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RailsConf Review

Posted in Developing Software, Ruby on Rails

My RailsConf photos on FlickrIt�s just over a week since I returned from the First International Rails Conference in Chicago and I’ve had some time to reflect on my experiences and put a few photos online. This was the first open source conference I have attended and it was a truly enlightening experience. I had the pleasure of meeting some very interesting people from Mike Bailey to Dave Thomas and Martin Fowler.

The crowd at RailsConf was very different from that at Microsoft events which I have regularly attended in recent years. This was refreshing but also a challenge as I’m not a UNIX guru by any means. It’s clear that there is little interest in the community to actively support Windows and provide a bridge for .NET developers to migrate. This schism is something that the veterans like Dave Thomas are looking to cross as there is a lot of time and effort invested in other technologies. DHH‘s keynote address railed against support of XML Web Services and legacy database schemas. It will be interesting to see if ThoughtWorks, or another vendor, will step up and provide more support for working with enterprise technologies.

Deployment seemed to be a hot topic for all users at the conference and it was interesting to see the capabilities with Rails. Mike Clark‘s talk on Capistrano was wonderfully presented. The simplicity of being able to pull together a build system which integrates source control and remote deployment was amazing. This is something that is sorely missed in the .NET community and could probably be built on top of NAnt in a less elegant way than Capistrano.

Jan Kneschke provided an interesting insight into building a Web server to handle a massive number of connections. His Web server, LightTPD, was popular with the Rails community due to its FastCGI implementation but now has competition from Mongrel. He’s planning on improving the mod_proxy support so that “Lighty” will work with Mongrel in a similar way to Apache.

On the final day of the conference, Stuart Holloway of Relevance, and former Java junkie at DevelopMentor, provides an insight into some of the Ruby techniques used by the Rails team. Stuart has spent a lot of time going through the Rails internals to figure out what the Rails core team has done to provide such cool functionality. Since I haven’t spent too much time with Ruby a lot of this was very deep, but the explanation of analogues in the Java world helped a lot. This talk provided me with a lot of food for thought and is the reason I signed up for RailsConf.

If you are interested in other sessions I attended, I’ve posted my incomplete notes for download.

Regards the venue, facilities, and catering I think that the RailsConf organisers did a good job. Providing wireless internet access for 550 people is not an easy task, and the fact I could check mail from time to time was good enough for

Overall RailsConf was an excellent event, and I’m lucky to have attended the first conference. RailsConf II is likely to be a lot bigger next May, and the overall feeling will be different. It will be really interesting if Mike, Oliver and Dei come along and we can catch up on a year of Rails development.

Waiting for DHH and O’Reilly hosting the next RailsConf!

Posted in Developing Software, Ruby on Rails

It’s been a great second day of presentations at RailsConf and I’m waiting with Mike Bailey and Jim Freeze for a speech from David Heinemeier Hansson. Chad Fowler has just announced that O’Reilly are hosting the next RailsConf. So book some time off for May 17-20, 2007 in Portland, Oregon!

RubyConf – Day One

Posted in Developing Software, Ruby on Rails

On Wednesday night I arrived in Chicago, IL for the first ever Ruby on Rails conference. My Southwest flight from Philly was delayed for two hours so I didn’t get to my hotel till 2.30am on Thursday. After less sleep than I had planned for, I went along to the Rails Guidebook. This was a cut down version of the Pragmatic Programmers course developed by Ruby legend Dave Thomas. Dave presented along with Mike Clark and they didn’t disappoint. If you ever get a chance to see these guys present make an effort to go see them, they are very entertaining. Thanks to Chad Fowler for enlightening me on the Ruby Gems system during the ‘installfest’!

Day one of the real conference kicked off today with a keynote from Dave Thomas on what he feels are areas where Rails can improve. He didn’t spend a long time covering it, but support for other data sources behind a model is an important addition. Having improved database key support would also be nice to have for those working with legacy systems.Visual Cage

The best sessions of the day were on Capistrano, a Rails deployment engine, and Asterisk. The integration of VoIP with Web applications is surprisingly simple with this open source platform. I felt the Open ID session was a miss because the information had been presented in a similar way to Dick Hardt’s identity presentation, and there was little on the Rails specifics.

A very useful notion from the world of Rails are migrations click to read more. These help you update your database based on changes to your application, and are very much automated by the platform. Unfortunately these are not fully transactional since MySql and friends do not have support for transactions around DDL. I wonder when they are going to catch up with SQL Server in this regard?

Crash reporting in Windows

Posted in Developing Software

Microsoft have been collecting crash data using a system known as Windows Error Reporting (“Dr Watson”) since the release of Windows XP (and possibly earlier). When a usermode error occurs in an application, a minidump and other pertinent is extracted. The user is then prompted as to whether they wish to report this information. After the reboot that follows a kernal mode error (bugcheck) you are prompted to send this information to a secure Microsoft

If the information is reported, a back end process does some analysis to see if it matches other error messages and might offer you some feedback. I’ve certainly benefited from this in the past, as a buggy D-Link driver caused numerous bugchecks (blue screens) and WER pointed me to a source of newer drivers.ReTeks

I’ve observed the use of this feature by many people and there seems to be a fairly even split between those that send the crash data and those who cancel out. It appears that many people don’t provide feedback because they fear Microsoft getting getting access to private information. This fear is justifiable, but I think that Microsoft could encourage more people to submit bug reports if they improved their UI design and branding.

The current implementation on Windows XP and 2003 has these faults:

Thankfully there are some improvements on the way. Windows Vista will include support for centralised crash reporting management, and improved UI. I will post a review of this in Beta 2 soon. Users of Office 2007 will notice that the bug and usage data collector is more advanced, and allows you to submit later. This is enabled when you sign up for the application improvement programme when prompted in the task notification area.

Don’t forget about Parameterized SQL

Posted in Developing Software

It’s common to see .NET developers and SQL Server DBAs arguing over the merits of stored procedures versus inline (ad hoc) SQL. It’s unfortunate that these folks are so polarised since there is a solution that meets somewhere in the middle. It’s called parameterised SQL and it’s similar to inline SQL, except that it’s based on templates. You effectively have the SQL that exists in a stored procedure, and you specify input/output parameters in the same way as you do for stored procedures lexapro price. This SQL is then placed in the data access layer of your application.

From what I understand, Microsoft are using this for DLinq and have dropped their recommendation on the use of stored procedure. I’m all in favour of this method since it makes upgrading applications so much simpler, and reduces your dependency on the DBA whilst maintaining a level of protection from SQL injection attacks. There is the point about setting security on individual stored procedures – but how many people really do that? Even when they do they often leave themselves open to other attack vectors.Roblox HackBigo Live Beans HackYUGIOH DUEL LINKS HACKPokemon Duel HackRoblox HackPixel Gun 3d HackGrowtopia HackClash Royale Hackmy cafe recipes stories hackMobile Legends HackMobile Strike Hack

Are data grid controls good for end users?

Posted in Developing Software, Ramblings

Rod Paddock recently posted on his experiences with WPF. Something that jumped out at me was his criticism of Microsoft for omitting a Datagrid control, although a basic grid control is included. The lack of a traditional Datagrid doesn’t bother me too much, but I can see how it might impact a lot of developers. WPF is at least six months from release so it’s likely a third-party will fill this gap, if Microsoft aren’t pressured into writing one.Focuz

In case you don’t know, the data grid is a UI control for Web and Windows development included with every release of .NET so far. It’s a staple for UI control vendors and has been replicated in many other development environments. At a base level it displays data in a tabular format. However most incorporate in-place editing and control hosting features.

Perhaps the lack of this control in WPF is a blessing in disguise since developers might stop to think for once. From my experience the data grid control is:

Misuse is the biggest concern for me. Time after time I see projects where a developer has slapped on a grid as the UI, without concern for the end user. I refer you to the hideous multi-coloured grids with full editing enabled that litter business applications today. Vista is supposed to make us re-think the user interface to some degree – should we carry forward some of the rubbish that is produced today in the name of software UI design?

As an aside, I’m a big fan of FogBugz and it includes a grid UI for listing cases. However, it also includes a list view, which must be popular with some end users for FogCreek to include this functionality.

Onto point two which is only valid when you really care about your users (most line of business developers need not apply!). Grids are heavy on the client if thought is not put into their operation in production. I’m all for avoiding premature optimisation, but avoiding optimisation altogether is something else entirely. Costs for grids on Windows include the memory for the control and data. On the Web you often produce a lot of HTML tables and other junk which has to be delivered to the browser. If ASP.NET is used there is also likely to be superfluous viewstate information. As you cram more features in you are penalised for each one unless you can selectively control their use.

My final point, number three, relates to the complexity that you heap upon yourself as you strive to make your application more complex for end users. Why try to combine editing, deletion and creation of records into one screen? It’s often a false economy on behalf of the developer that all of this can be rolled into a single application form. If I had a penny for the number of a reasonable developer struggles with getting access to the value cell in an ASP.NET Datagrid, I would be very rich.

Getting back to WPF and Vista, I think that developers like Rod need to start looking at how they visualise information. Until now, .NET programming has been about ramping up productivity on the parts of an application a user shouldn’t experience directly. With WPF it’s about how the user interacts with the application, and this requires the attention to user experience that Web applications have had for years. If the current generation of developers don’t wise up and appreciate the implications of this technology they will deservedly end up on the scrap heap.

Support proxy servers in your applications

Posted in Developing Software, Running an ISV

Much of the software I use on a day-to-day basis requires a HTTP connection to the Internet lexapro pill. Unfortunately, not all of this software includes reliable Web proxy support for Windows Authentication (NTLM). Whilst many people are connecting to the Internet from networks without proxy servers, I’m often connecting from corporate networks through Microsoft ISA Server.mensclub24

Here is some advice for anyone writing software that uses that needs uses the Internet:

Data Access Pain

Posted in Developing Software

One of the things that I find most frustrating about on .NET projects is working with relational data sources. My experience with DataSets in the 1.x days was far from positive. They proved too inefficient and difficult to debug. This has changed in 2.0 with the many improvements to the API and the introduction of visualizers to the integrated debugger. I’m still not sold on this solution, but at least things are improving 😉Перемычки

My preference has been to develop a layer of custom objects which get called from the upper layers of the application. This is very flexible and easy to debug. In addition, you can create these objects without having any back end developed so that prototyping is simpler. To be fair this can be a bit time consuming, and I have tried to augment this with code generation using CodeSmith. Working this way lets me deal with objects in a fashion native to the .NET platform, take advantage to intelliense and simplify unit testing.

I’m looking at two other solutions – LLBLGen Pro and NHibernate. LLBLGen seems to be better suited to my needs at present since it has a better user experience. Both of these tools map generated objects to the tables in the database, so you can avoid switching back and forth between programming models. Complex queries are expressed using custom syntax and this is where the story sours for NHibernate and LLBGen to a lesser extent. LLBGen makes it simple to wrap existing stored procedures so this is potentially useful when the the SQL gets complex. Ideally I’d like to rid myself of the relational model and SQL altogether but I guess we’re going to have to live with it forever.

On this topic it’s worth reading a paper by Ted Neward on the object-relational divide and various technologies that have been developed to bridge it. The paper was for MSDN so it covers the LINQ technology that will likely be part of C# 3.0.

Split (2017) English Subtitle

Posted in Developing Software

Split (2017) Full Movie Online Watch Free , English Subtitles Full HD, Free Movies Streaming , Free Latest Films.

Quality : HD
Title : Split.
Director : M. Night Shyamalan
Release : January 19, 2017
Language : en.
Runtime : 117 min
Genre : Horror, Thriller.

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‘Split’ is a movie genre Horror, Thriller, was released in January 19, 2017. M. Night Shyamalan was directed this movie and starring by James McAvoy. This movie tell story about Though Kevin has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher, there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey, Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him — as well as everyone around him — as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

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Behind the Weblog

Brian Lyttle - portrait photo by Sarah Gray ;)Brian Lyttle runs Source Foundry, a consultancy that specialises in Web development and content management. When he's not writing code and experimenting with the latest tools, you can find him honing his photography skills or helping Bill to improve his Mazda Miata.

I update my link blog regularly. It's powered by so you can subscribe to the RSS feed.

This Weblog is an experiment, and will focus on a broad range topics ranging from marketing to software, and anything else that comes to mind. These are my views and do not represent the views of any employer or client.

I'll be attending RailsConf 2006. Where will you be?


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