Which Programming Languages Should I Know? (Part 1)

by Codewiz51 5. December 2015 08:14

I'm in the final 6 to 8 years of my "working" life. I'm looking at the languages that I need to know going forward. I define "know" as being competent at developing solutions with the required language.

This is part 1 in my analysis of where I need to focus my efforts going forward.

JavaScript is an absolute requirement. It is the lingua franca of the web, and is becoming popular with the server side crowd.  JavaScript and one of the major frameworks, such as Angular is an absolute requirement.  Even though I mostly manage developers and development efforts, I need to know this language to be effective.

I've also decided I need to know one popular Windows backend language, probably C#.  I also need to know one Linux side language, which at the moment will probably be Java, as I like it's similarity to C#.

However, there is Python and Ruby Rails to consider.  And one needs to be knowledgable of Big Data coding and querying.

As for the database side, I am currently pretty well tied to SQL Server and PostgreSQL with PostGIS.  While I have enthusiastically adopted PostgreSQL/PostGIS, my not so great experience with Hibernate and geography fields have tended to push me back to SQL Server and Entity Framework as an simpler and better integrated solution.

So, I'll continue to explore where I think this is all headed.  I need to focus my time and learning skills on those programing environments that will be needed over the next few years.


Design | Life | Programming

Switching to Git from TFS

by Codewiz51 25. December 2013 09:44

I've been involved with Git at work since late May of 2013.  Transitioning to Eclipse, Java and Git was a bit intimidating in the beginning.  However, after some bumps in the road learning how to utilize Git, I became a convert to this version control system.  It's light weight, fast and runs well on Windows Server 2012.  I'm slowly migrating my projects off of TFS 2010 to a local Git repository.  What really sold me on Git is the ease of branching and merging operations.  Then, I discovered the add-in component for VS 2013 works as well or better than Eclipse's integration of Git.  About the only thing I am losing when I leave TFS is work item tracking.  However, that function will be filled by a $10 copy of Jira for my personal use.

I don't own powerful server hardware.  So Git is a Godsend compared to how TFS 2010 and Sharepoint 2010 drag on my outdated servers.

This series of blog posts will cover my experiences installing and configuring GitStack.com's version of Git for Windows:

  1. Stuff to download: (Prerequisites)
    • First, check out this post on MSDN to make sure your VS 2013 git client is operational. I strongly suggest you make sure you can connect VS 2013 to a github or bitbucket project and clone successfully before you even begin downloading anything else.  (I started out using github, but switched to bitbucket.  Bitbucket allows me access to Jira functionality (issue tracking) and code reviews (limited.)  It's free and allows private projects.
    • I like to install a command line git tool.  I use Chocolatey to install git command line tools.  I've run into some issues getting this to work over SSL, but I've solved all the problems and documented them in this series of articles.
    • If you are going to use Git over SSL, you'll may need OpenSSL for Windows.  GitStack needs an RSA key file, and OpenSSL is the only way I know to generate this file and create a certificate request tied to the key file.
    • You'll need the gitstack.com git installer.
    • I generally like to have a copy of Cygwin available.  This is completely optional, not required and not really used for this install (unless something goes incredibly wrong.)
    • There's probably some other stuff I've forgotten.  I'll add downloads here as time and memory permits. Cool
  2. Install
  3. Configure ports
  4. Firewall Changes
  5. Users and Groups
  6. LDAP/Active Directory
  7. OpenSSH/CertSrv/SSL
  8. Testing
  9. VS 2013 and Git
  10. Git-tfs

Since it's Christmas morning and the family is waking up, I'll fill in the details later today and tomorrow.  I need to go prepare Christmas breakfast for the World of Ware Crack crowd.


Design | Infrastructure | Programming

Resolving problems with JSON2.js on IE 7

by Codewiz51 1. January 2013 07:35

I'm having a problem with JSON on IE 7.  I've followed the recommended fixes: referencing Crockford's JSON2.js, setting type and language attributes, etc.  

I am still getting a 'JSON' is undefined exception on the IE 9 script console when running in IE 7 standards mode.  I am successfully using JSON2.js on the server side in my ASP pages, so this error is just a bit confusing. Based on this post on stackoverflow.com, I am guessing there is some sort of character set/code page issue.  I don't have any of the typo's associated with the post.  I'll have to play around with charset, language and type attributes to see if I can resolve the issue.

I've tested this on my home network, using IIS 7.5 and 8, along with IE 9 running in IE 7 standards mode and it works fine.  This is only happening at work, where I am using IE 9 running in IE 7 standards mode on Windows 7.  The servers are Windows 2003 running IIS 6.  Fiddler doesn't display anything odd that would indicate the script file is not loading correctly, and the charset/code page is 1252, which is normal.


It seems I need to specify utf-8 in the script file attributes.  This does not appear to be a universal requirement, but it got me past the problem at work where IE 7 verification was not working.  The final script tag is:

<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript" charset="utf-8" src="/script/json2.js"></script>

My guess as to why this fixed my issue? JSON2.js contains unicode character definitions as part of it's regex matching/substitutions code.  Apparently, IE 7 mode on my work computer needed to be told the file contained unicode characters.  Whatever...  At least I'm not chewing cycles trying to fix an arcane issue on a minor and very old browser.

Update 2:

Found one more issue with including json2.js for IE 7.  If you specify your tag as

<script type="application/javascript" language="javascript" src='/js/json2.js'></script>

, then IE 7 will generate an exception when viewing the console.  Make sure you specify your type as type="text/javascript".

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Design | Programming

Migrating to MVC and Razor

by Codewiz51 14. December 2012 06:40

I've been tied up lately with work at Teleflora and organizing my Social Networking techniques for my personal and business life.  Finally, I am able to get started with moving my website over to MVC and Razor2.

Tasks I performed before starting my journey into the Razor world:

  • Install Microsoft's Web Installer
  • Work through the MVC/Razor tutorials
  • Set up a sample web site and learn how to modify pages and add routes
  • Locate documentation on Razor syntax and organize shortcuts for rapid access
  • Study my current web site statistics and target the most popular browser (Chrome) for development
  • Set up VS2012 and configure it to use Chrome.
  • Document my current site layout.
  • Develop specifications about the type of content to deliver and technologies to showcase.
  • Locate examples on the web, demonstrating desirable styling.
  • And finally, setting up the site templates.
(I originally used my Kindle Fire HD to make this entry, but I had a heck of a time trying to select lines of text to place in an a <ul> element.  Ultimately, I had to edit from my PC to achieve the desired formatting.  It's touch to beat a nice keyboard and mouse for data entry and editing.)

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Design | Programming

Team Foundation Server

by Codewiz51 12. March 2012 08:34

I spent all day Saturday and most of Sunday morning ironing out the installation and integration of SharePoint 2010 and Team Foundation Server 2010.  I am down to a couple of event entries that can be ignored (at least for the time being.)

You need to plan on visiting the blog-osphere  to fix up your installations with small corrections.  I am working with a single, salvaged desktop computer that is old and out dated.  I am probably asking to much of the hardware and processor, so I generally don't get too excited if installs do not go completely error free.  In particular, anything that relies on rebooting my underpowered server generally fails.  Why?  Rebooting a domain controller that is running IIS 7.5, SQL Server 2008, Sharepoint 2010 and TFS is generally pretty busy at boot time.  Busy enough that stuff times out.  A lot.

I'll need to go through and correct permissions on my SQL Server and Sharepoint service accounts.  I was in a hurry and simply made the service accounts part of the administrators group.  I know, I know.  Bad Form!  I've been reading up on what the base permissions are for the SQL Server service account, so I will make those changes first.  Hopefully, by the end of the week, I'll have everything locked down.

At the end of the day, I was able to create a new team Agile template project in TFS.  Yeah!  The Sharepoint web site was create correctly!  Yeah!

Tonight, I will start proper service account creation for the installed services and servers.  My base Sharepoint web site is a "blog" site, that I use as a log when I make corrections and experiment with permissions.  Once I have completed the setup, I'll publish my findings.

I have to give Microsoft some kudos on this stuff.  It's big.  It's complex.  It takes a lot of background knowledge to install Sharepoint and TFS.  The documents are available and the bloggers fill in any of the gaps.  For 99.95% of the installation, everything proceeded correctly.  The few things that weren't quite right were caused by my own impatience.  My advice?  Read the docs and scan the web.  After you have completed the installs, don't hurry.  Give your system time to stabilize.  Watch the event logs like a hawk for a couple of days.  They tell you a lot about what is going on with your system and you can fix a lot of small problems before they become major problems.  Learn how to administer the product before you start using it.



Design | Infrastructure


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