Archives for 2008

Posts are listed in reverse chronological order, newest to oldest.


  • 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++ : Creating a Custom Class

    There are two methods for creating a class in a C++ project. The first method is to code your class directly in the project code in which you will be using the class. However, if you take that route, you cannot reuse that code later (say, for an entirely different project) without opening the first project, copying the code, and pasting it into your new project. The second method involves creating a discrete class project, separate from any program code, and then "including" the class in your program code. I try to always use the second method, for the very simple fact that if I create a class I find useful, I can use it again and again.

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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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  • Tutorial One: HTML >> PHP

    Welcome! For those of you stumbling onto this page, this is the first in a series of articles where I walk through creating a simple website for a fictional friend of mine. We will start with the complete HTML source for the index page, and then analyze it to determine which parts can be repeated in our other pages. Then, we will create a dynamically-generated PHP index page from the original HTML source.

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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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