2007-05-08 17:44

PHP is for Lucre (II)

I probably should have charged more.

Things I learned in this project:

  • If they tell you the design is important, it doesn't matter that said design includes:

    • Fixed pixel-height text inputs (so when you resize fonts you can't see what you write)
    • Misaligned fields and labels

    So, I needed to use Smarty to generate the exact same HTML, working just as bad as the original. And it is thrice the work of doing it right.

  • If deployment is on Windows, regardless of having the same version of PHP, you are going to get in trouble one way or another.

    In order to do it quick & cheap & good, I used PEAR modules extensively. And now I have to make sure all of them are in the server... where there is no remote admin solution usable. So I have to be onsite to deploy. I can't even remember the last time I had to do such a thing :-(

So, I was cheaper than the other proposals, and maybe I was a bit too cheap. Live and learn :-)

2007-05-07 18:52

Neat KDE style: Domino

Today I was fiddling with my desktop and decided to check what KDE styles were available in Arch Linux.

Then I tested Domino.

It's very, very, very nice.

domino.png domino2.png

I have no idea how good it is performance-wise (my notebook is pretty brawny) but hey, I am a boring guy, and I'm wowed.

2007-05-05 18:29

Giving BartleBlog the push it needs

I found a couple of hours to hack, and decided to spend them on BartleBlog.

Here's what got done:

  • UI for blog preferences (still need to do maybe ten of these little modules).
  • Search for files in reasonable places (instead of using the DB in the current folder, for example).
  • Started work on a first-use wizard
  • Started working on a original and simple help system (resource files, yay! ;-).
  • Implemented (lamely) posting of "stories" which are static pages that are not part of the blog's flow.

I intend to spend a couple of hours on it every day for the next ten days or so. After that, who knows, maybe a release will be reasonable.

2007-05-05 16:21

Why you don't have to take economists too seriously

I bet you have seen before some article about how some economist calculates the value of things.

For example, if you prefer not to have health insurance worth $100 a year, and that means you are X% more likely to die in 20 years, then some number-massaging will tell you you value your life at $Y (the numbers are not really important).

Here is an example in Slate magazine which includes a rather clear explanation of how this process works.

It shows that a Chicago drug dealer values its life at between $50000 and $100000.

Now, this is all based on the fact that that person chooses to go on his life in a certain way for a certain amount of money. However, I am pretty sure if offered $100000 or life, he would choose life.

Since that choice is just as his as the one used to reach that number, it's clear that human beings are incoherent, or maybe that the difference in value between a 10% chance of death and a 100% chance of death is way larger than economists estimate.

Personally, I can't even think of an amount of money that would make me take a 50% chance of death. But I am aware that, for example, my diet causes me a certain risk, maybe 1% or 10% (no idea).

How about you? Do you believe in economists?

2007-05-04 15:03

PHP is for lucre. Filthy, filthy lucre.

Got comissioned a small job for a customer:

  • Take a form done in ancient HTML using dreamweaver.
  • Redo it in PHP+MySQL
  • Make it work.
  • Add validation.
  • Make it look the same.

Ok, it's not terribly hard, but it's not terribly simple, either, specially if you are not all that up-to-date on PHP.

But hey, using HTML_QuickForms and Renderer_Tableless, it's kinda done.

But boy, do I now remember how I don't like PHP!

2007-05-01 19:39

What I am plotting...

...nothing.

Ok, here's what I have been doing:

  • Daddy work. Lots of it. Fun!
  • Actual work. Lots of it. Fun, but not so much!
  • Worked a little more in RA-Flip. Play/Stop/Pause is done. The editing mode and opening/saving files is pretty much done, so it will be fully functional as soon as I can spend an afternoon in it.
  • Tobogan (My slideshow software). It works nicely. There are many rough spots and it needs a few features:
    • Some way to edit the CSS for individual slides in a nice manner. Like setting backgrounds and colours (and not much else)
    • A nice way to save the slideshow so it ends all in a single folder.
    • Many UI details
    • Docs
    • A site
  • BartleBlog: it has worked well for me for a long while, since I have been posting this blog using it. And really, it's a nice blog, isn't it? ;-) But of course, there is stuff to be done:
    • Many UI details
    • Decent flickr and openomy uploaders/managers
    • Some extra gadgets I have in mind
    • Docs
    • A site

And that's all I have in mind right now. Except maybe a graphical Befunge interpreter, but that's not really important ;-)

2007-04-27 13:30

BOP: Ball Oriented programming

Some of you may be familiar with weird programming languages. Some of you may even know about bidimensional languages. Some of you may have seen Flip, where computation is performed by balls bouncing off things.

Now you can see Flip using Qt. My Ra-Flip interpreter. I wrote it in a lark after finding out about Flip in Good Math, Bad Math and shares no code with the original, but it's a simple language ;-)

It's almost feature-complete. Missing are:

  • Levels (to make it threedimensional)
  • Input
  • Start-stop-pause-delay controls

Here is the mandatory screenshot:

flip.png

But that really doesn't do it justice, so here's a video:

The fun starts around 35 seconds in. The program prints an infinite series of even numbers and stores odd numbers in a ... I am not sure how to call that. A circuit?

I may think about writing a something-to-Flip compiler, so you can write your programs in some sort of simplistic imperative language and then see them as a pinball machine.

It may be cute if an artist could spend a few hours making nicer gadgets, before I do it (it won't be pretty ;-)

And yes, this is probably the most useless program written using Qt, right there with kyes.

2007-04-24 19:11

Juan Francisco en casa

Another bilingual post / Otro post bilingüe

p1000296.jpg

Last post about JF for a while at least

He had to spend a couple of days under a lamp to decrease his bilirrubin but he's at home breastfeeding well, and doing just fine.

The mother is in some pain because of the surgery, but getting better.

And I don't even mind changing diapers. Even heavy ones. Which was something I was not really sure about ;-)

More pictures here.

Ultimo post sobre JF por un tiempo.

Tuvo que pasar un par de días bajo una lámpara para bajar la bilirrubina pero ya está en casa mamando bien, y está bárbaro.

La madre está un poco dolorida por la cirugía, pero mejorando.

Y no me molesta cambiar pañales, ni siquiera los cargados. Que no estaba demasiado seguro ;-)

Mas fotos aquí.

2007-04-20 11:20

Juan Francisco llegó / Juan Francisco is here

p1000191.jpg

Bilingual post for everyone that reads this

Juan Francisco was born on April 18 at 8:51 AM He was born weighing 3.700Kg

As expected, he's a very pretty baby, and both him and the mother are doing just fine. He was born with a high red blood cell count, but that has been fixed, and is in the mother's room and feeding normally.

I am pretty much shocked to be a father, but I'm loving it (and him) so far.

Some pictures here.

Mensaje bilingüe para los que lean esto

Juan Francisco nació el 18 de abril a las 8:51 AM Nació pesando 3 kilos 700.

Como esperábamos es un bebé hermoso, y tanto él como la madre están muy bien. Nació con un exceso de glóbulos rojos, pero ya está bien, en la habitación con la madre y alimentándose normalmente.

Estoy sorprendido de ser padre, pero hasta ahora la estoy pasando bien y enamorado de mi hijo.

Fotos aquí

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