Friday Aug 31, 2007

RSS Feeds: This might be important after all

I'm still in the funny videos frame of mind (see my previous entry). However, the video included in this entry includes some how-to info that was really useful to me (not just funny).

First of all, let me say that the info is more useful if you use Firefox as your browser and/or Thunderbird as your mail client,  but not necessarily. I have sort of understood the RSS thing and the blog feed thing and stuff like that. However, I'm glad I watched the video and implemented the steps because now I'm REALLY starting to understand it and I can see why I should care about this feed stuff.

Below, I'm including the URL field of a Firefox browser that you would see when visiting this blog (the blog you're reading right now). Blogs generally have feeds available, so that little orange square shows up to let you know that feeds are available. You can do a lot of things with those feeds. For example, you can retrieve them as bookmarks or you can add them to your Thunderbird mail client and have them show up in the Folder pane of the Thunderbird interface. Next thing you know, your reading your favorite blogs right from your email. The best thing is that you can add a blogfeed (either as a bookmark or a email "folder") and then you can get the last 30 entries for that blog listed all nice and neat.

 The URL field of a Firefox browser

Click that orange button and you'll be presented with a couple of options, as such:

  • Subscribe to 'Recent Entries (Atom)'
  • Subscribe to 'Recent Comments (Atom)'

If you select Subscribe to 'Recent Entries (Atom),' the first thing to notice is that the URL changes to the following:

The above URL is the feed to my blog. In some cases you'll want to copy that URL. However, you'll also notice that the web page changed when you clicked the "Subscribe..." button. At the top of the new page you are presented with options. For those options, you don't need to copy the URL.

You have the option of adding that feed as a Live Bookmark right in your Firefox browser or you can add it to another blog reader. The blog readers available at the moment are Google Reader, Bloglines, and My Yahoo. In Firefox, after you add the bookmark (let's say you add it directly in your toolbar), you can then move the arrow over the bookmark to see a list of the 30 most recent entries.

If you want to add the feed to Thunderbird as a mail folder, you can do the following:

  1. Copy the feed, such as
  2. Go to Thunderbird.
  3. Select File>New>Account.
  4. In the Account Wizard, select RSS News & Blogs.
  5. Scroll down the Folders pane and click the RSS News & Blogs option.
  6. Click Manage subscriptions
  7. In the dialog box, click Add
  8. In the Feed URL field, paste the URL you have saved.
  9. Click OK

 The feed to that blog should show up under the RSS News & Blogs heading. You can click the blog name to see the 30 most recent entries listed just as emal messages are normally listed. Click an entry to have it appear in the window below where you normally read messages.

With the instructions above and the video that I've linked to out on YouTube, it should be semi clear. And if you're smarter than I, it might be very clear. I suppose it's actually quite simple, I just had to concentrate quite a bit while watching the video. I also had to review a few parts like 5 times until I finally got it. Hey, but that's me. With the instructions I've added above, hopefully things are easier.

Tuesday Aug 07, 2007

Software tech writers & media specialists: all together

From time to time, such as here, I've blogged about the Information Products Group (IPG). IPG includes technical writers and other media and tool specialists. There are a fair number of IPG members who blog and now you can see all their blogs in on blog, so to speak. Each of these blogs has a blogfeed into a single location. Such an aggregation of blogs, is referred to as a planet, and a new one exists for IPG. The planet is called Software Information since the group provides information about the various software products at Sun. Here's the link to, which lists all the current official Sun blog planets.

So, if you want to get a sense of the various software products that technical writers and the like are blogging about at Sun, such as Solaris, NetBeans, Application Server, etc, then visit the Software Information planet and you'll see the most current blog entries from various IPG members. In the Software Information planet, in the right column, you'll see a list of the current blogs by IPG members. Actually, I have such a list in my blog, too. If you look in the right column of this blog, you'll see a heading labeled Other Writers & Such. Under that is an expandable folder labeled "+Software Related." Click that entry to get a list of all the blogs maintained by software technical writers and such. If you can click any of those links to visit the respective blog.

Wednesday Jun 20, 2007

Quick and Clean Overview of Sun Java System Access Manager and Much More

In yesterday's entry, Getting timely Sun Java System Access Manager info, I should probably have hyped (I'm using "hype" as an intransitive verb, which shows how excited I am. In normal conditions, I would never do that.) more about the site that I mentioned at that time. The following is the link to that site, the Sun's Identity Management Solutions site:

Identity Management Solutions

I've been going through that site and there's lots of good stuff about identity management. For one, I learned that Pat Patterson has added a 'stub" to Wikipedia for Sun Java System Access Manager. Here's the link to that Wikipedia entry:

Pat's blog entry was out there in the blog feed I mentioned in my blog entry yesterday. His blog entry might not be out there by the time you visit since new blog entries are fed out there (replacing the old) all the time. For example, the entry you're reading right now, yeah this one, will be out there soon (well, "soon," from my perspective).

I also came upon a very nice overview of Sun Java System Access Manager. Officially, I suppose it's called a "product data sheet." It provides a lot of key info in a succint manner. It is a marketing piece (at least in my mind it is) and it does have a little obligatory marketing spin, especially in the first paragraph. However, once you get through that, it's mostly details and specifications. Here's the link:

Product Data Sheet: Sun Java System Access Manager

If you want the complete technical overview of Access Manager, you would want to look at the official documentation, depending on the Access Manager version, as such:

  • Sun Java System Access Manager 7.1 Technical Overview
  • Sun Java System Access Manager 7.0 Technical Overview

Besides that stuff, there's plenty of other good stuff out there, such as the following:

It's all good! And there's plenty more where that came from!

Tuesday Jun 19, 2007

Getting timely Sun Java System Access Manager info

If you'd like to keep up to date on Sun Java System Access Manager related info, you might want to start from the following link:

Now, if you first came across this blog entry as you were perusing the above page, then that would be kind of freaky. "Freaky"? I'm sure there's a better word. "Ironic?" Darn it, I should have been a Lit major.

ANYHOW, that link will bring you to a blog feed related to Sun Java System Access Manager. So, it's the latest and greatest (well, it's the latest anyway). At that point, you'll be right in the middle of all kinds of official Sun Microsystems, identity management related stuff (if you don't mind my using a highly technical word, such as "stuff."


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