Posts filed under the 'Blog' category


Goodbye Firebug, I knew you well

Some eight (!) years ago, I started to learn JavaScript from the viewpoint of a C# programmer. I wrote a series of blog posts here on the subject, and fairly early on I started using Firebug in Firefox for my experiments in coding and debugging this weird yet wonderful language. Yes, I could’ve moved on to Chrome and its developer tools, but I liked Firebug and I could get things done. The JavaScript on this blog site (and others I own) were completely debugged using Firebug. Firebug convinced me...

READ MORE

Silence

There’s a pretty good easy-listening guitar-based album from Dominic Miller called Shapes . He’s been working with Sting for a long time, and one of the tracks on the album is an extremely good re-recording of Sting’s Shape of my Heart song. All well and good as a recommendation, but what’s this got to do with anything? Bear with me… Three or four years ago, I bought a third-party add-on for the stereo in my car to allow it to play music from my iPhone. It’s not just a audio link, but using it you...

READ MORE

Scam HTTP_REFERER problem

My wife has a small blog for her hobby. I am, for my sins, her IT guy for it. She posts to it about once a week, maybe twice, and of course, after every post there’s a small uptick in views. All nice and normal. About a couple of months ago, I began to notice something weird happening. There was one post in particular that was getting 50-75% of all the views per day. There was nothing too striking about the post itself, but we laughed it off, imagining that it was obviously remarkable enough that...

READ MORE

Beware standards: a JSON story

Actually it’s more like a couple of little cautionary tales in one. If you’re a developer, I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept of JSON, a very simple data format used for transferring data from computer to computer, from application to application. So simple in fact, it’s pretty much replaced XML as the way to transfer some data over the internet. It was first invented by Douglas Crockford as a natural extension of his work with JavaScript, with the name standing for “JavaScript Object Notation...

READ MORE

404 reporting

Scripted hacks One of the widget plug-ins I use in this blog is one that gathers the URLs people use to access content here and that result in a 404 Not Found error. Those erroneous URLs get logged and, as admin, I can view them through the widget’s UI. The widget was written by an old mate, Scott Cate, for the GriffitiCMS blog engine (sorry, “CMS” engine), which is what I use here. He gave me the code a couple of years back and I’ve extended it a little to be able to clear the logs of the 404 errors...

READ MORE

Updating to Macbook Air to macOS Sierra

Despite being, essentially, a Windows developer, I do own a Mac, specifically a mid-2013 MacBook Air. I use it … occasionally, let us say, mostly for iOS development. One day, there may be more to it, but that relaxed rationale is about it for now. Anyway, Apple just released macOS Sierra , the latest operating system for Macs (they’ve moved from the OS X name to macOS to match their taxonomy for iOS and watchOS). For my own purposes I wanted to quickly note how I did it, since every time I try this...

READ MORE

Making a stack persistent or immutable

A while ago I wrote a book on algorithms and data structures, in my case for Delphi. It’s still on sale , but regrettably somewhat out of date, given the changes to the language in the last 15 years (I’m thinking of the new support for generics in particular). While on my vacation over the last couple of weeks I started thinking about writing a new series of blog posts on data structures, and what easier than updating the book into a new generics-capable one? There was one drawback: I haven’t done...

READ MORE

Free open source comes with a cost

In my blog post “ Thoughts on open source ” I ended cryptically with But be aware that just because they’re “free” doesn’t mean that the cost to use them is zero. Let me expand a little on this with especial regard to JavaScript libraries. What exactly is a cost associated with an open source library? When is it not free? I’ll compare this with buying a library from a component vendor, such as DevExpress , the company I work for. For a kick-off, an open source library certainly...

READ MORE

It lasted just over a year

Back in June 2015, I got my (replacement) CST-01, “the world’s thinnest watch”. I wrote about it at the time , mainly because of the stupendous crash-and-burn that the Kickstarter for it turned out to be. The watch is a lovely thing, to be sure. Well, I am sorry to report that, this weekend, after just 14 months of ownership, recharging every five to six weeks or so, the battery has now completely died. The watch only works if it’s plugged into the power charger. Unplug it, and the watch just shows...

READ MORE

Thoughts on open source

Waaaay back when (yes, it was eight years ago, an eternity in software development), I wrote a post on my old blog about using “ Code from the Internet ”. In those days, for me and my readers that meant finding some C# code from some blog post somewhere out there written by some Joe Blow and using it in your own app. These days however, if you’re doing any kind of web development, you’re going to be pretty well using a whole bunch of code from the internet, and in general from that internet outpost...

READ MORE