Monday, April 30, 2007

Downloading Kubuntu

For the last 3 days I have been downloading Kubuntu and now there are about 5 hours left. There are 2 reasons why I want to try out Kubuntu.
  1. I am always looking for new distros to install on my spare partition.
  2. I am hoping that the new X server and *buntu's good hardware support means that my widescreen monitor will work at its default resolution of 1440x900.
So I will do a small review tomorrow.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

To IE or not to IE

Before I begin
Statuatory Warning: The below scenes may be disturbing

Pixelframe was once upon a time chugging along just fine and I was ready for a release about the 15th of April. Then along came the world's Favourite Browser and my life ( atleast the Pixelframe dedicated process ) has become worth dropping to /dev/null. I am sogoogol sick of Internet Explorer. It took me one week to get the client working. The client has only 4 user generated actions.Now it seems like it will be two weeks to get Settings to work. Maybe I should just release Pixelframe and fix the IE bugs in a maintenance release. After all no webmaster worth his salt uses IE.

Here's the problem:
EVERY action triggers some error, if I am lucky only one, normally a dozen, due to some unsupported or badly implemented property. But it would have been fine in any decent browser. In IE it means doing the following
  1. Click on the Yes button for 'Do you want to debug?...'.
  2. Say which debugger you want even when their is only one.
  3. Kill the Microsoft Frontpage installer.
  4. In the debugger again select a debugger, when the only option is script debugger.
  5. See what the problem is and click break.
  6. Quit and again say Yes to are you sure you want to quit.
  7. Rinse and Repeat for every error.
As you can see this will slowly push any web developer of the edge. Which means I spend barely half an hour on making it to work on Internet Explorer. More than that and you will find me in the cuckoo pot. These things make me wonder if its worth writing a web application if the world's most used browser won't even support it properly.

I need a good dose of antidepressant with a dash of music...

Back in Business

I forgot to post, my computer's back for 2 days now and Pixelframe development is back on track. I have given up on the max-width property in IE, because no matter what expression() I use, it doesn't work.
As for the settings page, the style isn't getting applied, but most of the Javascript errors are ironed out. ~2 days left for it to be ready. Need to start writing the themeing docs.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


I just got a call from the computer guy. Due to a shortage in the specific component required to repair my motherboard, the repair is indefinitely delayed ( atleast another week ). Which means Pixelframe is postponed indefinitely and I am gonna brush up on reading some computer books.

Its so depressing not having a hard disk to save stuff on and things like that

Friday, April 20, 2007

Colourcode is on the front page

Not only did ColourCode get submitted to DZone, it got on the Front Page today.

Its got 279 views and 203 clicks.

Thanks to everyone who voted

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Knocked Out

My computer isn't going to be repaired atleast till next Sunday. So I am stuck just reading CSS Mastery and browsing the web. Everything is delayed. And Pixelframe still has bugs which I haven't worked on.

For my next app I want to create a simple gravity simulation. Basically their are rods and dots and you can connect two dots with a rod and build structures, all while gravity pulls down. Just to actually practically use vectors.

ColourCode got DZoned

My syntax highlighting program, ColourCode, has been submitted to DZone.

Its amazing when a 16 year old's crap app get posted there.

Thanks a lot Satish Talim of Learning Ruby.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Scrap the Schedule

Pixelframe will not release on Sunday, nor will I be doing anything for 2-3 days. My motherboard decided to conk out today morning, so I all development has screeched to a halt till atleast Monday.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Rounded Corners

Rounded corners have become a staple of web 2.0. So I decided to write my own version. So whats special in this among all the others. Well mine is relatively customisable pertaining to the elements to round. Further it allows elements to have variable width and scales on resizing. The images used use the mountain top technique so that the same image is required, whatever the background color of the elements. Of course if you have a non-white background you will have to edit the images. To check them out see Rounded Corners on 22bits.

Pixelframe: Getting Closer

Pixelframe is getting closer and closer to finishing, in fact if Internet Explorer stops hiccoughing every now and then it will release on Sunday. Right now I have uploaded version 0.9 since the feature set is complete, only two problems are left. Both unfortunately and logically are due to Internet Explorer
  1. IE refuses to show the settings page.
  2. There are problems in IE with respect to maximum width.
As soon as these are solved Pixelframe will be released. If you know a solution to the second problem please comment. Meanwhile I will be trawling Google.

For 0.9 Demos check the following albums ( I recommend any browser other than IE for now ):
I welcome your views and suggestions.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Pixelframe Preview

As Pixelframe is nearing completion I have uploaded a pre-alpha not as a download but as a demo. Most of the features are complete. The few remaining are sorting out bugs and writing some documentation. To see the demo with two galleries try these links
If you have comments about improvements, please post them below.

India's problems Part 1, Root- Illiteracy

This is a mindmap me and my friend ( well my friend made most of it ) made about the problems faced by India due to illiteracy. These are purely our views and opinions. If you want to disagree you are welcome to do so in the comments. The image was made in Freemind and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution+NonCommercial license

EDIT: Blogger has scaled the original image. For a large version go to indiaproblems.jpg

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Dynamic delegation in PHP

While working on Pixelframe I devised 2 methods to dynamically delegate tasks to appropriate functions. These methods may already be known and used but these are mine and I thought it would be good to post them. These are particularly useful for handling requests where you call a certain function/script based on one parameter ( say 'action' ) and pass the rest of the parameters to the function /script. So here goes.

Delegation to functions in the same script

//the key for the action name in _POST
define("KEY_PARAM", "action");

//set up value=>funcToCall delegation array
//add new entries for each action=>function pair
$DELEGATES = array( "next"=>"nextImage",

//check if the action we received from the request is defined
//check if the function is defined
if(array_key_exists($_GET[KEY_PARAM], $DELEGATES) &&
//get the function string
//remove this so it doesn't get passed to function, not really necessary

//call the function
call_user_func($func, $_GET);
else {
die("No such action {$_GET[KEY_PARAM]}");

Delegation to other scripts

When using this kind of delegation you should either decide a common function which IS implemented by all scripts or add your code to dynamically call the appropriate function ( say each function has the name the same as the script ).

//now replace funcToCall with script to include
$DELEGATES = array( "savechanges" => "save.php",
"changepassword" => "change_password.php",
"editpref" => "editpref.php" );

if(array_key_exists($_GET[KEY_PARAM], $DELEGATES)) {
//include the script
//assuming they are in the same directory
//here handler is the function
//now that the script is included, its available to us
else {
die("No such action {$_GET[KEY_PARAM]}.");

Well that covers it up. I hope it helps someone out there

Monday, April 02, 2007

Earth Is Dying... Unfortunately no one cares

Even with all the media buzz about global warming and related destruction by 2050 not much is actually being done about it. The main problem in my opinion is that of people. It is mainly news media which covers such issues. Unfortunately most of the world doesn't pay attention to this. The core problem with most people's lack of awareness is
  • Lack of information due to illiteracy.
  • No priority to the environment due to poverty or simple lacking morality.
  • Lack of action because most people, including educated ones rarely ever pay attention to the problems of the world. Most people are highly self concerned, stuck-in-their-daily-lives kind of people, who don't give even a penny towards the greater problems facing humanity.
  • Teenagers who lack awareness due to their sucked up lives of being cool and wasting their lives. The kind which are quite omnipresent in the west and slowly emerging the east. The ones whose only thought is destruction, and complete lack of appreciation to life and society. Its about time we stopped being lenient to them. If the majority of tomorrow's generation turns up bad then its another generation of repeated mistakes. And last time I checked, we might not have time for another generation.
Without more people, people like you and me actually trying to make a difference, no amount of money and new scientific technologies can prevent the slide down the well. For too long has mankind waited until the last possible moment and then searched for a cure. We keep pushing things ahead. There is still a chance to get us, and future generations out of this mess.
Ask yourself that even if we find a way of this planet before we die, is it right to leave after making a mess of one world, to go to another to do the same?

To educate more people about the hazards, atleast the kind of people referred to in the third point above, the following methods should be adopted:
  • Force ALL TV channels to carry environmental protection advertisements say once every half an hour. Preferably these ads should not be blockable.
  • Bring environmental education to school. The sooner it becomes a part of children's lives the better. And SHOW graphic images. Western society is sheltered in the belief that such images can cause bad effects on children, but shown in the right way these may just be the shock people need.
  • The usual implement strict laws, blah blah blah chronicled elsewhere, which I won't mention here.

PS. I know this has no relation to technology. Its just that I also sometimes write about things I feel strongly about.

April Fool

For all those who believed the post below about Google Print, you have been fooled. The Google Print service was another one of the company's elaborate April Fool's pranks.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Google prints your mail...for Free!

Google has launched a new product. Google Print. According to their site there is no limit to the number of pages you can print. Happy printing, I just tried it out and my prints will reach me in 5 days. C'mon people do your bit for the environment and use 96% recycled

LOL thats the annual google april fool's joke