opinions and rants on software and...things
May 19, 2008
On Friday, I downloaded and installed NetBeans 6.1. It had received glowing praise, especially from bloggers who use it for Rails development as I do. Most frequently noted was that it has dramatically improved its start-up time, and that was in fact my number-one beef with it. It was epochally-slow. Whenever I wanted to work on My Kids Library, I would double-click on the icon and go do something else for ten minutes while it woke up and crawled out of the vat of frozen molasses that it apparently sleeps in.
The installation went very smoothly, and as usual, I chose all of the installer's defaults. Double-click, click, click, click, click, you're done. Nice experience. I wanted to try out one of the new features about which I was most excited: the ability to start-and-stop MySQL from within the IDE. Previously, I'd been forced to open a command window and issue the commands to start-and-stop MySQL. It's a minor annoyance at worst, but nevertheless, not having to do it seemed very exciting.
It didn't work, of course, and I probably slumped in my chair a bit as I watched plenty of error messages scroll ...read more
May 12, 2008
What time I had this weekend that was not spent ferrying children to-and-fro, maintaining my yard, grilling steaks for Mother's Day dinner and otherwise acting hyper-kinetic was spent adding discussion forums to My Kid's Library. I had managed to put together the data models during the week, but other than that, I was starting from virtually zero code when I began to work on the new feature on Friday afternoon.
I worked whenever I could sit down at my computer for five minutes. I would implement a method in a controller here, I would slap together HTML there...I'm not sure that I could accurately gauge how much total time I spent working on it, but it couldn't have amounted to more than four hours. However, as of Monday morning, I have fully-functional, reasonably-attractive, usable discussion forums. Don't go looking for them quite yet on the public site, as the code changes haven't been published, but they will be quite soon.
That I was able to create a significant amount of functionality in very limited time and with a pleasingly-small amount of code is a testament to Ruby on Rails. It does what it ...read more
May 05, 2008
I'm strongly mulling the idea of building an IDE tailored for creating AppEngine applications. I'd start with Scintilla.NET for the text-editing component, add as much Intellisense-like help for Python code as I could manage and hook it up to a debugger and the GAE development web server.
Now, there are plenty of IDEs that will help you write Python. I have been using Komodo Edit, and it does a lot of things very well, but it did not enable me to do source-level debugging, and I just gotta have that. MUST HAVE. Developing any other way is painful and unproductive and horribly inefficient. It's difficult enough to write in a dynamically-typed language, using both a language and a framework that have cringe-worthy documentation (that includes you, Django), but to have to rely on logs to debug you code makes it too painful for serious projects.
However, I'm so impressed with the upside of Google AppEngine , and I'm so sure that it is going to be a meaningful and important web platform, I'm considering taking yet another iron and jamming it into my already-sputtering-and-nearly-out fire. This thing is absolutely going to be a part ...read more