In a book entitled Finite and Infinite Games in 1986, James P. Carse wrote
"Finite players play within the rules, infinite players play with the rules."
We play finite games every day, from checkers and chess to Yatzee and
Monopoly. Finite games have a familiar pattern: a beginning, a middle, and an
end; a winner and a loser.
A finite game is easy to play because it has a limited set of fixed
parameters. Carse also wrote "Finite players play to win, infinite players
play to keep playing." Custom software development is not a finite game, and
the clients who purchase it are not finite players. The objective of a
workflow application is not to win an office betting pool, or even to design
and complete a superior workflow application. The objective of a workflow
application is to continue to distribute an ever-changing flow of work. Yet
as custom software developers w... (more)
Using JDBC metadata, it is now possible to analyze databases and automate
database tasks with ColdFusion MX in ways that were problematic or at best
difficult in the past. Although Java can be rather intimidating, you don't
need to be a Java expert (or a database expert) to use these tools.
"Metadata" is all the information about how your data is stored (such as
table names, column names, data types and sizes) as opposed to the data
itself (such as names of people and meeting or appointment dates). All
databases must store this information to function and many databases expose
I must admit to having been excited at the prospect of the Pet Market
frameworks project when Simon proposed it to us at the Fusebox & Frameworks
Conference in September. I once tried to do something similar by creating a
small blog application using the three popular frameworks that I was aware of
at the time (Fusebox 3-4 and Mach-II) and the onTap framework.
Unfortunately I did all the work myself and didn't have a great venue like
the ColdFusion Developer's Journal to publish the results. In the end I think
my efforts at a useful comparison of frameworks fell short of what I'd ... (more)
I don't like browser-based WYSIWYG editors. There are a reasonably large
number of them and several of the recent versions are even
cross-browser-compatible with Mozilla and even some less popular browsers
(although Safari continues to be problematic).
The technical issues surrounding the implementation of WYSIWYG editors aren't
the reason I don't like them, in spite of continuing problems with their
interfaces such as lack of support for tab indexes. I don't like WYSIWYG
editors because users can't be trusted not to put lime green, blinking text
on a hot pink background. It's i... (more)
If you've ever worked on a licensed application you know how prepackaged
applications rarely meet enough of the client's needs to be implemented
without modification. Whether the application is intended for your own use or
someone else's, there's usually a feature or two missing, keeping the tools
from being exactly what you need. Most scripted applications can't even be
configured without manually editing an existing configuration file.
Although intolerable to desktop customers, this has become the de facto
standard with Web applications. So you trudge along, laboriously configur... (more)