Tuesday, February 15, 2005

XP text search broken…

Have you ever done a search for files containing specific text with Windows Explorer and have it return no results even though you know that the files are there? Well, if you're using XP, chances are the problem is that XP only returns results for files whose extensions have a "PersistentHandler" value in the registry. It's documented in a MS tech note on the issue.

Why do you care? Because the PowerBuilder source code extract files don't have such values, unless you create them. Fortunately, one of the MS MVPs has a utility that restores the typical "search all files" results one gets from the earlier operating systems.

Friday, February 04, 2005

A couple more useful (and free) utilities

The first is SCC Switcher. Not that changing your SCC provider is a big deal in PowerBuilder. But it is in other tools. Particularly if you're involved in community development work with a CVS respository like CodeXchange and also use a standard SCC provider for your day-to-day work, you may need to switch between providers for some of your other development tools. SCC Switcher allows you to do this from a mouseclick in the task bar.

SCC Switcher

The other is StampEm from KnowWare. Want to provide all of the files you're about to deploy with the same date/time stamp information? Since that's a popular thing to do, there are a number of utilities out there that do it, this is one good one.

One nice thing about both of these utilities is that the source code is available as well.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Readers’ Choice Awards

DataWindow.Net is a nominee in the .NET Developer's Journal 2004 Reader's Choice Awards, in the Best .NET Libraries and Controls category. Get your vote in now!

Move aside AutoScript

Check out PBIntelli. It's an add-in written in PBNI which is faster than AutoScript and more powerful. In the example below, it's showing the columns in the DataWindow object in the DataWindow control being referenced. It's what AutoScript should have been.

The text that is displayed is stored in a series of text files in the program directory, so you can customize it and extend it as needed.

Blog Mirroring

I'm mirroring this blog over on bruce.pbdjmagazine.com. Turns out, that's not exactly a complicated process. The JavaScript RSS Box Viewer allows me to do it with a simple line of JavaScript. It's useful if you just want to set up a sidebar to your blog entries (or someone else's) but it works great for mirroring as well.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Eating your own dog food

You might remember from my TechWave 2004 notes, "eating your own dog food" is my favorite means of describing a company opening using its own products in its public interface to their customers (e.g., their web site). If a company expects their customers to put faith in the utility and stability of the product, they should be showing that same confidence in the product themselves.

Well, we have another excellent example of Sybase doing that. Are you familiar with the search engine on Sybase? No, not that search engine! That was the old one that ran slowly and gave you useless results. Well, Sybase recently replaced that with a search engine built on EAServer accessing data stored in Adaptive Server Enterprise (which, incidentally, is the same technology combination I used for the newsgroup search engine on teamsybase.com, but I digress...). The end result is search results that come back quickly and are actually highly relavent. Perhaps Sybase could sell the solution to Microsoft's MSDN site, which could certainly use it.

SmartPhone review

The folks at eWeek just did a review of the Motorola MPX220 that I was so hot for a while back (they also reviewed one Palm and one Blackberry device).

One interesting note from their review was the following: "we'd love to see smart-phone hardware and software vendors license SureType from RIM for inclusion in their products—the technology represents one of the best new ideas in mobile device input that we've seen in some time."

As I indicated in my last comments on the SmartPhone platform, the key hurdle is user input. It sounds like Blackberry has come up with an advance in that area. Most phones use the same letter to number key assignment as a house phone, which requires anywhere from two to four keypresses to obtain a single correct letter. The Blackberry keyboard uses a standard QWERTY typewriter layout, with only one or two letters assigned to each key. That makes it much easier for the predictive software to guess which letter you are trying to type.

By the way, I also mentioned in that last article that the Audiovox SMT5600 I'm now using and the Motorola MPX220 both use the mini-SD card rather than a standard sized SD memory card. Well, if you're as unfamiliar as I was with the mini-SD card at that time, you may not realize that the mini-SD card comes with an adapter that will allow it to work in a standard SD slot. Pretty slick.

PowerBuilder Use Survey Results

The results of the latest poll by Novalys on PowerBuilder use are in. The results are good. A lot of people are still using PowerBuilder and intend to continue to do so for some time. An increasing number of those are using PowerBuilder to do new development work, rather than simply maintaining existing applications. The number of developers on a particular project has increased over previous years.

What I found particularly interesting is that the majority of people are using PowerBuilder versions 8 and 9. Only slightly over 1% of the respondents indicating they were using version 10. Perhaps Unicode support was not as important as was first thought. Hopefully, version 11 will offer some more compelling reasons to migrate. Note that one-half the respondents indicated they will upgrade in the next year, so that may indicate people moving to version 10, just not that quickly.