Archive for February, 2012

ETag header missing in HTTP No Content responses in Internet Explorer

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

If you’re one of that exceedingly rare breed who regularly check or subscribe to my blog, you probably want to give this post a miss. This one is more for people who find me through Google. A specific solution to a specific, geeky, problem.


First a little scene setting…

Server side

I have a REST API that uses ETags for, amongst other things, concurrency control. That is, the version of an entity is (opaquely) identified by an ETag. You need to specify that ETag when you try and make any changes to that entity. If someone else changes the entity before you do, your ETag won’t match, so your update will fail, and you won’t unintentionally roll-back their change.

The REST API returns no content (HTTP 204) in response to a successful PUT request to edit an entity, and includes the new ETag representing the version of the updated entity.

Client side

I have a Dojo web tool that uses xhr.put to submit edits to the REST API. In order to make further subsequent edits to an entity without reloading the page, it stores the ETag that it gets back in the response header after every PUT.

The problem

In short, Internet Explorer. 🙂


Posting to IBM Connections from WP7

Friday, February 24th, 2012

IBM Connections is something we use at work: an internal, intranet-hosted social network for work stuff.

I use stuff like the wikis, file sharing, and bookmarks, quite a lot. But I don’t make status updates as often as I could.

I wonder if that’s because I couldn’t do it from my phone? I know that I certainly started using Facebook a lot more since getting a phone with support for posting to facebook and twitter built-in.

So I set up a way for me to post to Connections from my phone with just one tap on the home screen.

Well, one tap, plus all the taps to actually type the status message… plus another tap on the Send button. But you get the idea.


A week off for half-term

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

This week has been school holidays in Hampshire, so I took a week off to entertain the rampaging monsters otherwise known as my children.

As always, it’s been a fun mix of things. With a three year old and a seven year old, the general plan is to try something a bit different every day so they’re not bored by the end of the week.

We did a few arts and craft things. We made our own candles, melting down candle wax chips from Hobbycraft in a saucepan, adding colouring and pouring them into moulds. We did some sewing, making stuff like animal-shaped cushions.

We spent an afternoon mucking about with a camera and a microphone. Faith loves singing into a small USB microphone we’ve got, so we recorded her singing some of her favourite songs. Grace tried making a stop motion animation using her Sylvanian Families. It ended up being 25 seconds long, but between taking all the photos, and recording the voices and sound-effects, it took her ages!


Making an evaporograph

Friday, February 17th, 2012

It’s still half-term, so time for another random “what can I do with the kids that’s vaguely science-y and only needs stuff that we have around the house”.

We made an evaporograph.

No, I’d never heard of it before, either.

But it was pretty cool which is why I’m blogging it myself instead of leaving Grace to write it up 😉


Making a voicebox

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

I didn’t really know what a voicebox was beyond knowing that Ned on South Park used one.

But it’s half-term week, so Grace and I tried to make our own out of straws, tape and a balloon. And it sort of worked!

Here’s how it worked…