May 31, 2001

Things were really hectic at work yesterday and I had no time for a post at all and today’s not going to be any better but since I’ve done quite a bit of work on BOB and need to brag <g>, I thought I’d do a quick post :p Incidentally a friend (Steve) mentioned the fact that I mention my work here a lot but don’t really say what I do <vbg> I work for a communications reseller in Michigan as an application developer and am part of a team that handles one of their apps. I basically work with Oracle, Java and Vantive (a rapid-application development environment for corporate database applications …) mostly at work.

But to get back to what I was saying, I worked all through the evening yesterday on BOB and have the basic framework working fine. I have the GUI the way I want it, have the code for adding and removing files to and from the file list working and even have parts of the site list working too. To understand what the heck I’m talking about, here’s a screenshot of the main BOB window:

The biggest piece of work that remains to be done is management of favorite sites and a dialog to add favorite sites when you click on the Add button. Then I need to do some stuff to display progress messages on the log window at the bottom of the screen and I should be good to go :-)

On another front, the influx of Gnomies has begun :-) I normally have about 60-80 hits during the course of the day on my site but today I’ve already have received about 30 hits and the day’s just beginning :-) I might not be able to do any posts from Blog since I don’t know how well Blog handles a heavy traffic site – might be my day to find out!

Posted by Fahim at 8:35 am  |  No Comments

May 29, 2001

As usual jugg was prompt to test out Gossip and he discovered a fatal flaw that I’d missed :-) I had opted to store the URL for each headline in the Data property of each treelist item which displayed the headline and it looks as if there was a problem with it. Only certain URLs would be launched while others did nothing at all! So I’ve fixed the problem by introducing a class derived from TCollection to hold the headline details for each headline. Now everything seems to work fine – at least for the three sites I have included with Gossip :-) Thanks again for your invaluable suggestions and testing jugg!! (Oh yeah, since I still can’t update the Nortiq mirror from work, only the Tripod site and the Razor Systems mirror will have the updated build of Gossip – sorry …)

Posted by Fahim at 3:35 pm  |  No Comments

Coming back to work after several days usually means more work than usual and today was no exception :-) Finally found some breathing space to do a couple of minor tweaks to the site. I hadn’t intended originally to put up the LockerGnome link till the newsletter arrived with the mention of Blog since it seemed kind of presumptious to put it beforehand but then I realized I probably won’t even have the link up that day since I don’t get to my e-mail till much later in the day and it seemed kind of bad not to have a link back to the LockerGnome site … yeah I know, I nitpick too much <vbg> Anyway, the long and the short of it is that I did add the LockerGnome button to the bottom of the Blog page today …

I was talking to jugg today and he mentioned something that I’d been intending to do myself but kept on forgetting – namely the addition of some sort of a warning to users that downloading from Tripod was usually going to result at best in failure :p So I added a little premanent notice in the side-bar. Of course, this could be slightly confusing to somebody on a mirror site because the notice would be displayed on the mirror site too but I’m hoping that the users would know the difference :-)

Posted by Fahim at 12:51 pm  |  No Comments

May 28, 2001

I was just thinking about all the updates I’d done to the site today when I realized that I hadn’t done one very important thing that I’d been meaning to do some time now – feature all the great Powered by Blog buttons that sinesolis had done on the Blog page. So I went back and did that and added a bit of HTML code for each so that users could link to my site easily. That last was actually a suggestion by jugg – he always has some very creative feedback :-) Thanks guys for all your input, suggestions and help!

Posted by Fahim at 1:44 pm  |  No Comments

All in all a pretty interesting morning :-) First of all, I heard from Chris Pirillo over at LockerGnome that Blog is going to be featured in an upcoming issue of his software newsletter. I guess it might be mildly interesting to find out how this came to be and so I will tell you :p Chris had written a while back in his newsletter that their Bits & Bytes page was having some problems because they were using Blogger and the Blogger servers were on the fritz quite a bit at that particular point in time. So I wrote to him and told him about BlogCS and how I’d come to write it because I myself had been kind of dissatisfied with Blogger. He just said “Thanks” at that time and I’d kind of forgotten about it myself till I received his e-mail – so I guess he did give BlogCS (or maybe Blog) a glance after all <g>

I guess nothing gets you galvanized into action as the imminent prospect of being “gnomed” <vbg> I had been meaning to update some of the pages anyway since I was going to release Gossip today but now I decided to do a lot more extensive changes than I’d originally intended. So I updated a few of the other software pages, added a little link to the Scope page because it was featured on Shell Extension City and did some minor documentation changes as well since I’ve long intended to create one support mailing list for all my other software instead of referring their users to the Scope mailing list :p That mailing list by the way is called RookSoft and you can subscribe to it here.

Once I got all that done, I decided to get the Gossip release out of the way as well and so wrote the documentation up, packaged Gossip into a distro and updated the relevant links on my site for the new download. Then it was time to upload all the new files, graphics, distros and the updated stuff to my three sites. During that process, I came up with my next software project <vbg> I had originally written Blog because I was too lazy to upload multiple files to multiple FTP sites and now I realized that I still had to do that with all files except the main entry page. So I thought, why don’t I write an FTP batch upload client which will take a list of FTP sites and a list of local files and then will automatically upload all the files to all the sites? Sounds like a great plan to me and I already have a name for the app – BOB (for Beast of Burden <vbg>) What do you think?

Posted by Fahim at 11:20 am  |  No Comments

May 27, 2001

I’ve been taking another sabbatical from coding and all the stuff that goes with it. I’ve been reading, watching movies and stuff like that but finally decided to get back to coding today since I had some time on my hand. I went through the Web in search of a simple solution to the problem that I’d had in distinguishing individual lines in a data stream and discovered suddenly that the solution had been in front of my eyes all the time! I had been looking for #13#10 (CR/LF) when I should actually have been looking for #$A and suddenly my code started working again :-)

I did have to do a little more tweaking to my code since the two test backends I was using (BetaNews and Desktopian.Org) each had slightly different formats. But once I got that problem sorted out, it worked great! Now all I need to do is write the documentation, set up a distro, create a page on my site and Gossip should be ready to go!

Posted by Fahim at 12:43 pm  |  No Comments

May 24, 2001

Gosh I tell ya, there’s usually no sense in doing free stuff for anybody at work :p I did WebPrint initially as a favour to a colleague since he needed a way to print HTML files from the commandline and the few utilities that did do the job didn’t work with CSS and were shareware. He happened to mention the fact that I’d written him the utility to his boss and before I knew what had happened, I get roped into a meeting to discuss further enhancements to the utility and about training users! Oh well … anyway, now they want the ability to extract the contents of a ZIP file, print all contained HTML files and then delete the temp files. It does sound kind of interesting but I do hate being pulled into an extra project when I already have a lot of stuff going on …

Anyway, I started work on the modifications to WebPrint and actually got all the ZIP file stuff added in a very short time – did I say I loved coding in Delphi? :p Of course now they want the ability to exclude certain HTML files from being printed – ugh :-( Guess I’ll work on it later …

Did some further work on Gossip and got the URL launching for news stories working but then discovered that while Gossip works fine with RSS (RDF -Resource Description Framework- Site Summary) format backends (I was using SlashDot as the testbed …), it wouldn’t work with other sites which used a simple text file as a news backend. So I started modifying the parsing engine to include a 3-line simple text file parser but ran into some problems doing line reads from a data stream and decided to call it quits for the time being …

Posted by Fahim at 12:44 pm  |  No Comments

May 22, 2001

I know, I know .. I’ve not been posting much recently :-) But then again, there hasn’t been too much news to post about and on top of that, I was pretty busy at work… But something’s come up again that needs to be mentioned and so I thought I’d do a quick post <g> I have started work on another (yes another <vbg>) Delphi app :p I guess coding with Delphi is so easy that it’s easy to get carried away and I needed a good backend news reader that will grab headlines from an RSS file and display it so that I can monitor news but not have to wade through all the stuff on a site … As usual, I looked around for good freeware/shareware solutions but the ones I found either didn’t work or didn’t work as I wanted them to or had those VB installers that I really hate because there is no way to cleanly uninstall afterwards. So I began working on a little app that I currently call Gossip which would fit the bill. Let’s see where it leads …

Posted by Fahim at 1:37 pm  |  No Comments

May 18, 2001

Joel Bennett CCed me on an e-mail he sent to MSNBC regarding this story. I was kind of touched by the sentiments expressed by Joel and his friends and was also a bit amused because they were more mad about Scope being sidelined than I was <g> I guess you can’t really understand/see what I mean because you can’t see the contents of the e-mail but I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to post the whole e-mail here or not … Suffice it to say that Joel told off the people at MSNBC for being not really informed in their article and also told them that as far as he knew, Scope was the first browser to merge IE and Mozilla – thanks Joel :-)

Posted by Fahim at 6:56 pm  |  No Comments

Sometimes I don’t pay attention to the documentation either :p I had read on Adam Lock’s Mozilla Control site that I had to register the Mozilla control (mozctl.dll) using the Mozctlx.dll but I forgot all about it! Or maybe that was an alternate way to register initially but they made it the default for Mozilla 0.9 since I see that he made the final update asking users to use Mozctlx.dll to register only on the 12th of April and that was after I had created the Mozilla lite distro for Mozilla 0.8 … I don’t really know anymore :-) Anyway, for all of the Mozilla 0.9 users out there, that’s the way to get Mozilla 0.9 to work with Scope – run regsvr32.exe and register Mozctlx.dll … as simple as that …

I did download Mozilla 0.9 source a couple of days ago but didn’t get around to compiling it till yesterday since I was working on something else which would also probably turn into an app that I will feature here though I probably won’t do anymore updating on it <g> This mystery app is simply a way for people to be able to print one or more HTML files from the command line :-) Somebody at work needed it for something they were doing and when I searched the web for a suitable utility, the only ones I was able to find were all shareware and so in my continuing quest to put all shareware authors out of business <vbg> I decided to write my own. Plus, the ones I found on the web wouldn’t handle CSS and the files that my colleague wanted to print contained style sheets – so I did need to write it :-) Anyway, I call the app WebPrint and will probably put it up sometime this weekend … if I don’t get run out of my home that is …

I live in a mobile home community (yeah, that’s a fancy way to say trailer park <vbg>) and they sent me a letter telling me to fix certain things around the place AND to pain my double-wide under penalty of legal action! I pay them rent for the land and I own the double-wide, who the heck are they to tell me what to do with my own home!! Sometimes, I just wanna dump all of this and go back to Sri Lanka where things are so much less hassle :p

Posted by Fahim at 9:00 am  |  No Comments

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