What developers would like to know about their new job…

- Time tracking, productivity tracking
- Email respone time
- Radio, head phones, closed door rules

- What is explicity forbidden (cell phones, etc)
- Clearance strategy
- Security policies
- Rules on installing software

- CMM compliance & competing policies & process methodologies
- Tools available, tools request (write/buy policies, if any)
–Code Repository?
–Unit testing tools?
–Documentation templates?
–Coding Standards
—-Variable name conventions
—-Commenting conventions

# Do you use source control?
# Can you make a build in one step?
# Do you make daily builds?
# Do you have a bug database?
# Do you fix bugs before writing new code?
# Do you have an up-to-date schedule?
# Do you have a spec?
# Do programmers have quiet working conditions?
# Do you use the best tools money can buy?
# Do you have testers?
# Do new candidates write code during their interview?
# Do you do hallway usability testing?

Working with Php Dates

I am using Jax Calendar, a free php Calendar. I wanted to display the upcoming events on my front page, separate from the calendar module, but the date is stored as a text, something like “1096761600″, after much research, it was determined that this is the number of seconds since 1970. If you are using MS-Access & ODBC, you need a function like this to convert the string to a date.

Function DatefromUnix(strIn As String) As Date
Dim lngSeconds As Long
lngSeconds = strIn
Dim datStart As Date
datStart = #1/1/1970#
Dim dblDays As Double
dblDays = lngSeconds / 60 / 60 / 24
DatefromUnix = dblDays + datStart
End Function


Cheap, but if you accidentally run a script that hogs the server, you get kicked off. Each server holds a bunch of websites, so no one can use more than a small percent of the CPU, so many JSP applications (like cocoon) are not allowed. Some applications like MovableType are not allowed (resource hog, insecure). You can write your own code, but if it goes bad the host can either disable the code or disable your account. There are scripts to install common free web applications, but you only can do one on account of the database limit, even though most of these apps would be happy to share one database were you to do a manual install.

I got Internal Error 500 a lot trying to run a trivial PHP script. It means:
1) You are not using your domain name (mywebsite.com) and are using something like meteor.lunarpages.com/~username/ PHP won’t run if you call it by this URL
2) Maybe you need to set the execution rights (give world right to execute it, priv’s code is 755)
3) Maybe you need to fiddle with your php.ini or .htaccess files.
4) Maybe you need to have uploaded your file as ascii. (source code should be ASCII, not binary)

So far, I’m thinking my problem is #1, but I won’t know until my domain name starts to work. My domain name is SuburbanDestiny.com, which I plan to use a social website, but if I change my mind, it works well as a blog domain name, or a business domain name. I don’t like that everyone keeps lowercasing my name, so suburbandestiny looks like suburb and estiny, which sounds plain weird. This could be why I’m the first to pay money for the name.

JSP works. A trivial JSP page works great. Since I’m paying extra for Java enabled pages, I’m deterimed to work JSP and Servlets into all the tweaks I make to my open source web applications.

Its time for C#

Because it supports .NET better than Visual Basic and I can’t take the time to convert code which would be faster to write from scratch.

IDEs available:

Visual Studio: +Made by Microsoft so probably works with language better -Costs Money +Under $100 bucks
C# Builder: +Made by Borland, so they try harder + Free(personal edition)

Easy decision. Now we are off to download the personal edition!

Stupid VB Control Tricks

  1. Visible connections They clutter up the field
  2. Invisible text boxes
    e.g. when you set the border to be invisible, they become invisible on the designer
  3. Zero width widgets
    The designer should give everything a minimum width even if the widget will be zero width in runtime.
  4. Default trash text
    Default names are ok. Default properties, like value = “text1″ is a pain
  5. Absolute positioning
    Who has time to bump around every single widget!
  6. Inconsistent property names
    This control returns values with .value, that one with .text
  7. Non extendable controls
    Give the using programmer’s a chance to fix the base controls defects. And give us at least 3 different ways to extend a control. (By adding new properties, overriding exiting behavior or properties, or making it easy to pass control through a subroutine each time before use for repair)
  8. GUI only edits