Thursday, November 5, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

The next train for London, leaving in 42 years


MP Phil Hope and East Midlands Trains Staff
06:37 23 Feburary 2009, Corby Station


I was on the Corby Business Express this morning at 06:57. Apart from a few sporadic services in the 80’s and 90’s this is the first rail service from Corby since the Beeching cuts in 1967 closed the town’s station.


I shared the carriage with Evening Telegraph photographer Alison and MP Phil Hope who has campaigned tirelessly for the service to be restored for years.



The eight car Meridian, which was full and standing by Bedford, pulled into St Pancras International on-time at 07:55.



I look forward to the return journey tonight at 18:00 but fear that it will be rather overcrowded.

A great day for Corby!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Atlassian pull the EditGrid plug

As predicted in my post of January 19th, Team and Concepts Limited, have discontinued sales of EditGrid (though they state that they will continue to support existing customers).

I learnt today that Atlassian will be disabling the EditGrid server used by the Confluence Enterprise Hosted product on March 30th thereby cutting-off customer’s usage of this feature.

My advice to hosted Confluence customers is to start the switch away from the EditGrid macro now (switch to the Office Connector {Viewfile} macro). If you are not already on Confluence V2.10 you should start the upgrade process now!

Good luck.

Monday, January 19, 2009

EditGrid vendor to abandon this product?

I have it on good authority that Team and Concepts Limited, the owners of EditGrid, are considering the discontinuation of this excellent on-line spreadsheet tool.

Atlassian Confluence-hosted product users such as NYK Line, The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo of America, Accenture and Illinois Wesleyan University, face losing this highly important functionality altogether, should they attempt to move their wiki from the Atlassian hosting (where EditGrid is included for free) to in-house servers. Team and Concepts are refusing to sell new licenses of the EditGrid plugin for Confluence. They are even refusing to grant their usual 30 day evaluation license until they reach a decision regarding whether to continue with EditGrid or not.

I wonder if those who already license the Confluence plugin will be left in the lurch regarding support and upgrades, or even worse, could we see a situation where those who rely on the vendor’s EditGrid server in Hong Kong see this service interrupted, rendering the tool and their investment useless?

The situation is made worse by the uncertainty. A contact of mine recently tracked down P K Chan of Team & Concepts Ltd via his cell phone. All that he would say is that they were not certain whether they would continue with EditGrid or not. In the mean time they would not sell the product or grant evaluations until a decision had been reached. It is my experience that the company does not return phone calls, respond to e-mail or to requests made via their website.

At the company I am currently assisting with the migration of an enterprise wiki from Atlassian Hosted to an in-house server. I am converting all instances of EditGrid usage to the [Confluence] built-in Office Connector tool. This seems to work very well though I am a little worried about data loss during concurrent edits of workbooks and the lack of the usual version tracking we normally expect from wiki pages. I aim to explore the use of Office Connector in an imminent blog post.

Come on Team & Concepts, you need to act fast to remedy this unhappy situation.

UPDATE

As a result of Atlassian's Jens Schumacher's comment (below) I felt a clarifying update was appropriate incase readers miss the comment:

1. Even if EditGrid stops working, you will of course be able to access any spread-sheet (attached to a wiki page) using the Office Connector or download and edit the files in Excel etc.

2. The EditGrid server that drives the spreadsheets in Confluence Team and Enterprise Hosted is actually hosted by Atlassian so these customers will not lose EditGrid functionality should EditGrid pull the plug on their server.

3. Versioning: Jens says: "You will still be able to take advantage of attachment versioning using the Office Connector". I can;t see how this is so. Jens have I missed some configuration step? When I make an edit to a spreadsheet using EditGrid, prior versions of the spread sheet attachment can be accessed/viewed/downloaded etc. via the Page Attachments view (by clicking the side pointing arrowhead to the left of the attachment). Using the office connector to edit the workbook (in Excel) does not result in a new version being saved. Instead WebDAV is used to serve up the attachment as if Excel were opening it from a local drive. After editing and saving the View Attachments page there is only one version of the attachment so changes within the workbook cannot be tracked.

Data Loss

Whenever multiple people happen to be editing the same workbook using EditGrid the product seems to do an excellent job of saving every person's changes. When I did a simple test using Excel via Office Connector changes made by person A were obliterated when person B did a file-save moments later.

I believe that Atlassian may have a enhancement ticket open to improve these two behaviours of the office connector. I feel that even with these two factors the Office Connect is a superb addition to Confluence and should be used.

I too hope that EditGrid will continue with their first class product.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Hard Hat Prom





Mussorgsky and Strauss were played outside my office window to celebrate the Guildhall school of music and drama’s new development at Milton Court. London EC2.

This is the site of the fire I blogged about in January.






Photos by Martin Lake



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Future of Creative Technologies

I am excited to be attending the Future of Creative Technologies conference tomorrow at The Institute of Creative Technologies (IOCT), De Montfort University, Leicester.

I don’t often mix with academics or get to hear free thinkers such as these, but this crowd also have a very grounded focus on the small enterprise.
My imagination is sure to be fired many times during the day and I expect that to inspire a few blog posts, so please check back here over the next few days.