Object vs. View-centric apps (RoR vs. PHP)

This post starts out as an account of trying out PHP and Ruby on Rails to build a simple app, and comparing the experience. The thread builds though into an interesting discussion of differing approaches to web application development, and differing needs from the framework you use.

Drupal recipes for a simple site

This is a great thread that invites suggestions on how to build a simple “brochure” kind of site with Drupal - in the interest of getting people started quicker with Drupal. In amongst the meta-babble, there’s some clear walkthroughs of how to achieve the goal - this is just the kind of stuff that’s had me stumped these last 48 hours.

Charles HTTP Proxy

Java (cross-platform) HTTP/S proxy for debugging and working with HTTP sessions. At first glance it looks to compare favorably with Fiddler in some aspects. It will do throttling for low-bandwidth emulation, act as a reverse-proxy, and has various reporting/monitoring possibilities. Shareware - giving it a whirl.

Moving house

We are half-way through the mess of moving house - from Payne Ave, Austin, to just 5 miles north of there nr. N. Lamar @ Braker. So, some things are going to take a little while to settle back down while we reconnect services, unpack things from boxes, and deal with the 1001 tasks involved in putting our old house on the market. Apologies in advance!

Call for help from a stranded Homesite user

Homesite - from Nick Bradbury, then Allaire, now Macromedia - has been my primary tool of the trade for oh many many years now. But its stalled out since Macromedia bought Allaire and starting to show its age. TopStyle Pro, Bradbury’s latest offering looks great, and is hard to beat as a CSS editor, but CSS is only a part of what I do, and I’m not going to switch editor continually. It falls far short of Homesite as a HTML editor - no multi-line search/replace, … I can stop there, thats a show stopper right away. And no scripting support - my Homesite is like a my workshop at this point, with custom tools for all kinds of tasks.

I’ve started using Eclipse for some tasks, but wow its slow and clunky. For its extensibility API, Dreamweaver is hard to beat, but its another behemoth, and with an after-thought text editor. For its extensibility I also looked at JEdit, but its also slow and I dont have the java chops to create the tools and extensions I’d like.

Ultra-edit looks good again. But I’d miss the easy scripting and (albeit limited) API Homesite gives me, the muti-line search/replace, the custom toolbars, the resource pane, search pane.. the list goes on. The same goes for most programmers text editors. But I’ll take the columns mode editing, the better performance, better handling of large files.

Html-Kit has some of it, but again not all.

Looking across to the other side, BBEdit isn’t going to do it either. I’ve even considered vi - steep learning curve and though I’m mostly a keyboard user, I’d eventually miss the gui.

Where now? I’d switch platform for the right tool, but for now it looks like I’m stuck.

JAH demo

Buried beneath the layers in any ajax framework is a simple concept: use the XMLHTTPRequest object to fetch html, and replace an element’s innerHTML with the response. This is a simple demo of just that, and as good an on-ramp to learning the ajax way as I’ve come across.

RedHanded? YAML is JSON

Ha! Turns out that JSON can be used as a practical subset of YAML, so the YAML parser will seamlessly handle JSON (minus the c-style comments that some JSON parsers permit).