The Curse Of The Nose-Hairs

It’s been over a year that I’ve been working with the Crew (props to ma boyz) .. over a year since I started gleaning great pieces of wisdom from seeing people in action who have done this for far longer than I.

And I’m scared that I’m never going to be rid of The Curse of the Nose-Hairs.

You know what I’m talking about. Getting caught in amongst the hairs, instead of cutting through them and getting to the good stuff.

I laughed when my brain came up with this on the walk to work this morning. If I could pull it off, it’d be a winner. Of course, discussing bodily functions isn’t the most appropriate of development chats.


So. It was one of the first lessons I learnt when I starting working with the Boyz.

Cut through the crap to get to the purpose. Make sure it’s in your brain, this direction, before you start to code. Break things down, segments.

I have a lot of ideas. Most of them are bloat, they fly around the room and get zapped by the Bug-Zapper (man those things are cool, I could stare at them for hours, listening to the hypnotic sound of little insects being fried). A rare few (and they are rare) stick around, lasting through the period of time it takes before bad ideas get seen for what they are.

The problem is, as I’ve just been made to see again just recently, is that I still haven’t learnt the lesson of the Nose-Hairs.

I still get caught on the superficial, the nose-hairs (at the risk of over-using a GREAT analogy).

What I want, is to, in the heat of the moment, to remember this lesson. And put it into practice.

This is my Christmas Wish-List. Or something like that.

I guess, to an extent, it’s something you either get or you don’t. But I believe (or else I’m doomed) that I can learn it. At least partially.

End Rant

I Suggest A New Idea

It seems that something dark the something of man.

I mean.

Google has trouble a-brewing.

Google in Trouble for Suggesting Illegal Software.

It seems the "Suggest" feature of the Desktop Toolbar is in all sorts of hot water. Basically, they filter out ‘porn’ suggestions, but don’t stop filtering the hacks, cracks, and smacks that appear when you type something in.

I guess this is an inevitable growth problem. You can’t really fault Google for returning these things, as it is a search engine. Searching is it’s primary function, at least in the eyes of the adoring public. However, on the flip side, the adoring public is probably starting to think about the consequences, and now people are wanting Google to start being more than just a search engine that filters porn.

From an analytical point of view, they are right.

I mean, if I built a system that could write receipts but wouldn’t do payments, I’d be in the sewers catching rotten fish for my breakfast.

But from all the other points of view, things are not so easy. In the end, it’s about them becoming too large an empire, and these are the issues that will have to be dealth with. People are not comfortable anymore with the idea of Google. Or at least, that’s the way it’s heading.

One time, maybe even a year ago, people still had the dream in their eyes. When talking about Google, I would think I was cool because I could recite the quick rise to power, and tell people that they are taking over the world one search phrase at a time.

People laughed.

I felt like a reporter giving them the truth .. Peter Parker eat your heart out. Him or that Clark guy.

But instead now, it’s not like that. Well, the reporting thing is, the content just changes :) .. heh heh .. but,

It’s now getting to be where there’s a darker side. The idea of having so much power is now reality and so .. it changes from dream-state to totalitarian-state.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I’m not into too much political or social questioning etc.

But this is where the babble is leading me today.

So yeah, Google Suggest can’t really stay the same. At least, in a PR sense, they will have to say that _something_ is being done.

On the other hand, they’re Google. If they wanted to, they could probably negatively affect all websites who publish bad stuff about them. That’d be a trip.

Peace out,

Da Void

Feeling a little slow, although hopefully nothing related to the previous post.

I’m in a void of creation at the moment. A moment, more than a few moments, when my creative brain doesn’t seem to be firing. Normally this is a time of flux and change, when I (unconsciously?) seek out something new to get excited about.

However, this seems a little more pronounced. Not sure why. But I do know what I’m going to do.

Persevere and continue writing posts, even if they are lame 2 second short ones.

Perhaps rambling will help. What can I ramble about?

A Bad Brain Freeze

Apologies for the lack of any posting the last couple of days. I recently discovered what a lumbar puncture is .. and that my back has either too much fat or too many muscles to allow for one. So two doctors and five long pokey tries later, and they still couldn’t get to my spinal fluid.

I had a bit of an episode at rugby training. The fires of a thousand suns exploding in my head .. that sort of thing. Not that I’m making light of the situation .. okay, i am. It was pretty scary at the time. With that much pain I wasn’t so much scared as pragmatic .. kind of out of body .. well, if this is it Lord .. look after the wife and kids..

But anyway. There were no side-effects, nothing the doctors could latch onto. So no prognosis either.

The result is that I’ll probably not play rugby for a while :) ..


Casting My First Interview

Note :: This mp3 is 40+ megs, so it might take some time if you have anything less than adsl speed.


Be nice okay. Listening to my mannerisms and bad bad BAD technique in this interview gives me the willies. But everyone starts somewhere, and I couldn’t have picked better people to start with. Thanks Bruce & Jono (Capesoft), thankyou very much.

In the Interview we get to find out a few things about Bruce & the folk over at Capesoft.

  • History of Capesoft, the first (and sort of first) Tools they created.
  • Work ethics
  • How the Web is affecting our work
  • The Clarion community
  • and at least 40 minutes more!

Once again, I realise there are so many things wrong with my interviewing technique. So try and look past this. It’s a first run for myself, and I learnt a lot, so much, from this experience.


Day Three :: Aussie DevCon

Edited :: 8th May 2006

Another Disclaimer, Again ::Apologies to any sessions that aren’t mentioned in these reports. I’ve said it before, my memory is faulty.

As Sunday’s are special to me, I did something special as soon as I woke, which wasn’t very early.

On went the togs, and before the sleep had fled my brain, or eyes, I jumped into the well landscaped pool.

And instantly became the most awake person within the campsite. Man alive! that was cold water. So, instead of getting out, I tried to jump around more, in and out, getting the body moving. That wasn’t working, so I sat in the heated spa that was next to the popsicle pool. This was just the ticket. If I sat in there for a bit, I was insulated enough to spend more time in the arctic waters before freezing. Twas fun.

Fun With Capesoft (Bruce & Jono)

Now, reader beware, there will be some ranting, some froth around the edges of my mouth.

At this point in the conference, we saw probably the best single capsuled event that should be the shining driving light of clarion.

One of the best things about the Web 2.0 phenomenon is watching the videos. I’ve seen countless showings of what these products can do, and most of them aren’t even out of beta form (Ruby on Rails – ROR – being one of the notable exceptions).

In this session, Bruce and Jono demonstrated what you can do with a generic (Wizard created) app and their bundle of addon templates. It was amazing. Not so much the app, for myself. I mean, that was amazing. Capesoft have some of the best functionality in existence. But more, I was caught in a vision of how things could be.

We need a video of what these guys did. Voice-over, watching the screen. From creating the app in the clarion wizard to watching Send To create a pdf of a browse.

And with that video, you could create the kind of momentum that comes with the Web 2.0 crowd. Seriously. It could be done .. it should be done. Look at how much interest ROR generated half a year ago. It only had that one video at the start, but man alive, what a video it was.

Same with the other startups.

The kind of functionality you can create for a database driven app in under an hour is overwhelming. I realise there are other factors involved, and that .NET has a lot of things going for it right now .. but there are other avenues. Other passages. And development should be lazy, as many have said before me. Good development has that lazy factor to it.

Back to the actual session .. this is what Capesoft provide. A way to create magical programs .. lazily. Easily. Without effort.

And really, Bruce waving his Mickey-Mouse hands around really were just icing on the cake.

The content was pretty awesome. Watching Jono work through the templates, adding the functionality, you really got a sense of how much Capesoft is integral to the success of Clarion. They are the beating heart .. Clarion being the body .. well, I don’t want to take that analogy any further, you get my drift.

Perhaps I’m being opinionated, well .. no perhaps. But I’ll stick to my guns on this matter. Even knowing that SV are working extremely hard on Clarion 7, getting it shipped and out the door, it doesn’t change the unease I feel that all these opportunities to be Pimp’n Clarion are not being leapt at.

‘Nuff ranted on the matter, for the moment.

Clarion 7 News

Ahh. Here I actually switched on reporter mode and took some notes.


That’s the new structure, as I took it from what Russ drew on the board. Nice. Simple to understand.

List of Points

  • Page-Breaks in the Report .. This has been forwarded to the Reports team, no word on whether it’s in for Initial Release .. Instead of window orphaning?
  • Unlimited Undos
  • Debugger .. No changes in Initial Release ..
    • conditional breakpoints .. maybe
    • ability to remember your session settings between use .. on the list
    • using the debugger to, umm, debug & compile .. not yet .. maybe later

  • Controls on the window .. change properties in code?? Not sure about this one, missed the point, because obviously we can already do this
  • Looking good .. new controls
  • The ability to take a C6 app and compile it in C7, add a few lines of code, and it’s in the new look .. Bob Z (and his team) have been working hard on this
  • every hotfix with C6 is kept (binaries) in sync with C7 .. C6 ==> C7 .. YAY .. C<6 ==> C7 .. same as before, not so simple
  • Soon (not this weekend) Bob Z will release C7 to all the CSV subscribers .. all the way up to gold
    • Bob could change his mind
    • Not Clarion .NET, that is, not included in this possible release

  • there will be App & Dct support when it goes gold
  • the new subscriber model is going very well for SoftVelocity .. this was one of my questions .. the word from Russ is that they are very financially viable
  • Batch compiling is built in .. Solution? files can be used to compile all Apps in a Project .. external batch compilers won’t be needed any more is the word on the street
  • Multiple (Same Version) apps open at the same time .. personally, I find this one pretty cool, not hype-monkey, but still gonna be handy when wanting my Tools app open the same time as Core
  • Class code does not have to be in LIBSRC .. not sure about this one, and for some reason, i have the following note — do we need the ABC love of code? Yes, No, Maybe — Not sure at all about that
  • Debugger in .NET is Brand New!
  • Templates won’t change much in .NET
  • a Template Dialog Editor in .NET .. Not in Initial Release
  • Template Debugger in .NET .. Won’t be in the Initial Release. Possibly we’ll get it a few dot releases down the track .. not sure about the previous three points, what they mean, i’ve got them down, so they must have been talked about, and most probably it means they are planned
  • Report Writer, UI Improvements .. has been given a lot of love
  • Initial Pre-Release .. we’re in charge of Source Code
  • Clarion .NET, the port to 2.0 is DONE .. Russ was very happy to announce this
  • Clarion .NET, it can call both sides of Namespaces .. that is, from C++, C#, .. ==> Clarion .NET, and vica versa, Clarion .NET ==> C++, C#, ..

And there we have it. In a nutshell of notes. There are some exciting points. Hopefully things will turn out. But as I thought at the time, I’m still excited about what Clarion 6 can do .. realising it’s bugs, I’m more thinking about what we can show the world right now.

D-Icons .. Dave Beggs

Now, on the previous day (I think) i’d won a cd of D-Icons, so I had vested interest in this session. And after some hilarious jokes and even more hilarious banter, Dave preceeded (proceeded?) to give away his secret. It’s easy. Axialis Icon Workshop. This made me happy. I’ve had said product for some time, and used it to modify icons where I need. But to create new ones???? That would require me to .. wait on .. Dave showed the way.

It’s really really easy. But also, I’m stoked because I don’t even have to do that, with the bundle of each set on the cd. Nice Dave, very nice. They went onto this baby (laptop) asap when I returned home. Am hoping to get an app out here on DevDawn showcasing them soon :).

Andy K – Finishing Touches

Last (to my memory) was Andy K with a rundown of his stuff. I’ve already given my thoughts in Day Two, suffice to say, it’s good. Visit his website (Clarion Tools) or drop him an email (not sure, his website has a contact form).


And so the bell tolled for the conference to end (it didn’t, there was no bell, but man they are cool). We had to bail pretty much straight away to catch our flight.

Thanks again to Tony & Dave. Excellent stuff!


Sales Schmails

Discovered Successful Selling Tips for the Technically Gifted from a post on the Clarion Newsgroups. It’s concise and doesn’t rabbit on, but the owner states a lot of very nice points. Healthy points. Points that make you think, even if you don’t agree with them.

It’s the right place to be. Being on the cutting edge, pushing yourself to be better, learn new facets of the business (programming, sales, ..). It’s the place to be.