Amazon.com Widgets Flotsam and Jetsam

Flotsam and Jetsam #37

By Nick at June 22, 2011 03:06
Filed Under: Delphi, Flotsam and Jetsam, Tech Stuff
  • Marco Cantu has published his new book on Delphi XE.  I’ve been given an advanced copy (thanks, Marco!) and as you’d expect, it is excellent.  We are going to buy some copies here at Gateway Ticketing for use in our transition to Delphi XE.  As with everything Marco does, it is highly recommended
  • There a new Facebook group for Delphi Developers that seems to have a lot of activity.  You might consider joining.  It would be good for Delphi people to congregate in a single place on Facebook to share links and information, and this might be the place. 
  • And speaking of Facebook, you can now ’Like’ Embarcadero’s AppWave on Facebook.  I’m still not clear on exactly where all this AppWave thing is going, but it does look interesting.  I wonder what affect the “appstore” in Windows 8 will have on it.  I guess one advantage that AppWave has is that it is here right now, and Windows 8 is still pretty much vaporware at this point.
  • I went to see the Green Lantern this past weekend.  Highly recommended – I have no idea what all the bad reviews were about.  Great comic book movie.  (Those reviewers know that the Green Lantern is a comic book movie, right?)  The tech angle here is that it was the first time that I had seen a movie in 3D.  My take?  I never want to see a movie – any move, I don’t care if it’s a “blockbuster” or not – in 2D again. It was a terrific experience. This is a great feature that will definitely get me in the theater more. I have been going to the theatre less and less because of Netflix, but if I can see the upcoming Harry Potter movie in 3D, I will.  Looking forward to it being the normal experience on TV.
  • David I has been at Borland, Inprise, Borland, CodeGear, and now Embarcadero for 26 years.  He’s seen it all.  Congratulations to a titan of the industry – and a great guy.  I’ve known David for many years – since I met him at a PC User group at the Naval Postgraduate School in around 1994 – and it’s been an honor to be his friend.
  • I love a good story like this:  Throw Away that Hotel Soap.  There is staggering waste in our economy (anyone buying cases of plastic bottles of water – I’m looking at you…) and this is the kind of thing I love to see.

Flotsam and Jetsam #36

By Nick at June 19, 2011 04:51
Filed Under: Flotsam and Jetsam, Delphi

Flotsam and Jetsam #35

By Nick at June 10, 2011 07:02
Filed Under: Flotsam and Jetsam, Delphi

Flotsam and Jetsam #34

By Nick at June 09, 2011 00:53
Filed Under: Delphi, Flotsam and Jetsam

Flotsam and Jetsam #33

By Nick at May 20, 2011 09:01
Filed Under: Flotsam and Jetsam

Flotsam and Jetsam #32

By Nick at May 12, 2011 13:28
Filed Under: Flotsam and Jetsam, Software Development
  • “We put our faith in Apple and they screwed us”  Just another reason why Apple always seems to rub me the wrong way.  Don’t get me wrong -- I think Apple should be able to do what they want when it comes to this type of thing – but I don’t have to like it.
  • I confess to being guilty of this in my blog, but no more, I promise.
  • Have you had this problem? You are working on a website and local testing/debugging is a hassle because you have to move from page to page filling in valid information, and it takes huge amounts of time and you cringe when you have to do it?  Our team here at Gateway has started to use iMacro.  It’s a FireFox that lets you record events on a given website and run them with the click of a button.  This is saving our guys tons and tons of time.  Highly recommended.
  • And yet another way that you can support the fine work we do here at nickhodges.com – you can join DropBox as my referral.  It’s completely free for the first 2GB. Yes, I am well aware that this appeal is utterly shameless.  In addition, I give the DropBox folks full marks for marketing – they basically have a zero-dollar advertising budget.

Flotsam and Jetsam #31

By Nick at May 10, 2011 08:30
Filed Under: Flotsam and Jetsam, Delphi
  • Interesting News Item of the Week:  Microsoft is buying Skype.  I’m a huge fan of Skype.  I like it best as an IM client, and as a teleconferencing system as well.  The creepy feeling you get when someone is on Skype in a conference room using a nice set of speakers takes some getting used to.  It’s a bout 342 times better than a POTS conferencing system.  Anyhoo – I’ll be curious to see if MS rewrites the currently-written-in-Delphi Windows clients and continues to support non-Windows clients as well. 
  • New Delphi Blog of the Week: Delphi Sorcery  and I’ll give him Cool Delphi Code of the Week as well. 
  • As you may have noticed, I’ve added one of those little tool bars to my posts that let’s you Like/Add/Tweet/whatever my postings.  I do this in a self-glorifying attempt to get you to broadcast my stuff more.  It was amazingly easy to do with AddThis.  I trust you all will take the hint. 
  • I thought this was pretty impressive.  How long can it be before everything is just a Javascript application running in a browser?  I’ve been saying for years that Javascript is to the browser what assembler is to the CPU.

Flotsam and Jetsam #30

By Nick at May 03, 2011 05:00
Filed Under: Delphi, Flotsam and Jetsam

Flotsam and Jetsam #29

By Nick at April 25, 2011 23:43
Filed Under: Delphi, Flotsam and Jetsam
  • The folks at DevJet are at it again,  producing a cool little free enhancement to the Delphi IDE the makes your Help Insight window look cooler.  Help Insight is rendered according to an XSL file, and if you change that, you can make your Help Insight look as you please.  They also make it so that you can embed images in your /// comments that then appear  in the hint. 
  • Stay buggy, my friends
  • Cool Delphi Code of the Week: The Emballo Project. This is a nice dependency injection library that also has a really cool Mock object library as part of it.  I’ve actually updated the Mock objects to take Variants, and I’ll try to see about rolling that back into the repository.  The project hasn’t been updated since October 2010, but it is work a look and there is a lot to learn there.
  • In a previous Flotsam and Jetsam entry, I mentioned an interesting thread that was still alive after a long while that provides are reference to Delphi code that allows the integration of Crystal Reports.  Well, the author of the code must have seen my posting, because he sent me a message with a link to the file itself, offering it up for anyone who wants it.  Nice. He mentioned that it even works with Delphi XE.
  • Does anyone know anything about the Common Service Locator interface?  Is this a widely accepted way of providing service interfaces?  Has this been implemented in Delphi?

Flotsam and Jetsam #28

By Nick at March 31, 2011 02:36
Filed Under: Delphi, Flotsam and Jetsam
  • Delphi Book of the Week:  Cary Jensen has a new Delphi book out:  Delphi in Depth: ClientDatasets.  It’s really good.  I tech reviewed a few of the chapters (a lot fewer than I should have, but hey, I helped…) and can tell you that it is thorough, complete, easy to read, and certainly the best reference out there for the most important component for Delphi database developers.  I recommend that you buy it.
  • Lachlen Gemmell emailed me and let me know about his new Delphi site, TIndex.  According to Lachlen, it’s a “It's a Delphi specific web directory site. Right now the content covers language features introduced since Delphi 7 but I'll be expanding that over the coming months as well as transforming the site from the static layout it is now to a dynamic site that will accept link contributions from the community. “
  • The Hudson/Jenkins Drama continues, and gets more interesting!  What to do?
  • The indefatigable Uwe Schuster has an interesting list of QualityCentral feature requests that you might consider voting for.  (Remember, you up to have 10 votes per item, so don’t hesitate to use them).
  • I love the pure genius of this.
  • This is a very interesting thread on the Delphi forums.  A guy named Nils Dzubiel posted that he has a way to get Crystal Reports to work with Delphi 2009 (yes, the thread is that old.)  He posted his message in November of 2008.  Since then, there has been a steady stream of people posting a reply to his original message.  I can imagine people looking for ways to talk to Cristal reports with Delphi, finding the thread via Google, and then responding in hopes of Nils seeing it and responding.  It looks like Nils hasn’t been back to the newsgroups since early last year, so I’m curious if these pleas are answered. Anyone know what happens if you post a follow up to this two year old message? 
  • Wow.  Impressive. How does she do that? Is that all hers?  Is there something in there?  How did she get into the car to drive to the photographer’s?  The mind boggles.

Flotsam and Jetsam #27

By Nick at March 01, 2011 14:07
Filed Under: Flotsam and Jetsam
  • Cary Jensen and Marco Cantu are getting ready to put on four of their Delphi Developer Days events.  I’ll be returning to my place of birth to speak at the one in the Baltimore.  I’ll be talking about Unit Testing with Delphi and DUnit.  I’m really looking forward to it, and if you are on the East Coast, I hope you can make it. Otherwise, I hope you can make it to another one of the three events. 
  • Blog of the Week:  If you guys aren’t reading The Delphi Hater’s Blog, then you are missing out.  This guy is a championship calibre ranter.  Great stuff.
  • Inspired by RADPlates, I’ve put my Live Templates Scripting Engine on BitBucket.  It is not real clean code right now – it allows you to insert the current date, time, and datetime into a script.  It includes example templates that replace “date” with the current date, for instance.  You can specify the Delphi formatting string for the date as well. (Same for ‘time’ and ‘datetime’).  I can see this being used for defining comments, TODO items, etc.  I think I’ll be turning my attention to this for a while now that THTMLWriter has reached a good stopping point.
  • As I’m sure you know, ChristChurch, New Zealand was recently hit with a devastating earthquake – much of the city has been destroyed.  There are a lot of developers in New Zealand – many of them Delphi developers – and they are banding together to help.  Dave Clegg is from New Zealand, and he’s posted about how you can do that – by buying a cool application! You can go to http://www.appappeal.co.nz/ and purchase an app, and 100% of the proceeds will go to Earthquake relief.  Many of you were so generous after the Haitian Earthquake (that was a lot of fun for a good cause) and so I hope we can be equally as generous to the folks in New Zealand.

Flotsam and Jetsam #26

By Nick at February 25, 2011 08:39
Filed Under: Delphi, Flotsam and Jetsam, Personal
  • Reader Paul Vandermyd kindly pointed out something that I had missed – that the individual downloads on GoogleCode download pages have download counts – and it seems 102 of you have kindly downloaded THTMLWriter 1,0 release.  But come on, people – don’t download it – pull it from the repository using Mercurial!  Anyway, now I have to figure out how to automate the uploading of the ZIP files with a 1.0 or 2.0 label on them, depending.
  • If you have Delphi XE then you have Version Insight – the feature that integrates Subversion (and potentially other SCM systems) right into the IDE.  I did a lot of work on that feature when I was at EMBT (well, actually, I did a lot of listening and suggesting; Dave Wilhelm did all the work….). The feature itself is derived from the MPL-based DelphiSVN project, and thus is itself an open source project.  As such , Uwe Schuster (who was actually involved in the pre-release development) has been updating the project, including starting in on support for git and Mercurial.  Sweet.  You can follow Uwe’s progress on his blog.
  • Sadly, if you go to my old Embarcadero blog you see this message: “This user has elected to delete their account and the content is no longer available.”  There was (if I do say so myself) a lot of good content there, and suffice it to say that despite the message, I didn’t choose to delete my blog.  Happily, much of the content lives on in the Google cache.  I’ll be trying to capture and republish as much of the good stuff as I can.
  • I’m beginning to wonder whether Simon Stuart is really a human being and not some sort of super-alien sent here from the planet Code-a-thon.  They guy is amazing -- “prolific” comes to mind.   If he’s not making Kinect work with Delphi he’s wrapping up the Twitter API in a Delphi component.   His latest project is one after my own heart – RADPlates.  I’m a strong believer that the Live Templates feature of the IDE is easily the most underappreciated and underutilized of the many features in RAD Studio.  Live Templates are really XML files, and RADPlates makes it easy to create Live Templates without the hassle of the XML stuff.  Highly recommended. 

Flotsam and Jetsam #25

By Nick at February 19, 2011 06:25
Filed Under: Delphi, Flotsam and Jetsam

Flotsam and Jetsam #24

By Nick at February 11, 2011 07:36
Filed Under: Flotsam and Jetsam

Flotsam and Jetsam #23

By Nick at February 01, 2011 08:15
Filed Under: Delphi, Flotsam and Jetsam
  • Do you have TestComplete skills?  Do you know someone who has TestComplete skills? If so, we want to hire you. (Well, we don't necessarily want to hire you if you merely know someone with TestComplete skills, but you get the idea.  Money mouth)
  • StackOverflow Question of the Week:  What are the pros and cons of using interfaces in Delphi? Lot’s of good discussion and some nice answers.
  • THTMLWriter Update: I have finished and checked changes to fully support the <table> tag and its subordinate tags, including ensuring that they aren’t used out of order.  I have but three tags left (<dd>, <dl>, <dt>), and then I think I will be “done” in that I’ll declare it to be a “1.0” release.  At that point I’ll “freeze” the interface and won’t make any more changes to it.  Any subsequent additions will require a new interface at that point.  Your feedback gratefully accepted.  In addition, the IHTMLWriter interface now descends from ILoadSave to remove the duplication.
  • I hereby officially declare Hodges’ Law: “The first person in an argument to compare the software development process to building automobiles loses that argument.”
  • Danny Thorpe pointed me to this interesting article talking about using existing Wi-Fi connections to expand the coverage of a given network.  I’ve often wondered about this – that is, why don’t cell networks make it easy for people to expand their networks?  I’d be willing to bet that if you go to the mall, the Sprint Store (or the Verizon store, or the AT&T Store or the T-Mobile store) all have some sort of repeater or other type of device that ensure that their store has a five-bar signal.  (Who would buy a phone at the store where there is a weak phone signal?)   Why not put those all over the place?  Why not install them in office buildings, malls, airports, etc., where people are? Why not sell them (give them) to people to install in their homes?  Or why not make the phone able to call over any given WiFi network, allowing the phone to work even where there is no cell tower at all?  It seems to me that this is an unexplored and unexploited feature for cell network providers, and something that could drastically increase the already high value of a cell phone. Heck, I’d be willing to share some of my bandwidth with my neighbors to increase and improve the coverage in my neighborhood.
  • Another great argument about why unit-testing is so cool and powerful from Uncle Bob.

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