Archive for June, 2006

Farewell Delphi!

June 29, 2006

I came across a great farewell to Delphi tribute over at while browsing Roumen Strobl from NetBeans Weblog.

A snippet as featured in Roumen’s post:

Oh they didn’t write Skype in Javascript
Or Scheme or other Lisp.
And they didn’t use Java or that C sharp
‘Cos it had to be fast and crisp.
And they didn’t write Skype in C++
Though they wanted it tough and tight.
And they didn’t write Skype in Vis Bas
Cos Vis Bas is just shi ain’t quite right.

And Delphi, your easy to use programming environment and lack of runtime dependencies , are going to be greatly missed 😦


Getting organised

June 29, 2006

I started creating a small app to improve how I manage my documents. This is what I came up with:


The application looks at a ‘dump’ directory, a directory containing files that are currently being worked on. Files are saved in this directory with a ‘tag’, a prefix before the filename terminated with a ‘.’. For example as the image above shows I may have two files Assignments.Assignment1.txt and Images.image1.tiff. When the ‘deploy’ application is run it will create two new folders in the specified source directory called Assignments and Images. The two files will then be moved into these directorys and their ‘tag’ will be removed. They now exist as Assignment1.txt in Assignments and image1.tiff in Images.

The original files in the ‘dump’ directory are removed.

This allows for much easier saving of files; write in the tag of where they should be sent and when the application is run (either manually or on computer shutdown/start up) the files are organised.

All I have left to do really is clean the code a little and allow the source and destination directories to be set via parameters as currently they are set as variables in the application code.

I’ve learnt a few things in Delphi by creating this application which I am happy to know such as the CopyFile windows API call as well as Peek Char datatypes.

And after Java programming the ‘:= expected but ‘=’ found’ was a common compiler error 😛

Thats one thing off the to-do list!

Web2.0 Error Messages

June 28, 2006

I’ve been impressed with how creative some error messages from the larger services have been lately , gone are the standard HTTP error codes or a dull text message:




I have an idea for a message of my own 🙂 Just need to learn, or find someone who can make those cool vector images!


June 28, 2006

Well the holidays have finally come and I have finished all my subjects, hoping for good marks all round 🙂 Now that I have some more free time I will be able to update much more and get started on some projects I have been meaning to do. Currently my list is (in some form of importance from 1st to last) below:

  1. Create dump program. I have a really bad habbit of saving everything to the desktop and working from there. Each new semester I create new folders for each subject as well as a folder for reference, this usually lasts 2 weeks before it is a mess again. I have an idea how I can solve (inspired by using ANT with TomCat) this so will get out DELPHI tonight or tomorow.
  2. Host my blog and some friends blogs on a new server, get some experience with how wordpress works.
  3. Install a new harddisk and format my old one.
  4. Learn C# and make NoteThis! application, an application to store text based notes by tagging and saving. Will have an XML backend.
  5. Re-write my content management system into Ruby to allow more webhosting options and to learn ruby on rails.
  6. Make a Java RSS feed reader (Ideally will run from command line and will later add a gui)
  7. Get organised!

I’ll update with my progress on this as well as other development topics I come across.

Crypto-Gram Newsletter

June 22, 2006

How could I forget! … I used to read this newsletter every month with great interest and somehow it got lost in translation (or something), anyway, I was in a computer lab yesterday and managed to get in a discussion with a lecturer from another department on various open source related topics. I was very happy to see that other people are as passionate as me on open source software. Another topic that was brought up was Bruce Schneier's Crypto-Gram Newsletter, a very popular monthly newsletter on computer security.

I instantly googled it realising I had forgotten this email I used to love and I am now subscribed again 🙂

You can subscribe via the following link:

I've also done another lage link dump on my account so expect many more interesting posts over the next week as I catch up on them all, as well as my expanding email box!

Link dump and SPAM

June 21, 2006

I'm still finishing assignments and have been really flat out so this post  is just a link dump. I had a rather large collection of bookmarks in FireFox which was getting very hard to manage as well as many links going un-noticed (I'd forgotten about them). I decided to organise them by deleting them from FireFox and uploading them to my account. The result is much better managed bookmarks that I can access from anywhere as well as share with anyone interested. I am a huge supporter of social networking. (excluding myspace :P)

Links of interest:

XSPF: XML Shareable Playlist Format: Home

Nvu – The Complete Web Authoring System for Linux, Macintosh and Windows


Dia – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

These are a select few of the links on my account. If you are interested in software development I suggest having a look as there are lots of good resources not in this list. Alternatively you can keep visiting this blog as I will be doing more link dumps as welll as a few write ups.

Lately I have been getting a large amount of spam comments which is very annoying, I'm going to have to start validating comments I think. 

Content management system

June 18, 2006

I spent last week working hard on getting my content management system up and running and I am very happy with it 😀 It is working great as a mysql database front end to manage the tables required for a website as well as the handling of users for posts.

Tomorow I will get the actual page builder going and it will be all done!  Holidays comming up which means I will have the time to move this blog and a few friends blogs over to a hosting company and get to have a very good play with how word press works.

Get in sync

June 15, 2006

As I move between different computers quite often I have been wanting some form of tool that syncs your browser settings between computers. I started to think of how I could make an application to do something like this using an intermediate server and firefox, but … Google has done it! Another great tool to the large list of quality Google services is Google Browser Sync. As suggested it syncs your bookmarks, history and form passwords as well as remembering what tabs you had open when you closed the browser window (a feature I have found to be extremely useful).  Another highly reccomended download.
I briefly mentioned in my post Hello World a while ago that I have been thinking about exactly what area of programming I'd like to ideally get into at the end of this year when my degree is completed. In contrast to what I wrote in that post (favouring low level programming) I think the area I'd like to get into is more server side applications, using languages/application such as XHTML, CSS, Java, XML, MySQL, C++, PHP, and Apache. These are what I will be focusing on from now. My industry project involves the research, design and implementation of a client server application which is directly related to this so it will be good experience.

I also have collected fair amount of bookmarks for various tech/development related topics which I need to organise (information isn't valuable unless its accessable 😛 . I will start uploading them to my account which I havn't been making much use of.

Holidays in a little over a week so I can begin on the various projects I have lined up, including the hosting of this blog and some friends. As well as getting my NoteThis application working. I'd like to set this up as an open source project if there is interest , to see what can be added as well as to learn from others how my programming can be improved.

McKoi SQL Database for Java

June 13, 2006

Java programmers may be interested in this, from the website

Mckoi SQL Database is an SQL (Structured Query Language) Database management system written for the JavaTM platform. Mckoi SQL Database is optimized to run as a client/server database server for multiple clients, however it can also be embedded in an application as a stand-alone database. It is highly multi-threaded and features an extendable object-oriented engine. 

McKoi is released under the GNU General Public License and supports the SQL standard to a comparable level of other SQL database management systems available (see McKoi SQL Syntax). McKoi supports similar data-types to mySQL but with the addition of JAVA_OBJECT , allowing a serializable objects in Java to be stored.

I couldn't find any mention on if McKoi supports referential integrity which the default database engine in mSQL does not. Not really that big a deal if you design your appication to implement these features itself.

This will be the first thing I will be playing with in the holidays as it looks very useful! – fresh links for developers

June 11, 2006

I've been meaning to link for ages, very slack of me! A brief description from the digg article is below: (DZ) is a link-sharing community where member participation determines what gets published and what does not. Members submit links to developer-related content into a queue, and you vote to indicate whether or not you like those links. A must read for developers CS pros and hobbyists.

I could spend all day reading articles there (and proberly will over the holidays 🙂 ) Support them by signing up and digging the article!