Jul 07

Google Search Shortcuts

Wednesday, July 07 2010 - - 0 comments

Google Search Shortcuts

I found a nice little easter egg on Google the other day: Type in a file extension (like 'doc') followed by 'mime type' and hit enter. The search results give you this: Very simple to find what I was looking for – no need to try and dig through the results on the page (most of which are not worth it anyways). I also like that you can provide feedback; when you click the “Feedback” link it asks you if you think this answer is accurate. I assume that with enough “no” votes, the result gets reviewed/taken down. It’s a little thing, sure, but a nice...

May 26

Var is Bad

Wednesday, May 26 2010 - , - 0 comments

Var is Bad

C# 3.0 added LINQ, which is a great feature for working with data. Okay, so maybe Entity Framework is going to make it obsolete (depending on who you ask), but it still served a great purpose for a little while. However, to facilitate LINQ, Microsoft also introduced the bane of good programming – var. Var is a way to implicitly create variables of a type. The compiler figures out what the type is based on what you first assign to it. So in this case: var a = “Hello, World!”; “a” will be of type String. And in this case: var b = new SqlCommand(); “b” will...

May 12

Simple Cost-Benefit Analysis

Wednesday, May 12 2010 - 0 comments

I've been thinking about this for a while, and the catalyst for me to write about it was a short, simple post that Scott Watermasysk put up. It's so short, in fact, that I'm going to repeat it here in addition to the link (Scott, if you read this, and don't want it copied here, just let me know): Before scheduling a meeting, try to use the following equation: Number of attendees * $100/hr = MMC (minimum meeting cost) Then ask yourself, would you spend MMC to hold this meeting? In my experience, the answer is no a vast majority of the time. Pretty simple, if you think about it, and...

Mar 25

Warnings Need to be Cleaned Up Too

Thursday, March 25 2010 - , - 0 comments

Quick show of hands - how many of you developers reading this clean up compiler warnings in your projects? Every one of you that raised your hand, good for you for following directions, but bad for you since you literally followed a command from a blog post as you were reading it. Now those of you that didn't raise your hands because you don't get rid of warnings in your code, shame on you. Those warnings exist for a reason; to tell you that something may actually be wrong with your code, even if it technically isn't an error. They should be treated just like errors, you should not...

Mar 19

Web Applications are Still Web Sites

Friday, March 19 2010 - , - 0 comments

I was recently working with another developer that admittedly did not have a lot of web development experience. But he really wanted to use Ajax on the business web application we were working on. He wanted to use it so much, that he literally wanted to have the entire site reside in a single .aspx page, and every action, from logging in to processing data to running reports, would take place without a single new page being requested. How did I find this out? He wanted to use jQuery tabs for the navigation. When I built a navigation bar with HTML and CSS, he actually got mad that it wasn’t...

Mar 11

Funny Code

Thursday, March 11 2010 - , - 0 comments

Today, I’m just going to share some of the funny code that I have come across over the years. With most of these, I still fail to wrap my mind around the logic of how the code got into the state that it is in. In many cases, I asked the original author how they thought the code would work and I often received responses like “It just does” or “I didn’t write that” (even in cases where that person had just checked the code into source control earlier that day). What’s a For Loop? int i = 1; foreach (Features f in PageFeatures) { // Actual logic removed for...

Feb 28

Graffiti CMS Plugin - Events and Event Calendars

Sunday, February 28 2010 - , , , - 0 comments

I am currently building a website for a local magazine using Graffiti CMS . It handles most of the things that the site needs, with two notable exceptions: Show profiles for the various writers, along with links to their posts automatically Show an event calendar with details on local networking events I'm still working on the first item (because we may be integrating it into the code code base), but I have finished up the plugin for the second item. I found an example for handling events in Graffiti at http://pentonizer.com/csharp/event-calendar-for-graffiticms/ , but I still needed more functionality...

Feb 17

Email for Your Small Business

Wednesday, February 17 2010 - , - 0 comments

Having email for your small business is nearly as important as having a website. In fact, in some ways, it may even be more important. And just like it looks really bad to your customers to have your website show up as mycompany.wordpress.com instead of www.mycompany.com, it is fairly unprofessional to have your email address as mycompany@aol.com as opposed to me@mycompany.com. Most hosting solutions can provide some form of email for your domain (some of them even for free) but today I am going to recommend an even better service - Google Apps mail. My business email has been with Google Apps...

Feb 11

Fixing Registration Forms – Country Selection

Thursday, February 11 2010 - , - 0 comments

A few months ago, I wrote about how to fix passwords in registration and login forms . Now, I’m going to discuss some ideas on how to improve country selection. This isn’t limited to registration forms, but since that’s the primary location where a website asks a user to enter a country, that’s the case I’m going to use. How is Country Selected Now? Right now, there are primarily two different ways that a user is prompted to enter his country. The first is an ordinary textbox. This provides the flexibility of allowing any country, but also causes some limitations....

Feb 08

How to Get More Comments

Sunday, February 07 2010 - , , - 0 comments

Every writer on the web wants to get as many comments on what they write as they can. I’d personally love to see more comments on the things that I write here. Whether it’s because you want to have more fulfilling conversations regarding the things you write about, you want criticisms or critiques of your writing in general, or you just like the attention, the more comments, the better. The question is, how can you get more comments? Here are some ideas: Increase Your Readership This kind of goes without saying – the more readers you have, the more people willing to comment you...