Wednesday, April 29, 2009

jQuery - a cool, powerful grid!

One of the things I've always wanted the jQuery UI to have has been a grid control.
Alas, it is quite a way down the priority list.

Up until now, I've been using tablesorter, which has been very reliable and useful.
What it was missing was resizeable and moveable columns.

I have now found a jQuery grid control, slickgrid, that supports that plus much much more.

Some of its highlights are:
  • Resizable/reorderable columns

  • Custom cell formatting editing

  • Virtual scrolling. It can manage many thousands of rows of data, while only showing the rows needed

  • Very configurable and customisable

ps: Comments and/or links to this article are most welcome!

jQuery plugin - splitter

Another very handy jQuery plugin I am looking at at the moment is this splitter.

It supports vertical and horizontal splitters, fixed or fluid widths and heights, nested splitters etc.
It has very nice look about it!
Visit it and check it out.

ps: Comments and/or links to this article are most welcome!

jQuery plugin - Imagetool

I am currently working on a number of web apps that need to do a small amount of image processing, such as cropping, area-zooming etc.

While image processing normally evokes images of fat apps, such as those done with dotNOT, I mean dotNET, I am trying to do this in a browser-based app.

I already using jQuery, so I've been keeping an eye on jQuery plugins.

One of them is Imagetool, a simple plugin that provides basic cropping and scaling capabilities.
It supports panning and zooming.

ps: Comments and/or links to this article are most welcome!

Javascript differences between Firefox and IE

Impressive Webs has a very useful article on javascript differences between Firefox and IE.
They mostly relate to getting and setting DOM properties, using straight javascript.

I use jQuery, so most of those differences disappear regardless of the browser used.

Nonetheless, it is always good to be aware of such issues.

Well done guys!

ps: Comments and/or links to this article are most welcome!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Open Source Build Automation and Installer/Wizard Development Toolsets

Below is a list of handy utilities for developing application installers/wizards.

These tools combined can be used to build enterprise grade system configuration applications to automate those tedious deployment and configuration tasks.

Nullsoft Scriptable Install System:

Nullsoft Scriptable Install System (NSIS) is a script-driven Windows installation system with minimal. NSIS has risen to popularity as a widely used alternative to commercial and proprietary products like InstallShield.

Windows Installer XML - WiX:

The Windows Installer XML (WiX) is a toolset that builds Windows installation packages from XML source code. The toolset supports a command line environment that developers may integrate into their build processes to build MSI and MSM setup packages.

Build automation/scripting:

NAnt is a free and open source software tool for automating software build processes. It is similar to Apache Ant, but targeted at the .NET environment rather than Java.


An MSI Editor from Microsoft. SuperOrca may be used to examine and modify an MSI database.

Free Windows Installer Designers:

FastCopy - a neat (fast!) copy utility

FasCopy is a smart copy utility that copies files very quickly. It also supports file moves and deletes.
It is clever enough to detect whether the copy is from and to the same HDD and uses a different copy strategy accordingly.

As stated on its web site,

Diff HDDReading and writing are processed respectively in parallel by another thread.
Same HDDReading are processed until the big buffer fills. When the big buffer filled, writing are started and processed in bulk.

Please visit the home site for more info.

FileMenu utility - handy Windows Explorer extension

This handy utility will add a number of useful functions to the Windows Explorer window, as shown in the image below.

Some of the functions I like are:
  • Command line from here
  • Copy to ...
  • Move to ...
  • Copy Path (very handy!)
  • Change time
  • Run with arguments
  • and many more
Please visit the home site for more info.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The DSLR saga goes on!

... and just when it all looked like it was settling down (read: I'd stopped telling everyone about what my DSLR was going to be...again and again, see my blog entry), a new one pops up on my radar and I have to start all over again!

(drum roll please!)

Canon EOS500D

Here's a brief look at the vitals:
- 15MP (more than enough!)
- RAW format
- ISO 100-3200 with expansion to 12800.
- 3" LCD with 920k pixels! Yes!
(btw, when are we going to go metric with everything?! What's with this 'inches' thing????)
- 1080p video at 20fps (up to 4GB or 29m:59s)
- 720p video at 30fps (up to 4GB or 29m:59s)
(note that for either of the above, the camera cannot focus continually while recording. Hmm, does this make video recording on the 500D as useless as teats on a bull?)
- Expected price: US$799 for the body.

All I need now is a good lens to cover 28-450mm (in 35mm terms).
Still looking for that one.

For in-depth info on this camera, head over to DPReview or DCResource