Monday, November 30, 2009

#spill the hashtag which gripped a twitterdom

A truely amazing experience today on twitter, the federal opposition are having a #spill and twitter became the center of attention. Far more than #qanda, twitter was tracking the pulse of national politics and it became a trending topic worldwide.

As people tuned into Lateline and the 7.30 Report, they twittered suprise at Kerry being behind the eight-ball with the latest news. When a story breaks, we turn to the internet, TV is being left behind..

Funny what happens down under in November, The Dismissal, Kevin07 the Spill, it's becoming the Friday the 13 of Australian Politics . is my small selection of interesting people is where you can watch the nation tweet in real time

Enjoy! I certainly have been.

Rudd should take 'a holiday' more often

Sunday, November 29, 2009

After moving from Modelglue to Coldbox, suddenly it's fun again

After using Model Glue (MG) for a few years, I started about 6 months using Coldbox (CB) and boy has it been a refreshing experience. Both claim to be Model-View-Controller or MVC frameworks, but as I have said in the past, Model Glue is MVCX, that is MVC + XML.

I hate the X in the MVCX, purely because XML isn't a programming language. CFML is, and that is what made programming Coldfusion (with Coldbox) fun again.

You simply can't express complex ideas simply in an XML file, it's a no brainer. The XML files used in Model Glue are highly repeditive and violate the DRY principle.

I am a CF developer since 96 and while i really benefited from using MG, I was continually battling the concept of trying to be 'true' to the framework and working with the XML files, without breaking the basic MVC concept. Anything complex always ended up with what I saw as dirty workarounds.

Alas, in business, you can't just simply switch frameworks on a large project as most often the client isn't going to pay (or understand) why you need to spend a few weeks rewriting something which already works.

So a new project came up and I finally got dirty with CB, which has turned out to be rather fun. CB has such a broad scope of functionality and great documentation, I find myself writing code without having to work around the limitations imposed by MG.

As I have been doing this programming thing for quite a long time now, I have learnt that often when I get that nigglying feeling that I should be doing something different or that an extra bit of work here or there, it pays off.

Of course that can be a complete scope creep trap for some developers, but that's the role of the senior developer / tech lead / solution architect to understand and make such rational calls.

I use the analogy of selling helium balloons at a fun park. If you fill the balloons and seal them properly , you can walk around all day and just focus on selling the balloons. If the balloons leak, your going to be dealing with parents with crying kids coming back all day to complain, plus you'll be making trips back to your van to refill your stock.

When I worked at a SME a few years ago, on a big project for a Telco, I was lucky enough to have my desk in the same area as the support team. That meant I got to over hear problems as they came in and over time, that allowed me to stablised the project with targetted improvements that so drastically reduced the amount of support required that the project as deemed mature and was outsourced to an Indian support team.

What I love about CF is how productive you can be and how amazing the CF community is. Adobe, has rather expensive support, but that has always been less of an issue for most CF developers & shops because of the community, most of us simply have never used Adobe support.

All I'm saying is that if your using Model Glue, let me recommend taking Coldbox for a spin, it will make your programming life much more enjoyable & productive.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mapguide 2.1 final windows build

Jason Birch announced the release of the Final 2.1 candidate installer for Windows

2.1 Release Notes

This is a really solid release which resolves a lot of issues and should
make the MapGuide experience even better, it's focus was

  • Performance, scalability, stability
  • Better and more informative error messages
I have been using early builds of this for quite a while in production
and it's much more stable the previous releases.

If your using an earlier release, I would highly recommend trying out this
new release.

Raster support now works out of the box and supports raster reprojection.

Road labelling has had a number of useful improvements as well

The Fusion Map Viewer has had a major rewrite and is much faster and improved

On the Linux side, the build is still somewhat troublesome and we are
looking for help on implementing CMake and supporting Ubuntu.

This release has taken quite a while to get out the door, I blogged about
some of the new features in 2.1 back in Jan.

and don't forget MapGuide Central!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Climate Change Denial Down Under

Last the ABC aired a piece on Four Corners, Malcolm and the Malcontents about the Federal Opposition and it's position on the proposed ETS or CPRS as we call it down here

Now if the issue wasn't as critically serious, this Tragi-comedy would almost be funny. If there was ever an argument for generational change in the Liberal Party, this was it.

I am sick of the right wing's attitude to this issue. Just because your elected to Canberra, it doesn't mean your an expert. If you have studied statistics at a tertiary level, comprehend climate science and are prepared to face your peers, then I'll listen.

The Australian people have already voted for action on this issue and just because half your main supporters are either (and I'm sorry to say this), are either ignorant of the science, or that old they won't even be around in 2020, it's no excuse.

Through all this childish debate, everyone seems to have forgotten that the opposition are the opposition and it only take a few forward thinking senators to cross the floor and the bill will be passed.

It's high time for the Australian Centre Right to stand up on this issue. Whilst this is should be just matter of principle, based on the science, there are more votes in supporting this, than there is in avoiding the issue.

I implore any Coalition voters out there to watch this report, form an opinion and then contact your senators. The CPRS is a bill which can be changed once your party regains power, we just need to start now, send the market the signal, it's common sense.


IAN MACFARLANE, I have a lot of new found respect for you!