Projman .. My first WebBaby

Welcome to the intial release (in a pre pre pre alpha form, ha ha) of Projman .. a Project Management System that allows you to access your Todo’s from anywhere you can access the web.

As it is an initial product, the extent of it’s functionality is small. Basic. But the potential is there I believe.

One exciting aspect of this "project" is that it showcases the wonderful NetTalk 4 (WebServices).

I have had some trouble with child browses, but Bruce (i believe i read this somewhere) is on the ball, adding support for this very shortly (if not already). Once I can get them working, the functionality will expand (think Sub-Tasks, very important).

Edit: After checking the latest version of NetTalk 4 .. these are indeed implemented. So the next version of Projman should include them. Nice.

Visit the Projman page, or just download it.



As of 0.1.0 you must point your web browser to .. a future version will allow the user to change this.


There may be an issue with the Install. It could be that I’ve missed a dll that is inherent to clarion. It’s harder to test for, because no "errors" come up telling you what dll is missing.


ForewordProjman is a Project Management System, that allows you to access your Todo’s from anywhere you can access the web.


Projman 0.3.0 Install

PurposeProjman began as a simple test of the NetTalk Web Services, newly released in early 2006.

We had been talking about the need for a simple system to collate Todo’s. Now, I’ve got a Todo System written out of neccessity, but it’s just desktop. The beauty of this baby is that it’s built like a steak house, but she handles like a bistro. … Ahem. I mean, Projman (he/she) is designed to be run off the web. You can run the system purely on the desktop, but to experience it’s full capabilities, you’re gonna want to host it, on the network, or on the wild & wooly web.

So basically, you create Projects. Each Project has Todo’s. These Todo’s have a percentage complete, which in turn updates the percentage complete of the Project. You can then check on what Todo’s are left for a Project, what percentage a Project is complete, or even how many Todo’s have been started but not finished, and the dates in between.



Monday, 31st July 2006

  • HelpDesk System added (Documentation still incomplete)
  • UI Enhancments
  • Data Folder now created on startup, if it doesn’t exist already
  • Uninstaller shortcut should now show in the Program Group
  • Release Version turned on in Project Settings (Clarion)
  • Options window added
  • Server Port Number added to Options, User can now choose which Port Number the Web Server will listen on (Defaults to 80)
  • ProjectUsers relationships adjusted to allow for deletion of records


Thursday, 27th July 2006

  • Installation File enhancements
  • Installed and Ran Projman on a pc without a Clarion6 directory, no DLL issues


Wednesday, 26th July 2006

  • Data Directory is now created on installation


Monday, 24th July 2006

  • Reached Beta stage, after the latest release of NetTalk4.
  • Tasks can now be added, changed, and deleted from their parent Projects from within the web browser.
  • Changing the Complete Percentage field in a Task will recalculate the Project’s Total Percentage Complete.
  • Other minor code updates.

Unfinished Obvious Todos

  • Allow for the Sub-Tasks to appear in the Browser interface
  • Grant User control over Port Number (set to 88 at the moment)
  • Documentation for the System
  • Weighting for the Tasks


Friday, 8th April 2006

Very basic functionality.

Via the web interface you can only add one layer of Tasks (and assign them to an already exsiting Project). You can modify their percentage complete.

The desktop interface has more functionality. Here you add Users, Projects, and Tasks. Sub-Tasks apparently do not work (I haven’t confirmed this yet, heh).

There may be an issue with the Install. It could be that I’ve missed a dll that is inherent to clarion. It’s harder to test for, because no "errors" come up telling you what dll is missing.

The Day My Brain Broke

Yesterday was a long day.

You know what I’m talking about.

There were a few uglies that reared their head in the project. I was sure I’d smashed them to pieces before. I knew there was an answer.

So, obviously, instead of actually utilising the problem-solving skills I’ve worked hard at the last few years, my brain froze. Following is the conversation I had.

It’s hopeless. Nothing is working. It’s all a shambles. I can’t get anything to work. You may as well go home and take a nap. Mmmmmmm, chicken and chips.

Also, here’s an awesome rendering of my state of mind:


So what was the solution?

There’s lots of fancy names. I simply use :: DeTransCombuSegmeFreeTationalism .. or:

Stop. Break things down. Take a look at each piece in the puzzle.

It was around 5pm, which is the best time to come back to a problem. I’d done some other work for a few hours. So I then went back to the teaching of sensei .. or something like that.

It took approximately .. about .. 2 minutes to find the problem. Actually less, but implementation is added into that :).

Just to show I’m not a one-picture-man-band .. here’s the after shot:


So, to everyone who bullrushes into problems (like I did), not thinking, not using the methodologies that work so well .. please continue! Makes me feel okay .. heh heh. Well, no, don’t continue. Take a leaf out of my hard-learned book.

It’s always better to discipline your mind to run in certain patterns of problem-solving. Always. So that even the small problems are done in this way, examining them, breaking them down, looking for the far-reaching consequences.

Anyway, as our favourite admantium bone-covered mutant hero has been known to propound .. ‘Nuff Said.

Coding Food

If you’ve ever wondered what the ideal breakfast is for coders (and yes, i mean breakfast, although many of us probably have it around lunch time) .. then wonder no more.

Read on McDuff.




Not much wording for this post. But the pictures speak for themselves. And the cook was none other than the coding commander, Mr Bill. He can cook, he can code. What else is there?

Who Framed Who?

Frames quite possibly might be making a comeback. At least, in the Development side of things.

I remember, way back when, one of the few things to stay in my memory from uni was that frames were neccessarily evil. Not in and of themselves, but because of the way they were used throughout the web. Almost noone used them effectively. Because of sloppy code, they were given to ugliness, in form and function.

This is changing. For me at least, it’s because of Capesoft and their stellar product, NetTalk (mainly the WebServices part).

In it, Bruce explained a very simple method, which makes a lot of sense. It’s possible a lecturer said it way back when :) I was at uni, but probably not.

If you want a desktop application, that is mainly private use .. then frames are okay. They are bad because you lose out with the address bar .. and search engines struggle with their content.

This is cool. I imagine you could amalgamate .. have the public face of the site non-frames, and the private a mix of both.

Actually, for simple applications, no-frames doesn’t do too badly.

Development Vice

I never watched Miami Vice .. but I know a fair amount about the second word in that equation.

When you really get into development, you know that weeks, months, even for some, years can go by without you raising your head out of the code/development. It’s a wonderful thing, a gift perhaps.

But there’s also a flip-side. At least, for me there is.

I have always, looooong time before I was into development, loved computer games. From when Dad bought home our first, green-screen XT (i think) pc .. with a version of space invaders on it (later we got a donkey kong clone and a game called Big Top), they’ve been something that could bring me a lot of joy.

However, as you can see very clearly from the picture below :) .. the same wonderful ability to jump down a hole and disappear within a project for many moons, also transfers to other activities.


Some might not see a problem. I’m not laying out judgement on anyone else.

Well. judgement has many flavours .. but seriously .. it can be, without proper discipline a real burden.

In fact, the best defence is to just resist altogether. Certain other companions in our little band of coding warriors do it very well. I can do it okay .. until a game like Oblivion comes along.

What’s the solution? I’m not sure. Each time is new and fresh in it’s crazy vice-like grip.

I’m over the worst of it now. The game has lost some of the allure it had. But I don’t like that being the reason I’m coming up for air. Today I got excited again about non-work development. And it was good. I’ve done some blogging, some dev, some thinking / planning. It’s been good to get back.

Now, if only I could close the gates of oblivion, maybe I could really get some work done :).

Remembering more.

On a different aspect, but same partial subject matter .. If Oblivion was a business application, you can bet it would be the Google who would have made it. Or at least, someone with an awesome understanding of almost every aspect. The gameplay, the interface, technical functionality, the hype-monkey, the fans, the players, the press, .. it’s all been a really amazing wheel to watch turning.

I’ve never played a game like this, where I can watch as a mounted guard jumps from his horse and races off into a nearby bandit camp, bringing blood and death with my lending a hand. And then, to see said guard actually looting the corpses before I got to them.

Nice. Very nice.

It’s that kind of development that stirs the blood. Not just gaming, any sphere .. but the stuff that is absolutely biting off more than it can chew, and getting it pretty well right. Learning from previous projects, putting it together.

A good memory. Not just remembering, but I’d think actually putting all the lessons into a brain that would bring them into the next development. Becuase too often we can learn something from a project, forget, and do it similarly the next time around.


‘Nuff Said.