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When in Rome...
The old expression "When in Rome do as the Romans do" applies to development as well. One thing I always try to encourage developers to do when building an application is to try to make their development environment as similar as possible to the production environment. Now obviously this isn't practical in all cases, if you are deploying to Solaris you probably don't want to foist Solaris on all your developers. Similarly it's not practical from a performance point of view to develop against a local clustered environment.
Having said that, when building a portlets that are intended to be used in a federated environment it is a good practice for developers to run and test these portlets as remote rather then local portlets in their development environments. When building a portlet, the tendency is to simply drop the local portlet onto a test portal in order to test the portlet's functionality. The problem with this approach is that there may be issues that only appear when the portlet is deployed in a federated environment, for example the developer relying on the same request object to be used throughout the portlet's lifecycle. These kind of issues can be caught and corrected early by simply testing the portlet as a remote portlet from the get go.
There is not much excuse not to do this as testing remote portlets is quite simple and convenient, instead of just dropping the local portlet on your test portal, create a new remote portlet whose WSDL points to the local instance of WLP that is running. Essentially everything is still running on the same WLP instance, however the portlet is running as a remote portlet allowing you to ensure that everything will work as expected in a federated environment.
Discover your inner Simpson
A non-technical post for a change of pace even though we aren't supposed to blog about this sort of thing, Jon our editor wields his editorial power with an iron fist (albeit while holding a donut), but there is something about the Simpsons that appeals to technical folks everywhere.
One of my favorite episodes (and hey Jon this is computer related at least!) is when Homer puts on a few pounds to be obese so he can stop going to work because he's disabled. They install a computer at his home which of course he knows nothing about, the best moment from the episode being:
Homer (reading from PC screen): "To start press any key"; where's the any key? Is see esk (ESC), keturl (CTRL) and pigup (PgUp) but there doesn't seem to be any any key... Phew, all this computer hacking is making me thirsty, I think I'll order a tab. *presses TAB key, whilst holding up cup to CD Drive... Computer springs to life*
Anyways, in conjunction with the movie there is a site at www.simpsonizeme.com where you can upload a photograph of yourself and they send you back an e-mail with a simpsonized version of you. Here is my inner Simpson, quite the dapper fellow I must say.
Jon, can I use this as my dev2dev blog photo? <g>