# Thursday, March 17, 2005

How fantastic to find a bug in my code which is so easily fixed due to the use of a regex. Do you use it enough? The SQL of strings, the love of my life?

I may just have to add an ode to the regex along with an ode to Reflector to my odes todo-list

Also be sure to download and install The Regulator for you’re regexing needs. It’s right out of the “slick-tools-which-do-one-thing-perfectly” along with iTunes, BlogJet, and XanaNews.

posted on Thursday, March 17, 2005 10:29:45 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
posted on Thursday, March 17, 2005 9:34:44 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Looks like I’ll be going to the movies this summer

War of the Worlds movie

posted on Thursday, March 17, 2005 9:11:17 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

For the past months I’ve been working on putting together the new Bolia.com site, or rather some usability improvements suggested by an expert in the field. The main difference between the new and the old site is that the checkout process is a bit more intuitive and you’re able to click back and forth between the individual steps. Also the catalog has undergone major surgery and is now much better organized and presented than previously. Currently only the Living Room / Sofas category has been adopted to the new layout, so be sure to check back and see what they do with the remaining categories.

Finally search optimizations have been put into place which should make finding the furniture you want on the Bolia.com site much easier using Google, Yahoo, or whatever your favorite search engine might be. We have great plans for version 2.0 which will sport some cool URL rewriting features.

I for one think the new site reflects the current trends on the web much better (I should, shouldn’t I?). Also I had a chance to view the new design on our recently purchased Mac mini for testing purposes. What can I say the design fits right in there with Mac OSX.

This morning was the culmination of the development effort with a large deployment of the new design along with the entire catalog which has had 1600 new products added over the past weeks. Behind the covers this is a pretty big undertaking so much care and planning has gone into the deployment testing for my part. Of course that didn’t stop me from staying up all night yesterday fixing the small problems which invariably crop up.

Anyways go have a look around a tell me what you think, will ya?

posted on Thursday, March 17, 2005 8:55:42 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Given that I’m about to suggest a logging solution for our coming development project I’m very interested in what Loren Halvorson and Tom Hollander has to say about Log4net vs. Enterprise Library. As of now Enterprise Library seems to be the better fit for our web applications, and the easy of extensibility is a big plus for Enterprise Library also. Mind you I have still to take a deep look at Log4net, and I certainly need to do a little test implementation to get a real feel for it. But as of now I’m going with Enterprise Library for our logging needs. Also the excellent integration with the Exception Handling application block gives Enterprise Library a leg up, it essentially does what I have done myself in a previous solution.

Read all about it in Microsoft Enterprise Library Logging Block compared to Log4net and Comments on the EntLib/Log4Net feature and performance comparison

posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 2:52:56 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Want to build something like those super slick web applications coming out of Google, like Gmail, or Google Maps? Part of the trick is using the XMLHttpRequest object and Javascript for request new data behind the scenes. I’ve used this technique to solve a problem on a large-scale traveling site here in Denmark. While you need to do some SOAP goo to get it working, it does work like a charm.

Interested in learning more? XML.com has an article about the subject by Drew McLellan entitled Very Dynamic Web Interfaces.

One of the classic drawbacks to building a web application interface is that once a page has been downloaded to the client, the connection to the server is severed. Any attempt at a dynamic interface involves a full roundtrip of the whole page back to the server for a rebuild--a process which tends to make your web app feel inelegant and unresponsive. In this article, I'll be exploring how this problem can be tackled with the use of JavaScript and the XMLHttpRequest object.

posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 12:00:12 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

More information about the much needed update to IE.

Will Internet Explorer (IE) 7.0 have tabs? Will it comply with the Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) 2.0 standard? Exactly how will it make browsing more secure? Will it ship in 2005?

Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 Details Begin to Leak

posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 11:51:48 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Chris Pirillo did an interview with a spammer at SWSX which gives a scary look into the minds of a spammer and the world of spammers. Definitely worth a listen.
posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 1:14:50 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
As a follow-up to the Flickr API .NET Wrapper post, I’d like to point you in the direction of the Flickr API documentation which I neglected to mention last time around. Go have a look; for me just looking at the API makes all kinds of ideas surface.
posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 1:10:35 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, March 14, 2005

Like what’s been coming out of MSN lately? There’s an entire page dedicated to new software and sites coming from MSN like Windows AntiSpyware, MSN Messenger 7, Lookout, and much more.

This is the place to play with new MSN technologies, look at prototypes, and peek behind the scenes at some of our new ideas. Let us know what you think about how we can improve MSN for you. Thanks for visiting the Sandbox.

http://sandbox.msn.com/

Also be sure to check out Microsoft’s online RSS reader at http://www.start.com/2/, and their Javascript enabled search page at http://www.start.com/1/.

posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 10:57:05 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Even more on the search engine optimization subject:

Google is the best search engine on the 'net right now. The Googlebot is Google's indexing software. The Googlebot visits billions of web sites over time and records their contents, which makes them available to search. The Googlebot is very smart and works really well. But, like everyone, it could use a little help from its friends.

Help the Googlebot Understand Your Website

Also I couldn’t agree more with this disclaimer. SEOs are indeed thieves:

** Disclaimer: I'm no Google expert or employee, and I'm no SEO. As a matter of fact, SEOs who charge exorbitant amounts of money for "proprietary, secret" methods of upping your site's placement in Google results are thieves. There aren't secrets or tricks to any of this; my sources of information for this list of recommendations are the freely available Google Webmaster Guidelines and my own piddly server logs.

posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 9:43:45 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Interesting to say the least:

This book is a Programmer’s Guide to the Mind. In it, we will attempt to do two things: We will try to explain how the mind works, and we will also show how a person can make it operate more effectively. If we compare the task of developing the mind to that of taking a journey, then this volume could be described as a combination road map and tourist guide.

A Programmer's Guide to the Mind

posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 9:26:09 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
In addition to The Black Art of Google Optimizations you should check out the SEO Toolkit which will help you out in the never ending quest for better search engine ranks.
posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 9:22:50 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Paul Vick of the Visual Basic team responds to the madness surrounding the plead for Microsoft to keep supported VB6 and develop a new version.

To start with the second point first, to those who think we should integrate VB6 into the current Visual Studio shell, I can only offer the perspective of a developer who’s worked in both codebases: best of luck. In VB6, all of the pieces of the puzzle (compiler, debugger, forms package, runtime, etc.) were designed to work solely with each other and were tightly bound together. In Visual Studio, all of the pieces of the puzzle were designed to work with mutiple clients and were loosely bound together. Thus, the architectures are totally different and, in many ways, incompatible. Heck, we spent four years getting VB .NET integrated into the Visual Studio shell and we were writing it from scratch (and therefore could design a compatible architecture)! Trying to extract some of the pieces of VB6 and fit them into an architecture that was not designed to couple with them as tightly as their previous home would be a huge undertaking.

Save Ferris! I mean, VB6!

posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 9:17:29 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, March 13, 2005
Speaking of Flickr Derek Lakin, Sma Judson, and Ray Dixon have taken the time to write a managed wrapper for the Flickr API which enables you to do all kinds of tricks. You shouldn’t use the official release from the site, rather you should grab the latest version from their source control system as the release doesn’t work with the current version of the Flickr API. Save yourself the time I spent figuring this out. You will need the free SourceGear Vault Client for accessing their source control, and you should point it to scc.wdevs.com using user name “guest” and password “guest”.
posted on Sunday, March 13, 2005 11:08:40 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

I’ve started playing around with Visual Studio 2005 for a small Flickr project I need, and I’m really digging on the new ability to specify different protection levels on get and set accessors. I’ve often found myself needed a public get accessor and a protected or private set accessor. With .NET 2.0 I can have this with writing a separate internal set accessor. Small feature but it’s something I see myself using on a regular basis.

public string MyString

{

           get

           {

                      return "";

           }

           private set

           {

                      string s = value;

           }

}

Also: Generics… Wow! I want my next child to have this feature

 

posted on Sunday, March 13, 2005 9:06:22 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, March 12, 2005
Using the moon for remote backup scientists hope to preserve life should the Earth get hit by a meteor: Could a Lunar Gene Bank Save Our Species? Pretty freaking weird to use to moon as a remote backup location if you ask me  Wonder if I could get a gig or two for my family pictures while they’re at it
posted on Saturday, March 12, 2005 9:42:13 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, March 11, 2005

Well wooptidoo: Linus Tovalds gets Mac and install Linux on it. So basically every news source has a story on how nothing has changed in Linux land other than Linus is now focusing on the 64–bit core instead of 32–bit. I may just have to go and lay down for moment – the excitement is too much I tell ya!

This one is right up there with the angry MVPs who want VB6 back. I guess nothing much is going on at the moment

posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 1:45:58 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

I was struggling with solving an issue with a server control for ASP.NET which I couldn’t quite figure out. After much trial and error I finally pulled up good old Reflector and had a look at some of the control supplied with ASP.NET. This gave me some much needed inspiration on how to proceed.

Once again two thumbs up for Lutz Roeder for writing Reflector. I may have to write an ode to both of them one day

posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 1:41:42 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

I’m always on the lookup for something different to subscribe to. Today it comes in the form of Drawn a blog dedicated to drawing. As the name implies you’ll find lots and lots of cool drawings posted every day.

Go take a look yourself. Here’s some art for the movie Robots which I found while looking through some of the stuff.

I_artRobots

posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 1:37:08 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

You need three things to create a successful startup: to start with good people, to make something customers actually want, and to spend as little money as possible. Most startups that fail do it because they fail at one of these. A startup that does all three will probably succeed.

More at How to Start a Startup

posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 1:11:43 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Should Microsoft continue to support VB6? No! Why? I’ll tell you why, or rather I’ll point you to Public Class GeoffAppleby where a well put together post sums up my feelings on this non-issue pretty well: Ranting about the VB rant

Be sure to read the comments too, they’re a hoot.

posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 11:29:25 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, March 09, 2005

When thinking about new home projects I’d like to create I often get stuck at the point in the process where I need to think about the interface for the application. More often than not I have a very good idea of where I want to take the app, but not really a clear idea of how I’ll get there.

Interface Design Tips That You May Not Know About may help me get to the actual implementation of the interface for a change

posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 3:45:12 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback