Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Douglas Crockford's JavaScript Lectures

Douglas Crockford  is a JavaScript architect working for Yahoo and one of the founding developers of the JavaScript language.

This is a series of fascinating lectures which, I think, should be watched by every developer, especially ones who have interest in web frontend client-side development and JavaScript.
There are many online lectures and tutorials about JavaScript, which is perhaps becoming the world's most common programming language, but not every day you come across such good lectures, given by one of the developers of the language itself.

The first one is quite an amazing overview of the evolution of computers and computer languages. As noted above, the fact that it's presented by a person who has taken part in the actual process, makes it rather special. Should be watched by every geek.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Bookmarklets FTW: Preview Your Blogspot Posts Like a Boss!

Bookmarklets FTW!
Bookmarklets are little (and sometimes not so little) script snippets which are stored as browser bookmarks, thus they can be invoked easily and quickly. They are tremendous help, especially for a lazy programmer like the one I always claim to be, always seeking shortcuts, scripts and automation. Let the computer do the work for you when possible, I say.
I keep a collection of my own home-made bookmarklets which I find handy, and I will share at least some of them here occasionally.
Bookmarklets work on all web browsers except on Internet Explorer, which means they work on all web browsers.
For Google Chrome there is even a option to convert bookmarklets into Chrome extensions!
Article Level:
You should have found this
out for youself!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Remote Debugging In the Comfort of Your Living Room

Be the domainless master of your own domain
Many times I need to test a project on different operating systems, preinstalled or not preinstalled with specific components (e.g. a 32 bit project built with Windows 7 x64, run on a Windows XP x64 or x86, without an installation of the .NET framework runtime environment) and see how it behaves.
And in many cases it would misbehave.

In such cases I'd like to inspect my errors in order to repair them. And in many cases this is no easy task. It's sometimes hard to trace the problems without a proper debugger.
It's possible, of course, to install  a complete development environment on my test machine, but that would be heavy, take disk space and memory, and in many cases would be quite an overkill.

Fortunately, Microsoft provides the platform and tools for remotely debugging your application.
Unfortunately, accessing a remote machine for debugging requires appropriate permissions, and the remote debugging tools are planned to work when both computers share a domain and can work with common domain users.

A common (and economic) trick for testing an application on multiple environments is by using a virtual machine. I can  run several virtual machines on my computer, each with a different setup and a different OS.
In order to achieve remote debugging, I'd theoretically need to set up a domain server, and start managing users among my virtual machines (or use a real network, such as the one in my workplace, in order to log in as a domain user, given sufficient privileges on the virtual machine).
However, there are tricks to work around this requirement. I'll demonstrate how to run remote debugging from my local machine (not attached to any domain) to a virtual machine (running on its own detached workgroup).
Click to see the wonder in action:
Snap! A crash inside the VM (Click for the screen capture)
Obviously an index was exceeding the bounds of some array. Absolutely valuable information, which will not always be available upon crash, especially if your project is big enough.
In any case, we need to know where this exception is thrown and why.

Article Level:
Not quite rocket science