Feature: Category choices.

It would be neat if a browser could only see the categories on a blog that they are interested in.  If the theme could save a cookie with a bitmap of the blogs themes, the user could ignore stuff like  this that they do not care about.  Why would a delphi programmer care about a possible feature I intend to maybe someday include in a theme May or May Not ever get around to writing.

Feature: TRUE blog pages.

The theme must be able to support pages with internal HTML.

This should be done in a way that can be made a standard for other themes and this should be relayed to the other people in the competition prior to the theme releases.  This REALLY should be a standard for WordPress in general.

 In order for me to create a new page at www.KnitChat.com that fits in with the current blog, all I need to do is wrap PHP or HTML in these two lines:

<?php require(dirname(__FILE__).’/includes/custompage_top_yar.php’); ?>

<?php require(dirname(__FILE__).’/includes/custompage_btm_yar.php’); ?>

If I do that, then I can put ANYTHING in there.  Under the current WordPress pages lay out, you are restricted to the type of content allowed in WordPress posts.  That’s insufficient if you want to create true webpages like: www.knitchat.com\fleet.php or www.knitchat.com\subscribetome.php or www.knitchat.com\useronline.php

An option would be to allow the theme options tab to do it by itself…

Display the program that will run when type a name at the cmd prompt

You can also find this file here: http://www.the-wildwest.com/Queeg/Batches/SearchPath.bat

:: ************************************************************************* ::  SearchPath.Bat                                               10/31/2005 ::  Written by Brian Layman (AKA Capt. Queeg) ::  Visit him at http://www.thecodecave.com/ ::  ::  A batch written to display the program that would be run when ::  a filename is typed at the command prompt.  Just a demo for ::  Hartmut at http://www.ztw3.com/forum/forum.cgi ::  ::  Usage: SearchPath ProgramName[.EXT] ::  ::  History: ::     10/31/2005 - BL - Created ::     11/01/2005 - BL - Removed Temp File Usage ::     02/28/2006 - BL - Changed my URL ::  :: ************************************************************************* @echo Off :: All this is boiled down to one subroutine that sets a variable of the :: same name. call :SearchedFilePath %1 :: If no program is found, say so. if "%SearchedFilePath%"=="" echo There is no matching program in the search path :: If a program was found, echo its name. if NOT "%SearchedFilePath%"=="" echo %SearchedFilePath% :: Clear out our temp variable set SearchedFilePath= :: Quit GOTO :EOF :: ************************************************************************* :: ************************************************************************* ::  Support procedures :: ::  These routines are called with a CALL directive and the GOTO :EOF ::  terminates that CALL but does not terminate the entire running of the ::  batch file. :: ************************************************************************* :: ************************************************************************* :SearchedFilePath ::  Returns the full path to a passed file in the searchpath :: ::  Returns blank if not found. :: :: ************************************************************************* : set SearchedFilePath=    :: Set the default value to blank.   set SearchedFilePath=   :: If there is no extension handle it   if "%~x1"=="" Call :SearchWithExtensions %1&GOTO :EOF   :: There is no extension, is it blank?   if "%1"=="" GOTO :EOF   :: So, we have an extension.  That means we can do a simple search.   :: %~dp$PATH:1 automatically searches the path for us.  It is a   :: variable set by the Call command.   set  SearchedFilePath=%~dp$PATH:1%1   if "%SearchedFilePath%"=="%1" set SearchedFilePath=&GOTO :EOF   GOTO :EOF :: ************************************************************************* :: ************************************************************************* :SearchWithExtensions ::  Iterates the extensions gathered from the PATHEXT environment ::  and searches until the file is found. :: ::  Returns blank if not found. :: :: *************************************************************************     :: Initialize a counter for looking at multiple search results in one line     set cnt=0     :SearchLoop       :: Break out after 20  checks.       :: If you might have more than 20 extensions, increase this value.       :: If you could find out how many periods there are in the temp file, you could optimize this.       if "%cnt%"=="20" GOTO :SearchLoopCleanup       set /A cnt=%cnt%+1       :: Continually search the single line file returning each sequential search result and recursively pass it to the       :: SearchedFilePath routine.  When we ask for a token # that doesn't exist and blank is returned, abort out.       for /F "tokens=%cnt% delims=.;" %%C in ("%PATHEXT%") do call :SearchedFilePath %1.%%C       if "%SearchedFilePath%"== "" GOTO :SearchLoop         :SearchLoopCleanup       :: Clear our Temp variable       set cnt=   GOTO :EOF :: *************************************************************************

 

Borland Dies.

By now every Delphi programmer knows about this.  But for all others, here you go:

Borland has release the first version of Delphi, since Delphi 5 in 1999ish, that has been truely worth the upgrade price.  Delphi 2006 (D9) pretty much guarantees the success of the company by being the ONLY compiler fill a niche (Win32 development) that MS’s move to dot .net created.  Only ONE of the new MS compilers will allow you to write a Win32 bit app (VC++ still allows it but VB, VC#, VJ# etc do not  Thanks Liviu! ) Delphi is IT for the next 7-10 years while Win32 apps will still be allowed (basically for the life span of Windows XP and Vista).

Having such a high quality tool that practically guaranteed sales in a totally open vertical market, left Borland’s newest poker-playing-turn-around-guy, Tod Nielsen – the newest in a string of CEOs dedicated to the destruction of Borland – no choice but to kill the company by dropping all code development tools 100 days after he took the job.

“We’re still all about development, but less about the creation of code,” Nielsen said.  – HUH??????

The interesting thing is that the Delphi community user base is SO frustrated with the management decisions of the last 7 years that they have thrown up their arms and said “Fine. Do it. And good riddance.” 

 Read the details:

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0%2C1895%2C1922016%2C00.asp

 

Addendum – I just found out that in the fall of 2005 a Borland stock holder (the largest?) had offered Borland 125 million for their language suites.  Borland turned him down out of hand.  Now a few months later, they’ve begun to think “hmmm, that was a lot of green!  Let’s do it!”  Of course now that they are the ones wanting to make the deal, not the buyers, they’ll be lucky to get 2/3 the original offer.   Which I should be happy with I guess.  It means the people buying the IDE products will have all the more money to invest in them… 

Oh and if you are a news group reader, David “I” has been out on the groups lately trying to restore confidence in the product.

I still can’t beleive they’ve done this after such a succesful production release. But I guess you always clean your car just before you sell it, too.

Why I do what I now do at the office…

or “One way my life changed in  2002”  – Some names have been changed to protect the innocent (and all those that are not me….). That probably wasn’t necesary, but there’s no need for competitors to Google the comany name and find company mission statements… 🙂 So, for those who know the name, I am not working with Petra’s former lead singer Greg X. Volz – any resemblance of names be they fictional or real is purely intentional yet inconsequential.

Company Mission Announcement

Today [as founder, president, co-owner, and name sake of the company], I’d like to announce the creation of a new group within [our company] which is being charged to lead a very important mission. Specifically, the “[Software] SWAT Team” is being reorganized and re-chartered to focus on [Windows product] system installations – their quality and efficiency. I believe improvement in this last area is vital to our company’s future and want to take time in this email to give the entire staff an understanding as to why.
[..]
Our mission as a company is to reduce what it costs to install and support [our Windows POS system]. We’ve done similar things in the past with other products and it is now essential to make this happen with [our Windows product]. Here are some specific points to my vision for the mission:

  • Specifically, I’m calling on our company to cut the amount of time it takes us to install a [site] to ¼ of what it is today. And this needs to be done without reducing the quality we deliver to the customer. If anything, I expect such efforts to increase quality and customer satisfaction.
    We want to make our installations “plug and play” in the field. This means that we are 100% set up before we ship and all of our time at the site is spent training. Installation is done here, not at the site. If we go to the site it should be for training.
  • I envision us establishing proven/standardized ways to set up and install systems. This likely includes documented best practices and tools (like a “wizard”) to automate such setups. Our install team needs better tools and processes.
  • This project will take time and no doubt will be refined for years to come. That said, it is vital that we get about it. I expect us to have made demonstrable improvement by the end of this calendar year.

Making it Happen

This mission is for the entire company. Indeed I expect it to affect every aspect of our organization. But to lead this effort, we’re reorganizing and re-chartering our “[Software] SWAT team”. Brian Layman and [Greg X. Volz] will constitute this team and will take charge of the mission for achieving our objectives. Together they will answer to [Steve Taylor] as part of the deployment group. Here is some background on these key players in our mission to improve:

  • Brian Layman has been a programmer with our product development team since he joined us in 1998. For the past six months, Brian has helped in the [company’s] telephone support department. This mixed background gives Brian a unique perspective on the challenges and solutions in improving our installation and support techniques for [our software].
  • [Greg X. Volz] started with [us] in 1996. He first served as part of our [DOS product] installation and support team and later was promoted to coordinate our original [Windows Software] beta support team. Since the merger of [Windows Software] support with the main telephone support group, [he] has served with [Steve Taylor] as part of the [Software] SWAT team working as an interface between support and deployment.

Again, this team will have the chief responsibility of delivering this mission — but they will need the help and cooperation from many departments to be successful. This includes QA, Telephone Support, Marketing, and R&D. Our existing installation team in particular has already played a big role in taming the new beast of [Windows Software] installation. [Others] have already made important strides to get us to the level we are at today. I expect these folks will play a major part in our future improvements.

Official Job Title 2005-Present

Names changed to protect the innocent (and all those not me)

 

Process Automation and Production Test Engineer

______________________________________________________________________________________

Basic Function/General Description

Develop tools for the Configuration, Shipping, Installation, and Support of the company’s products.  The tools will provide consistency while reducing labor content.

Responsibilities:

• Develop and maintain the images for the various servers and clients and supply to Shipping and Service with written instruction.  
• Attend design and review meetings for new stages and products.
• Maintain the System Control Diagrams for the Installation and Support Departments. 
• Develop and maintain the tools to configure the current software releases.

o These tools will aid in the configuration of new sites, legacy conversions and add-on modules.
o Evaluate the feedback from the Support staff on existing tools the need for tools to be developed.
o Emphasize the standardization of site configuration and only automate the configurations we support.
o Write Help documents for the tools developed to assure consistent application

• Assist in escalated Support issues, as required, when the cause is a hardware image, internal tools or documentation setup issue.  This escalation should result in a corrective action for the tools or documentation.
• Develop and maintain a system testing process and tools to be administrated by the Shipping department.

Skills:

• Experience with the following programming languages: Delphi, Visual Basic, Turbo Pascal
• Knowledge of the Windows XP Registry structure and Windows XP Pro deployment tools.
• Advanced DOS Batch programming experience
• Experience with DOS & Windows TCP/IP networking and related hardware
• Proficiency in SQL and Relational Database concepts.

Education:

Computer degree or equivalent work experience.

Experience/Pre-Requisite:

Knowledge of our current products, legacy products and the POS industry

   
Position Reports to:  Director of Operations

Nothing in this job description restricts the right of management to assign or re-assign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.