Using Live Clipboard, part 1

Last week, I was talking about Live Clipboard, and how it was well worth investigating. Now I’m taking a closer look at the technical introduction, to see how it works, and find out how easy it is to add to a page.

Admin - Site Makeover

Under the cover of darkness, I've been working on a few Secret Projects*. You're looking at the latest and greatest of them. If you're on CodeSnipers, you've probably already noticed the makeover. Alright, it's less of a makeover and more of a razing and rebuilding from the ground up. Previously, we were using the base Drupal theme bluemarine and then I was poking around OSWD and was inspired by a few of the designs.

Yes, I notice there are a handful of oddities. If you have comments, notice functional oddities, or generally wish to ridicule or compliment the design, please feel free to drop me a note at webmaster at or comment here. Just to protect the innocent, only one of the other CodeSnipers saw this design before it was live...

* Most of the Secret Projects are prototypes and concepts of CaseySoftware projects, so keep an eye out.

New York PHP Conference and Expo

June 2006 Event to Feature Recognized Speakers and Exhibit Hall

NEW YORK – New York PHP, the leader in uniting business and community for open source, announces that it will host the New York PHP Conference & Expo, June 14 – 16, 2006. The conference, titled “The PHP Business Community,” will be held at The New Yorker Hotel in New York City. NYPHPCon 2006 will emphasize both business and technical sessions, giving the audience a chance to learn how to better implement PHP within their enterprise and current infrastructures.

“This conference is a chance for the business and technical sides of PHP to come together at a single event” says Hans Zaunere, President and Founder of New York PHP. “The New York PHP Community has already had a chance to hear many of the top speakers present on a regular basis – now this conference is a chance for the rest of the world to visit New York City and see them all under one roof.”

Learning Design Patterns – Template Method Pattern

This week I'll be examining the Template Method Pattern in my series on design patterns plucked from this book and from examples on the Internet.

What is it?
The Template Method Pattern lays out the steps in a process (algorithm) and allows subclasses to handle one or more of the steps internally. The pattern has a method that just contains a list of method calls to complete the process (create something, package it, sort it, deliver) that can not be overriden or augmented. Some of the process methods may be handled by the pattern (create something and deliver), while it makes the subclasses handle the others (sort it, package it).

Live Clipboard

This week, Microsoft’s Ray Ozzie presented his Live Clipboard concept at eTech. I saw links to the announcement everywhere I looked for a day or so. At first, I wondered what all the fuss was about, and if the muted reaction on the BoS forum is anything to go by, I might not have been the only one.

I should have been paying more attention; this is very cool.

Man, this ISV thing is tough

Well! I am proud to announce that progress is being made, and soon we'll be unveiling my new company, Chubby Game Studios. I'm using the ol' "Don't quit yer day job" strategy for this foray; I'll keep you posted on how it goes.
We don't have a production game yet, and in fact the website isn't ready to go, but I just had to announce the name of the company as it was a major undertaking just to settle on one out of many candidates. The selection was made easier by the dearth of available domain names that are even in the same solar system as your company name. Sheesh! As if cybersquatters weren't bad enough, what's up with all the lamers taking perfectly good domain names (think ${foo} and putting some piece 'o crap blog on it? And updating it every eight months. Arrrrgh. "Here's pictures of my cat." "Duhhh, Google is overrated gwaaaaah..."

Yeah, I'm two weeks into this, and I already know both why people start their own businesses and why they do not. Oh, there's the thrill, and the satisfaction that comes from making something (something that works, anyway). And sometimes it's just fun to make decisions.

Then again, sleep is kinda nice. Think I'll go get some here within the next... twenty hours or so.

Oh, almost forgot... can anyone recommend a jsp webhost?

Indexing Experiment - Queries With Parentheses

As indicated in Indexing Experiment - Expressing Queries, I want to allow for more interesting queries with this week's post. Using last week's sample data, I'd like to form expressions, such as

  • Python and PHP
  • Python or PHP
  • (Python not PHP) or Javascript
  • ((Python not PHP) and Buildbot) or Javascript
  • Python and (PHP and AJAX)

In short, last week's example will be expanded to allow usage of parentheses.

Stupidly Easy MVC - Group Membership Application - Part 2

This is part two of an example of using my Stupid Easy MVC framework in PHP. In this example we will talk about the how to use the Model. Originally I thought I might make the Directory a separate controller, but at this point I decided not to. I have some more ideas that I haven't quite worked out yet for extending this even to be more like the Rails framework for Ruby (again I do not expect to totally implement RoR, spare the language wars please!).

Adopt a mentor

It was only a little more than a year ago that my supervisor sent me a link to Joel's site on software development. Hard to believe how far my career has come since then! I've switched jobs am no longer an under-paid grunt, and I credit a lot of it to Joel's site.

It didn't take me long to adopt Joel as my mentor. His essays on software development, and the crowd of great folks who contribute to the forums, woke me up and got me interested in software development as a craft. I started using his painless software scheduling, and more importantly, started reading the books on his book lists. I started off with the two classics Peopleware and The Mythical Man Month - talk about eye-opening books!

Diary of a side project

All the way back in January, I wrote here about my goals for 2006. Although it’s too soon to do a full recap, I’m sure you’ll all be glad to hear that I seem to be making better use of my time this year, my software is still improving and sales seem to be on a gentle upward curve. Irritatingly, I’m still waiting to go home, but that one’s out of my hands.

But, the reason for bringing this back up wasn’t for an update on my progress over the last couple of months, it was because of the remaining goal: to learn more. I suggested that rather than trying to learn a little bit of everything this year, I would focus those few spare brain cycles on just Flash and Ruby on Rails.