As if like buses, you wait 5 months for an article and two come at once. Here's the follow-up to the XML-RPC Primer - Domino, XML-RPC and Java - An Example. The article talks about blogging (as it's also meant to act as a guide to DomBlog users who want to blog with w.bloggar) quite a bit. But this doesn't mean you shouldn't bother reading it. I try to write articles that feed the imaginations of all of us. Go on, give it a go. Who knows, you might even end up catching the blogging bug ;o)
In writing the above articles and investigating XML-RPC I have been using quite a few applications. Applications that every self-respecting Web Developer should have in their toolbox.
- Ethereal - A Packet Sniffer. Allows you to see exactly what goes on behind the scenes when your browser talks to a Domino server. Not the slickest piece of software but it has some nice features.
- Socket Workbench - Tool for sending and receiving data through sockets. For example, you can mimic a browser and POST your own data to a site. Useful for testing RPC calls. Again, this isn't the slickest of products. But, if you can get used to the clumsy interface it's a powerful and useful tool. You might remember I talked about using it in an article about sending mail through SMTP sockets.
- WebFetch - Not as powerful as Socket Workbench but just the trick if you simply want to "troubleshoot HTTP connections". You can use it to POST and GET data while monitoring the throughput. Thanks to Keith Nolen for turning me on to this. A definite must have!
There are quite a few similar tools available commercially, like Ether Detect, but most seem aimed at the Network Engineer rather than the poor old developer. Some are good and some ar bad. Each has its own must-have feature. What I really want is one tool that combines the best of them all. A combination of Ethereal and WebFetch that has the same UI quality and ease of use as Nick Bradbury's software. If only I knew how to programme in Java properly.
Don't worry if you can't see the need for any of them in the first place, I have an article or two planned where I'll try and demonstrate how useful they can be. Don't think I could live without them. In the mean time, if you know any similar tools that you rely on then let us all know...