A very large difference in ease
Jun 19th, 2017 by Ken Hagler

Sim­ple Web Devel­op­ment with Xojo. Do you find it frus­trat­ing to cre­ate web apps? HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and AJAX can be chal­leng­ing, and frame­works such as Node, React, Ruby on Rails, ASP.NET, PHP and Java are often over­whelm­ing for those just begin­ning web devel­op­ment.

There is a sim­pler solu­tion: Xojo. Using a sin­gle pro­gram­ming lan­guage and a sin­gle IDE, you can go from zero to a work­ing web app in an amaz­ing­ly short amount of time with Xojo. [Xojo Blog]

In my expe­ri­ence the dif­fer­ence in com­plex­i­ty is enor­mous. Not long ago I was assigned to write a GWT com­pos­ite wid­get con­tain­ing over a dozen oth­er wid­gets. To be sure I under­stood the writ­ten spec, I first cre­at­ed a work­ing pro­to­type of the wid­get as a Xojo con­tain­er con­trol so that I could show it my boss and con­firm that I under­stood what he want­ed. Once he had con­firmed it, I imple­ment­ed the same UI using GWT. The Xojo ver­sion took an hour and had a dozen lines of code. The same UI in GWT took a week and 150 lines of code.

The end of CityDesk
Dec 8th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

RIP City­Desk – Joel on Soft­ware. In those days all the cool kids wrote their own blog­ging plat­forms. I wrote City­Desk. In what turned out to be a mon­u­men­tal­ly wrong bet, I thought that peo­ple would want to blog on Win­dows, with all the slick WYSIWYG edit­ing good­ness that wasn’t yet avail­able in ear­ly ver­sions of HTML. City­Desk kept your entire web­site in a SQL data­base (Microsoft Jet, the back­end of Access) and had a fron­tend like a word proces­sor. Every time you need­ed to pub­lish, it gen­er­at­ed the entire site as a set of html pages, which it then uploaded to an ftp serv­er for you.


Over the years the City­Desk code base (VB 6.0, anoth­er bad bet) stopped run­ning on the lat­est ver­sions of Win­dows. Nobody else cared but by that time I was using a cus­tom ver­sion of City­Desk which only ran on Win­dows XP. So until recent­ly, I had a vir­tu­al machine set up with Win­dows XP run­ning in there, and a copy of City­Desk.


Matt Mul­len­weg over at Word­Press has been try­ing to get me to move Joel on Soft­ware over to Word­Press for so long it’s not even fun­ny. I final­ly gave in. [Joel on Soft­ware]

I used City­Desk myself to man­age my main web­site for a num­ber of years after the sad demise of User­Land Fron­tier, before final­ly replac­ing it with nanoc around the time I moved to Austin in late 2012. It was an unusu­al prod­uct in that it was actu­al­ly bet­ter than any Mac alter­na­tive at the time (some­thing that’s usu­al­ly true only of games).

Twenty Years
Sep 17th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

I’ve now had the domain name for twen­ty years.

Google Fiber
Apr 14th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

My apart­ment got Google Fiber yes­ter­day, so I got it set up last night and can­celled my Time Warn­er inter­net ser­vice today. I get twen­ty times the band­width for $50 less per month. Google also allows their cus­tomers to plug in the box them­selves instead of mak­ing them wait at home all day for an “installer” as cable com­pa­nies do, and they even let peo­ple pick up the box from their office if they wish. That was a par­tic­u­lar­ly nice touch, as I live just a few blocks away and nor­mal­ly walk past it a few times per week.

In addi­tion to get­ting an Inter­net con­nec­tion just as fast as my giga­bit Eth­er­net wired net­work, I get about a 166 megabits per sec­ond over WiFi, which my AppleTV uses. The dif­fer­ence is pret­ty notice­able with Net­flix and YouTube.

There is one aspect that could use improve­ment. The Google Fiber net­work box doesn’t have a bridge mode, which means I couldn’t use my old router. That required a cer­tain amount of has­sle with updat­ing things on my net­work.

Amusing Easter Egg
Apr 5th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

This week­end I was play­ing Cru­sad­er Kings II, a his­tor­i­cal strat­e­gy game cov­er­ing 769 to 1453. While play­ing a Norse ruler, I dis­cov­ered a mys­te­ri­ous met­al box while sack­ing a French city. Short­ly there­after, this event hap­pened:

The key fits the lock, and you slow­ly open the chest. It con­tains noth­ing but dust! As you run your hand through it, strange lights begin to man­i­fest in the room and you close your eyes when the first ghost­ly appari­tions appear. You hear the screams of your guards, and when you final­ly open your eyes again, the specters are gone… and your guards have been reduced to ash.

So, appar­ent­ly I found the Ark of the Covenant.

Blog fixed
Mar 18th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

The prob­lem I was hav­ing with my blog soft­ware has been fixed, thanks to MacHighway’s sup­port peo­ple. It’s nice to do busi­ness with a com­pa­ny that actu­al­ly cares about their cus­tomers!

Blog glitch
Mar 16th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

In the past few days some­thing has start­ed inter­fer­ing with WordPress’s XML-RPC inter­face. That’s a prob­lem because MarsEd­it, the client app I use, depends on it. Although they ini­tial­ly denied it, my host­ing provider is now admit­ting that it’s their fault. I’m hop­ing I can con­vince them to fix the prob­lem.

Job listings can get pretty stupid
Mar 1st, 2016 by Ken Hagler

While look­ing through job list­ings, I occa­sion­al­ly come across one that makes me won­der how the poster man­aged to oper­ate a com­put­er long enough to post the list­ing. Con­sid­er this one, seen on Craigslist:

We’ve part­nered with a small com­pa­ny in Austin who is look­ing for an iOS devel­op­er. Our client has the wire­frame, design and back­end com­plet­ed. Now they need a strong devel­op­er to tie every­thing togeth­er.

This project can be done out­side of your nor­mal work hours, but must be test­ed and com­plet­ed by March 9th in time for SXSW.

In oth­er words, they need an iOS app fin­ished in eight days and they’re only just now post­ing the job list­ing. I pre­dict dis­ap­point­ment in their future.

Twenty Years
Aug 29th, 2015 by Ken Hagler

As of this month, I’ve been work­ing in the soft­ware indus­try for twen­ty years.

Oh, the humanity!
Mar 31st, 2015 by Ken Hagler

Battle of Khvoy Results

This week­end I was play­ing Vic­to­ria II, a his­tor­i­cal strat­e­gy game where you con­trol a coun­try from the begin­ning of 1836 to the end of 1935. The objec­tive can be pret­ty much any­thing you want it to be, and in this game I was play­ing Per­sia. A bat­tle against a huge Russ­ian army pro­duced the out­come seen in the screen­shot. This is the most hor­ri­ble thing I’ve ever seen in the com­put­er game.

»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa
© Ken Hagler. All rights reserved.