Another Day, Another .. 5 Cents

Almost forgot my desire to get posting most every day.

Things that happened today:

  • Got some nice work done on the Tafres site (local at the moment), didn’t get enough to put it live, hopefully tomorrow night.
  • Almost got a digital certificate installed, finally, so i can fire up SafeUpdate properly.
  • Had an intense morning at work, squashing bugs hand-in-hand with a very tenacious (good) tester.
  • Got absolutely POWNED by my eldest playing Bomb Battles in Mario Kart, Double Dash. He’s just getting better and better. Can’t wait for the day he’s old enough to start playing some rpgs and wotnot with me.
  • Thought about the next Jaymoe build, but got scared because it’s not coming together like I want it. Need to simplify. Break stuff down.
  • Did some cool work on branding Tafres. The two (Server and Client) icons are now very nicely branded. Also, got one of those favicon.gif’s for the website. Should be cool.
  • Another hour on the exercise bike. Really started to hurt towards the end. My posterior was hurting much.
  • Haven’t managed to play any games, but .. now .. thinking .. i’m off :).

What’s Doing

Okay. I’m very trashed. Going to just list a random order of things happening lately.

– played a bit of WoW again, finally. Missed the crack-e-ness.

– played a very tiny bit of the Witcher with the new patch that lessens load times. Made it much more enjoyable. Will have to continue with that.

– movement on the Tech Evangelist role for SV (Clarion).

– decided on a revamp for Pimp My Clarion, as of now going to create it in NetTalk, host it myself.

– got the web server and basic web system functionality into the Freight system.

– almost got the Tafres (Freight System) web site finished and ready to launch. Just need to fill in some of the content.

– working on a new patch for Jaymoe. Still trying to do too much though. Changing the UI. It’s not going to happen easily or quickly. Going to have to work out which way to go.

– a new beta of Dr. Explain came out. Looking forward to getting stuck into the added features.

– actual work is getting pretty convoluted. I took some initiative and started assuming the role of Team Leader for my project. Noone has corrected my assumption yet, although had to deal with some wierdness.

– read some interesting stuff about Ruby on Rails .. 1. here and 2. here. Well, the second link has a more global topic. Warning .. Extreme Language, specially in the Zed rant. But very interesting. It sounds like a complicated mess, with massive egos and guys who don’t know much about programming, and guys who do, all fighting together over important and not-so-important stuff. Which is of course a global and lame statement. Ha ha. If you want to find out about what’s going on in the Rails community .. read Zed’s rant.

– Sword of Shadows (JVJ’s site) came out! Read it asap and loved it. This series is one of my all time favourites. Got one of the most awesome fantasy quotes ever. "Kill an army for me Raif Sevrance. Any less and I might just call you back."

– almost finished watching Heroes Series 1 through again. Just finished "Five Years Gone" last night while exercising.

– Exercising like a maniac on the bike we got as a combined christmas pressie. 30 mins to 1 hour a night, 5-7 nights a week. It’s crazy. But awesome because you can do it in front of the telly. Ahhhh. However, really cuts into .. well .. time.

That’s enough for now. Regular updates will hopefully be more .. regular.

Gearing Up For Cheer

It’s Christmas time. Winding down. Getting ready for great piles of "not as good as a good roast" food, long afternoon naps interrupted by new kids toys, and basically letting it all hang out for a couple of days.

Except I’m winding up. I’m releasing a new version of my Freight system. While away on holidays, I had some thinking time. Bad move. But it clarified a few things. I need a product done, minimal work. Jaymoe Version 1, while crappy, is out there. It’s working as is for the moment. Version 2 was taking too much time, I had to learn too many new things.

So I’ve set myself some closer goals. A new website, a 30-day free trial version, and a Web System integrated into the Freight System. There are other more concrete plans, but I need to not be blabbing them around.

So I’m not winding down. But am still enjoying the Christmas cheer.

Have to preach on Sunday at Dad’s church. Going to look at the birth of Jesus from the perspective of the Shepherds. Their fear, their searching and finding, and our response to the truth of Christmas, which is that Christ is Saviour and Lord. Salvation and Kingship.

Okay, we’ve got breakfast being cooked for us this morning at work. Mmmm. Bacon. Have a great holiday and God rest ye merry!

Actizzard, Lynching The Enemy and Context Menus


Activision Blizzard? Is this for real? What kind of world are we living in?

We’re living in a world where the guys who make the companies great move on and start their own companies that turn out to not deliver the exact game millions of slavering fans were putting together in their own minds for the past six or so years.

And in other gaming news, some guy (Jeff Gerstmann) got axed from Gamespot. Huge. I know. Stop being so shocked. It just so happens that he did a video review of Kane and Lynch, giving the game a 6.0.


Seems the Eidos gods (the money behind the game) were angered and caused fierce wrath to fall down from their cloud palaces.


Moving on, Jaymoe had some progress since last post.

Context Menus are in!


A beginning only, but it’s cool. Right-Click, or indeed "Any"-Click Context Menus can be overused. But for us Desktop guys, they can be underused. Or just used in one place and nowhere else. It’s time to break down those glass castles and storm the English!

What more you say? I’ll tell you .. Login!


That’s right. The Jaymoe Management System can now be logged into. Wunderbar!

So now, I’m off to get the Images and Forums done for the Management System. Then, once they’re done, the plan is to use the Feeds to populate the actual website pages. Public first, then Private.

Along the way, I’ll have to get User Registration underway.

Looking forward to cracking open the File Uploads for the Images. Shouldn’t be too hard, although I say that a lot. And get stumped a lot.

Jaymoe, A Work Still In Progress

For the past couple of months, I’ve been working, a few hours a week, on Jaymoe. It’s a Sporting Club Web System, "basically". Ha ha.

jaymoeversion1-001Anyway, Version 1 took me about 7 days to slap together with Clarion, NetTalk and some use of Lightbox (javascript image effect library, built on Scriptaculous). Version 1 isn’t much to write home about. You can see the demo here.


At this point in the development, I discovered Ext. This changed what I thought I could achieve. If I could pull out the UI of NetTalk, Ext can give me awesomeness in a bottle. But the beauty of NetTalk is that it provides me with a bunch of template driven windows (like Forms, Browses, Dropdowns) and all I have to do is fill in some template fields.

Given the amazing demos of Ext, I decided that it was worth it.

And it was, to an extent. Jaymoe V2 is well on the way to becoming something special.

But it’s too much. Not only did the entire UI change, but the Database underwent a massive overhaul.

In Version 1, Jaymoe had a database who’s data entry was driven both by the end user, and by myself (or someone at the server end). In some situations, this is a strength. But for Jaymoe, it’s a weakness. I would have to upkeep all the backbone stats for the Clubs. From their Division information to each Round’s Games. Crazy. Absolutely crazy.

So what could I do?

Take a leaf out of the social networking sites. Move everything under the control of the User. Well, not everything .. just .. everything.


So now, the DB is a different monster all together. Almost everything (for the purposes of this post anyway, heh heh) sits under two important files. One is the User file. This cannot be directly affected by the User themselves. The other is the Entity file. Underneath the Entity are all the User interactive files. Stats, News, Images, and so on. The User logs into their Entity, and controls what Sport they are playing, when the Games are, who scored how many tries.

Of course, there are problems with this approach. Designing a Lazy system is best. With the database strong, it falls on the implementation to make sure the User doesn’t have to do too much. Entering every single Game in a Season might be considered too much.

How do you solve this problem?

One way is to provide a template (say xml in this case) which is for whatever data they are populating. This would have to be maintained at the server end, and we return to the same problem as before. Why should I have to maintain this data?

Another method would be to "share" the data across Entities. So that certain data entered by one User (for an Entity), is shared across other Entities.

This idea works when you have a few teams in one division using the system at once. But if you’re the only team in your division, noone else is entering the relevant information for you. Which leads back to you entering all the info yourself.

I haven’t solved it yet. But will chew away for a while.

There is more I’d like to say about Ext and problems I’ve encountered along the way. Another post. Seeya then.

Is Connect, Is Good

A lot has happened since we met.

The Springboks won the World Cup. Okay, Bruce, Jono, Geoff, and all the rest of you .. Kudos. I’ll just say that once.


Anyway, other stuff happened too. We moved out and in. We spent an inordinate amount of time moving boxes and making storage in places where no storage existed. We also managed to keep 4 kids alive and not go totally insane. ALSO, managed to squeeze in the new Heroes eps. Totally wack.

The internet is back. But in a far weaker and diluted form. The exchange nearest to us isn’t ADSL2+’d through my internet provider. I’m a loyal fan, so I went back to 1500/256.

It’s stretching my loyalty. Going from awesome in a bottle to a piece of sand wrapped in crab poo. I know, I know .. a few years back and this was blazingly fast. Doesn’t change the fact that once you have water from Urd’s well, it’s hard to go back to plebian sewage.

Yes. I’m a little steamed.

Speaking of Steam .. Valve rules. Almost as much as Blizzard. Possibly more. Depending on where I’m at, which game I’m playing.

Okay. Onto the development. My current distance from works means I no longer can afford to do everything. Stay up late, walk to work, spend time with fam, watch telly .. something has to give. And so far, it’s been nighttime work. Which bites.

It more than bites.

So I’m putting into place some disciplines that I hope will enable me to do the best with the time available.

Jaymoe is such an awesome project. The Ext rebuild (version 2 of Jaymoe) is taking it’s time. Mostly because I haven’t had a good few hours to spend on it since before we moved. Things should settle down.

But yes, Jaymoe. It’s the way of the future. Or at least, what is behind it is.

Enough said, for the moment. Hope this missive finds you all well and hale and hearty.

May the Wallabies become good again.

Leave of Assent

I mean, Ab-sense.

In the interests of posterity (have loved that word ever since hearing it in "The Princess Bride") ..

I’m moving house, signed the Lease yesterday, and will probably be without internet for at least a few days. Not that I have been posting here with anything approach even weekly recurrence.

Jaymoe Version 2 is kicking along. And I mean kicking. It’s just a problem that the scope of change I jumped eyes-closed into is very huge. But the experiment with Ext is a success.

Again, I have no proof to show you, unless I jump on the skype channel with something to brag about.