See Code, See CodeRun

Merbla wrote a short post today about a site he came across, CodeRun. The site is an online code repository, with the added advantage of an online IDE include on the site which allows you to see the code and run / debug it as it is. After signing up with a free account you can create your own projects (AJAX, ASP.NET, PHP and WPF — AJAX and ASP.NET also have support for facebook applications) which you can develop, store and run all from their website.

The concept is brilliant — everything from start to go can be done online via your standard web browser (currently only supports Internet Explorer and FireFox) and publishing of your source code is as simple as a right-click and a left-click. Once source has been published other people can freely go and search for source code in the repository and open it directly in the browser, make modifications and run them all from within the browser.

However; The actual implementation of it so fair (while still very impressive) is significantly lacking from a development perspective. Although it is possible to do the majority of thing you can do in Visual Studio, it is a little cumbersome and slow at times and does have a few limitations. For example, there is no toolbar — and therefore no drag and dropping of controls (which Microsoft presentations always seem to contain a lot of ;-).

Although the site seems to be focused on web applications some features are also available in the online IDE. You do not have the ability to create folders with underscores in them, and there does not seem to be anyway of creating the special ASP.NET folders such as App_Data or App_Themes… not such a big deal. Designer files are not automatically created and if you try to create one an exception is thrown saying the file already exists.

The biggest problem however is the speed. Perhaps it is just my machine or my internet connection, but the online IDE is very slow to use and navigate. Menus and and prompts tend to hang the browser for a couple of seconds before they load and the intellisense (ctrl+space) does not allows function correctly. Code highlighting, although not important or required, is lacking from the Visual Studio equivalent and take a significant amount of time to process and display.

Copying and pasting from Visual Studio into the online IDE also seems to be out of question, as it seems to past the text multiple times; Copy and paste from within the online IDE works fine.

All that being said the online IDE is quite feature rich and imitates Visual Studio very well. You are able to apply breakpoints and step through code, attach to processes (only online applications — not system processes), watch variables, etc. There is also an option to open a project from a zip file — which works great, providing you zip the project from the root of the project folder (it must not be under a sub folder).

In the end (as Merbla suggested in his post) something like this teamed up with StackOverflow, for the purpose of displaying simple solutions to problems with working example would be brilliant! However as far as online development goes I think there is a long way to go.

See running example: Hello World!

Cinebuzz 50 Famous Movie Titles

Some time ago Greater Union Birch Carroll & Coyle revamped the Cinebuzz club and now offer 1 free movie for every 10 movies that you see. With this promotion they also include the above ad during the movie previews prior to each and every movie. The goal: List all 50 famous movie titles:

  1. Catch-22 – 22s caught in the spider webs.
  2. Along Came A Spider – Spider entering the scene.
  3. Spider-Man – Male spider.
  4. Kiss of the Spider Woman – Female spider blowing a kiss.
  5. Signs – The collection of street signs.
  6. Kangaroo Jack – Kangaroo sign with the kangaroo holding a jackhammer.
  7. Stripes – The poles from the sign posts become stripes on the screen. (Thanks R.K.)
  8. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof – Cat with its paws on fire on the tin roof.
  9. To Kill A Mocking Bird – 2 shooting dead the bird on the roof.
  10.  The Queen – Queen waving.
  11. Cactus – The cactus next to the queen.
  12. The Skull – The bulls skull next to the queen. (Thanks R.K.)
  13. The Castle – The castle in the background of the desert.
  14. Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – Man in the dress, in the desert.
  15. Cinderella – The pumpkin carriage.
  16. Saw III – The three saws cutting the tree.
  17. The Hills Have Eyes – The hills with eyes all over them.
  18. A Clockwork Orange – The orange with a clock face on it.
  19. One Flow Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – The 1 flying over the ‘cuckoo clock’ in the nest.
  20. American Graffiti – USA spray painted on the building.
  21. Blue Crush – Orange being crushed in to blue liquid.
  22. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – The two famous (Eiffel tower and Tower of Pisa) towers next to one another. (Thanks R.K.)
  23. Sex in the City – The two buildings having sex.
  24. The Fast And The Furious – The angry man in the fast car.
  25. Iron Man or The Giant Iron – The Iron wearing a tie.
  26. Crash – Car crashing in to the bull.
  27. Raging Bull – The bull after the crash.
  28. Twelve Monkeys or Twelve Angry Men – The twelve monkeys/men who get out of the car.
  29. Matchstick Men – The two men made from matchsticks.
  30. Out of the Box – Two matchstick man coming out of the box. (Thanks R.K.)
  31. The Thin Red Line – The red line the matchstick men light.
  32. Mission: Impossible – Fuse being lit and burning off screen. (Thanks Adam)
  33. Walk The Line – The man walking on the thin red line.
  34. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels – The two smoking barrels next to the stock of locks.
  35. Napoleon Dynamite – The dressed up dynamite stick.
  36. The Devil Wears Prada – The devil dressed up in a yellow outfit.
  37. Hot Fuzz – The two police officers trying to cool off in hell.
  38. Hell Boy – The Buoy in hell.
  39. Strongman – Very strong man lifting the screen to the next scene. (Thanks R.K.)
  40. Top Gun – Guns on the winners podium. (Thanks rilstix)
  41. The Running Man – Man running.
  42. Cool Runnings – Man running in to the fridge. (Thanks D-jei)
  43. The Big Chill – Man standing in front of the big fridge. (Thanks Adam)
  44. Black Hawk Down – The black bird falling out of the sky.
  45. The Man From Snowy River – The man getting out of the white river. (Thanks Adam)
  46. March of the Penguins – Penguins marching in a line.
  47. Titanic – Sinking ship.
  48. The Last Samurai – Red Samurai running in after the penguins.
  49. Swordfish – The fish holding the sword.
  50. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy – The anchor wearing the tie and top hat.
  51. Million Dollar Baby – Baby sitting on bags of money.
  52. Kill Bill – The money being shot.

Can you see any more? Post your findings in the comments.

Firefox 3 And Colour Management

I recently came across an article by Datacolor (the company who make the Spyder range of monitor / printer calibrators) which explains how to enable ICC profiles in Firefox 3. It is a very simple boolean (true/false) property which you need to change in the ‘hidden’ Firefox configuration.

In Firefox enter about:config into the address bar and press enter. A warning message will show up saying “This might void your warranty!” ignore this and click “I’ll be careful, I promise” (don’t worry you don’t have warranty anyway ;-). Next, in the filter bar type in gfx.color_management.enabled. There should now only be one option in the list of configuration options, and it should be set to false by default. Simply double click this option to change it to true (it should now be bold, indicating it is no longer the default value). Restart Firefox and you should be up and running with ICC profiles.

Check out the original post by Datacolor for more information and for two images which will indicate if your browser supports ICC profiles.

InfoPath Roles And Views

One useful feature of InfoPath is its built in support for user Roles. While it is not an overly powerful (and it should not be used for security purposes as all data can be viewed and edited in xml format via notepad or a similar) it can be handy for automatically switching views based on AD users or groups.

To add a role simply go to Tools -> User Roles (alt + t + e) and click Add (alt + a). You can then specify which users, groups or user names from the form should belong to the new role.

One thing to note is that when you are designing an InfoPath form and click “Preview Form” it shows the form based on the default role. If you wish to preview the form under a different role you need to go to File -> Preview Form -> With User Role… (alt + f + r + r). The form will then be launched in preview mode under the select role.

There is also the option to set a role as either the default role or the initiator role (only one role can occupy either or both of these options). The default setting specifies that this role is the default role for all users, should they not meet the requirements of another role. The initiator setting is the role assigned to a user when they open the infopath form for the first time.

Another point of interest is that roles are assessed on a top-down approach, however you can not change the ordering of roles from within the InfoPath IDE. In order to change the ordering of roles, should you be required to, you must open the manifest.xsf and manually re-order the <xsf:role /> elements.

Creating A Simple SharePoint Workflow In SharePoint Designer

This one is a quick and easy one, but is the basis for creating some very useful workflows in for use in SharePoint lists. Firstly you will need a SharePoint website and a copy of SharePoint Designer (a 60 day trial version is available from microsoft) and a list in SharePoint which you can apply the workflow to – for this example I am using a fairly simple Travel Requisition list which is a document library which contains InfoPath documents.

To create the workflow open SharePoint designer and connect to your SharePoint website. Once connected, go to File -> New and select the SharePoint Content tab and select Workflow (blank workflow). You should now be presented with the a form similar to the following. Here you can specify a name for your workflow (each workflow in a site must have a unique name) which list the workflow is attached (associated) to and when the workflow should be triggered. In this case we want to trigger the workflow whenever a list item is added or updated.

Continue reading “Creating A Simple SharePoint Workflow In SharePoint Designer”

Fort Lytton

Fort Lytton, Brisbane, Australia
Fort Lytton, Brisbane, Australia

Fort Lytton is a pentagonal fortress, built near the mouth of the Brisbane River (map after break), erected in 1881 to aid the controlled river mines in defending the Port of Brisbane until the end of the Second World War. It was Brisbane’s front front line of defence and is regarded as the birthplace of Queensland military history. The fort is surrounded by a water-filled moat and connected by underground passages (although these underground passages do not appear to be visible anymore). After the Second World War the fort was no longer deemed ‘useful’ and as such fell into a state of disrepair, until Ampol took over the site in 1963 and later became a national park in 1988.

By the turn of the century the Fort consisted of six gun pits and two machine gun posts. The arsenal included (Most of which can be seen at the Fort either in their original placing or in the historical museum – some of the larger fixed emplacements are replicas now):

  • 2x 6 inch BL 5 ton Armstrong guns
  • 2x 6 pounder QF Hotchkiss guns
  • 1x 4 barrel 1 inch Nordenfelt machine gun
  • 1x 10 barrel 0.45inch Nordenfelt machine gun
  • 2x 64 pounder RML guns

The Fort is open every Sunday and on public holidays from 10am until 4pm. Entry fee is $4.50 for adults (includes a tour or self exploration if you wish), but is a small price to pay for a good afternoon of historical exploration. Additionally (unconfirmed if this is every Sunday or only during certain times throughout the year) they fire one of the cannons three times during the day. When I visit the site the times posted were 11am, 1pm and 3pm. If you’re a budding photographer I would suggest arriving just prior to 11 am to catch the first cannon firing and then after spending the next two hours wondering around and having a bite to eat (great spot for a picnic lunch – portable bbq’s are welcome) it will be time for the second firing. You might be surprised how quick the firing happens, I certainly was!

See additional photos from Fort Lytton.

Update: I’ve been told that they fire the cannons the first Sunday of every month.

Historical information from: http://www.epa.qld.gov.au/parks_and_forests/find_a_park_or_forest/fort_lytton_national_park Continue reading “Fort Lytton”

Must Do: Lamington National Park

Lamington National Park

Lamington National Park is approximately two hours drive South / South-West of Brisbane, next to Springbrook. Like Springbrook Lamington National Park is covered in luscious green fields and mountains, long, windy roads, and plenty of natural beauty to experience up close and personal. Although the national park  occupies a large area and boasts over 160 km of walking trails, one of the more popular areas to visit is O’Reilly’s (see after break for directions).

Situated 930 metres above sea level, in the heart of Lamington National Park, O’Reilly’s is a great starting point for discovering the surrounding area. Accessible only via a two way, single lane, road up a windy mountain it would be wise to take your time and enjoy the scenery – ensuring you watch out for the Kangaroos around dusk, as they pop out from the foliage. One thing you will notice while ascending the mountain is the rapid change from bushland to rainforest; suddenly less light is able to penetrate to the road and there is a distinct drop in temperature. Although it can still get fairly hot, I would suggest packing an extra set of warm clothes, just in case, as it does typically tend to be cooler in the rainforest areas.

Although O’Reilly’s has been able to – with marvelous engineering – provide a canopy walk of the rainforest, it is not very long or overly fascinating. Throw in some time feeding the birds at the resort and you may have been able to occupy yourself for an hour or two, but the real rewards await on some of the trail walks. With walks ranging from between 1 km to over 20km, you’re sure to find one to suit you.

One particularly enjoyable track is the Moran’s Falls’ track, which takes you on a leisurely 4.6km (return) through sub-tropical rainforest to the top of Moran’s Falls’. Although the Moran’s Falls’ track takes you across the waterfall, to a picnic area with spectacular views (see image above), those more daring (ensuring all safety precautions are taken) can follow the stream a bit to the edge of the waterfall. Please do be warned though – this is a very high cliff face and any slip could lead to serious or fatal injuries or death.

Note: Prior to visiting Lamington National Park, as with all National Parks, it is important to check the EPA website for any warnings or closures.

See additional photos from Lamington National Park.