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  • Which iPhone ad API has produced the highest revenue for you?

    - by Kyle Humfeld
    This isn't a technical question, but more of a request for advice and empirical/anecdotal data. I'm nearly done writing a free app for iPhone, and I'm at the stage where I'm going to put ads into the app. I've had mixed success in the past with iAd (their fill rates have been atrocious recently, and their payouts have cut by about 75% over the past 4 months or so), and would like to know how much ad revenue you, the community, has seen from the various ad APIs you've used for your iPhone apps. This isn't a request for opinion, i.e. which is 'better', only what kinds of numbers you're seeing. I don't need absolute figures, but 'iAd pays x% higher than AdMob, and y% lower than AdSense' would be extremely helpful to me as I make my decision as to which ad API to integrate into my App. Also, have you had any experience or success with integrating multiple ad APIs into the same app? That's something I'm considering doing in my current iAd-filled apps (particularly my iPad app, which has yet to receive a single impression after nearly 60,000 requests)... something like: 1) Request-from-iAd 2) if that fails, request-from-adSense 3) if that fails, request-from-adMob 4) if that fails, ... etc.

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  • Which iPhone ad API has produced the highest revenue for you?

    - by Kyle Humfeld
    This isn't a technical question, but more of a request for advice and empirical/anecdotal data. I'm nearly done writing a free app for iPhone, and I'm at the stage where I'm going to put ads into the app. I've had mixed success in the past with iAd (their fill rates have been atrocious recently, and their payouts have cut by about 75% over the past 4 months or so), and would like to know how much ad revenue you, the community, has seen from the various ad APIs you've used for your iPhone apps. This isn't a request for opinion, i.e. which is 'better', only what kinds of numbers you're seeing. I don't need absolute figures, but 'iAd pays x% higher than AdMob, and y% lower than AdSense' would be extremely helpful to me as I make my decision as to which ad API to integrate into my App. Also, have you had any experience or success with integrating multiple ad APIs into the same app? That's something I'm considering doing in my current iAd-filled apps (particularly my iPad app, which has yet to receive a single impression after nearly 60,000 requests)... something like: 1) Request-from-iAd 2) if that fails, request-from-adSense 3) if that fails, request-from-adMob 4) if that fails, ... etc.

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  • Why do we (really) program to interfaces?

    - by Kyle Burns
    One of the earliest lessons I was taught in Enterprise development was "always program against an interface".  This was back in the VB6 days and I quickly learned that no code would be allowed to move to the QA server unless my business objects and data access objects each are defined as an interface and have a matching implementation class.  Why?  "It's more reusable" was one answer.  "It doesn't tie you to a specific implementation" a slightly more knowing answer.  And let's not forget the discussion ending "it's a standard".  The problem with these responses was that senior people didn't really understand the reason we were doing the things we were doing and because of that, we were entirely unable to realize the intent behind the practice - we simply used interfaces and had a bunch of extra code to maintain to show for it. It wasn't until a few years later that I finally heard the term "Inversion of Control".  Simply put, "Inversion of Control" takes the creation of objects that used to be within the control (and therefore a responsibility of) of your component and moves it to some outside force.  For example, consider the following code which follows the old "always program against an interface" rule in the manner of many corporate development shops: 1: ICatalog catalog = new Catalog(); 2: Category[] categories = catalog.GetCategories(); In this example, I met the requirement of the rule by declaring the variable as ICatalog, but I didn't hit "it doesn't tie you to a specific implementation" because I explicitly created an instance of the concrete Catalog object.  If I want to test the functionality of the code I just wrote I have to have an environment in which Catalog can be created along with any of the resources upon which it depends (e.g. configuration files, database connections, etc) in order to test my functionality.  That's a lot of setup work and one of the things that I think ultimately discourages real buy-in of unit testing in many development shops. So how do I test my code without needing Catalog to work?  A very primitive approach I've seen is to change the line the instantiates catalog to read: 1: ICatalog catalog = new FakeCatalog();   once the test is run and passes, the code is switched back to the real thing.  This obviously poses a huge risk for introducing test code into production and in my opinion is worse than just keeping the dependency and its associated setup work.  Another popular approach is to make use of Factory methods which use an object whose "job" is to know how to obtain a valid instance of the object.  Using this approach, the code may look something like this: 1: ICatalog catalog = CatalogFactory.GetCatalog();   The code inside the factory is responsible for deciding "what kind" of catalog is needed.  This is a far better approach than the previous one, but it does make projects grow considerably because now in addition to the interface, the real implementation, and the fake implementation(s) for testing you have added a minimum of one factory (or at least a factory method) for each of your interfaces.  Once again, developers say "that's too complicated and has me writing a bunch of useless code" and quietly slip back into just creating a new Catalog and chalking any test failures up to "it will probably work on the server". This is where software intended specifically to facilitate Inversion of Control comes into play.  There are many libraries that take on the Inversion of Control responsibilities in .Net and most of them have many pros and cons.  From this point forward I'll discuss concepts from the standpoint of the Unity framework produced by Microsoft's Patterns and Practices team.  I'm primarily focusing on this library because it questions about it inspired this posting. At Unity's core and that of most any IoC framework is a catalog or registry of components.  This registry can be configured either through code or using the application's configuration file and in the most simple terms says "interface X maps to concrete implementation Y".  It can get much more complicated, but I want to keep things at the "what does it do" level instead of "how does it do it".  The object that exposes most of the Unity functionality is the UnityContainer.  This object exposes methods to configure the catalog as well as the Resolve<T> method which is used to obtain an instance of the type represented by T.  When using the Resolve<T> method, Unity does not necessarily have to just "new up" the requested object, but also can track dependencies of that object and ensure that the entire dependency chain is satisfied. There are three basic ways that I have seen Unity used within projects.  Those are through classes directly using the Unity container, classes requiring injection of dependencies, and classes making use of the Service Locator pattern. The first usage of Unity is when classes are aware of the Unity container and directly call its Resolve method whenever they need the services advertised by an interface.  The up side of this approach is that IoC is utilized, but the down side is that every class has to be aware that Unity is being used and tied directly to that implementation. Many developers don't like the idea of as close a tie to specific IoC implementation as is represented by using Unity within all of your classes and for the most part I agree that this isn't a good idea.  As an alternative, classes can be designed for Dependency Injection.  Dependency Injection is where a force outside the class itself manipulates the object to provide implementations of the interfaces that the class needs to interact with the outside world.  This is typically done either through constructor injection where the object has a constructor that accepts an instance of each interface it requires or through property setters accepting the service providers.  When using dependency, I lean toward the use of constructor injection because I view the constructor as being a much better way to "discover" what is required for the instance to be ready for use.  During resolution, Unity looks for an injection constructor and will attempt to resolve instances of each interface required by the constructor, throwing an exception of unable to meet the advertised needs of the class.  The up side of this approach is that the needs of the class are very clearly advertised and the class is unaware of which IoC container (if any) is being used.  The down side of this approach is that you're required to maintain the objects passed to the constructor as instance variables throughout the life of your object and that objects which coordinate with many external services require a lot of additional constructor arguments (this gets ugly and may indicate a need for refactoring). The final way that I've seen and used Unity is to make use of the ServiceLocator pattern, of which the Patterns and Practices team has also provided a Unity-compatible implementation.  When using the ServiceLocator, your class calls ServiceLocator.Retrieve in places where it would have called Resolve on the Unity container.  Like using Unity directly, it does tie you directly to the ServiceLocator implementation and makes your code aware that dependency injection is taking place, but it does have the up side of giving you the freedom to swap out the underlying IoC container if necessary.  I'm not hugely concerned with hiding IoC entirely from the class (I view this as a "nice to have"), so the single biggest problem that I see with the ServiceLocator approach is that it provides no way to proactively advertise needs in the way that constructor injection does, allowing more opportunity for difficult to track runtime errors. This blog entry has not been intended in any way to be a definitive work on IoC, but rather as something to spur thought about why we program to interfaces and some ways to reach the intended value of the practice instead of having it just complicate your code.  I hope that it helps somebody begin or continue a journey away from being a "Cargo Cult Programmer".

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  • Adjusting the Score on Oracle Text search results

    - by Kyle Hatlestad
    When you sort the results of a search by Score using OracleTextSearch as the search engine in WebCenter Content, the results coming back are based on the relevancy on the document.  In theory, the more relevant the search term is to the document, the higher ranked Score it should receive.  But in practice, the relevancy score can seem somewhat of a mystery.  It's not entirely clear how it ranks the importance of some documents over others based on the search term.  And often times, once a word appears a certain number of times within a document, the Score simply maxes out at 100 and the top results can be difficult to discern from one another.  Take for example the search for 'vacation' on this set of documents:  [Read More]

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  • Adjusting the Score on Oracle Text search results

    - by Kyle Hatlestad
    When you sort the results of a search by Score using OracleTextSearch as the search engine in WebCenter Content, the results coming back are based on the relevancy on the document.  In theory, the more relevant the search term is to the document, the higher ranked Score it should receive.  But in practice, the relevancy score can seem somewhat of a mystery.  It's not entirely clear how it ranks the importance of some documents over others based on the search term.  And often times, once a word appears a certain number of times within a document, the Score simply maxes out at 100 and the top results can be difficult to discern from one another.  Take for example the search for 'vacation' on this set of documents: Out of 7 results, 6 of them have a Score of '100' which means they are basically ranked the same.  This doesn't make the sort by Score very meaningful.   Besides sorting by relevance, you can also tell Oracle Text to sort by occurrence.  In that case, it is a much more predictable result in how they would be ranked. And for many cases provide a more meaningful sorting of results then relevance. To change this takes a small component change to the SearchOperatorMap resource.  By default, the query used for full-text searching looks like: <td>(ORACLETEXTSEARCH)fullText</td> <td>DEFINESCORE((%V), RELEVANCE * .1)</td> <td>text</td> Overriding this resource and changing it to: <td>(ORACLETEXTSEARCH)fullText</td> <td>DEFINESCORE((%V), OCCURRENCE * .01)</td>  <td>text</td> will force it to now use occurrence (note the change in scale to .01 as well).  So running the same search and sort options as the example above, the results come out quite a bit differently: In this case, there is a clear understanding of how the items rank.   And generally, if the search term appears 3 times more in one document then another, it's got a better chance of being a document I'm interested in.  You may or may not feel the relevance ranking is better then the search term occurrence, but this provides the opportunity to try an alternate method that might work better for your results.  A pre-built component is available for download here. There is one caveat in using this method.  The occurrence ranking also maxes out at 100, so if a search term is in the document more then that, the Score result will stay at 100.

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  • Build Dependencies and Silverlight 4

    - by Kyle Burns
    At my current position, I’ve been doing quite a bit of Silverlight development and have also been working with TFS2010 build services to enable continuous integration.  One of the critical pieces of a successful continuous build setup (and also one of the benefits of having one) is that the build system should be able to “get latest” against the source repository and immediately build with no errors.  This can break down both in an automated build scenario and a “new guy” scenario when the solution has external dependencies that may not be present in the build environment. The method that I use to address the dependency issue is to store all of the binaries upon which my solution depends in a folder under the solution root called “Reference Items”.  I keep this folder as part of the solution and check all of the binaries into source control so when I get the latest version of the solution from source control all of the binaries are downloaded to my machine as well and gets me closer to the ideal where a new developer installs the development IDE, get latest and can immediately build and run unit tests before jumping into coding the feature of the day. This all sounds pretty good (and it is), but a little while back I ran into one of those little hiccups that requires a little manual intervention.  The issue that I ran into is that with Silverlight (at least version 4), the behavior of the “Add Reference” command when adding reference to a DLL that is present in the GAC is to omit the HintPath element that it includes with regular .Net projects, so even if the DLL is setting in the Reference Items folder and downloaded to the build machine it cannot be found at compile time and the build will fail. To work around this behavior, you need to be comfortable editing the XML project files generated by Visual Studio (in my case this is typically a .csproj file).  Simply open the project file in your favorite text editor, find the Reference element that refers to the component, and modify the XML to include the HintPath.  Here’s a before and after example of the component that ultimately led me to the investigation behind this post: Before: <Reference Include="Telerik.Windows.Controls, Version=2011.2.920.1040, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=5803cfa389c90ce7, processorArchitecture=MSIL" /> After: <Reference Include="Telerik.Windows.Controls, Version=2011.2.920.1040, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=5803cfa389c90ce7, processorArchitecture=MSIL">       <HintPath>..\Reference Items\Telerik.Windows.Controls.dll</HintPath>     </Reference>

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  • Visual Studio 2010 on Macbook Air

    - by Kyle B.
    Does anyone here run Visual Studio 2010 (or VS12 RC) on a Macbook Air? I have the current model with 4GB ram, 13" screen, and 256GB SSD drive. Before I go through the effort of configuring this, I'd like to know if anyone from the community has done this and: Was the performance acceptable? If it is, I plan to get a larger cinema display monitor as a second display and do all my coding on this machine ditching my desktop. Did you use Boot camp, Parallels, or VMWare? I feel to maximize performance that boot camp would be necessary to make the most utilization of the memory, but am not sure if this completely necessary. I'd prefer to use a VM, but wasn't sure if this was practical and would value your input before buying a license. Did you also run anything else on the Windows installation, such as SQL Server express, IISExpress, etc? Did performance lag after a certain point? Note: I would have asked this in superuser.com, but felt this applied more directly to the programming community.

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  • Mass Metadata Updates with Folders

    - by Kyle Hatlestad
    With the release of WebCenter Content PS5, a new folder architecture called 'Framework Folders' was introduced.  This is meant to replace the folder architecture of 'Folders_g'.  While the concepts of a folder structure and access to those folders through Desktop Integration Suite remain the same, the underlying architecture of the component has been completely rewritten.  One of the main goals of the new folders is to scale better at large volumes and remove the limitations of 1000 content items or sub-folders within a folder.  Along with the new architecture, it has a new look and a few additional features have been added.  One of those features are Query Folders.  These are folders that are populated simply by a query rather then literally putting items within the folders.  This is something that the Library has provided, but it always took an administrator to define them through the Web Layout Editor.  Now users can quickly define query folders anywhere within the standard folder hierarchy. [ Read More ]

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  • Mass Metadata Updates with Folders

    - by Kyle Hatlestad
    With the release of WebCenter Content PS5, a new folder architecture called 'Framework Folders' was introduced.  This is meant to replace the folder architecture of 'Folders_g'.  While the concepts of a folder structure and access to those folders through Desktop Integration Suite remain the same, the underlying architecture of the component has been completely rewritten.  One of the main goals of the new folders is to scale better at large volumes and remove the limitations of 1000 content items or sub-folders within a folder.  Along with the new architecture, it has a new look and a few additional features have been added.  One of those features are Query Folders.  These are folders that are populated simply by a query rather then literally putting items within the folders.  This is something that the Library has provided, but it always took an administrator to define them through the Web Layout Editor.  Now users can quickly define query folders anywhere within the standard folder hierarchy.   Within this new Framework Folders is the very handy ability to do metadata updates.  It's similar to the Propagate feature in Folders_g, but there are some key differences that make this very flexible and much more powerful. It's used within regular folders and Query Folders.  So the content you're updating doesn't all have to be in the same folder...or a folder at all.   The user decides what metadata to propagate.  In Folders_g, the system administrator controls which fields will be propagated using a single administration page.  In Framework Folders, the user decides at that time which fields they want to update. You set the value you want on the propagation screen.  In Folders_g, it used the metadata defined on the parent folder to propagate.  With Framework Folders, you supply the new metadata value when you select the fields you want to update.  It does not have to be defined on the parent folder. Because of these differences, I think the new propagate method is much more useful.  Instead of always having to rely on Archiver or a custom spreadsheet, you can quickly do mass metadata updates right within folders.   Here are the basic steps to perform propagation. First create a folder for the propagation.  You can use a regular folder, but a Query Folder will work as well. Go into the folder to get the results.   In the Edit menu, select 'Propagate'. Select the check-box next to the field to update and enter the new value  Click the Propagate button. Once complete, a dialog will appear showing it is complete What's also nice is that the process happens asynchronously in the background which means you can browse to other pages and do other things while it is still working.  You aren't stuck on the page waiting for it to complete.  In addition, you can add a configuration flag to the server to turn on a status indicator icon.  Set 'FldEnableInProcessIndicator=1' and it will show a working icon as its doing the propagation. There is a caveat when using the propagation on a Query Folder.   While a propagation on a regular folder will update all of the items within that folder, a Query Folder propagation will only update the first 50 items.  So you may need to run it multiple times depending on the size...and have the query exclude the items as they get updated. One extra note...Framework Folders is offered as the default folder architecture in the PS5 release of WebCenter Content.  But if you are using WebCenter Content integrated with another product that makes use of folders (WebCenter Portal/Spaces, Fusion Applications, Primavera, etc), you'll need to continue using Folders_g until they are updated to use the new folders.

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  • iPhone in-app purchasing for Ecommerce [closed]

    - by Kyle B.
    This may not be the appropriate location for this, but would like to ask in the hopes an iOS developer with familiarity on the rules and regulations could comment. I would like to develop an iOS app that performs Ecommerce transactions. If I roll my own payment processor, and checkout process: 1) Is this allowed by Apple's rules, and 2) Would I be required to remit 30% of the transaction sale to Apple?

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  • Are there plans to use the empty space in the SoundMenu?

    - by Kyle Clarke
    There seems to be roughly 4 lines of space next to the album art. However only 3 are used. Song Title Artist Album If nothing is planned for the 4th line. I propose that it is used for track time/length. This way you can tell how far along a song is without the need of a scrub bar. Unrelated, but I feel that the play-lists section should display how many songs are in that play list. Some of my play lists have no songs, and without realising this, it seems like a bug that the songs wont play.

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  • Help deploying using Capistrano to HostGator

    - by Kyle Macey
    My company uses HostGator to host our web sites, and I'm having a heck of a time figuring out what my final steps are to get a functioning RoR app up there. I've got all the way up to configuring mongrel (I think?) and being able to run deploy:cold without any errors. However, I can't seem to get the app to show up in the designated CPanel area (HG says the name "current" is already reserved for another application), and I'm not sure which port was allowed for me to use. I've opened tickets with Customer Support just to be told that "You can't access the database with root"... Totally unrelated to my question... So I think I'm in the final stretch and if anyone has any insight or experience with HostGator, please cue me in.

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  • Idoc Script Plug-in for Notepad++

    - by Kyle Hatlestad
    For those of you that caught it in an earlier post, Arnoud Koot wrote a great Idoc Script plug-in for Notepad++.  Well, he's back at it and has written an update for 11g! Arnoud made his announcement a few days ago on the WebCenter Content forum. And it looks like Jonathan Hult caught it as well and posted to his blog. A great addition to his plug-in is context sensitive help.  Now you can look up the variables and functions without having to switch to the formal Oracle documentation. He's even provided a tool to update the help automatically based on the Oracle documentation.  A couple of things to look for that I had missed the instructions was the note about updating the LanguageHelp.ini with your own path to the iDoc11g.chm file as well as the <ctrl><space> keystroke for the auto-complete. Great work Arnoud!

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  • When is my View too smart?

    - by Kyle Burns
    In this posting, I will discuss the motivation behind keeping View code as thin as possible when using patterns such as MVC, MVVM, and MVP.  Once the motivation is identified, I will examine some ways to determine whether a View contains logic that belongs in another part of the application.  While the concepts that I will discuss are applicable to most any pattern which favors a thin View, any concrete examples that I present will center on ASP.NET MVC. Design patterns that include a Model, a View, and other components such as a Controller, ViewModel, or Presenter are not new to application development.  These patterns have, in fact, been around since the early days of building applications with graphical interfaces.  The reason that these patterns emerged is simple – the code running closest to the user tends to be littered with logic and library calls that center around implementation details of showing and manipulating user interface widgets and when this type of code is interspersed with application domain logic it becomes difficult to understand and much more difficult to adequately test.  By removing domain logic from the View, we ensure that the View has a single responsibility of drawing the screen which, in turn, makes our application easier to understand and maintain. I was recently asked to take a look at an ASP.NET MVC View because the developer reviewing it thought that it possibly had too much going on in the view.  I looked at the .CSHTML file and the first thing that occurred to me was that it began with 40 lines of code declaring member variables and performing the necessary calculations to populate these variables, which were later either output directly to the page or used to control some conditional rendering action (such as adding a class name to an HTML element or not rendering another element at all).  This exhibited both of what I consider the primary heuristics (or code smells) indicating that the View is too smart: Member variables – in general, variables in View code are an indication that the Model to which the View is being bound is not sufficient for the needs of the View and that the View has had to augment that Model.  Notable exceptions to this guideline include variables used to hold information specifically related to rendering (such as a dynamically determined CSS class name or the depth within a recursive structure for indentation purposes) and variables which are used to facilitate looping through collections while binding. Arithmetic – as with member variables, the presence of arithmetic operators within View code are an indication that the Model servicing the View is insufficient for its needs.  For example, if the Model represents a line item in a sales order, it might seem perfectly natural to “normalize” the Model by storing the quantity and unit price in the Model and multiply these within the View to show the line total.  While this does seem natural, it introduces a business rule to the View code and makes it impossible to test that the rounding of the result meets the requirement of the business without executing the View.  Within View code, arithmetic should only be used for activities such as incrementing loop counters and calculating element widths. In addition to the two characteristics of a “Smart View” that I’ve discussed already, this View also exhibited another heuristic that commonly indicates to me the need to refactor a View and make it a bit less smart.  That characteristic is the existence of Boolean logic that either does not work directly with properties of the Model or works with too many properties of the Model.  Consider the following code and consider how logic that does not work directly with properties of the Model is just another form of the “member variable” heuristic covered earlier: @if(DateTime.Now.Hour < 12) {     <div>Good Morning!</div> } else {     <div>Greetings</div> } This code performs business logic to determine whether it is morning.  A possible refactoring would be to add an IsMorning property to the Model, but in this particular case there is enough similarity between the branches that the entire branching structure could be collapsed by adding a Greeting property to the Model and using it similarly to the following: <div>@Model.Greeting</div> Now let’s look at some complex logic around multiple Model properties: @if (ModelPageNumber + Model.NumbersToDisplay == Model.PageCount         || (Model.PageCount != Model.CurrentPage             && !Model.DisplayValues.Contains(Model.PageCount))) {     <div>There's more to see!</div> } In this scenario, not only is the View code difficult to read (you shouldn’t have to play “human compiler” to determine the purpose of the code), but it also complex enough to be at risk for logical errors that cannot be detected without executing the View.  Conditional logic that requires more than a single logical operator should be looked at more closely to determine whether the condition should be evaluated elsewhere and exposed as a single property of the Model.  Moving the logic above outside of the View and exposing a new Model property would simplify the View code to: @if(Model.HasMoreToSee) {     <div>There’s more to see!</div> } In this posting I have briefly discussed some of the more prominent heuristics that indicate a need to push code from the View into other pieces of the application.  You should now be able to recognize these symptoms when building or maintaining Views (or the Models that support them) in your applications.

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  • Can I become an Ubuntu Member by contributing on askubuntu?

    - by Kyle Macey
    The Ubuntu Membership Wiki states: Contributions are valued and recognized whether you contribute to artwork, any of the LoCoTeams, documentation, providing support on the forums, the answers tracker, IRC support, bug triage, translation, development and packaging, marketing and advocacy, contributing to the wiki, or anything else. This defines what contributions "count" toward what will be considered valuable when applying for Ubuntu membership. What I want to know is, does my involvement on askubuntu fall under the stipulation "...or anything else"? I'd imagine they don't literally mean anything else, just things they consider to fit the scope of contributing to Ubuntu. So is my help here valuable in contributing? Has anyone ever obtained membership by using their askubuntu contributions as their argument toward membership?

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  • Image Magic Make Fails - PHP extension

    - by Kyle Adams
    So I was doing the following: sudo apt-get install php-pear php5-dev sudo apt-get install imagemagick libmagickwand-dev sudo pecl install imagick It all works till I get the error: make: *** [imagick_class.lo] Error 1 ERROR: `make' failed Which according to blog posts and forms is because of libmagick9-dev, how ever when trying to install this I get: sudo apt-get install libmagick9-dev Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done Package libmagick9-dev is not available, but is referred to by another package. This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or is only available from another source However the following packages replace it: graphicsmagick-libmagick-dev-compat E: Package 'libmagick9-dev' has no installation candidate Thoughts?

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  • Stop trying to be perfect

    - by Kyle Burns
    Yes, Bob is my uncle too.  I also think the points in the Manifesto for Software Craftsmanship (manifesto.softwarecraftsmanship.org) are all great.  What amazes me is that tend to confuse the term “well crafted” with “perfect”.  I'm about to say something that will make Quality Assurance managers and many development types as well until you think about it as a craftsman – “Stop trying to be perfect”. Now let me explain what I mean.  Building software, as with building almost anything, often involves a series of trade-offs where either one undesired characteristic is accepted as necessary to achieve another desired one (or maybe stave off one that is even less desirable) or a desirable characteristic is sacrificed for the same reasons.  This implies that perfection itself is unattainable.  What is attainable is “sufficient” and I think that this really goes to the heart both of what people are trying to do with Agile and with the craftsmanship movement.  Simply put, sufficient software drives the greatest business value.   I've been in many meetings where “how can we keep anything from ever going wrong” has become the thing that holds us in analysis paralysis.  I've also been the guy trying way too hard to perfect some function to make sure that every edge case is accounted for.  Somewhere in there, something a drill instructor said while I was in boot camp occurred to me.  In response to being asked a question by another recruit having to do with some edge case (I can barely remember the context), he said “What if grasshoppers had machine guns?  Would the birds still **** with them?”  It sounds funny, but there's a lot of wisdom in those words.   “Sufficient” is different for every situation and it’s important to understand what sufficient means in the context of the work you’re doing.  If I’m writing a timesheet application (and please shoot me if I am), I’m going to have a much higher tolerance for imperfection than if you’re writing software to control life support systems on spacecraft.  I’m also likely to have less need for high volume performance than if you’re writing software to control stock trading transactions.   I’d encourage anyone who has read this far to instead of trying to be perfect, try to create software that is sufficient in every way.  If you’re working to make a component that is sufficient “better”, ask yourself if there is any component left that is not yet sufficient.  If the answer is “yes” you’re working on the wrong thing and need to adjust.  If the answer is “no”, why aren’t you shipping and delivering business value?

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  • What is the best type of c# timer to use with an Unity game that uses many timers simultaneously?

    - by Kyle Seidlitz
    I am developing a stand-alone 3d game in Unity that will have anywhere from 1 to 200 timers running simultaneously. For this game timer durations will range from 5 minutes to 4 days. There will not be any countdown displays or any UI for the timers. An object will be selected, a menu choice will then be selected, and the timer will start. Several events will occur at different intervals during the duration of the timer. The events will be confined to changing the material of the selected object, and calling a 1 second sound effect like a chime or a bell. If the user wants to save or end the game before all the timers are done, the start of the still running timers is to be saved to an XML file such that when the game is started again, any still running timers will have a calculation done to see if the timer is then done, where the game will change the materials appropriately. I am still trying to figure out what type of timer to use, and see also if there are any suggestions for saving and calculating times over several days. What class(es) of timers should I use? Are there any special issues I should look out for in terms of performance?

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  • What are the best SEO techniques for a professional blog? [closed]

    - by Kyle
    Possible Duplicate: What are the best ways to increase your site's position in Google? Beginner to SEO here, starting with a personal site, looking for some insight and feedback. Question: what's more important, domain name or site title? Question: how important are the meta tags (description and keywords) on your site? Description should be under 60 chars right? How many keywords is ideal? Question: #1 most important SEO principle = ?? (my guess is getting others to link to your site) -thanks.

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  • Design Patterns - Why the need for interfaces?

    - by Kyle Johnson
    OK. I am learning design patterns. Every time I see someone code an example of a design pattern they use interfaces. Here is an example: http://visualstudiomagazine.com/Articles/2013/06/18/the-facade-pattern-in-net.aspx?Page=1 Can someone explain to me why was the interfaces needed in this example to demonstrate the facade pattern? The program work if you pass in the classes to the facade instead of the interface. If I don't have interfaces does that mean

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  • Expanding on requestaudit - Tracing who is doing what...and for how long

    - by Kyle Hatlestad
    One of the most helpful tracing sections in WebCenter Content (and one that is on by default) is the requestaudit tracing.  This tracing section summarizes the top service requests happening in the server along with how they are performing.  By default, it has 2 different rotations.  One happens every 2 minutes (listing up to 5 services) and another happens every 60 minutes (listing up to 20 services).  These traces provide the total time for all the requests against that service along with the number of requests and its average request time.  This information can provide a good start in possibly troubleshooting performance issues or tracking a particular issue.   [Read More] 

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  • Expanding on requestaudit - Tracing who is doing what...and for how long

    - by Kyle Hatlestad
    One of the most helpful tracing sections in WebCenter Content (and one that is on by default) is the requestaudit tracing.  This tracing section summarizes the top service requests happening in the server along with how they are performing.  By default, it has 2 different rotations.  One happens every 2 minutes (listing up to 5 services) and another happens every 60 minutes (listing up to 20 services).  These traces provide the total time for all the requests against that service along with the number of requests and its average request time.  This information can provide a good start in possibly troubleshooting performance issues or tracking a particular issue.   >requestaudit/6 12.10 16:48:00.493 Audit Request Monitor !csMonitorTotalRequests,47,1,0.39009329676628113,0.21034042537212372,1>requestaudit/6 12.10 16:48:00.509 Audit Request Monitor Request Audit Report over the last 120 Seconds for server wcc-base_4444****requestaudit/6 12.10 16:48:00.509 Audit Request Monitor -Num Requests 47 Errors 1 Reqs/sec. 0.39009329676628113 Avg. Latency (secs) 0.21034042537212372 Max Thread Count 1requestaudit/6 12.10 16:48:00.509 Audit Request Monitor 1 Service FLD_BROWSE Total Elapsed Time (secs) 3.5320000648498535 Num requests 10 Num errors 0 Avg. Latency (secs) 0.3531999886035919 requestaudit/6 12.10 16:48:00.509 Audit Request Monitor 2 Service GET_SEARCH_RESULTS Total Elapsed Time (secs) 2.694999933242798 Num requests 6 Num errors 0 Avg. Latency (secs) 0.4491666555404663requestaudit/6 12.10 16:48:00.509 Audit Request Monitor 3 Service GET_DOC_PAGE Total Elapsed Time (secs) 1.8839999437332153 Num requests 5 Num errors 1 Avg. Latency (secs) 0.376800000667572requestaudit/6 12.10 16:48:00.509 Audit Request Monitor 4 Service DOC_INFO Total Elapsed Time (secs) 0.4620000123977661 Num requests 3 Num errors 0 Avg. Latency (secs) 0.15399999916553497requestaudit/6 12.10 16:48:00.509 Audit Request Monitor 5 Service GET_PERSONALIZED_JAVASCRIPT Total Elapsed Time (secs) 0.4099999964237213 Num requests 8 Num errors 0 Avg. Latency (secs) 0.051249999552965164requestaudit/6 12.10 16:48:00.509 Audit Request Monitor ****End Audit Report***** To change the default rotation or size of output, these can be set as configuration variables for the server: RequestAuditIntervalSeconds1 – Used for the shorter of the two summary intervals (default is 120 seconds)RequestAuditIntervalSeconds2 – Used for the longer of the two summary intervals (default is 3600 seconds)RequestAuditListDepth1 – Number of services listed for the first request audit summary interval (default is 5)RequestAuditListDepth2 – Number of services listed for the second request audit summary interval (default is 20) If you want to get more granular, you can enable 'Full Verbose Tracing' from the System Audit Information page and now you will get an audit entry for each and every service request.  >requestaudit/6 12.10 16:58:35.431 IdcServer-68 GET_USER_INFO [dUser=bob][StatusMessage=You are logged in as 'bob'.] 0.08765099942684174(secs) What's nice is it reports who executed the service and how long that particular request took.  In some cases, depending on the service, additional information will be added to the tracing relevant to that  service. >requestaudit/6 12.10 17:00:44.727 IdcServer-81 GET_SEARCH_RESULTS [dUser=bob][QueryText=%28+dDocType+%3cmatches%3e+%60Document%60+%29][StatusCode=0][StatusMessage=Success] 0.4696030020713806(secs) You can even go into more detail and insert any additional data into the tracing.  You simply need to add this configuration variable with a comma separated list of variables from local data to insert. RequestAuditAdditionalVerboseFieldsList=TotalRows,path In this case, for any search results, the number of items the user found is traced: >requestaudit/6 12.10 17:15:28.665 IdcServer-36 GET_SEARCH_RESULTS [TotalRows=224][dUser=bob][QueryText=%28+dDocType+%3cmatches%3e+%60Application%60+%29][Sta... I also recently ran into the case where services were being called from a client through RIDC.  All of the services were being executed as the same user, but they wanted to correlate the requests coming from the client to the ones being executed on the server.  So what we did was add a new field to the request audit list: RequestAuditAdditionalVerboseFieldsList=ClientToken And then in the RIDC client, ClientToken was added to the binder along with a unique value that could be traced for that request.  Now they had a way of tracing on both ends and identifying exactly which client request resulted in which request on the server.

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  • Loading main javascript on every page? Or breaking it up to relevant pages?

    - by Kyle
    I have a 700kb decompressed JS file which is loaded on every page. Before I had 12 javascript files on each page but to reduce http requests I compressed them all into 1 file. This file is ~130kb gzipped and is served over gzip. However on the local computer it is still unpacked and loaded on every page. Is this a performance issue? I've profiled the javascript with firebug profiler but did not see any issues. The problem/illusion I am facing is there are jquery libraries compressed in that file that are sometimes not used on the current page. For example jquery datatables is 200kb compressed and that is only loaded on 2 of my website pages. Another is jqplot and that is another 200kb. I now have 400kb of excess code that isn't executed on 80% of the pages. Should I leave everything in 1 file? Should I take out the jquery libraries and load only relevant JS on the current page?

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  • Obtaining positional information in the IEnumerable Select extension method

    - by Kyle Burns
    This blog entry is intended to provide a narrow and brief look into a way to use the Select extension method that I had until recently overlooked. Every developer who is using IEnumerable extension methods to work with data has been exposed to the Select extension method, because it is a pretty critical piece of almost every query over a collection of objects.  The method is defined on type IEnumerable and takes as its argument a function that accepts an item from the collection and returns an object which will be an item within the returned collection.  This allows you to perform transformations on the source collection.  A somewhat contrived example would be the following code that transforms a collection of strings into a collection of anonymous objects: 1: var media = new[] {"book", "cd", "tape"}; 2: var transformed = media.Select( item => 3: { 4: Media = item 5: } ); This code transforms the array of strings into a collection of objects which each have a string property called Media. If every developer using the LINQ extension methods already knows this, why am I blogging about it?  I’m blogging about it because the method has another overload that I hadn’t seen before I needed it a few weeks back and I thought I would share a little about it with whoever happens upon my blog.  In the other overload, the function defined in the first overload as: 1: Func<TSource, TResult> is instead defined as: 1: Func<TSource, int, TResult>   The additional parameter is an integer representing the current element’s position in the enumerable sequence.  I used this information in what I thought was a pretty cool way to compare collections and I’ll probably blog about that sometime in the near future, but for now we’ll continue with the contrived example I’ve already started to keep things simple and show how this works.  The following code sample shows how the positional information could be used in an alternating color scenario.  I’m using a foreach loop because IEnumerable doesn’t have a ForEach extension, but many libraries do add the ForEach extension to IEnumerable so you can update the code if you’re using one of these libraries or have created your own. 1: var media = new[] {"book", "cd", "tape"}; 2: foreach (var result in media.Select( 3: (item, index) => 4: new { Item = item, Index = index })) 5: { 6: Console.ForegroundColor = result.Index % 2 == 0 7: ? ConsoleColor.Blue : ConsoleColor.Yellow; 8: Console.WriteLine(result.Item); 9: }

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  • Where's the source code?

    - by Kyle Burns
    I've been contacted by several people through this blog asking about the missing source code for the "Beginning Windows 8 Application Development - XAML Edition" book (the book is available at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1430245662/http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1430245662/) and wanted to share this with others who may have come to this blog looking for it but may not have communicated with me.  The publisher (Apress) does know that the source code is not posted on the book's product page and will be correcting it.  Apress is located in New York City and things were slowed down a little bit last week due to the storm, but I've been assured they will be correcting the product page as soon as they can.  Thanks to everyone who has bought the book and I especially appreciate your patience.

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