Web Service Timeouts
While working on a project accessing a slow web service, I found myself needing to extend the timeout of the HTTPRIO component. The web service, when executed straight from a browser, would happily take as long as it needed to before successfully completing. But my Delphi application was timing out.
I have recently discovered Amazon's S3 and EC2 services and think they're pretty cool. Originally, I considered them my first foray into "cloud computing" but then realized I've been using Google's email service for quite a while. There's also the fact that I give software updates via my web site and I store backups off-site via FTP. Recently, I started saving some documents out to Microsoft's Live service, just to try it out.
Mega Update - Part 2
In the last entry, I gave an overview of the large software update I delivered to a client, an update that should've been done incrementally over a period of several months. From database schema changes, to swapping out a reporting engine, to switching from ANSI to Unicode, I really bit off more than I could chew at once. But it's now working well and I'm once again sleeping at night!
This portion of the story deals with the database changes that were made, both the structure and the character set.
Mega Update - Part 1
I recently gave a client a major update to their custom application. Actually, "major" doesn't even do it justice. It was more like "mega major" and I don't think I'll take the approach I did ever again. But I wanted to move their code to the latest compilers and to support the latest operating systems. I also needed to change some low-level database constructs. Why all this? Because I'm a best-practices sort of guy.
Information and Media Explosion
The amount of information available and the proliferation of video over the last few years is nothing short of astounding. Watch this video and ask yourself, are you ready for the future?
Widths and Themes
In the old DOS days, things were simple. You had 25 rows and 80 columns of text. Period. Well, if you knew the right tricks, you could double the rows or columns, but still it was pretty limited. This made programming fairly easy--you knew how much space you had to deal with. With a GUI, or Graphical User Interface, things can get stretched out, you can have larger fonts, and you can have themes on or off. So knowing how much space you have to display stuff isn't quite as cut and dried. But I'm going to look at just one aspect that can be surprising: themes.
The Internet is 40 years old today. Or thereabouts depending on what you define as the actual birth of the internet. Here's a neat video that explains the origins of the what we know today as the Internet.
DateTimePicker Vista Theme!
Adding theme support to your application can give your program a whole new look (if you use standard Windows controls) without changing anything else. This works because the controls will actually use a different set of DLLs behind the scene. In Delphi 2007, this is accomplished with a simple checkbox in the project options. (Visit the Delphi Wikia page and search for "Adding Theme Support" for more information.) The DateTimePicker is one of these and I just discovered its new capabilities when themed on Vista or Windows 7.