Posts filed as 'Blog'

Meandering, bombastic, and occasionally useful musings on a range of topics...


  • (Don't) Catch 'Em All!

    I want to be the very best, like no one ever was! To catch them is my real test, to train them is my cause...

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  • Hobbies, Standards, and Ethics - Oh My!

    When asked what my hobbies are, I have to suppress the urge to laugh uncontrollably. My main "hobby," web development, became an obsession quite a while ago.

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  • Making Your XML Sitemap a Little More Useful

    I've had a sitemap for this site for quite a while. Google (and the various other search engines) loves them some sitemaps, since it helps them crawl your site a little faster and more efficiently. For those of you wondering what a sitemap is, it is a XML document that contains an element for every public-facing page in your web site. A good sitemap follows the standard setup by Sitemaps.org, a collaboration between Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft to establish a standard sitemap format. You can deviate from the sitemap protocol if you're feeling rebellious, but the search engines will respond by ignoring your sitemap (and perhaps your site in the process).

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  • Thinking About the Past...

    Here's a friendly warning to y'all: this post has nothing to do with "techie" stuff. I just felt like posting something that's been rolling around in my head. Just so you know...

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  • A Discussion of Class

    I seem to have to explain the concept of "classes" to a lot of programming students lately, so I got to thinking that a new blog post may be in order. So, if you happen to be a newbie programmer and are wondering exactly what a class is, tune in and follow along. Please ask questions at the end, too, if anything is not clear...

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  • Fun with LINQ

    Anyone who's read any amount of the content I've put on this site knows I love the C# language. It has a lot of capabilities I find really useful, like strong-typing, properties, generics, etc. I also like that C# has implemented one of the more interesting technologies Microsoft has developed recently: LINQ. LINQ stands for Language-Integrated Query, and is a technology we can use to simplify the processing of structured data within the .NET Framework.

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  • falcon1986 is my hero...

    I've been looking for ways to make this site more responsive (especially the aggregate pages, like Articles, Tutorials, etc.). Some of these pages can get pretty long, so anything that would optimize how they get from me to you is most welcome.

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  • Survey of Programming Languages I

    I'm currently taking a course that is called "Programming Language Pragmatics" but could just as easily have been called "Survey of Programming Languages," or something similar. We're basically discussing various programming languages, and then writing simple programs as a method of learning the idiosyncrasies of how different languages are implemented. So far, we've done COBOL, Ruby, Python, and F#. Since I have a penchant for being outspoken, I thought this would be a good time to rant discuss my opinion(s) so far.

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  • Fixing an odd bug in .htaccess

    I don't know if this is relevant to anyone else, but I've been experiencing issues with some of my sites where I get a 500 (server configuration) error. Something like this:

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  • Nifty Corners = Sah-weeeeet...

    I don't know how I never found this before. I've looked high and low, near and far, all to find a good clean method for rounding the corners of some HTML elements. Rounded corners just look nice, IMO.

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  • Yur Doin' It Wrong...

    I know I've said this before, but it still bugs me that so many students take the "hack-and-fix" approach to writing code.

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  • Programming Primer

    Modern programming has a set of terms that every wannabe programmer must know. Master these terms first. Once you get these terms down pat, it is easier to understand the jargon of each specific programming language.

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  • The Many Faces of the Hyperlink Element

    Ah, the <a> element. Our friend, the hyperlink. Few HTML elements are as versatile as the hyperlink. We can jump around a page, back and forth between different pages, open our email clients, and execute scripts, all with one meek little HTML tag. Talk about over-achieving...

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  • HTML + CSS = A Calendar? Cool!

    I've always liked those little date/calendar icons some blogs have for each of their entries, but I could never figure out how they managed to make the date correct. Then I found this article: Creating a Blog Entry Date Calendar Icon Look with CSS, Mostly. The author, one Shirley E. Kaiser, M.A., wrote a nice article on one possible way of using HTML and CSS to create the appearance of a date "icon."

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  • An Interesting Use of a C# Foreach Loop

    I've seen many different ways of clearing the contents of controls in a Windows Form object, some of which can be quite elaborate. While it can be fun to come up with these convoluted schemes, there is an easier way. Here's what I do...

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  • Coding Like Forrest Gump

    It never fails. Every semester, I have to help at least one student who wants to create some convoluted, twisted function for their homework assignment, when it really isn't necessary. I tend to squint at their screen for a moment, scratch my head, and ask, "...and what are you trying to do here, again?"

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  • Pretty URLs For Everyone!

    Have you ever visited a website, and wondered how the person managing it is able to have their pages display without having the file extension on every page? I used to. Turns out, it's not so hard to get what is commonly referred to as "pretty URLs." It's as simple as adding a few lines of text to a special file most people have on their host servers: the .htaccess file.

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  • Why Sherlock Holmes Would Have Made A Kick-Ass Programmer

    One of the few quotes I know from the world of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes goes something like this: "When you are trying to solve what appears to be a mystery, eliminate the obvious first. Whatever is left, no matter how extraordinary, is the answer..."

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  • C/C++ : Includes

    C++ includes take one of two forms: #include <> or #include "". The only difference is that the former tells the compiler to look within the STL (Standard Template Library) for the source code, while the latter instructs the compiler to look in the local project folder first. If the compiler doesn't find the file in the local folder, it will search the STL.

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  • Conditional Statements

    Conditional statements are used where your program must evaluate whether a logical statement is true or false. These include, but are not limited to:

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  • Object-Oriented Programming

    Object-oriented programming centers around the idea that everything can be represented as an object. Each object has characteristics, represented programmatically as variables, and actions it can perform, represented programmatically with subroutines and functions.

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  • What Ever Happened to Thinking Logically?

    Perhaps I only see this because I have attended a two-year college, but it seems to me that students entering the programming field are not really being taught to think logically, but rather to regurgitate code that someone else has already worked out. Instead of focusing on teaching these students to develop good analytical skills, and teaching them good planning techniques, we instead shuffle them through boring, pointless, unchallenging exercises that don't really teach them anything they can use in the "real world."

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  • Obsession of the moment: M-V-C

    I am, above all other things, a programmer. I'm one of those guys that stay up late writing code, reading technical reference manuals, and drooling over case tools. So I suppose it comes as no surprise that my newest obsession focuses on a tantalizing new PHP framework a friend of mine recently turned me on to, CodeIgniter.

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