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Date: Friday, 03 Jul 2009 16:27
John Topley: I guess closed doesn't mean closed after all.
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Date: Thursday, 01 Jan 2009 05:13
Joel Spolsky: The "Design of Software" discussion group has been merged with the main, "Joel on Software" group.


The archives will remain indefinitely at:

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Date: Wednesday, 31 Dec 2008 15:43
SR: We have decided to use SSL as a security mechanism for a web service in Java. For now we have decided not to use the WS-Security stack. the webservice is axis2 depolyed with aar files and the webserver could be any java app server. As far as I understand the way to do it is to use the keytool and the jks file for certificate storage, which can be configured in the server.xml of the app server, and if it is a java client it will basically be exported to the java client which wil get the certificate from keystore.
Our clients will be non-java and could be C++, powerbuilder, or perl.I understand they come with ssl libraries, but these would not understand the keystore generated by the keytool in java. How to take care of these scenarios?
tomcat6 has an openSSL implementation using APR and there is an openSSL c++ library so this combination will work - tomcat6 + openssl and C++ client with openssl lib.
But what about other scenarios? with other app server like oracle application server and say a perl client?
If we use keystore in JSEE are we stuck with Java clients?
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Date: Friday, 26 Dec 2008 21:39
EagerTo Learn: 1. I am looking to intercept the data going from the POS application to the POS printer. What is the best way to capture this data?  Is there one single way that works for all POS Printers based on OPOS, JPOS  or standard Windows based drivers? Or is there a different way that works better for each of these POS Printers? 
2. What command do the OPOS and JPOS Compliant Applications use to print text output on the printer? PrintLine (or its equivalent) commands or do the PrintBit(or its equivalent) commands? Does the standard enforce this or is it left upto the application developo to choose? 
Any help will be deeply appreciated.
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Date: Wednesday, 24 Dec 2008 07:09
: I was thinking of creating a desktop instant messaging application similar to Skype (just the chat portion) for a class project.  I wanted to use java.  I know can it be done using TCP/IP socket programming, but I was wondering if there is another route I could go?  Could someone give me some options.  Also, what is the technology behind Skype?  Is Skype just a huge TCP/IP socket program?
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Date: Tuesday, 23 Dec 2008 19:44
Joel Spolsky: I'm doing a little bit of discussion group reorganizing. Starting at the new year, this discussion group will be merged into the main "Joel on Software" discussion group.

A lot of people have told me that having too many separate groups is reducing the overall quality of discussion. And I agree. Design of Software is very much on topic for the main Joel on Software group, so I'm going to move it back there.
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Date: Saturday, 20 Dec 2008 15:23
Rowland: This is a philosophical question of sorts.

What exactly is the rationale for having a database run on a different host from the application?

The disadvantages are obvious: It adds two more single points of failure: the database server and the network connection between said server and the host running the application. It adds complexity to the engine. It adds the overhead of the network and of the network protocol. It's another host to do maintenance chores on and to take up space. It adds the nuisance of configuring the server connection and login in the application.

Just what do we get as compensation for all this?

For our purposes let's treat a cluster as a special case of a single host. Or we could get into whether a cluster counts as a network or whether clustering is even worthwhile.
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Date: Saturday, 20 Dec 2008 02:47
archchoices?: Is MVC the best architectural choice for a dynamic webpage? What other architectural options should I look at? 

Simple Example: I want to make a multiplayer AJAX PONG game with lots of special effects and graphics by manipulating the "style" attribute. 

It's pretty simple to separate the MVC, but the code I'm looking at, the code size for the V is going to be much much larger, complex, complicated, etc the then the M-C.
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Date: Saturday, 20 Dec 2008 02:42
Mike: I have a couple of questions for something that I would like to teach my self about:
1. I would like to learn about photo manipulation.(preferably in java, but concepts are ok also)

2.I would like to learn more about manipulation of Java's built in GUI, or another Java GUI, hopefully getting away from the 'Java' look, and into the more 'Vista' look.

Any resources, tips, or the like would be appreciated greatly. :)
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Date: Friday, 19 Dec 2008 17:23
Devil's Advocate: I've seen several ways to identify what amounts to a boolean true/false (or Yes/No, etc.) field in a database:

- Using a bit field, where 0 = False and 1 = True
- Using an int field, where -1 is False and 0 (or anything other than -1) is True; this seems common in Access/VB programmers, because isn't -1 false in VB?
- Using a char(1) field, with Y as True and N as False, and adding a check constraint to make sure the value is either one of those.
- Using a true boolean field type if it's supported by the database (e.g. Postgres)

What is your preference?  My company's supplier uses the 3rd format, and I've typically only used the first, but I've had to do some work with the 3rd thanks to this supplier as well.
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Date: Friday, 19 Dec 2008 06:37
Cyrus B: For better or for worse, I'm presently stuck with programming in MS Access 2007.  Unfortunately, the VBA IDE has not really changed much since office 97.

I would love to have some way of having code block completion.  e.g.  have it automatically add an 'End If' to an If statement as VB.NET does.

Although there is some limited extensibility features in the IDE that allows you to programmatically add/edit code, it does not have an event for catching the press of the Enter key in the IDE itself, such that I could parse the entered line of code and automatically insert extra code.

Does anyone know if there is some 3rd Party utility that does what I'm wanting, or that allows you to catch a keystroke for an MDI child window in another application?

Thanks in advance for any constructive thoughts you may have.
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Date: Thursday, 18 Dec 2008 23:51
Tatyana.: I'm creating IWebBrowser2 object that is running in the separate process. How can I pass the cookie to this browser from my process?
Thanks, really appreciate any suggestion,
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Date: Thursday, 18 Dec 2008 23:18
Mike: I'm trying to implement a license-check or online activation for a desktop application.

What mechanism or protocol do you recommend to check a license or 'activation' for a software?

Doing a FTP connection and check for a file?

Basically just check for a license, how many installations have been made and if the code is still valid.

Nothing fancy (no USB keys, nor check HD serial, neither submit a registration card).
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Date: Wednesday, 17 Dec 2008 16:11
Zpitta: Hi,

I am very new to design patterns and mostly OO methodologies. I was writing a simple client code that requires to obtain an interfacing Internet address of a machine that the code is running on -- whether being connected directing to the Internet or through LAN.

At first, I could just simply write a code to perform such task right into the client code but it's not expandable. So what does a good designer do? He writes an interface and its implementation, great. So, whether my implementation acquires IP address from a LAN router, parsing a downloaded HTML from a site that runs a script asking for external IP address and retrieving it that way, or some other method, in either case, I can plug in the implemented interface in my client code and accomplish the same task, i.e.:

interface IPInfs { String getIP(); }
class RouterIPImpt implements IPInfs { //... }
class HTMLParseIPImpt implements IPInfs { //... }

// Client class that uses any of the implementations
IPInfs ip = new RouterIPImpt(); // OR
IPInfs ip = new HTMLParseIPImpt();
// etc.

So if another guy comes years from now and w
My questions is, what if the client code needs to stay intact? That is to say, the code that utilizes IPInfs for its work cannot be changed, yet it must provide some flexibility that any implementation that is created in the future can be easily be plugged in and used instead of the current one?

One way (at least in java) is to have a persistent property file with pairs of value that the client code can extract a single implementation value (class name) and use it to load an appropriate class, i.e.

// ip.properties file
classtoextractip=my.package.RouterIPImpt // OR

// Client code
// Loads a string value for "classtoextractip" into String ipStr
IPInfs ip = (IPInfs) Class.forName(ipStr).newInstance();

Basically dynamically load the implementation class at runtime and reference it to a IPInfs-type variable. So from now on, any new implementation that has to be used in the "client" code can simply implement the interface and change the "classtoextractip" value to point at such concrete class.

Is this an optimal way *if* the client must remain unchanged? Is it flexible and scalable? Are there other ways to accomplish the same task with the given requirements?

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Date: Wednesday, 17 Dec 2008 16:08
dd: Does any DBMS like Oracle or SQL server support multi value fields, row fields, ref fields etc yet? or is it still boo boo?

I read the SQL 99 standard and it seems to support multi value fields etc but I am not able to google up any page where these DBMS support multi value fields?  Any links for me to look at?
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Date: Monday, 15 Dec 2008 16:39
Emailalot: Lately we have had several users want to run our software in a Terminal Services environment, and it seems to work well.  But of course, I have one client who is reporting trouble. When he runs our software in Win2003 with TS to view a file that we render in IE,  he says browser windows begin to display that file in a cascasing manner, opening in 40 or more windows until he has to reboot the machine.

Has anyone else had this issue? If there is something we've missed to enable our app for TS, we'd like to fix it. We didn't originally design for TS, but it seems like our app has found a useful niche here. But we're a little stumped on this.

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Date: Sunday, 14 Dec 2008 21:40
akorz: Hello,

I have one software for windows. And I need to build custom builds on the fly. In details, when user will download installer from server (on linux) I need to write somehow some additional data into installer. Then when installer will run on the local computer, this data should be stored in registry or somewhere else and used by installed software later.

I'm looking for technical solution for that.

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Date: Thursday, 11 Dec 2008 19:47
Larry Gadallah: Hi all:

I am working on a project where we want implement general-purpose UI Controls that are capable of all sorts of heavy-duty graphics effects (i.e. animate, transition, gradient, shade, transparency, etc.).

I'm a bit late to the party, but the direction things have gone so far in the project is to use managed code to implement a single OpenGL context and to write a custom window manager, lightweight (windowless) Controls, event handling, etc. to do _everything_ inside that single OpenGL context.

While we are confident that OpenGL can do everything we need in terms of graphics, there has also been a lot of debate as to whether GDI/GDI+ (using native code) could do enough to get by, allowing us to use .NET Controls and avoiding having to build our own framework. The UI is almost all 2D, and the few 3D portions could probably be simulated in 2D well enough to get by.

My major concern is that writing a whole framework (largely in parallel with a small subset of .NET) is a task that will become much larger than it appears on the surface. Others vastly more knowledgeable than me seem to feel the same way: http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/archive/2005/02/11/371042.aspx#371455

I was hoping I could get some disinterested third-party comments from Joel's forum:
- Is it reasonable to write your own framework on a platform that provides .NET already?
- Is it worth the trouble to get general purpose access to OpenGL rendering? Would GDI suffice?
- Are there any hidden issues in either case (i.e. HWND limits, GDI object leakage)?

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Date: Thursday, 11 Dec 2008 17:12
Doug: My app needs to verify username/passwords and group membership.  I have to support Active Directory and NT Domains, and (I suppose) LDAP?

Does anyone know of any good Windows-based GUI libraries for browsing these authentication databases (for selecting users/groups)?  Free or for cost?

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Date: Thursday, 11 Dec 2008 16:26
anonymous: As part of a larger project, we are considering developing and deploying a single C# application. The problem is: There seems to be an information black hole with respect to the percentage of PCs that have particular versions of .NET deployed.

So, just in case anyone happens to know,

What percentage of PCs have .NET v2

Have any .NET versions been required updates for XP?

...how do Windows programmers in general deal with less-than-100 percent market saturation here?

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