Monday, April 30, 2007

News on iText

The BIRT team just got word that the iText component has finished the intellectual property review process at the Eclipse Foundation. This means that you will now be able to download BIRT in one step and not have to add any additional controls.

Thanks go out to the Eclipse Foundation IP review team that have diligently worked through all of the code in the iText component helping us to make sure that the code was clean. A big thanks also goes out to the
iText team team that have worked through all of these issues.

The next releases of BIRT 2.1.3 and 2.2 RC0 will have the appropriate iText version bundled into the download.

Friday, April 27, 2007

BIRT Notes: April 27, 2007

Once again the primary focus has been on the new CrossTab. At the PMC, it was noted that the CrossTab should be in pretty good shape by the RC0 build mid-May.

The PMC also discussed supporting BIRT on additional OS platforms. Specifically Windows Vista and Mac OS-X were discussed. One of the goals for the 2.2.1 release will be to provide testing and validation guidelines so that we can have "Community Certified" Reference Platforms.

It looks like we are getting down to the last items in the iText IP review process. The foundation IP reviewers found a couple of remaining issues which have been fixed in the latest build of BIRT. If you are pulling BIRT from head, you will need to get iText 1.5.1 which is available at:

Here is the list of notable changes:

- ParamDef tag for WebTools
can help user to create report parameter and generate html code.

- Fix Hyperlinks to internal bookmark in excel emitter.

- Parameter Sort Issue (under Show Report Parameters) - 165025
1.On parameter dialog, when defing dynamic parameter place combos to let user choosing sort key and sort direction, place a check box to let user setting if allow duplicate values.
2.Redesign the layout of parameter dialog, keep the dialog not growing bigger while placing sort related controls.

- Support more than eight colors in the Palette
Rollback the change to update() method in Platte to keep backward compatibility and add new method shift() to support 32 colors in palette.

- Add Tube/Cone/Pyramid as chart Types Bugzilla: 181711

- Add a switch to determine whether to clean viewer image folder when session expires Bugzilla Bug 183919
Add a new URL parameter named __clean to indicate whether clean session temp files. Default value is true.

- Optimized transaction usage in model api to improve performance

- Change report item data binding to be named based
Make report item share data binding by the name. If the data binding reference property is set, it takes high priority than local values. Column bindings, filters, sorts, parameter bindings can be shared among report items by data binding reference.

- Use Default Values in cascading parameter group Bugzilla Bug 178682
When retrieve and show the cascading parameter value list, focus on the default value.

- Data engine changes to support result set sharing
A field needCache is added to Dte query definition show weather the result iterator need to be cached. If need cahce the data will be saved in temporary file before the result iterator is closed. The saved result iterator can be loaded by queryResultID.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Article on Sguil and BIRT

David Bianco is President of Vorant Network Security, which offer security training and consulting specializing in Network Security Monitoring and Incident Response. He blogs about Sguil, Snort, NSM, and other programming topics here.

His most recent article is about the use of BIRT to report on Sguild data, the actual description is on the Vorant wiki here. The wiki entry contains info on Tomcat setup, BIRT web viewer setup, and the the actual reports.

Thanks for sharing your experience combining Sguil and BIRT.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

BIRT Notes: April 14, 2007

The new and notable for the M6 release includes for all of the new features in the new M6 build has been published on the BIRT web site. The work detailed here are for work that is done after the M6 release.

The number one focus for the development team continues to be the Cross-Tab control. In the M6 release, the cross-tab features are in place but they are definitely not ready for prime time usage. The RC0 build should have most of the major issues worked out from the cross-tab. In addition, new M6 features such as the Excel and Word emitter are marked as prototype since this is their first release.

Here is a list of some of the more significant development efforts for the week of April 7 - 14:

- Change CSStyleSheet API to make it easier to use:

- Bugzilla Bug (s) Resolved: Bug 179300
Added a new extension point IScriptableObjectClassInfo so that other report item plug-in developers can provide their extension for report item scripting UI. Meanwhile, provided adapters in api.metadata for UI aggregation feature and provided adapters in api.scripts for scripting UI.

- Chart UI Cleanup Categories: Bug 178725

1. Remove Category Series entry in FormatChart--Series page (except Pie chart).

2. Remove FormatChart--CategorySeries page for Meter chart.

- Fixes to the Report Engine Logging
Log Configuration was not used within the Report Engine.

- Allow sort bars in charts by Y value: Bug 170308

Support to specify sorting from properties pane for chart

- Chart Engine API Improvement
In DataProcessor, grouping for series is different according to series type. Now use extension IDataSetProcessor to avoid hardcoded data processing.

- BIRT Update Site
As of one of Europa M6 requirements, BIRT is using signed and pack200 update jars for update site now. Due to platform bug 163421 which was fixed only in Eclipse M6, you need to switch Eclipse M6 platform to use update site.

- Page Emitter Framework: Bug 180846
This is a new framework for page based emitters. Under this framework, algorithm of computing position is reused and emitters needn't to compute the absolute position by itself. Instead, it only needs to provide algorithm about how to create new pages and how to render items at specified position in a page.

- BIRT / Data Tools Downloads: Bugs 182051, 147419

Remove all DTP features/plugins from birt-framework/birt-framework-SDK zip files. Create new download package birt-dtp-integration which contains DTP bundles BIRT needs.

- Dynamic Parameters: Bugs 177439

Allow developer to select a default value for dynamic parameters.

- Model Simple API:

The chart and report engines are providing a new simple API for scripting. This code is being integrated into both the engines and the Model API.

BIRT Milestone 6 New and Notable

The New and Notable for Milestone 6 is now available. This milestone contains a fairly extensive list of new features, including Viewer improvements such as exporting the report to additional formats, TOC styling and server side printing. The new prototype XLS emitter is also available and we are looking for your feedback. To read about these features take a look at the New and Notable for Milestone 6.

To download Milestone 6 click here.

Friday, April 06, 2007

BIRT Notes: April 6 2007

You may have noticed that last weeks update was posted today. In the future, I am going to try and do this every week on Friday or Saturday. For this week, you get the special bonus of two weekly update in one week.

This weeks activities were primarily focused on fixes and enhancements to the CrossTab control which should be in the M6 build and to fixing any blocker bugs that would prevent the M6 build. I expect to see the M6 release candidate any time now and hopefully we will have a release for Monday.

Since I don't have a lot about new features to report, I thought I would provide some information about how I am compiling this list. Many of the committers for this project work for Actuate, I don't. We sometimes get questions about are communication channel, with the assumption being that most communication is done through private channels. The truth is that we work very hard to keep the BIRT development process as open as possible in accordance with the Eclipse Foundation guidelines. All of the information used to put this weekly status comes through the open channels. If you are interested in a complete description of the communication process please have a look at the this post on the BIRT home.

When ever one of the BIRT committers checks in code to one of the CVS repositories they send an email to the BIRT-DEV mail list. This week was a relatively quiet week with only 94 items entered over the last seven days. All of the developers use a standard template for the mail list. At the bottom of this post, I pick on one of our committers, Wei Wang, and show one of his submissions.

I scan the daily commits every day and can quickly see what the developers have been working on. Typically, must bug fixes do not make it into the weekly update. Those fixes that implement a major feature will also reference the BIRT Project Specification (BPS) and the bugs that are attached to it. Typically those are the issues that make it into the list. Now we all know that sometimes the developers are more interested in writing code rather than writing documentation about the code (not me of course), so in some cases I refer to the Bugzilla entry. Typically the BIRT committers do a really good job of describing their latest contribution to the project.

There are two other places that I get information about the project. First, the weekly Project Management Committee (PMC) meeting happens every Monday. At the PMC, we cover the most significant project issues and get a weekly status on the development efforts. The final place that I pick up information about the project is on the BIRT newsgroup. The BIRT newsgroup is a really great place to see how BIRT is being used and to get feedback on the project. Thanks to all of the awesome community members who have used the BIRT newsgroup.

If anyone has ideas on how I can improve this process, let me know.

- Summary:
Fix Bugzilla Bug 177695 --- Error occurs in JUnit test of in daily build 20070315

- Bugzilla Bug (s) Resolved:

- Description:
Fix Bugzilla Bug 177695 --- Error occurs in JUnit test of in daily build 20070315

- Tests Description :
Unit Test

- Notes to Build Team:

- Notes to Developers:

- Notes to QA:

- Notes to Documentation:

- Files Edited:

- Files Added:

- Files Deleted

- Wei Wang
Actuate Software(Shanghai) Co.,Ltd

BIRT Notes: March 31 2007

Howdy All,

I have been following the Aptana project and have noticed that they run a weekly update on their development efforts. I found this very useful, then it occurred as I was scanning the daily BIRT dev mailer that maybe we should do the same thing for the BIRT project. So what you are reading is the first week of an experiment where Jason Weathersby and I wrap up the weeks activities for the BIRT project.

This is still a bit of a work in progress, the amount of information that makes it in is still somewhat open. Basically, what I do is scan all the topics from the weekly PMC meeting, and read all of the birt-dev mail notes. If I see something interesting, I throw it in the list. I have not included the names of the committers that did the work, I will try to do that next week.

If you have any thoughts or comments, please let us know.

BIRT Notes: March 31, 2007

Support for Apple OS X
The PMC has started the process of providing support for OS X as one of our certified platforms. At this time we are looking for an appropriate partner(s) that will be able to perform testing on the Mac. We are in the process of identifying the specifics for the testing and in discussion with a couple of possible contributors. At this point, it appears that the major stumbling block will be the amount of manual testing that is required as part of the BIRT test procedure.

Process Pages Community member Daniel John Debrunner has been raising some interesting questions about the BIRT development process. We have provided documentation on the BIRT web site that outlines our development process so that it is more open to the rest of the community. Our goal is to build the BIRT product in the most open way that we can, hopefully our process allows the community visibility and access to the inner workings of the project. Please have a look and provide comments or questions.
BIRT Wiki - New Examples / Categories
As outlined in the previous post on this site, a significant amount of work has happened on the BIRT Wiki site, particularly in the examples area.

BIRT M6 Build
The M6 build is scheduled for next week. A lot of great new features have made it into the product and the developers are working on closing out approximately 70 open bugs over the next week. The most significant additions to the M6 build will be the addition of the CrossTab and the new Word and Excel emitters. The BIRT crosstab will be in the M6 build, but it is truly not ready for prime time yet, our target is to have the CrossTab ready for comments by the RC0 build, if you are interested have a look in the M6 build.

The following represent a list of Bugzilla fixes that represent a significant change in functionality.

  • New feature to allow row level filtering in the XPath mapping expression. (175347)
  • Add Export Report and Print report on the server functions in the Web Viewer. (175636, 158748). To turn off Print Server Side function, please set BIRT_VIEWER_PRINT_SERVERSIDE setting in web.xml to OFF.

  • Add “Report and Chart Design” view in core.ui. (BPS79, 173238)

  • Add support for the application of styles in the table of contents (numerous)
  • Support Date/Time data type in BIRT report engine. (177693)
  • Supports "isRequired" property on parameter dialog, drop the allownull and allowblank properties. If isRequired isn't checked, allow user to set null value to parameter. (156012)

  • Improved Log Support 147863 Add getLogger/setLogger to:
  • Chart Simple API (BPS66, 159514, 177282)
  • Improved Fit to Page for PostScript and PDF emitters
  • First version of incremental caching of BIRT data engine. In this version we do not support idea of persistent caching. We only support session based caching.