Problem - Solved !

Ah! The power of open source :-)
Had this been a closed source, I would have to abandon the library and went for rewriting the whole thing! Now all I've to do is add 2 lines of code to generate that unique id in the way my Graphics Designer wants and build it. Of course it took me literally 4 days to do it, now much simpler to rewrite the whole thing.

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A problem with display-tag

I've been using display-tag for a while and didn't find any troubles with it. The sorting, pagination, decorators, styles, export - everything is perfect. Its a jsp tag, simple and neat to use. After a long time I'm using something which is supposed to be how it should be! I was wondering does it has any drawbacks? Voila! There came a new requirement.

The table that I'm displaying contained several columns (around 20). The users of the gui will not use all the columns. So my graphics designer came out with a small java script that will dynamically hide/show the selected columns. The trouble lies in the Java Script. The logic needs a unique id for every cell. But the display-tag doesn't create any ids. I tried posting to the mailing list, still no solution. So one possible solution is to hack the library, and modify it to generate the id(The good thing about open source).

I thought I'll do it today. I downloaded the source code and tried to build it. It uses Maven to build. So I downloaded and installed it and tried to build again. Its the first time and Maven was downloading all dependencies and creating a repoisitory. Its took one hour to build it. All through the process I was wondering, what if I make changes, build it and use that version of the library. Suppose in future there is a bug in my patch or another enhancement is needed over this, how are the other going to do that? Follow the same procedure? Is it really worth going for all this pain? I'm still hesitant to do it. Anyone knows any good solution?

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A looooong drive

I've been longing for a long drive in bike. Somehow we made it to Pondi, but it doesn't look at a long drive at all. Now I drove to Coimbatore. At last :-)

When I said this, the response from everyone was:'Chennai to Coimbatore? In a two wheeler? Alone? Are you crazy?'. After much scoldings/warnings/advices from everyone, I decided to go on. I started on Thrusday early morning at 6.30 from Technohut. Filled up petrol, checked air, brakes, headlights and wrrrrooooom. I decided not to cross 80 km/hr speed limit and make a compulsary stop after every 75 kms.

The road from Chennai till Dhindivanam was really good. The entire strech of 120 kms was a four lane road and separated neatly by a divider. The road was the far better than ECR. After Dhindivanam till Ulunthupettai the road was not so great. It will be good and if you think you can stay in 80km/hr speed suddenly there will be a pit. Its a good test for maneuverability of the vehicle. I was bored with it. One good idea was to catch a speeding car and tail it from a safer distance. From its sudden brakes and turns, you can predict the road and drive accordingly. That happened for around 40-50 kms. Then till home the road was fine, except for a 15 kms strech before Palani. That was horrible. You can see pits everywhere and can't go beyond 45 kms/hr.

When I reached Trichy I took the by-pass to go to Dindugal. I was thinking whether to have lunch here/Dindugal. But then alas, I got a flat tyre. So I had a hard stop. Luckily there was a shop 10 mts away and left the bike there and went to a near by hotel for lunch. By the time I finished lunch, the bike was ready. Then the ride was smooth. Reached home by 6 PM. My trip meter showed 550 kms when I reached home.

My mom was standing before my neighbours home. When I stopped my bike near her, she thought it was someone else. She was surprised & happy to see me. She thought I came to Cbe in train and borrowed someone's bike from there. I told 'no its mine' and have to show the Chennai registration for proof. She got angry. She forgot that it not inside our home, its not even inside neighbour's home & we are standing in the road and everybody is watching us. She raised her hand to slap me. But then I've not yet removed my helmet yet and so she didn't know what to do. For a moment she starred at me and went into the house without any more words. It took a long time to convince her. I know wearing a helmet protects, but not to that extend !!!!

The return journey was also good. I started on Sunday morning by 6.30 AM. I went to Coimbatore and met my friend there in Karumathampatti. Had break fast and started there. This time the journey was via Trichy. Till Salem its NH 47 and it was again another perfectly maintained road. But from Salem to Aathur the 40 kms strech was very pathetic. I couldn't even touch 50 kms/hr. After that it was ok. When I reached home it was 6 PM again.

Unlike everyone thought its not a very wild idea. I just drove 1200 kms and that too the entire strech was national highways. If I had a CD 100 or a Splendor, I would not have thought of driving this far. Neither I preferred the trip two weeks earlier, as I would be soaked in the rain nor in the month of May where I would have half cooked in the hot-sun. The weather was simply perfect. And more important thing is I didn't drive during night. Every 20 kms I see a Police Patrol Vehicle standing and every 30 kms an Ambulance. A ride in highway is safer now. All you need is a solid bike and good mental/physical preparation.

Overall I thought the after-effects might be little trouble-some. I expected a heavy back-pain and said my PM that with most probability Monday, I might be on leave. But surprisingly not so. I could go to work on Monday. I won't say that I'm perfectly alright. There was a slight pain and felt tired on the whole day, but not that bad as I expected. Its worth for the experience.

Yesterday, one of my teammates was complaining to my PM, 'Ajit, look at this idiot. He has gone home in bike'. The reaction was bit unexpected: 'Really? hey thats good man. Some years ago, even I drove a scooter from Hydrabad to Pune. That was a good experience'. Hydrabad to Pune? That far? In a two wheeler? mmmm. Seems like a crazy idea. But then I've always have this sticked in my cube. Here's to the crazy ones.

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Diwali ...

I decided not to go home this Diwali. I know I'll missing that wonderful idly with coconut chutney and tomato kulambu for breakfast; I know I'll missing all the sweets; I know I'll be missing Gokul's excitement for all the crackers; I know I'll missing the Patti (Vetti) Mandrams in TV; I know I'll be missing all nice movies in Star & HBO, but I decided to stay back. The day before Diwali the excitement started in Office. Everyone started leaving soon after lunch. Everybody saying Happy Diwali to everyone and leaving office. I thought of staying late in the office, but somehow felt home sick and left office by 6.30. Went home, took a bath and went to the terrace. It was a wonderful show in the sky. I didn't expect it to happen on the eve of Diwali. Usually in my village, its only on Diwali - not on the Diwali's eve. (No costly fireworks like this) Here the fun started on the eve itself. There were a variety of fireworks in the sky and I was enjoying it for nearly two hours. I wished the Canon D20 was shipped to India before this Diwali, so I would have one to shoot this. At least I would have bought a Digital Rebel. mmm. Let me wait till next Diwali. Hopefully I would own a Digital SLR by that time.

The next day, Diwali, was fine. Went to my sis home in Kodambakkam. The road looked as if it was a bandth. Had good food. After Mama and my nephews went to her in-law's home in the afternoon, we both were talking about old stories. Then suddenly she said, 'you have the bike na, take me somewhere'. But 'where?'. Both of us had no idea. We thought of going to my home. On the way the destination was then changed to Spencer Plaza, and then to Adayar Beach, and then to Muttu Kadu Boating center. First we went to a beach in ECR, then to Muttu Kadu. We both sat on the benches there and enjoyed the sunset. It seems that a heavy downpour might start. So we hurried from there. We stopped at Mayajaal's Aru Suvai Arasu for a coffee. When we came out it was a heavy downpour as expected. She likes rain very much as I do. So we decided to take a drive in the rain. People were stopping and talking shelter in the restaurant for rain. And we were moving out to the bike. Everybody was giving a crazy look on us. Never mind :-) By the time when we crossed VGP, there was no sign of even a single drop of rain and we were totally wet. Again few more crazy looks; and never mind again. It was highly irritating to drive. People were bursting crackers in the road. She was very scared. Althought I love the fireworks, I hate crackers, esp. someone matches it on the road. When we went home, it was 6.30. Said a bye to mama n kids and rushed home to the terrace. Ah! the show again!!! If I'd been home, I won't have a chance to watch this. Its not worth of missing the diwali specials I mentioned first. But still worth watching it :-)

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I see people

I quite often come across people whom I think are very normal, but all of a sudden they seem to have an ultimate will power & high attitude. Esp. when they are in a stress, they express themselfs in a different way than I've imagined and that simply amazes me.

Forget about Christopher Reeve and Steven Hawkins. I'm talking about the people I meet in my day-to-day life. Subramani mama - my neighbour in childhood days, one of my cousin sisters, my friend's dad and recently now my friend.

In our group, he is one of the handsome guys and smartest. He has a very good sense of humour. He is working in HCL and got an on-site offer and went to US. He was enjoying his time there visiting many places in the country. They used to visit someplace every weekend. One weekend, when they were travelling in the high-way, the car tyre bursted and the car collapsed. Imagine the speed at which they travel there. Accidents are fatal. The car took several dives and everyone got heavily injured. He was in the back seat and got his spine damaged. Now he is in the hospital there. His lower part of the body is completely senseless and he cannot move his hands. Thanks to HCL's sponsor, his brother is with him to assist.

Whenever we face a situation like this, the first thought will be 'why me?' and next would be self-pity. I knew it because, I had it. Few years back, I met with an accident. I had a broken jaw, lost few teeth and got 6 stiches in my head. The moment I got conscious I couldn't get away from 'why me' thought. I know I'll be alright in few months. But it was tough. The thought prevailed for two weeks. His situation is different. Its practically impossible for him to become normal. After two months of treatment now he can move a hand and sense if someone touches in his legs. Last week he called me and was talking. He asked me howz life. I said 'etho poguthuda'. And I asked him the same question. He said: 'supera poguthuda. inga Chicago downtownla veedu. jammnu paduthukitte iruken. romba free time iruku, MBA ethachum corres-la padikalamnu iruken. ellam ok. enna thambi samayal than konjam kadiya irukuda'. He left me literally speechless. Its too hard to have such an attitude. Taking things in a easy way and making fun of oneself despite the troubles. And me, drawing a decent salary, staying in a metro and enjoying my weekends in Pondi and busy with my diwali purchases, said 'etho poguthuda'. I see people. Including the stupid in the mirror !!!

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A drama called democracy

I'm living in the largest democratic country in the world. And this week there was an election in the powerful democratic country - US. I could see lot of people who compares US and India and says how good it is. 'Look at the roads in US, Indians should learn from it', 'Look at in US, Indians should learn from it', blah, blah. Now I see the electoral system in India and US. I'm sure that there are few things which we should learn from them - first and foremost is the % of people who go to the booth and vote. (May be if every voter starts casting his vote, we will get good leaders) But on the other side, the system as a whole should learn from India. We are just a developing nation we all have voter id cards. But being a developed nation they still don't have a concept of voter id cards. Means if a citizen wants to vote, they go to the booth, say their name & address and sign and cast their vote. Thats it! Ha! thats stupid. Even I can go there and say that I'm someone else and vote. What if everyone does like that? So to prevent it they have a concept of challengers. The parties can send people called challengers to the booth. They can watch the voters and challenge a person for his identity and right to vote. mmm. This sounds similar to the practice that is done in India. We do have some people representing parties in the booth and identify the voters. (it was before the voter's id scheme. I didn't vote this time, as I just landed from US :-(, guess it will be still followed) And the funniest thing is that the Constitution allows parties to send challengers, but in few states like Ohio, the civil right activists challange this section in the Constitution and so no challengers. Its a mess :-) Its all because the most powerful nation in the world was not able to issue a voter id, which we have done years before !!!

Now after the polls, Bush stays back in White House. Did I say that 'if every voter starts casting his vote, we will get good leaders'? Sorry I take it back ;-)

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WeekENDS @ Pondy

Its been talked for a very long time that we all go a long drive in bikes. First it was proposed that we'll go to Bangalore and we all go somewhere (probably to Nandhi Hills and visit the historical place where Ravi broke his back) But then Bangi guys also wanted to join the drive and so it was rejected. Then we all decided to travel either to Gowri or Prabhakar marriage, from Kuvampatti and Bangi and then from there we all go to a picnic spot. Somehow, it didn't work out. When Guru told that Bangi guys had a plan of coming here this weekend, immediately the idea of driving to Pondy came out. Everybody seems to be interested in it. So all set. After the big chain of mails (GMail's converstaion is really too good), the most probable place was a beach resort in Chunnambar. But the rates were a little high - we thought. We decided that we go there; see the resort; if its worth then pay and stay there; if not then we'll move into some other place. We decided to go ahead whether or not it rains. All set and were eagerly waiting for the satuday.

Saturday came, Guru & Sakthi came, (surprisingly) the sun came, but not Maddy. His train arrived Central by 10.30 AM. We started a little late by 12.30 at Velachery. My Muthukarupan, Ravi's bike and Sidd's bike were selected for the drive. We went to Mahabalipuram for lunch. One guy blocked us and said that we have to pay 10 bucks to enter the city. We said then we'll go back. 'What!' He said, 'just for 10 Rs, you are not going to go back?' I said we came here just for lunch, not for visiting the temples/shore. We are not tourists'. He got confused, but he let us without paying anything :-) As none of us had breakfast, we had a hectic lunch. After lunch, we have to travel around 100 kms in the ECR and formed rules - not faster than 70, should always travel in a visible range, should change drivers etc, etc. But once we hit the road, everything changed. ECR was real good. There was a board saying that the speed limit is 80 kms, but our speedometer never touched it. It was always above it. We wanted to reach Pondy before it rained n so we went very fast. The weather was nice. It was cloudy, drizzing at many places, (but not road was not slippery) literally no traffic. The most annoying thing is the cows, goats and dogs passing by. You have to be careful, or else you might end up spending for repairing you and your vehicle. The worst thing is the whole village will be enjoying mutton and you have to pay for that :-) Another not so good thing was the curves. There were lot of curves, few dangerous, will reduce your speed and increase the possibility of accidents. Drive carefully.

When we were 15 kms away from Pondy, it started raining. We waited for sometime, and looked at the sky above the Pondy side, it was dark and cloudy. We realized its not going to stop and decided to head into that heavy downpour. We can't see whats in front of us before 100 fts. So we have to slow down to 30/40 Kms speed and move. On the way we say a board for a beach resort. I asked the guys, shall we try this? With a big Yes from everyone, we went into it. Found the rates were ok and immediately checked in. We were completely wet, so changed our clothes and came to the balcony. It was a bit big balcony and to see the rain was good. It was so dark and we couldn't believe that it was just 4.00 pm! The rest of the day went fine. We were sitting and chatting. The food was good & the prices were OK. I've decided to have pause for NV & Booze till this year end. But the env. was so nice so went for both. 4 large of Whisky made the rest of the night wonderful. The weather forecast said that the next two days it will be heavy rains in Chennai and Pondy. But the weather was clear and it was a bright and sunny day. We checked out of the hotel by 10 AM. We went to beach, Ashram, and the Auro Ville. We planned to go to Chunnambar beach, but it was far from Auro Ville. So decided to see it during next trip. We started there at 1 PM. There was a restaurant in the middle of the ECR (40 kms from Mahabalipuram) called Mid-Way. It was a decent restaurant with decent food. After that we went for a movie in Mayajaal. Then we returned to Chennai & dinner was at Lotus Pond. Vens, Sels, Gow and his wife joined us. After a lot of noisy moments, the day ended up nicely. Had a good sleep and here I'm in office today. Just like yesterday, today also, as the weather forecast predicted, it rained heavily ;-)

No, not everything was perfect. After we had lunch on Sunday, we saw a board saying that there is a Fort and beach 3 kms away. We thought we'll head in that direction. 2 more boards welcomed us stating that the fort is a protected monument. The road was really worse and it took us more than 10 mins to cross that 3 kms. Finally when we reached there, what we saw was remains of the fort's walls. Nothing else. Sidd and Viv had a fall in the sand when they are travelling @ 10 kms speed. Apart from this that was a perfect trip.

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