Archive for March, 2003

Personal Time vs. Company Time

Is it too much to ask to be able to value your personal time off from work (that is, any time that you are not working) ? I find more and more that people think it is ‘bad team spirit’ to complain about having to work 17 hours a day and not get a full day off the next day.

I mean, I don’t have a problem with working hard and making sure our work is done right. I also don’t have a problem with working extra hours a few times each month, which is currently far less than what I needed to endure in my ‘start-up’ days. However, why is it such a bad thing to value the time I spend with my family ?

As a side note, my current job and management are really good. Everyone in my team is a good person and fun to be around with. But what I’m really trying to get at is that I want to be able to complain about having to work 22 hours in two days without having to look like a bastard. :)

Anyone with similar stories ?

Productivity getting pretty bad

Lately I have been trying to finish the work in Eventum and release the first version. However, I can’t seem to concentrate with all of this war related talk going on. Is it just me ?

In other news, looks like the Window Maker project will be using Eventum as its bug tracking system. All we need now is for them to publicize it on their website and start using it! :)

Need for Marketing for PHP

Marco Tabini writes about the need of a greater marketing and business strategy in PHP to be able to compete with other technologies such as Java or .NET.

Now, my personal experience with this subject is pretty recent. I have been working for a biotech company where we develop an internal application in PHP that is used across the enterprise to manage the workflow of the research scientists and research projects. A part of this application is also used by partners that pay fees to have access to our propertory data.

This application evolved through the years, and as it is expected, the codebase got so complex and rigid that it became increasingly difficult to be flexible and implement customizations for specific installations of the application to partners. Last year the upper management of the company decided that we needed to move this whole codebase to an Oracle database (it used to be MySQL) and re-write the portions of the software that are released to partners in Java.

My point with this rant is that most of the times marketing regarding the PHP language itself, and the tools available to developers will not make any difference in the decision from a director or VP to go with Java or not. Corporations like the idea of having real corporate support and tools that have been proven as effective in the industry. My whole development team was a part of this decision to go with Java, and I can tell you that there were some good reasons to go with it.

Don’t get me wrong please, I continue to use PHP as the language of choice for most of my web application projects, such as Eventum, but there are some problems regarding the uses of PHP for commercial software. Most of them seem to be related to different behaviors of the same software in different platforms, such as the GD library having a slightly different font size for FreeBSD than for Linux (which might be related to the underlying font libraries) or the assorted bugs (#13936) that only happen in specific versions of PHP and the platform. All of these little things make the job of creating a portable codeset extremely difficult.

effbot.exe/effnews wish-list

I have been using the effnews application for a while now. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a simple tool that lets you browse your favorite weblogs quickly without having to install bundled libraries or confusing preferences.

While this tool is pretty much perfect for what I want from a RSS newsreader, it would be nice if the tool could get an upgrade in its algorythm used to check if the weblogs have new content or not. Several times I see the little asterisk by the side of the weblog title, but the contents didn’t change (i.e. no new posts). I’m not sure if it is a problem with the tool or just broken data in the actual RSS feed, but it would be nice if it could be improved.

Also, how in hell do I remove a subscribed weblog from effnews ? I can’t seem to find a way :)

Setting up a weblog is a lot of work

So changing all of the stock movable type stuff to make it just like you want is a lot of work. I believe I didn’t want to have a weblog that looked just like all other ‘Clean’ themed ones, so I tried to change stuff a little bit.

And obviously, it gets pretty boring after considering that your weblog will not get many visitors any time soon ;)

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »