Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Birth Verse Meme

I found out about this Birth Verse meme from Kevyn, and decided to look up my birthdate. My birthday's easy to remember and I assume, every book in the bible would have a Chapter 2, verse 2, no? :)

So here is what the 4 Gospels (Douay-Rheims) say:

John 2:2
And Jesus also was invited, and his disciples, to the marriage.
Matthew 2:2
Saying, Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to adore him.
Mark 2:2
And it was heard that he was in the house, and many came together, so that there was no room; no, not even at the door; and he spoke to them the word.
Luke 2:2
This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria.
(Well, this is awkward.. what does it mean?)

I've never managed to remember Bible verses by the book name and numbers... Interesting to see what verses turn up!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Enter the Advent season... Week 1

Advent and Lent seasons have always been special period in the liturgical year for me. Not that reflection and introspection are not called for during any other times of the year, but there is always Something at the end of these periods to look forward to, that made reflection particularly imperative.

As I reflect on what my sister wistful desire to be born in a richer family, I realize that I hold a view that was not apparent nor conscious to me, and that is, life will always be both a struggle and a journey, in spiritual and physical dimensions. I firmly believe these two must go together.

How'd I treat the journey if there is no longer any struggle? There's nothing wrong being rich I'm sure, yet I think it's harder for the rich to find the way back Home precisely because the lack of 'physical' (read: economic) struggle often undermines the sense that this life is but a short pilgrimage and that we are on a journey to our true patria. I'm not saying that if somehow I had been born rich, it'd be impossible for me to find God in the Church; rather, I'm trying to tell my sister that what matters is actually finding that treasure in Heaven. If one is born rich, this statement is still true and he'd have to find the Way, but if one is not born rich, one shouldn't waste his life pursuing the earthly treasure before (and if ever) seeking that which is Heavenly.

This Sunday's Gospel reading about Jesus' advice for us to "keep watch", lest we are found asleep when the Master comes, is a strong affirmation of this view I hold. As St. John of the Cross once said, suffering is a 'ladder' for us to climb to Heaven, today's homily told me that our suffering helps to keeps me 'awake' until the moment we go Home.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The illogic thickens..

3rd part of a frustrating technical rant:

I ran tcpdump on the server side, and what difference do I see between requests coming from J2ME client and a J2SE program?

The J2ME request has Transfer-Encoding: chunked at the header, and the body is cut into a few chunks, while the J2SE request is in one smooth body. Not that it should matter, because Tomcat 5.0.28 is supposed to be HTTP 1.1-compliant.

I didn't call OutputStream.flush(), but i suspect it'd have been called anyway because the request is more than 2048 bytes long.

It frustrates because I don't understand why it happens. Why can't Tomcat accept both requests and obtain the value for the getParameter(...) request in the same way? It's illogical. It defies common sense. What's next? Use StreamConnection? Just how does HttpServletRequest's getParameter(...) work anyway? How does it get parameters from a connection?

A few weird observations:
1. Content-Length != -1, despite the presence of chunking. Normally chunking would reset this header value.

2. A different source says 'do not set Content-Length' when using chunking... I wonder..

Unsere dame, Maria Knotenlöserin, Beten Sie für uns.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

... spilleth over!

Today's earlier rant is spilling over to this post. It has been, what, perhaps a year since I last ranted about work in this blog (it's not meant to be a rant page...) But I've been really busy lately (both at work and troubled somewhat in the heart), and this latest thing just irks me to no end, not to mention it sucked a great many hours!

OK, so for you folks out there who by weird chance might just end up reading this post because Google archive it or something, here are some things to take note when using J2ME client to do a HTTP POST to a servlet sitting on a Tomcat container trying to read a parameter using getParameter(...)

Things which a lot of sample codes probably don't tell you upfront:

1. Order of calls is important
setRequestMethod(HttpConnection.POST), setRequestProperty("Content-Type", "application/x-www-form-urlencoded"), and all setRequestProperty(...) calls must be made before calling getOutputStream()!

2. Sometimes calling outputstream.flush() may result in chunking that some application servers cannot handle. Check yours. Use outputstream.close() to be safe.

3. setRequestProperty("Content-Type", "application/x-www-form-urlencoded") MUST be called.

4. If you don't have setRequestProperty("Content-Length", N) , the servlet side sometimes sees 2 requests-- header & body, rather than just 1 request. (Hint: watch HTTP traffic on your server side)

5. Lastly, of course, don't be silly, remember what you write to outputstream must be in the form of this regular expression: [yourParameterName=yourParameterValue]+ [&nextParameterName=nextParameterValue]*

And don't forget to pray to our Lady, Maria Knotenlöserin


<start of rant>

For anyone who's struggled with J2ME-J2SE and servlet on Tomcat container, I wonder just how do you maintain your rational sanity when faced with problem like this:

URLEncoder.encode("param", "UTF-8")+ "=" + URLEncoder.encode(payload, "UTF-8") [WORKS!]


"param=" + URLEncoder.encode(payload, "UTF-8") [DOESN'T WORK!]

The doPost(...) method of the servlet is able to read "param" using request.getParameter("param") in the first method and not in the second method! Bloody nonsense!

And on top of this, both methods still could not work when the call to the servlet is made from a J2ME client. Woot!
<end of rant>

Seriously, I'm getting sick of this. Maybe I should study theology now.

Friday, November 04, 2005

From Wired: "Catholic Schoolgirls Unravel DNA"

Full article here

I've always believed Catholic education system has excellent standards :) Well done! On top of it, my alma mater in Indonesia is also named Sacred Heart.. cool!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Year of the Eucharist concludes

Some useful document links:

Pope Benedict XVI's Homily at Close of Year of the Eucharist

Message of Synod on the Eucharist:
"Living Bread for the Peace of the World"

Propositions of Synod on the Eucharist, Nos. 31-36:
"Celebrations of the Word of God Are Also of Great Importance"
Propositions of the Synod on the Eucharist, Nos. 26-30:
"Promotion of Greater Inculturation"
Propositions of Synod on the Eucharist, Nos. 21-25:
"Suggested That New Dismissal Formulas Be Prepared"
Propositions of Synod on the Eucharist, Nos. 16-20:
"Intrinsic Bond Between the Word of God and the Eucharist"
Propositions of Synod on the Eucharist, Nos. 11-15:
"Urging Pastors to Promote Priestly Vocations"
Propositions of Synod on the Eucharist, Nos. 5-10:
"Recognizing the Manifold Fruits of Eucharistic Adoration"
Propositions of Synod on the Eucharist, Nos. 1-4:
"Jesus Created a Radical Novelty"

I haven't read them yet; will find time to sit and read soon!

Update on "After Cologne"

I've been busy and distracted this whole month of October, trying to say more rosaries, amongst others :)

In any case, the response to After Cologne hasn't been exactly fantastic. I'm still working on it, the temporary location is here.

I am still looking for people who are interested to contribute to this project!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Insight from All Saints & All Souls

As we celebrated All Saints' Day on Tuesday, I reflected upon last Sunday's Gospel reading. Our archbishop, who just returned from the Synod at the end of the year of the Eucharist, gave the homily that Sunday. It was a classic message of observance of the law vs. 'living it out'. It used to be clearly simple to me: love your God and love your neighbor. This law which Jesus left us, was a fulfilment of the Old Testament laws and customs.

Today I realized something for the first time about the saints. Most of us (I and most of the people I know anyway) go about life hoping that the end of it, we wouldn't end up in hell, and the other place to be would be, Heaven, of course. And that's it. Perhaps there's something wrong with me; I felt that my embrace of Christianity hadn't permeated strongly enough to see "the other side". There was something missing. Something was revealed to me today.

The saints wanted Heaven. The saints wanted God. GK Chesterton, in his short biography of St Thomas Aquinas wrote that St Thomas reportedly said "Thee" when God, in his vision, asked what he wanted (as a reward for his devotion). And so it was in other saints' lives too: they wanted God actively, and not because having Him is a consequence of not ending up in hell. St Therese of Lisieux was supposedly wishing her parents death so that they may go to heaven!

And today at the Mass for All Souls, Fr JJ's homily about the "faithful departed" as actually the "faithful returned (to God's house)", brought home this theme forcefully. I shed tears and said prayers for the living instead. I had understood (before) that life on earth is but a speck in our life's continuum, and that our true patria is Heaven itself. Yet how much time I have wasted agonizing over life's uncertainties, living as if "this (life) is it", and treating Heaven as if it were a luxurious retirement home—admission is difficult—with the catch that I pretend I'd never have to retire until time really bring me to that day of reckoning!

This attitude that denies the finite-ness of our lives was my downfall. It made for a lukewarm faith; one that settles for a minimalist dogma and very little thinking, because all around me things scream that God doesn't matter; faith is irrelevant and is not meant to be imposed on anyone but yourself. This week, it is going to change.

While I'm at this post, I'd also like to point out that this blog isn't going to get updated that often; I've discovered silence is beneficial more often than speech :)