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Showing posts from August, 2009

Why corporate IT should unchain our office computers.

During a town hall meeting for State Department workers last month, an employee named Jim Finkle asked Hillary Clinton a very important question: "Can you please let the staff use an alternative Web browser called Firefox?" The room erupted in cheers. Finkle explained that he'd previously worked at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, where everyone enjoyed Firefox. "So I don't understand why State can't use it," he said. "It's a much safer program."You don't have to know Jim Finkle or anyone else at the State Department to recognize their pain. Millions of workers around the world are in the same straits: They've heard about the joys of Firefox, the wonders of Google Docs, or any number of other great programs or Web sites that might improve how they work. Indeed, they use these apps at home all the time, and they love them. But at work they're stymied by the IT department, that class of interoffice Brahmins that decid…

Considering starting a "CF Fringe" podcast focusing on the bleeding edge of CFML, hacks, etc.--any interest?

This won't be weekly--I learned my lesson there. It also will be down and dirty, much like the content, meaning the long hours of production we put into ColdFusion Weekly ( won't be there. It'll likely be myself, Peter Farrell, and miscellaneous guests jumping on Skype to talk about open source in the CFML world, cool CFML hacks, and other topics for 15-30 minutes every so often.  Definitely would like some feedback on this--I've been mulling over some ideas for quite a while and I think this one has some legs. And I don't want it to turn into "the Matt and Peter show" by any means, because there's a ton of people out there doing a ton of cool stuff, so the more the merrier.  And who knows, the web site could turn into a place for how-tos, cool hacks and sample apps, maybe even some screencasts ...  My motivation is that I know from Twitter and through the grapevine that there are a lot of people out there doing some ve…

12-words-you-can-never-say-in-the-office.html: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance

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If you're old enough to understand the reference in this headline -- George Carlin, anyone? -- then you're old enough to need a refresher course when it comes to talking about technology. More from • MySpace-iLike: Good for Someone How a Tiny Startup Used Twitter to Find App Store SuccessMXit Mixes Mobile Networks with Social ConscienceWe've put together a list of outdated tech terms, phrases that you shouldn't be using at work anymore because they will make you seem old. This is especially true if you're looking for a new job. For example, on an interview, you should be talking about "cloud computing," not "ASPs" even though they are basically the same thing.This list is useful for 20-somethings, too. Now when the senior person in the office uses one of these terms, you'll know what he's talking about.1. IntranetPopular in the mid-90s, the term "intranet" referred to a private network run…

Open BlueDragon + BlazeDS HowTo Guide

BlazeDS integration is on the roadmap for a future release of Open BlueDragon (hey, give us a break, we have more cool stuff planned than we can keep track of!), but in the mean time I've put together an OpenBD + BlazeDS HOWTO on the OpenBD wiki.
Note that the HOWTO is really more of a guide for gearheads (like myself) who are interested in how all the pieces fit together. If you just want to grab a clean slate on which to mess with things, or see a couple of very simple sample Flex apps in action, you can do that too:

OpenBD + BlazeDS Clean Slate

OpenBD + BlazeDS Samples

Next step is to rework the OpenBD BlazeDS adapter to support returning queries directly to Flex, and then Flex lovers are in decent shape on OpenBD until we do the official integration.

Thats cool. Thats real cool.
Posted by John Allen @ 8/15/09 10:27 AM

The Passionate Programmer and Value Rigidity

I have to thank Mike Brunt for the mention of Chad Fowler's The Passionate Programmer on Twitter (yes, occasionally worthwhile stuff crops up on Twitter ...), because it's one of the best programming books I've read in recent memory. It has nothing to do with coding or a specific technology, but I strongly believe it's one of the more important and impactful books a programmer can read, regardless of their choice of technology.
Personally I love reading things that cause me to question at a very fundamental level what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. If you don't do this every once in a while you may find yourself off in the metaphorical weeds, having a hard time getting back on track or even figuring out what direction you're supposed to be going. The Passionate Programmer made me question something about what I'm doing and where I'm going with every chapter.
Coincidentally enough I watched the documentary TED: The Future We Will Create l…