Time to go dynamic

Well… Until now I was trying to stay away from JavaScript. My aversion started somewhere around 2000. At this time I was webmaster at Opole University, and I was doing redesign of it pages. I tried to make some JS enabled pages, but results were not astonishing ;-)) I remember hard times with I tried to make it browser independent.

So I stayed away from JavaScript next few years. Until yesterday. When I was jogging I got idea to write some mashup with Google Maps. So I started reading some JS tutorials, Google Maps API documentation, and… Looks like JS is no such bad thing ;-)) Sure, last 6 years have changed a lot. Maybe I’ve changed or browsers, or both. Anyway now learning JS is a bit easier.

As a training I started with calculating distance on Google Maps (do I need Google Maps for dummies or really there is no built-in way to measure distance?). Starting from examples from API documentation I got to this point: http://nhw.pl/distance/. I hope calculations are finally correct. I promise next time to remember convert degrees to radians, before calling Math.cos ;-)) Well nothing special, but I’m proud, since this is my first JavaScript application. Now I will mix it with Ruby on Rails, and finish my mashup idea.

MUD and virtualization

I’ve mentioned here several times about my old hobby – MUD. We have highly modified SMAUG mud running, but currently almost totally abandon… No time to make it a full-time hobby, so it was abandon… It was up & running almost all the time (I stopped working on it somewhere around 2000), but was not maintained.

Basically problem was, that it is heavily modified, and CLI from original SMAUG does not support all features (or rather – support but in not such IMMO-friendly way), so preferred way of working for IMMO is to have local copy of MUD… But not all IMMO-wanabe are such savvy FreeBSD admin/user as I am (khm… at least in my opinion ;-))) so it was always problem with giving them working environment. There were other reasons, which made me not giving them access to machine where MUD is running…

Some years passed and we now have VMWare Player… Now we can give every IMMO proper environment to work… I’m pretty sure, if there was such solution back in 2000 DiesIrae mud will be not abandoned. So this way I want to say thank You VMWare, for such decent product

HTTP does not like long-lasting tasks

As probably everyone knows HTTP does not suite well to work with long lasting tasks. In such cases You have to make some workarounds, to give response to browser before timeout, and let task running till successful (or not) finish. I have just such a task in my Rails application, but looks like I don’t have to write some workaround, since someone already has written solution.

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Another changes

No, I’m not talking about new WP theme on this blog (do You like it?). This week not only in 37signals were changes.

This time I’m talking about Winternals (http://www.winternals.com/). They are (were) “responsible” for Sysinternals (http://www.sysinternals.com/) source of great tools for Windows. This tools make Windows much more usable and manageable. For free, however not for commercial use (You are supposed not to support customers with this tools). Mark Russinovich, who was co-owner of Winternals, have proven extraordinary Windows internals knowledge, and seems natural for both sides to go together.

I will be missing Sysinternal’s tools, since I’m pretty sure MS will abandon most of them, and even old versions download will be not available. On the other hand, with Mark in MS Platform and Services Division Windows may become much better… Especially with security (do You remember Sony’s rootkit? Mark was one who made thing public) I hope he will could create tools at least or even better when working without full access to Windows guts… Good luck Mark!