Clarion Templates :: File Manager 3

Capesoft are a company that creates 3rd Party tools for Clarion. As I’ve posted before, if you don’t know about Clarion, then take a gander. It’s an awesome development tool, taking away a lot of the pain of C++ and other languages like it by allowing you to bypass creation of stock tools, and get into the meat of designing software.

Part of the frustration with shipping software is the updating of any changes within the database. How do you do it? What convoluted mess of code do you have to copy, swap, call upgrade, hope noone is using, check for exclusive access … I’m not even sure how people writing in other languages cope. I guess you write you own upgrade tool.

Well, that’s what the guys at Capesoft have done. File Manager 3 (FM3) is a template that helps push Clarion from a "cool nifty enthusiast language" to "let’s change the world and create cold fusion while we’re at it" development tool.

Basically, it’s like this. In Clarion you have a dictionary, which contains the file structures, and you have an app, which contains the windows, the code, the look. When you change a field within a table, the physical file is required to undergo an upgrade. The process to upgrade your user’s files was complicated (as opposed to getting them to send you the file, upgrading yourself through the dictionary interface, and then sending it back), and created a lot of hassle.

FM3 takes all this hassle, crumples it up, throws it into the ditch, because the bin is too good for it, fills the ditch with gasoline, lights the ditch, then laughs at the stupidity of it all.

You plug FM3 into your application, setup whatever parts you need, and then bam … the files upgrade when your exe is run. There are some addendums to this, but at it’s heart, this is what FM3 does. Takes away any of the pain associated with changing File Structures and let’s you get on with the real job … coding up a storm.

So go take a look at Capesoft. Anyone who uses Clarion will most like already know about them, they’re that popular.

More Clarion 3rd Party Dev Shouts to come … and probably looks at other tools too. It’s all good.

The Blordan, or The Garlog

A Blog is like a Garden.

This analogy was realised to me in the shower tonight. It’s very very apt.

  1. You get what you put in.It’s hard work, especially at the beginning, but always. You have to plant the seeds, water and nourish them, weed, watch for scavengers, and then there’s the competitions.
  2. Some Gardens look nicer than others.This can be for many reasons. Your content might have been just the web needed at the time. You might have hit the goldmine, finding a nook that everyone actually wants. And like a garden, you might just have the magic touch.
  3. There isn’t a single right method.Methodology is important, but there are so many different paths to take. Writing style of blog, content, look’n’feel.
  4. Single Vegetables and Everything.Some blogs, like Dev Dawn only grow tomatoes. Now tomatoes are fine for us, that’s the purpose of this blog … but others grow everything, and they do it well.
  5. However, some don’t … do it that well. Just like gardening, it’s a mix. Some people don’t have to put much to reap a massive harvest. They might have already put years of work into the blog, or they might have just stumbled across something special. Others put a lot of work into their blog, for not much return. I guess to we have to quantify "Return". Some people don’t blog for the adulation of the masses.

Deep down, most of us would be chuffed to break through in terms of readership. To know that people are reading and taking in what we are saying. That our opinions are important.

But more than that, I want to have a garden that looks good, and that actually holds substance. Even though it might only be tomatoes, they’re gonna be the best tomatoes around.

‘Nuff said for the moment.

Focus Shift

This might be just my wishful thinking … but hopefully not.

I think there’s a change happening, a shifting of focus.

Two years ago, and for a long time before that, graphics cards and other bits of hardware were the talk of the town. In the mindset of the general populance, and throughout the webosphere. Mostly. Prevalently.

The winds are bringing change. And it’s good for the Developers amongst us.

I think, with the surging power of Google, and the massive influx of interest in web software RE Ajax and other development tools, software is coming to the fore. But not just "software". Microsoft has been around, all through the graphics years, and is still here.

I guess I’m talking about innovation, and how much people care about it. The buzzwords today are not to do with graphics power, ram, cpu … they’re all about Ajax, Google, … The Innovation of software (in all it’s forms) has the wave at the moment. It’s a good time to be in development. There is a lot of press out there, and it’s not too hard, with Digg, Slashdot, and all the others, to start generating a buzz. Look at Newsvine. From the words of Mike Davidson, CEO:

It’s still way too early to gauge the success of this community, but so far so good. We’ve managed to create enthusiasm, interest, and a platform for participation with an extremely low cost footprint. No launch parties, no advertising, no PR, no Aeron chairs, and no frivolous spending. Well, that’s not true actually. We did spend about $50 per person on a parasailing field trip a few months ago.

It’s never been easier for a small outfit, even a one-manner, to get some attention.

So what’s holding us back? Information and the Implementation. That is, Innovation.

I recently put to bed (began the process) a piece of software I’d written and sold. It wasn’t working, I’d made mistakes at the beginning in design, mostly from a lack of business understanding. And lack of foresight. I’ve been able to think back over the time, and take stock. It’s a relief to know that I now don’t have to have it in the back of my head as a responsibility. I can actually start implementing some of the ideas I’ve had over the past year. But also, the experience has taught me (hopefully) caution. I don’t want to be in the same place again in a years time.

Anyway, starting to ramble.

It’s good to be a developer. We’re at the cusp of excellence. Bill had his turn, so did NVidia and Radeon … It’s now time for us, the little guys, to step up.

As an aside, it’s always been the time. People have, since computers began, done just that. Innovated their way to the top. In software, and other places. But because this is me, at my stage in life, the way I perceive things centres (inherently badly i’m sure) around my experiences. So I take what is out there on the interweb, and form my own opinions. This one is … that the time is now. But I put this disclaimer in to let anyone who has read through thus far know that whatever time it is … it is now. If you get my obtuse drift.

Apologies for the incoherency of this post. The night of night terrors must still be affecting me.

Mr. Night Terror

Okay, this is a little off topic. But it’s so bizarre I had to share it.

I have a vivid imagination. I mean, I’ve been writing stories since … I could write.

For a while now, my brain can have trouble, when roused from sleep, distinguishing between what is real, and what is … imaginary.

Take wednesday night for example.

I’d spent some time reading through the x-men Onslaught saga. For the non-comic-geeks reading, it’s the complicated story of how the marvel universe got beaten up, big time. When Magneto ripped out Wolvie’s adamantium skeleton, Charlie Xavier went nutso, blasting Magneto away (with his uber-mind powers). However, the little evil being that lived within Magneto at the time, tranferred across to Charlie. All of Xaviers pent up aggression/rage/badstuff was then food for this guy. Xavier starts to go bad, giving out really not-so-nice advice, and that sort of thing. Onslaught is defeated, of course, and some of the marvel heroes got to be "killed" in his defeat. Which was really just a way to get them a new storyline, which is okay. Just see-through.



I finished reading past midnight, and then spent a couple of restless hours. I’ve been pretty fluey the last while, with the whole chest/nose/throat thing going on. So that night i’d had some flu pill medication, plus some diet coke, plus some ice coffee.

Anyway, at approx 2.40 am, my world comes alive. The room is full (FULL) of evil mutants … or something bad, i can never tell. All I know is it’s time for action, and my body leaps out of bed, arms going crazy, fending off anything and everything.

When the dust clears, I’m standing at the foot of the bed, Rach is getting a little freaked out, two of my fingers are bleeding, the fan at the other side of the room is … a little worse for wear, one of the computer monitors is bent sideways, one foot is hurting, and my back feels sore.

Crazy huh. I’m not really sure what the moral of the story is, apart from … don’t read comics before bed-time.

Now, for any doctors out there … this happened to "a friend of mine".

On the up and up, I had a very deep sleep last night. No night terrors for me. Now I just gotta wait for the voices to stop :) ahem.

News From the Outer World

Tad’s got a nice idea for furthering the social bookmarking world. A mixture of Slashdot and Digg, and probably others.

I’m not sure where this whole thing is gonna go. People want news. We love to read about what is happening outside of our own existence. I guess it might be a primal need to reach out, dunno.

But then, we are also lazy. We like to take the path of easy-ness, and laxitude. Maybe reading about this new laser-projected anti-theft development tool is gonna enhance my understanding … but i want gossip. Or the latest swearfest. Or what Jack (John) Thompson is up to.

Not that these are necessarily bad things … just that our brains aren’t always disciplined. And while some of us are disciplined most of the time, most of us (from seeing what is top of entertainment blog categories) are disciplined only some of the time.

I might be way out on a limb here … and not sure exactly where i’m going with it … but for a while now I’ve been thinking about the main stream. How would you crack into the gossip blog sphere? Why would you do it? Could you bend people’s habits towards something else?

Random thoughts over.

Into The Fray

Well … it’s done. I almost drove my body into the ground, but it’s done. My own software is now Quickbooks compatible in a way that anyone using IIF’s can only dream.

And this is good why? Because now I’m back at work. My actual paying work. And my mind is no longer weighed down by the stress of having to get things done for the Client.

There will no doubt be some small issues, little bits of code. But nothing like the last back-breaking couple of weeks.

Anyway. More later.


Okay. So this isn’t much to do with Development.


Over here in Kangaroo-Dundee land, we’ve recently been subjected to the massive advertising campaign (from Coca-Cola) for Coke Zero.

Now. I’m a massive Sprite Zero fan. When I gave the Atkins Diet a shot (for about 4 months), Sprite Zero was my beverage of choice, having had to give up Diet Coke.

So, I’m not biased against massive corporations or anything like that.

It’s just that the latest campaign from Coca-Cola has me a little worried. Not "Sabretooth is hunting me" kind of worry. I’m quite happy to accept I’m being a little too much of a conspiracy buff/nutt … but … here goes.

I think they’re promoting anarchism, or something like it. Maybe that wasn’t the initial goal of the people in their Marketing Dept., but it’s the end result of the ads.

There is a message clear across each of the ads (tv, radio?, newspapers, billboards, …) that I’ve seen so far. That we should be living for zero resposibility. Zero end weekends, zero this, zero that. Zero consequences.

Maybe I’m just pushing to far and hard. This may well be the case. I can’t believe that a company as big as Coke would start pushing one specific ideology upon the public … but maybe they are.

I’m not writing this to give voice to my own political/spiritual/etc persuasions … just something that I’ve noticed. The more I think about it, the more it seems real.

So anyway. Perhaps I’m wrong. The guys at Coke are probably the biggest fat-cat capitalists who wouldn’t want to see their slavering masses rise against the given structures in our cultures/lands. Or maybe they really have put something in the drink that’s a supa-powerful mind-control serum thingy.

Or maybe I’ve been reading too many comics.

Anyway. Thanks for the read.