Blogs

Birth of a new website

About a year ago, a consultancy company made a SWOT analysis for iText. This SWOT analysis was very interesting because it opened our eyes: the facts laid out in the reports were known to us, but somehow we saw them as separate concerns and we missed the overview to choose priorities.
One of the weaknesses is demonstrated in the following slide:
I'm an engineer, not a web designer. In the past, I've built websites for iText. Whenever I needed something new, I started a new website from scratch. As I didn't have much time, none of these websites were ever complete, and more importantly: none of my websites gave a professional impression.
This had to change, so I launced a request asking for web designers to create a new web site for iText. I received many responses, and the quotes ranged from too cheap to be true to so expensive only a major such as Adobe could afford to pay for it.
One of the replies surprised me. I was looking for a company that could write me HTML, CSS and maybe some PHP, but Namahn answered with a counter-question: Is that what you really need? Wouldn't it make more sense to think about the information architecture first? You can change the way your site looks, but does this solve your problem? Wouldn't you rather build a structure for your site before you think about its appearance?
These unexpected questions were very much to the point, so I decided to work with these guys.

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iText in the Cloud

I'm an author at Manning Publications, and as such, I have a login to their document system. A while ago, I found chapter 12 of the new book Hadoop in Action in one of the public folders. It was probably put there by mistake, but I couldn't resist taking a look at it, and much to my surprise, the first section in that chapter mentioned iText.

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Google Analytics

Every month I peek at Google Analytics to find out if my different sites are doing well.
Bruno Lowagie's Online Gazette has been dead for a long time, so it will take a while before you see something that looks like a heart beat:

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An evening with my (former) colleagues

I've been working at home for my own company for exactly two months now, and I really enjoy my sabbatical. Yet, there are times when I miss having colleagues nearby, especially: having lunch with colleagues.

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Royal Library of Belgium (2)

A week and a half ago I wrote that I paid a visit to the Royal Library of Belgium because, according to a Belgian Law dating from 2008, I had to donate two copies of my new book (2011) and while I was there, I also took a copy of my first book (2007).

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Reading Android in Practice

A couple of days ago, I installed a development environment for Android because I volunteered to review chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 9 of Android in Practice. I don't have much time to read for the moment, but I succeeded in finishing the first chapter today, and I've deployed my first "Hello Android" application on my phone.

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iText in Action at Devoxx — review at RedLab.be

I've found a first review of my Devoxx presentation at RedLab.be.

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The Royal Library of Belgium

I almost broke the law without knowing there even was a law.

A couple of weeks ago, I tweeted about the first "iText in Action" review on Amazon:

@bruno1970 5 Nov
Does Belgium know that "Bruno Lowagie is a Belgian National Treasure!" http://tinyurl.com/iia-amazon

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Interview at Devoxx

On Tuesday I met Geertjan Wielenga. Geertjan interviewed me for an article on DZone:

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iText in Action at Devoxx

The second edition of iText in Action was released on October 28, and presented to the public at Devoxx on November 15.

This is me in Action:

The location was overwhelming. I'm not a tall guy, but I felt really small in front of this big screen:

If you've missed Devoxx, no problem, I hope to see you all at another event soon!

Google+

See also Bruno's profile on Google+