Abraham (who you may have seen commenting on this blog) and myself were having a discussion last week around the state of contracting and placement. Being both independent contractors in the SAP arena, we feel there are some aspects to placement that could do with some regulation, to protect both contractors and clients.
You would have thought by now that I am up and running with a good PHP development environment and coding away furiously. Nothing could be further from the truth. I got stuck on debugging PHP. The main problem is this: I am too thrifty (some would say cheap) to invest in a proper PHP IDE. Instead, I have spent much time looking around for open source alternatives, or failing that, anything that is free.
The caption of this article should have read “My first PHP website” or “My first Ruby application”. But it doesn’t. It is my first SDN blog entry, which I humbly invite you to read, if only to remark about the fact that it seems so dry, so crusty, so devoid of all verve.
I must say that it was rather exciting to see my own blog entry on the SDN website, “in print” as it were, there for the whole world to see. The feeling was rather giddy, something like the vertigo when zooming in from a dizzying height to merely a few-hundred metres above a landmark in Google Earth. You should try it some time.
(Stop! Don’t read this. Someone hacked my WordPress site many years ago and wrote this filthy rubbish. I wish).
Like my friend Helmut, one of my ambitions is to conquer the Ruby language, and then move on to Rails, the web framework that catapulted it into web history fame. He has gotten much further in his endeavours though, having managed to read through the whole of why the lucky stiff‘s book “A (poignant) guide to Ruby“. I haven’t.
(When I wrote this, I was a fair bit younger and much unwiser. The truth is, communities grow around guys like whytheluckystiff. When I think back to that awful time that why (the guy we now know as Johnathan Gillette) disappeared, I got this sick feeling in my stomach. What if he had read my blog post and decided that he could no longer do this for ingrates like the stupid guy who wrote this blog? Why, if you are out there, I am so, so sorry man. For what it’s worth, I ended up going back and reading that crazy book of yours. And I enjoyed it. It’s a true work of art.).
In my last publication, I made rather a big fuss about being able to use WYSIWYG in a wiki, or at least, that I thought it a vital requirement to drive usage of a wiki (something to that effect anyway). So I went ahead and tried one of the documented solutions for adding WYSIWYG capability to MediaWiki.
If it were up to me, I would require all documentation on a project to be done in a wiki. I mean everything. For example: documenting business processes, problems and their solutions, people’s contact details, system details, project issues, project processes, ideas, proposed ways of doing things, FAQs, etc. What stops you from putting meeting minutes into a wiki? I guess nothing, provided you can implement some form of access control, which fortunately, good wikis provide.
Some time ago I was contemplating the concept of a platform. It is a term that is bandied around quite a bit, but I’m not sure if a formal definition exists (other than something flat on which you can build or place something). I am speaking of course of platforms in the software world; perhaps the right term to use would be “application platform”.
This month marks two anniversaries for me. One is the engagement to my wife 6 years ago. The other is that I have been working for 10 years. I started out in ABAP and I’ve been doing ABAP ever since (with long excursions into Java along the way). I have come to greatly respect ABAP, with which I have chiefly been earning my bread and butter.
There are some things about ABAP that don’t seem so great at first. It’s a proprietary language tied into a particular system, and it can’t be applied outside of that context. ABAP smacks of older mainframe languages, from which I’m sure it’s inherited some traits. The syntax and keywords seem odd and nonsensical, even clunky and quirky at times.
I am in the process of creating a website from scratch, which is proving to be my first real encounter with PHP. For a while, I was looking at several PHP frameworks out there, but decided that I would rather get to know the language first than attempt to learn a framework.
One of the things I got hung up on was how I could redirect to a particular page depending on the logic of the currently executing page (by doing a redirect on the server). An example would be if you access a particular page for which you need to be logged in. At this point, you would want to redirect the user to a logon page. I searched all over and found people asking the same question, even someone asking how to redirect in PHP the way one does in Struts, which I realize now is not a very sensible question, as Struts is a framework, and PHP is a language.