Archive for category Windows

A solution of sorts

A reoccurring issue with web development has always been cross-browser checking. Does the site work and layout correctly in Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Opera, blah blah. A huge problem with doing all my development on Linux is that I can’t easily check Internet Explorer on Windows. Most of the rest of my team also decline to use Windows and most of them use Apple (a whole other debate, but I will skip that for now). Our clients are totally Window’s shops so this presents a problem. We have tried running VM’s locally, but this has its own issues such as resource usage on your local machine. You start up a VM and watch all your RAM go bye bye.

The solution I have for this now, which seems to work alright, is to run another box with a decent amount of RAM and let everyone RDP into it for testing. This coupled with the virtual machines that Microsoft provides for testing has been working very well.

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You can never really escape it

I enjoy running Linux, not only because I am sort of a fanboy about it, but I have been running it long enough to be much more proficient in it when compared to anything else. There are things that drive me nuts about it, just there are with anything. In my job, I am a front-end/UI developer. Not a designer, mind you, I am not terribly good at dreaming up good user interfaces, but I am good at implementing them. This is in the web-based world also I have to add. So that brings me to the biggest gripe I have about my profession, browser differences, or more specifically Internet Explorer.

I have the pleasure of being able to run Linux on my workstation, but I still have to keep a Window partition around so I can reboot occasionally and check my work in Internet Explorer. Usually there aren’t a lot of issues to correct for it to layout right in IE, but sometime there are major problems and I find myself spending the whole day in Windows. *sigh… I guess you can never really escape

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Beware the WindowXP Dell downgrade!

I couldn’t help but post on this. This really cooked my goose. Imagine if you will a laptop. A fairly new laptop, only a few months old. Then something dire happened to this laptop and you needed to reinstall the operating system. Now this wasn’t any ordinary laptop, nay, it was a Dell Windows XP Downgraded version! Yes! In a world where XP has been discontinued, you can still get it as a ‘downgraded’ operating system, and belay the horror that is Vista.

The reinstall goes according to plan, but wait, did it really? You try to use the serial key you extracted so meticulously before the reinstall, but…it won’t work!! Aghast, you reach for the telephone to call the friendly support technicians at Microsoft, they should be able to remedy this oversight! But imagine your surprise when they tell you that they can not help you and that you must call the manufacturer of the laptop for further assistance. Lo! You savvy up the tech support number for Dell and after only a moments wait on hold you speak to another support technician that promptly tells you that you don’t in fact have a valid XP license but rather a Vista license ONLY! Vile scum! After much baying and arm waving I finally gave in and installed Vista.

…now I just feel all icky

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Linux versus Window system calls

There was an interesting article on Slashdot today. A blogger had a graphical representation of system calles between Linux and Window for a typical Apache/IIS webserver process. No word as to what a ‘typical’ webserver call is, but the grapic made me laugh, even if it is “not entirely accurate”


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IE 7 Released today

Microsoft released Internet Explorer 7 today, with it being available on auto update somewhere around November 1st. I have thus far read nothing but bad press about it. Maybe its because I only frequent sites that are less-than-Microsoft friendly, but I for one will not be upgrading any time soon. I will try it out to formulate my own opinion rather than take the word of other bloggers (they’re totally objective, right?) under Wine, that way if I don’t like I can just simply delete it. But unfortunately as a web developer, I will need to find a way to cohabit with it, since it will be the default browser for Vista. Just like I got used to IE 6 I suppose I will become calloused to IE 7 eventually.

But if Microsoft stays on track and only updates IE every 5 years, Firefox should be somewhere in the vicinity of version 7 and should allow me to browse the web through neural commands. 😛

At least IE 7 natively support XHR natively now, rather than through an ActiveX object. But they are still stuck on JS 1.5 and still doing it poorly. While Firefox 2 supports JS 1.7, not that there are any earth shattering improvements with 1.7


Alright, seriously

In the wonderful world of web development, I want to know who on the Internet Explorer team decided it would be better to NOT include support for CSS2 selectors in version 6 of their oh-so-prevalent browser. It was never really a problem until, well, it became a problem. And now its really a problem.

The new job has had me neck deep in XHTML since I started, which is cool considering I had no idea how sloppy I had become. I was always proficient but never really good, but I think I am starting to creast that peak. I understand more now about Javascript and CSS than I ever did. I am actually reading the CSS3 RFC with a bit of anticipation. Its just too bad that IE7 won’t support it.

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MVC C# and Microsoft, oh my!

Alright, so I am in the beginning stages of developing the first piece in what is to be a rather large application to integrate with Microsoft Small Business Accounting. I have been looking at different options for frameworks, and since I developed in Java for 5 years before coming to the dark side I am naturally looking for a good MVC framework similar to Struts. I happened to stuble across Maverick.NET. I have been using it in a few tests and so far I haven’t found anything that I didn’t like. I have read that it doesn’t lend itself too well to unit testing, and then there is the fact it hasn’t seen an update since early 2003. Now, I can live with the unit testing issue, but there has been about zero activity on the mailing list and no posts to the forum. Should I take this as the project has reached a level of perfection where no one needs to ask questions any more? Yeah, I didn’t think so either. I may drop an email to the newsgroup to see if I get any response.

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.NET templating

It was decided that the entire intranet needs a face lift. So I am busy filling my time with researching templating schemes and frameworks for .NET to build the intranet off of. It has been anticlimactic to say the least. It seems that in the Windows world, there is a massive rift when it comes to frameworks and anything resembling a community. It seems the community IS Microsoft. When I was developing in Java, there was almost no end to the custom framworks and template schemes. Everything was very open and you had many choices as to how you developed your app. It seems that in .NET-land you have one way, Microsofts way. I guess their thinking is if they didn’t think of it, it wasn’t worth adding support for.

Sure most of the time the Microsoft way is alright, but if you ever decide to strike out on your own you are pretty much going to go at it alone. I guess people are much more protective of their code when they have to pay for every aspect of the development behind it (servers,OS,IDE,Licenses for everything).

I guess I should get to work and start developing a templating framework.. 🙂

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Training: Day 4 & 5

Another day come and gone, well, make that two days come and gone. Thursday and Friday are done now and I am sitting here writing emails and trying to keep up with the goings-on at work. Yesterday [Thursday] was a long day. We had lecture until 11pm, then I went home and studied for another 3 hours. I was so exausted this morning I couldn’t drag my butt out of bed to go running. I kind of just laid there and stared at the ceiling, not believing that it was time to wake up already.

What ever I did it must have worked because today I passed my second Microsoft exam [70-315] ‘Developing Web Applications in C#’, I did very well on this one compared to the first test. I am extremely relived, tho I was not as stressed before this one as I was before my first one. I think passing the first one did alot for my self-confidence. Now I just have one more test on Sunday before I can go home and actually do some work 😉

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Training: Day 3

The first test has come and…I prevailed! I took and passed the Microsoft 70-316, only two more to go before the MCAD is mine! I know what you might be saying at this moment. Wait, wasn’t this guy all pro Linux, anti Microsoft? Well yes, I am, kinda. I have lessened my rage toward Redmond and embraced their technology, but never their business practices.

Mer and the boys stopped out last night to keep me company and just so we could be together as a family. I really enjoyed it. I can’t believe how much I missed them in only three days!! We went out for dinner to celebrate (I overate, so much for the diet last night!!), then came back and played with my boys. Trevor was heart broken this morning when I had to leave.

We are studying for the 70-315 now, the Web Application development test. I am going to eat this one up, I have been doing web apps for the last 6 years so I am very confident. Back at it!

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