Michael Gillson on February 17th, 2013

sundaeMore than a year ago, I won­dered what lan­guage I should learn next.  At the time I con­cluded PHP.  Not that it was the best lan­guage, just the most attain­able.  Well, I have been busy with so many things, I never did any­thing with PHP.

Instead, I decided JavaScript was more uni­ver­sal.  When I found nodejs, I real­ized, learn­ing just one lan­guage could work on both the client and the server.  The tools to cre­ate looked pretty good, but JavaScript is a loose lan­guage that allows a devel­oper to do dumb things and shoot him­self in the foot.  But JavaScript is also pow­er­ful with first class func­tions and closures.

The prob­lem returns back to on going debate between sta­tic and dynamic lan­guages.  Sta­tic lan­guages allow the com­piler to help avoid typo mis­takes and greatly facil­i­tate refac­tor­ing for cleaner, more reusable code.  Dynamic lan­guages allow for quick pro­to­typ­ing and get­ting some­thing out the door fast.  But dynamic lan­guages suf­fer when scal­ing to large projects and sep­a­ra­tion of duties.

Finally, there is a good answer.  The new Dart lan­guage by Google bridges these con­cerns.  You can option­ally add sta­tic typ­ing and use it as lit­tle or as much as you want.  The out­put code is JavaScript.  Since Dart is abstract­ing the code, as pieces are added to the WC3, some of the Dart out­put can imple­ment new HTML5 fea­tures instead of cre­at­ing JavaScript.  Dart also comes with a vir­tual machine(VM) that runs Dart code natively on the server much like nodejs.  The Dart VM is also com­ing to the Chrome browser so Dart does not need to con­vert to JavaScript.

With Dart, I can cre­ate Dart VM scripts, Dart Web Servers and Dart Web Clients with one attrac­tive (sim­i­lar to C# or Java) lan­guage.  Finally, I can pro­gram in one lan­guage and cover every need on every plat­form.  It is still early in the Dart world, but by sum­mer of 2013, some great things will be hap­pen­ing.  Go check it out at http://www.dartlang.org/

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Michael Gillson on March 12th, 2012

Don’t call me an icon. I’m just a mother try­ing to help.
Princess of Wales Diana

A few months ago, I was learn­ing some new soft­ware.  The tuto­r­ial men­tioned but­ton icons.  It said that Ubuntu 10.04 no longer had them turned on.  Also, the method to turn them on was buried and not read­ily avail­able as before.  The descrip­tion of how to turn this on was weak.

I strug­gled but made it work.  I like what I see.  I decided to record my efforts in this blog.  Many months have gone by and I am only now record­ing this info.  As I tried to remem­ber all the pieces I went through to get this to work, I found another blog that doc­u­ments bet­ter than I would have.  So to remem­ber how to con­fig­ure but­ton icons, I will share this link — http://joesteiger.com/2010/05/23/add-icons-to-menus-and-buttons-ubuntu-10–04/

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Michael Gillson on November 5th, 2011

Thought is the blos­som; lan­guage the bud; action the fruit behind it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

He was so learned that he could name a horse in nine lan­guages; so igno­rant that he bought a cow to ride on.
Ben­jamin Franklin

What is the short­est word in the Eng­lish lan­guage that con­tains the let­ters: abcdef? Answer: feed­back. Don’t for­get that feed­back is one of the essen­tial ele­ments of good com­mu­ni­ca­tion.
Source Unknown

The day before Hal­loween, win­ter arrived in South Cen­tral Alaska.  Now is the time for many months of indoor com­puter learn­ing.  In the sum­mer, I stay out­side in the mid­night sun as long as possible.

My gaol this win­ter is to expand my com­puter pro­gram­ming skills.  At work I use C# and Visual Stu­dio 2010 to develop rich desk­top appli­ca­tions with access to Ora­cle and SQL server.

At home, I have grown weary of Microsoft.  I use VM Player to get to my old copy of win­dows XP.  My host com­puter is Ubuntu 10.04.  I have numer­ous Ubuntu desk­tops and servers that are vir­tu­al­ized and acces­si­ble via VM Player.

I want to write soft­ware in my new envi­ron­ment.  My ques­tion started out to be What Lan­guage?  I have real­ized this is not the right ques­tion.  Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Gillson on August 18th, 2011

A word is not a crys­tal, trans­par­ent and unchanged; it is the skin of a liv­ing thought, and may vary greatly in color and con­tent accord­ing to the cir­cum­stances and the time in which it is used.
Oliver Wen­dell Holmes

Writ­ing crys­tal­lizes thought and thought pro­duces action.
Paul J. Meyer

Good char­ac­ter is like a rub­ber ball — thrown down hard — it bounces right back. Good rep­u­ta­tion is like a crys­tal ball — thrown for gain — shat­tered and cracked.
Linall Jr. A. L.

The prob­lem occurred when I updated to Win­dows 7.  My Crys­tal Reports Viewer no longer worked.  The web site rec­og­nized that it was miss­ing but the install did not work.  Noth­ing I tried seemed to work,  I found an answer on a Microsoft web site BUT the answer was flawed.  This blog shows how over­come the flawed answer and make it work.

When the server needs to install the Crys­tal Reports Viewer, the files are extracted from a CAB file stored on the server at loca­tion like http://yourwebsitewherecrystalisinstalled/crystalreportviewers11/ActiveXControls/ActiveXViewer.cab

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Michael Gillson on April 16th, 2011

An edu­ca­tion isn’t how much you have com­mit­ted to mem­ory, or even how much you know. Its being able to dif­fer­en­ti­ate between what you do know and what you don’t. Its know­ing where to go to find out what you need to know; and its know­ing how to use the infor­ma­tion you get.

-William Feather

Recently, I needed to con­fig­ure an Ora­cle ODBC con­nec­tion on a Win­dows 7, 64 bit,  work­sta­tion.  Ora­cle was loaded and func­tion­ing prop­erly.  But no Ora­cle ODBC dri­ver could be found.  In fact, all the ODBC dri­vers were miss­ing except for Microsoft SQL Server.  Even the Excel ODBC dri­ver was missing.

I rechecked my Ora­cle install, I con­firmed that I was run­ning as an admin­is­tra­tor but the dri­vers just were not avail­able.  Through a team effort, we found the solu­tion.  It is not obvi­ous and I have no clue what Microsoft’s thought process is.

I doc­u­mented this solu­tion because I am afraid I will for­get it and it was hard to find this solu­tion.  I hope other peo­ple find this of some help.

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Michael Gillson on April 1st, 2011

The actor becomes an emo­tional ath­lete. The process is painful — my per­sonal life suf­fers.
-Al Pacino

I work with C# dur­ing the day.  At night, I am learn­ing Python.  I try to apply my C# knowl­edge to cod­ing in Python.  In C#, I use prop­er­ties fre­quently.  Prop­er­ties almost always have a get­ter method.  To write to a prop­erty, there is a set­ter method.

I cre­ated a Python class with a prop­erty but the set­ter never ran.  Finally, I found out why:  Some­thing about new-style class in Python.  I needed to derive my classes from object, not the default par­ent class.

Wrong : class MyClass():

Right : class MyClass(object):

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Michael Gillson on March 15th, 2011

My voca­tion is more in com­po­si­tion really than any­thing else — build­ing up har­monies using the gui­tar, orches­trat­ing the gui­tar like an army, a gui­tar army.
-Jimmy Page

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will make me go in a cor­ner and cry by myself for hours.
Eric Idle

The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a com­edy to those who think.
-Horace Wal­pole

Men show their char­ac­ter in noth­ing more clearly than what they think laugh­able.
-Johann von Goethe

You can find lots of good infor­ma­tion at the Django Project.  I will be fol­low­ing one of the options in the instal­la­tion guide.  First I will down­load the lat­est django, here and save into my newly cre­ate django folder in my home directory.

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