting plot twists. Again, this worked great for me in 2007, and I’m hoping I’ll have some good readers this time as well. If you want to read and comment, get in touch with me.
That’s about it for my day three update. If you’re writing a novel this month, leave a comment about how it is going.