Aptana – A JavaScript IDE

Looks like there’s a new JavaScript IDE in town.

It goes by the name Aptana.

It actually looks quite interesting from the screenshots, haven’t tried it yet. Currently downloading it to give it a go. It’s open source, and it’s free.

If you use Eclipse, they have a plugin available for that.

I like that it shows you the compatability of JavaScript functions/properties/etc with various browsers, as seen in this screenshot of their code-complete (er, “code assist”) feature.

And checkout their blog.

Found them via the Ajaxian blog.

IE7 “improvement” turns into a bug for us

This is an interesting one that I just came across today.

One of our users has downloaded the latest IE7 Beta release and has found that one of the features that she relies on no longer behaves the same way.

I got her to try to use that feature on another PC (which has IE6), and it worked.

The bug?

Our web app depends on the File upload Html Control, and it’s ability to grab the user selected file and directory. It then creates a link to that file (which is usually on a mapped network drive). Users can then click on the document link in their browser, and the document is opened in-browser.

It does seem a little bit of an overkill though to use the File upload control to simply create a link to a document.
But it worked fine at the time.

Here’s some C# code to illustrate what we had:

if (FileUplaoder.PostedFile.FileName != string.empty)
string fileName = FileUploader.PostedFile.FileName;

In IE6, the fileName string would be something like: c:\docs\doc1.doc
Ie IE7 though, the fileName string would be: doc1.doc

Eric Lawrence, of the Internet Explorer team posted a response to this question on the IEBlog saying that it was a “by-design change for privacy reasons. IE7’s behavior matches that of other browsers”.

I’ll need to come up with a new solution to this problem. Although only 2 users of the system are using IE7, it’s better to come up with a solution to this problem than let it sit until everyone is about to upgrade to IE7.

The CodePlex

Just stumbled across this site called the CodePlex, via bink.nu

What is CodePlex?

CodePlex is an online software development environment for open and shared source developers to create, host and manage projects throughout the project lifecycle. It has been written from the ground up in C# using .NET 2.0 technology with Team Foundation Server on the back end. CodePlex is open to the public free of charge.

CodePlex includes the following features:

  • Release Management
  • Work Item Tracking
  • Source Code Dissemination
  • Wiki-based Project Team Communications
  • Project Forums
  • News Feed Aggregation


Sounds like SourceForge and GotDotNet. Sounds interesting, oh, and it’s Microsoft site (and is currently in beta), so perhaps it is a GotDotNET replacement? (Just speculating here)

I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more about this sooner, rather than later. News spreads really fast in the blogosphere 🙂

Mobile Client Software Factory (aka Mobile Baseline Architecture Toolkit)

Just noticed that there’s a Compact Framework version of the Smart Client Baseline Architecture Toolkit called the Mobile Client Software Factory available now.

Francis K. Cheung has a series of posts on his blog about issues relating to porting to the Compact Framework.

On a side note, is anyone else heading to MEDC 2006 in Melbourne?

Edit: Looks like Nick Randolph has a series of posts on the Mobile Client Software Factory.

ASP.NET Web Hosting recommendations wanted

Does anyone have personal recommendations for web hosting providers?

My requirements are:
– ASP.NET 2.0
– SQL Server 2000 (or 2005)
– Up to 5 domains
– 1GB web space

I guess i’ll leave it at that as the base requirements.

As for price range, probably no more than $30AUD.

So far, I’ve looked at:
Studio Coast

Although WebHost4Life seems to be offering more, at this stage, Studio Coast seems a better option because I’ve read much negative reviews about WebHost4Life (and Studio Coast is an Aussie company — supporting something local is always good!).

But i’m welcome to any other thoughts others out there may have on other providers within a reasonable price range?


Thoughts on Internet Explorer 7

I’m one of many web developers out there that run Windows and have downloaded and installed the Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 build (as well as the other CTP builds).

Honestly, I don’t use a lot of the new features that have been included in IE7. But there is one feature that I’m loving, and using quite a lot right now.

That feature is the Page Zoom Level feature.

Sure, all modern browsers (IE6/Firefox) have their text-size adjustment options, but only IE7 and Opera have a page zooming option. I’m finding the feature quite useful for certain websites out there that have set their text size to a fixed, non-adjustable size. Especially when reading for long periods of time.

Sure, cleartype helps, but it can only help to a certain extent.

It might be different for some people who probably have better eyesight than myself (i’m long sighted, so seeing things up close isn’t as clear as things a bit further away.).

On tabs, sure, I use them, but that’s one of many features that I could live without if it weren’t there.

RSS? I’ve subscribed to a few feeds to see how the feature works. Overall, I think I could live without that feature too. I prefer reading my feeds all in the one place. And that place at the moment (and has been for quite awhile now) is BlogLines. (Though, BlogLines seems quite sluggish in IE7 for some reason.)

There’s also the minor annoyance of some websites’ JavaScript being not up to scratch for their menus. But I can live with that.

Improved CSS? Well, from a developers’ point of view, I reckon that’s cool. But as an end user? I’d not care too much, as long as I can read what I need to. And get what I want from the website without too much trouble.

Sometimes we (the alphageeks of this planet :P) can get so caught up discussing features of a product (where it excels, where it fails etc) that we often forget that all the end user wants is to be able to read the content that they want.

Somedays I’ve watched my father (who is in his eary 60’s) use a computer i’ve setup for him to use. He surfs the web to read his Chinese news from various news outlets, as well as making use of email to communicate with some of his former classmates whom he hasn’t seen in almost 40 years. And if he can find some streaming audio news, he’ll stream it. He’s still fairly new to computers, but he’s gotten a grasp of some things quite quickly.

He’ll still ask for help from either my brother or me when he needs it. I’ve installed the Google Toolbar for him, but he’s now started typing in URLs for websites in the Google Toolbar search box, rather than the IE addressbar! But hey, it works. And it also helps him when he doesn’t know the exact URL. It’ll just bring up results that are closeto what he wants and he’ll just click away.

When I had one of the old 15″ CRT monitors setup for him, he’d often move his head closer to the screen to read text on a website. I recently replaced the 15″ with a 17″ CRT and kept the resolution the same (1024×768), which has made somewhat of an improvement. One of the issues dad has is some websites restrict the text-size to just the one size. (I know, I could always switch the screen resolution from 1024×768 to 800×600. But I didn’t want to change everything else dad was happy with.)

Overall, despite sometimes using a bit too much memory, I’m fairly happy with IE7. Actually, I’m happy with all browsers. They all have their own strongpoints, and you use which you feel most comfortable with.

I’ve used Opera, IE4 to IE7, various builds of Firefox (since I think the Phoenix v0.6 days). I used Netscape Communicator in it’s day.

I think the memory issues i’m seeing with IE7 are related to JavaScript code, as whenever I see the browser with a fair chunk of memory allocated to it, it’s usually when I’m at websites that utilise JavaScript quite heavily (such as BlogLines). Flickr seems fine for the most part, as does GMail.

Google Calendar refuses to work though. It says my browser doesn’t meet the minimum requirements. (Requirements state that as far as IE is concerned I need IE6+. 6 is higher than 7, right? 😛 — Just joking around with the last comment.)

Aussie blogs listing

Looks like there’s now an Aussie Blogs Index underway and has listed about 764 active Australian blogs.

Don’t really know too much about it at this stage, aside from being a listing of Australian blogs.

I think there will always be more Aussie blogs out there, than listed on any such list. Question is though, why is it important for us to have our very own corner of the web?

Well, for starters, there’s a lot of things that are uniquely Australian, and only fellow Australians would understand it.

And there’s also that Aussie (+Kiwi) Tech blog listing, Tech Talk Blogs.

So it looks like the Aussie blogosphere is slowly gathering up some momentum. Let’s see what happens aye? 🙂

More Windows Mobile devices

Awesome, looks like there’s going to be even more Windows Mobile based devices hitting the market.

See this post at MyPDACafe (via Jason Langridge’s blog) about new devices being manufactured by Chinese device manufacturer, Tech Faith Wireless (TFW), which looks like it will be going head to head with another Original Device Manufacturer (ODM) that is quite well known these days, HTC. HTC is the manufacturer of many of the current crop of popular Windows Mobile based devices being rebranded as i-mate, QTek, O2, Orange (as well as several others).

Can’t wait til these devices hit the market. Hopefully, more competition resulting in lower prices and a bigger market share for Windows Mobile based devices. It can only be a good thing for Windows Mobile developers, right?