Journey to MCPD

September 19, 2007

Yup, I’m planning on taking the ceritification test. There, I revealed it all to you. My target is to take on the MCPD for Windows Developer. However, after looking at the various kind of parts of it, maybe…. i’ll take them all altogether anyway. My company is paying for me anyway and I can appreciate the certifications here in Japan (especially for those stubborn old fashioned companies who doesn’t believe in new technologies (.Net), young people (eventhough they are *quite* bright – me! being the narcisist that i am – noticed the *quite* there? at least i’m trying to be modest) and doesn’t understand English – at least they’ll understand that MCPD is a Microsoft’s Certifications). I’m actually quite surprised at how many people who have MCPD and MCTS certifications. Look here for the statistics. There aren’t quite so many people actually gotten the ceritifaction.

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When SQL is just too much…

September 13, 2007

Just received description for my next project starting next monday. And I have to say that I’m in for quite a shock. First, it’s an on going project wich developed in VB6. Yup, the old VB. But it uses some nifty technology (old tech) like DCOM and ActiveX. (Yes, you’ll get security warning when you opened it in your browser). But that alone is not enough, the project, although heavily relies on DB, doesn’t have a DAL. ?!#%%!?. So what did they do, they implement all the logic and the data formatting directly into the PL/SQL. (doh!). No, I don’t speak latent PL/SQL or T-SQL and I have no plan nor intentions on going into that directions. The SQL that I’m talking here is the kind of SQL strings that have multiple queries inside, have multiple aliases, using cursors, formats returning data, use stored procedures, and uses pipelining. One of the shorter ones have like 100 lines of SQL with never seen before operators and directives with attributes like %ROWTYPE and %NOTFOUND, and DECODEs inside DECODEs, constant strings and direct substitutions. (sigh)… when will they ever learn that database IS A DATABASE. It is good for returning data but NOT PROCESSING. That’s what applications do, PROCESSING DATA. When system designers blur the line like this, it is bound to get uncontrollable at some point. Luckily this is only a small project so faults should not propagate very far… or maybe that’s only my prejudice?

Set Internet = Pain in the a**

September 11, 2007

Recently, I’m trying to sign up and get Internet fixed in my new place. It turned out that it wasn’t really a pleasant thing to do. The reasons, mostly have to do with how the ‘system’ here in Japan (which in my opinion pretty sh**ty). So let me just get this started. Last month, I registered for internet at a local computer store. The registration process itself actually is pretty straight forward. Fill this.. fill that. After the forms have been completed, the store person told me that I should receive a call from the internet provider that I apply to within two weeks. Two weeks passed, nothing came. Pretty upset at that time, so I decided to forget it and sign up with another provider via the Internet. Thankfully, this other provider quickly called me and set everything for me. Unfortunately, I have to wait for about two weeks before they can schedule the installation at my apartment. A couple of days later, a call from the network provider (not the internet provider) came and they asked me if I have asked my apartment owner permission to set up for Internet. Well, I did asked the person that is in charged of the apartment about setting up an internet and I promise that I won’t scratch the building in anyway. Read the rest of this entry »

Read here about MS loses votes on fast-track. Well, that’s a bit unfortunate for Microsoft. But, all is not lost and Microsoft still have chances to regain on positive votes and suppress the negative ones. Aside of the OOXML standardization itself and the voting. I actually have more concerns about the comments that is posted on that site by the members. It’s becoming like a trend right now to think of MS=Money. Guess what, every sane company in the world is like that. The goal of a company is to make money. It’s obvious, it’s natural, it’s unavoidable. But, when that fact covers aside the good points… that is something that I just can ignore. Microsoft tries to standardized the Office file format. Isn’t that good? IMO that is terrific! Something that I always wanted. An open, extensible, powerful standard that can be used anywhere regarding of the application. And then someone points out that Microsoft just wants to sell MS Office. Of course! Selling their own product is something that is undeniable for every company. But that’s not the point.  Microsoft realizes something that is very important. During the last years when EU forces Microsoft to open up their specifications and documentations for office documents, Microsoft realizes the need for transparency. And that’s one of the goal that Microsoft is trying to achieve in my opinion. If data transparencies can be achieved then no one will complain about the application (data manipulators) right? So, Microsoft push the standard so that it can achieve this point. This is the thing that I like about the now-Microsoft, is that eventhough they knew that because of the standard their market is vulnerable to competitors, they believe that they will make the best tools to support the standard. That’s a fair competition in my opinion. Compared to Adobe’s PDF standard, Microsoft’s OOXML and XPS standardization process is far more open and transparent I think.

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Database and SQL

August 9, 2007

web developments and databases… they are inseperable. Database and SQL they’re too inseperable. Been quite a long time since the last I’ve been dealing with these three creeps. I never taken database and SQL seriously before, but now after a stumbling databases difficulty and weird T-SQL syntaxes I think I finally understood the level of difficulty. For one, database is NOT (or have limited capability) extendable. Every tables have to be designed and implemented perfectly the first time. You can’t refactor Database easily, and doing that will break most of your application code (thanks to interfacing with direct SQL Strings). This problem can be circumvented to some degree by using Stored Procedures to interface with the application, and by building DAL layers on your application the effect can be minimized. The next thing that I just found out, is the use of subquerry (correlated query) in T-SQL. Pretty cool feature in my opinion. Still have a lot of work to do (or more precisely, getting used to) with this SQL and Databases stuff.

Web Development again…

August 9, 2007

… is like programming where all the methods have parameters and return values of typed Object. And not even a typical object like .Net and Java which have some default methods for the Object class that are somewhat useful. Web development is like programming with methods with parameters and return types of type Object but with only a single method ‘ToString()’. And even that’s not entirely accurate, coz I can still check for null references on objects.  It’s somewhat helpful that XML and DTD comes into play, coz now in ASP.Net the tags have a common form and rules that applies to the DTDs and Intellisense gave me usefull hints. So, is web developments are really that dependant on tools? Something that I have to consider for web development projects…

Geez,.. after I moved to this new company (I’ll talk about that later), I found out that the first week I’ve been here is completely for nothing. Yup, no work, no project, no nothing. Well, not that I’m complaining or what and actually I’m scheduled on a project for a client later at the end of this week. But for me, I could die waiting. That’s me… well anyway… I decided to toy around with Visual Studio 2005 Express Edition for Web Development today. And I just realized (reminded, again) as why I don’t really like web development. It’s all about the thightness of the language. Because HTML (and virtually any web development methods) were mostly contain markups (even with ASP.Net), I got a bit lost now and then. And the debugging tools doesn’t really give you that much of power like when you are doing an application. I found some troubles passing data between pages. And when I finally ‘found’ a way, I was forced to select from 3 distinct flavors of ‘server transferring’, ‘client redirections’, and ‘sessions’. AND, I’m not really sure which one is best. Seems like I have to consult back with Mr. Dino Esposito’s book again. Yes, I have to admit that ASP.NET makes it very easy to do anything. I like the way it works just by combining components and components together. I think I didn’t even have to type a code if I didn’t need more forms. But still the looseness feeling of web development is still bugging me. I guess just have to live and get used with it.