Tuesday, December 07, 2010

CFIMAGE: Invalid image format - solution

Sometimes when you try to read an image with CFIMAGE using the filename,
it will fall over with "Invalid image format" using Coldfusion 8.0.1

The solution is easy enough, just read the image into a variable
and Coldfusion inspects the binary file contents rather than just being annoying

<cffile action = "readbinary" file="d:\inetpub\wwwroot\test.jpeg" variable="tmpBin">
<cfimage action="READ" name="tmpImage" source="#tmpBin#">

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Australian Election 2010, Did Australian's dream thru the recession

Tony Abbott is spinning bullshit about debt like Australia Emits CO2, ie chronically.
I saw a banner in the Melbourne CBD about the $100 million a day the government is borrowing.
As mentioned on twitter, that is for each Australian (22,416,196) that's roughly $4.46 per head per day.

This video has better stats... and explains itself unlike the Liberals spin.

Other places to find interesting stuff about the Australia Election 2010 are:

I have a political list on Twitter has lots of interesting (political) wonky stuff http://twitter.com/zackster/politics,
it's not quite as rabid, scary and wonderful as the full raw ausvotes hashtag moshpit.

Crikey Blogs and Grogs Gamut are some of my favourite political blogs and has been
providing a great commentary of the election.

Monday, July 05, 2010

MapGuide: Using Fusion with Selection Events (aka reports)

Sometimes, you just want to do simple things and it seems frustrating. I was
frustrated and I solved it, here's my contribution back!

Having come into the geo-spatial world with Autodesk MapGuide in the 6.x series (aka classic),
the world was a lot simpler. The MapGuide Open Source Classic (or
Basic Viewer) made things easy to make a url launch from a selection. Fusion is a
little different, here's some pointers :)

MapGuide Fusion (aka flexible layouts) is a bit more technical to use, but is also
far more powerful, being based on OpenLayers.

If you want to launch a report, or popup window form a selection you need to
register an event to handle the selection.

The answer is pretty simple, as this mailing list post explains.

It's all you need to know to get started and hacking.

If it doesn't work, flip into Firefox, with Firebug enabled and dump
the sel inside the function selectionCallback(sel) and add a line to
window.console.info(sel); and see what your dealing with!

Learning by trying is the best way to learn

MapGuide Central for a good starting point for playhing with MapGuide, Openlayers and Fusion.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

MapGuide 2.2 Beta Release (Linux Binaries Woot !!!!!)

2.2 Beta Binaries for Windows and Linux (Redhat/Centos 5.4 & Ubuntu 9.10 ) have been posted to OSGeo.

This is the first time we have provided compiled linux binaries for MapGuide Open Source!

MapGuide 2.2 Beta Server Release Notes and Binaries and the complimentary MapGuide Maestro GUI/IDE/Authoring Tool

Please follow up any issues on the Mapguide Users Mailing List

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I've joined the MapGuide PSC

As of last Monday I am now offically part of the MapGuide Project Steering Committee , along with a fellow Melbournian Jackie Ng. Thats some serious Canadian and Australian representation :)

Which means I get to help shape the future of MapGuide and help improve the project with the rest of the PSC team.

Having been an active member of the community for a couple of years now, it's nice to be recognised and join the rest of the PSC.

My main focus will be, as it has been for a while is to help get other developers on board with the project, continue to iron out the rough edges, advocate linux as a platform for MapGuide and help users on the mailing list, especially the ones who take time to ask pertinant questions after firstly doing some research themselves.

As a long time advocate of standardising FDO naming conventions and also maturing the tiling support with MapGuide, I hope to make a difference!

One of my long time bug bears with MapGuide is the problematic GDAL Raster Support.

BTW, I am proud to announce some further funding from my company for Trevors GDAL Initative, anyone else care to chip in towards making reliable free raster support for MapGuide a reality?

Shameless Plug Plug, Hint Hint :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Digital Photocopiers Loaded With Secrets

This story is a must read for anyone responsible for office equipment, as it turns out, nearly all photo copiers made since 2002 stores a copy of every page they scan on an internal hard disk.

This is a terrible privacy problem. I doubt i would ever use a public photo copier ever again.

Next time you upgrade or replace a photocopier, you MUST ensure that this hard disk is wiped.

Otherwise, your old second hand photocopier is going to be out there in circulation with untold thousands of sensitive documents sitting their waiting for someone with nefarious intentions to get hold of the hard disk and potentially capture a treasure trove of private and/or commmerically sensitive information.

Scary stuff indeed, especially considering how much we rely on secret 12 digit numbers (plus a four digit bank code) to make the credit card system work, not to mention identify fraud.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Autodesk Sponsors MapGuide LiveDVD Project

As part of its ongoing commitment to the open source community, Autodesk has
subcontracted OTX Systems to place MapGuide Open Source on the OSGeo LiveDVD 4.0
in preparation for FOSS4G 2010. Including MapGuide on LiveDVD 4.0 will make
MapGuide more accessible to individuals interested in Web GIS technologies.

The LiveDVD project also includes Ubuntu packaging for MapGuide, Maestro,
and a subset of FDO Providers. The entire package set will be available on the OSGeo
downloads site with corresponding installation scripts. This will make MapGuide,
Maestro, and FDO easily accessible to the Ubuntu GIS community.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

MapGuide Openstreetmap Sample Project

I have created a new google code project to develop a sample
map (MGP) for MapGuide using OpenStreetMap Data


Who's up for helping on this project?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mapguide User Survey Closed - Firstly Comments

My First Unnofficial Mapguide User is now closed, we got 75 responses

BTW: Polldaddy is nice, but how the heck do you publically publish the results without touching XML?

So here are the final comments to start with, which are mostly pretty bang on IMHO

Make Openlayers do with Fusion hacks it to do standard or make a better JS API viewer to start projects with including EXAMPLES like ESRI.

inserting and updating of oracle data still is very unstable

I would love to run on Linux, but unfortunately our IT department will only support Windows Server.

FDO providers in general are too inconsistent (i.e. implementers should not worry about datastore specifics, FDO should silently resolve things on "abstract" level).

HTTP API should be better documented

Mapguide lacks documentation still and performance is still less than acceptable against spatial data drawn from Oracle.

6.3 has big time bugs on windows

Documentation and the web API structure is quite complicated. Personally, I don't see much abstraction for map interaction. Also, the Fusion viewer needs "real" improvements in performance and stability. Everytime it seems it is there, but still not yet there.

Raster FDO Providers are still very hard to implement (ECW, SID)

mapguide is the best platform out that to allows you to author/create many maps easily in a shared repository - nothing else touches it. However MapGuide doesn't "just work" like mapguide 6.5 does. And when something doesn't work it takes a VERY long time to debug to find where the problem is. We like mapguide, but can't yet use it in a production environment because of these issues. I'm certain that continual incremental improvement will get the project to where it needs to be...

All answers are based on client's requirements, not personal preference. Most of our client's are Microsoft-based shops so Windows, .Net and SQL Server are what fits best for them.

Clarification on Q.9 - Inconsistant? Yes. Cause of frustration for me? No.

Good initial OS documentation is rapidly becoming dated. Wiki needed for initial deployment. Someone needs to walk through everything with a first time users perspective.

Explicit infos on how to update FDO providers on existing MapGuide [e.g. using 3.4.1 instead of 3.4.0] - Zipped only precompiled distribution, that is all files zipped, so that to install one has to unzip somewhere and manually configure web server [this would easy the upgrades - just for WIN] [this feature should be marked as UNSUPPORTED, and any question on mailing list about this option should be REJECTED - only for expert users!] - RSS feeds on osgeo projects

More help for MapGuide implementation on linux and problems with postgis solved

Is it possible to include OpenLayers support in the basic layouts?

While we have MGE we still use the Open Source Version.

The biggest challenge with MapGuide OS since its inception has been the raster providers.

It would be nice to improve the printing workflow, and to add support for charts (pie) on layers. MapGuide is great, keep up the good work.

UK developer selling MG solutions. Must have Stabiliity and cope with large raster datasets

Better DWG support

JOINs are a contant strain (it was dead-easy with MG 6.5)

I'm running MGE so I entered a wrong answer for Q3.


I would prefer to use Fusion but have not enough time yet! I'm using the .NET API and the .NET Maestro API fifty-fifty ( I'm a little afraid of what happens with Maestro API in the future)

I realize the mail list is a large source of information, but i wish there was a more organized place where one could find example codes and generic help.

For the last one, I created mapguide central a while back, which is a starting point.

It's also important that the user community share's more examples and howto's

We need a better solution than track and a mailing list, that's so 1990's...

StackOverflow Maybe? Maybe I'll code some thing up..

As for anyone complaining about MapGuide Rasters (with GDAL), how about donating towards Trevor Wekel's GDAL Provider Initiative. Trevor used to work for AutoDesk and he knows the internals of MapGuide very well.

As a MapGuide user is having working GDAL valuable to your company? How about making it happen with a donation?

New expanded Where to Eat and Where to Stay sections covering all of Australia

We just released an update to the Explore Australia online Travel Guide,
featuring brand new detailed Where to Stay and Where to Go Sections

A few examples:

Byron Bay, NSW - Where to Stay

Broome, WA - Where to Eat

Happy Travels!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

thoughts about buzz

so google buzz is here and to use common phrase, disruptive.

my thoughts, all in lower case

facebook has replaced most social email, often via facebook messages,
less often by wall post and comments. it's fun, random but rather noisy.

twitter is the high speed, realtime, random world of both your interests
friends, profession, interestes and your idols.

i'd hazzard a guess and say that email these days is mostly used for work,
only made really useful imho for by gmail.

work takes up a big chunk of people lifes, you may spend a lot of time in
the office, at lunch and after work drinks with work mates. often
in the professional world, you get to meet a lot of interesting people,
usually with common interests thru the work you do

the only instant messager i think should be used for work, is google-talk,
because you can save the conversations for later use.

so, then came buzz

i first saw it one my google nexus one, which i love btw, then it appeared
this morning in my gmail. interesting, lot's of "first posts" etc to start

i noticed myself enjoying the ability to comment on tweets and status updates,
which i rather liked, also sharing in google reader, which is then buzzed
straight away. it completely left the facebook share bookmark feeling
clunky and so like last decade :)

my audience so far is a more relevant social graph for discussion than
facebook, not because those people aren't also on facebook but i already
or do (occasionally) email them, or more often google talk with them

buzz ain't bad for a first release, google has now completely surpassed
microsoft as the dominant company in it.

between gmail, jira, twitter, facebook and google reader, gmail still has
the nicest interface, perhaps almost the oldest too.

now why can't i save my sms from my nexus one as conversations in gmail huh?

google contacts is perhaps one of the least praised aspects of google's
android extensions. i now have just one email and phone number database,
which i can edit with real tools like a keyboard and mouse, happy!

fingers crossed and lets hope google stays true to their motto


my first reaction to buzz was, how good is this for business purposes?

facebook, twitter, sharepoint & notes have just been completely aced
by what buzz brings to google business offering, can they catch up?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Coldfusion Performance Consulting

Apart from writing applications from scratch, which I have been lucky enough to do a lot in my career, I also have done a fair bit of application taming.

Performance tuning is a technical art form and something I really enjoy, there's nothing more frustrating as a business owner as paying for some development and then being given a solution which is frustratingly slow.

Coldfusion is great to get started fast, but often this leads poor database design and other problems which can cripple performance.

A good web based application should be able to do most things under a second, post initial load of course. If your's doesn't, generally speaking, the application isn't complete, if your the client, i suggest with holding payment.

That said, it depends on your focus. Admin functionality might simply take longer to run, it's the core of the application I'm talking about.

For example opening the home page, searching for client records, viewing and editing the main record type in your organisation, these should be quick items. If they aren't, your wasting money on staff watching hour glasses.

Anyone needing some consulting in this area, please contact me, I enjoy diagnosing and fixing these problems!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Stop the cultural genocide - Save the Tote

I was initially suprised when I heard today that one of the last bastions of live rock music in Melbourne, The Tote in Collingwood was to close on Sunday. On reflection, I wasn't suprised.

There has been a lot in the media about alcohol fueled violence in Melbourne, it makes for a good story and Politicians love to be seen to be doing something. Nothing new there.

My Friends and I tend to be rather social and love going to Gigs, Bars, Art Galleries and Dance parties. We always hear about this violence, but we rarely ever see it. I think it's because we enjoy the more cultural aside of things, as compared to the 'delights' of place like the notorious King St in the CBD.

I have been lucky enough to travel around the world a fair bit and honestly some of the dodgy elements in Melbourne do shock me a bit, but honestly, there isn't much of it around.

You don't need to amputate your arm, when amputating a finger will do.

Recently I read about France allowing venues to stay open till 7am, serving alcohol until 5am. In Berlin, clubs often go until most of the punters leave. LA has this wierd 2am shutdown. Melbourne tried this with the dumb 2am lockout a few years back, which fortunately was abandoned as a bad idea.

So, back to the Tote. The first time I went there was to see a friend's band, Money Penny play back in the early 90's. It was the uni days, and this venue gave the chance for them to play. 15 years later, I can proudly say they went on to win JJJ's unearthed for Victoria.

The Tote is a incubator for young musicians in Melbourne.

I did a straw poll of my friends and none of them have ever seen any violence at the Tote, yet, in their infinite wisdom, the venue was declared a high risk venue by the liquor licensing commission. Several appeals later to VCAT, the owner gave up.

VCAT is a oft maligned body (for good reasons) which is well known for over ruling local communities in favor of money hungry developers who want to knock down what's left of the beautiful buildings in Melbourne, just to replace them with modern soulless concrete boxes.

There has been a lot of activity on Facebook about the Tote closing. Alas Lynn "Mkyi" Kosky is the minister for the Arts which means we have about as much hope of seeing anything been done from her as seeing G W Bush doing something positive for the world.

I have personally (haha) written to Peter Garrett (ex Midnight Oil front man) and now the Federal minister for the Arts, to see if he will intervene. Lets see what his staffers make of my email. I won't hold my breath waiting.

Last year we had an amazing benefit gig called Sound Relief at the MCG for the victims of the Black Saturday bushfires. It was a who's who of Aussie rock in the last few decades. These bands learnt their trade playing pub rock, something which is becoming rarer and rarer.

A lot of the modern music doesn't resonate with people the way it used to, because all the bloody pubs have been closed down due to stupid people moving into popular areas and then complaining about the noise.

How many big stadium gigs have we seen in Melbourne in the last decade? Not a lot, most of them which did are very old bands. We are losing this wonderful part of culture.

We need to embrace and protect our pubs which support, foster and nurture our young rock musicians. Otherwise, we are going to loose our cultural identity.

The loss of our cultural identity is what I believe fosters the mundane drinking and violence in our society. If you go to the pub and see a great band with your mates, your far less likely to get agro after, if your euphoric after a good gig ( and i'm not talking about drug induced euphoria, that's another story).

So if what I'm saying resonates, get on Facebook and join the Save the Tote Group, write a letter to your Local and Federal MP's and maybe head down to the last night of the Tote this Sunday and show your support.

If you love Melbourne for what it was, stand up for whats left and make yourself heard.

PS: there's a poll on the age website