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Messages - Bitwise [ switch to compact view ]

Pages: [1]
Developer's Corner / Re: IDE for Ruby on Rails
« on: May 20, 2006, 06:30 AM »
We are currently adding rails support to the Steel IDE for programming Ruby in Visual Studio. If anyone has feature requests, now's the time to let us know! :)

Developer's Corner / Re: The Hunt for the Best CMS
« on: May 18, 2006, 04:45 AM »
I'd recommend Spip. This is widely used in France but little known elsewhere. For example, the sites of Le Monde, the French Government and the French Post Offic are all Spip-based. It is superb for hierarchical sites (e.g. a magazine divided into sections), is fast and very highly configurable. I have tested out all kinds of CMSes and Blogs (for a blog, by the way, I recommend Pivot - much nicer than WordPress). I nearly decided to use Joomla but when I discovered Spip, I knew that was the one! I've just put my first Spip site online at and shall be adding a Spip sub-site to soon.

You can download Spip from . It has excellent documentation in English (and many other languages).

best wishes

Developer's Corner / Re: Python vs. Ruby -- what's your take?
« on: April 29, 2006, 02:04 PM »
Ruby is one of the two most interesting of the 'emerging' languages at the moment (the other one being D). Its OOP is pretty straightforward and apart from a few exceptions to the rule (e.g. Blocks/Closures aren't objects), it is a very 'pure' form of OOP. Which in my view is good. I mean, I'm happy with OOP, I'm happy with procedural - not so keen on the 'mix-and-match' approach...  8)

Bear in mind though that the Rails integration with Apache is awkward - and is one of the reasons why very few web hosts currently support Rails.

best wishes

Good work getting that software!  :) I wish I'd thought of it first  :( . As mouser knows, I'm going to be reviewing screencasting software in Bitwise soon, starting with the new release of Camtasia 3 this week (btw, later on, I may give some backward links to the screencasting reviews here which I must say are extremely professional) so I won't give my final verdict on BBFlashback just yet. However, what I will say is that the company responsible (Blueberry Software) has been very fast to respond to my enquiries and very helpful too. I'm glad to know that they are supporting DonationCoder. My main criticism of BBFlashback is that the current release doesn't support multiple monitors. To be honest, that's not a huge problem as you're only going to be recording from one monitor at a time. Even so, it would be nice to get this fixed in a future release. There are some things (such as the ability to re-record and edit mouse pointer movements and effects) which surpass the features even of Camtasia. At 50% off, it's definitely a bargain.

all the best

Living Room / Re: Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....
« on: June 05, 2005, 04:55 PM »
i have heard the same thing as you regarding vbulletin from people in a position to know; so if you have the money and are ok with the support license, it may be the way to go.
Um, not yet....  :-[

Is there any standard for data exchange? I mean, if I start using one lot of software and later want to change to another, is it possible (or anyway simple?) to import the existing database into the new board?

all the best

Living Room / Re: Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....
« on: June 05, 2005, 03:47 PM »

Well, it's been a hectic few days and I've been a bit caught out by the success of the thing! Which is why I'd appreciate your advice.

I had vaguely thought that I might add a forum to Bitwise if we ever had enough visitors to make it worthwhile (i.e. many months, I had assumed, after launching the site). Well, in the first four days we've had more than 3,000 visits (which is about 2,950 more than I'd been expecting or hoping for  :) ), which is abviously great news, of course, in one way - but, a lot of people have been asking for some means of leaving feedback. At the moment, they're all emailing me. For now I'm going to be assembling a good old fashioned letters page for next month. However, I'm starting to think that I may need to move forward my plans to add a board of some sort....

OK, so I have two basic questions (sorry to pester you rather than post the question to visitors to my own site, but, erm, well, like I was saying, I haven't got any forums to post the question in  :-[ )

1) Which software? I've run a small board before (not on computers) using phpBB and I also modrate another (nope, that's not about computers either) which also uses phpBB. Apart from the pain of updaing the software fairly frequently, I'm pretty happy with this. I notice DonationCoder uses different board software though, and I've heard claims that the commercial system, vBulletin, is the bees' knees. Now, other than personal preference, is there really any significant reason why I should choose anything other than phpBB (which has the benefit of familiarity)?

2) There are already loads of technical/programming/computer boards going. I don't see any point in copying them. I would prefer to have a small number of well targeted forums (as you have here) rather than a huge list of forums for C#, C++, Java, Delphi, VB, Perl, Python etc. etc.  I wondered if anyone had any ideas about suitable forum topics which are relevant to the general areas covered by Bitwise but don't just duplicate all the forum subjects that are already found on so many other boards....?

Although I'd like to get a board online soonish (as people keep pestering me!) I want to make sure I get it as close as I can to being 'right' at the design stage, so any help and advice would be much appreciated.

best wishes

Living Room / Re: Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....
« on: May 31, 2005, 01:54 PM »
I thought you might like to know that Bitwise has now gone live at . I hope you enjoy it!

best wishes

Developer's Corner / Re: where to start learning
« on: May 21, 2005, 01:39 PM »
C++ ....aaarrrgggghhhhh.....!

This is one language I've never grown to love. I get the feeling that Stroustrup just doesn't know when to stop. It's like he keeps wanting to add more and more and more stuff into it. Far, far too much syntax for my liking. C# I'm happy with; Java I'm happy with (though I'm not wild on the class libraries); Object Pascal (Delphi or Chrome) I'm happy with; even VB .NET (though not VB 6 and earlier) I could live in peace with. But I must say that "happy" is not word that springs readily to mind when I have to code in C++   :(

all the best

Living Room / Re: which hierarchical note program?
« on: May 20, 2005, 06:42 AM »
okay, i'll keep checking the Bitwise magazine for any updates but could you please post back here when you feel Mentalika is ready for a more general audience - i'm sure i won't be the only person that would like to know.
Okeydokey. As you might imagine I'm a bit snowed under with other matters just at the moment. But I'll get my mind tuned into other things again some time after June the 1st....  :)

Living Room / Re: which hierarchical note program?
« on: May 20, 2005, 05:42 AM »
okay, i'm intrigued. is mentalika available to non-mentalists?  :huh:
Not yet. I'm currently working on an updated version which I shall probably make more generally available. As I said, I'm thinking of writing some articles for Bitwise explaining how to program some features (e.g. how to attach rich text notes to the nodes of a tree view and save and restore these to and from disk). The entire program is far too complicated to explain in a few articles but selected features such as the above would probably be of interest to people.

I'm also thinking of doing a .NET version of Mentalika (the present one is Win32) and may recode some things in C#.

all the best

Living Room / Re: which hierarchical note program?
« on: May 19, 2005, 03:58 PM »
a special note taking program just for mentalists - that sounds truly bizarre, Bitwise.
Um, yes, I suppose it does....  :-[

The truth is, I'd long wanted a program that had categories attached to each tree node and note. This was something that was introduced by a DOS program called Grandview (the successor to PC Outline) yonks ago but nothing much was ever made of it. In years of coding for PC Plus articles (this project happens to be written in Delphi) I'd developed a fairly decent little word processor, a modest tree-view outliner and a whole bunch of other bits and pieces which I decided to integrate to form Mentalika. As I said, mentalism is a hobby of mine (no, I don't claim to be as good as Derren Brown but then I doubt if his Delphi programming is up to much either ;) ) and a number of professional mentalists started talking about the merits of various note-taking software. I told them about mine; they liked it and so Mentalika was born. It's fine for other types of note organisation too just as long as you don't use mentalist databases....

all the best

Living Room / Re: which hierarchical note program?
« on: May 18, 2005, 04:03 PM »
I've written just such a program. It's called Mentalika and (to date) I have only distributed to a small number of people as it was originally intended to be a note-taker and learning tool for mentalists (this is getting complicated, but in brief a 'mentalist' is a 'psychological entertainer' like Derren Brown and this happens to be a hobby of mine). I may think of releasing a version of the program more widely though. It has a tree structure for note headers with a separate note-taking editor (with full formatting) plus a popup word processor. You can move and copy tree nodes, and (naturally) save and restore the tree and associated notes to and from disk (something which can be tricky if you've never done it before!) Each note can be assigned a category and the notes can then be sorted according to categories and viewed in a tabular structure instead of on the tree. You can flip between the tree and the table instantly and carry on editing the selected note.

If anyone thinks this sounds of interest, let me know, and I may think of writing some articles on how to do it....  :)

all the best

Living Room / Re: Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....
« on: May 17, 2005, 04:52 AM »
Dang, and I was sooo looking forward to the article, "This Summer's Hottest Mousepads!
Hmmm.... now you mention it, maybe I was too hasty to reject that idea!

I can see that a 'silly season summer special' may be coming your way, folks!  :)

all the best

p.s. Anyone have any suggestions for mousemats to review....?

Living Room / Re: Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....
« on: May 16, 2005, 05:46 AM »
Incidentally, we now have our own theme tune! Download and enjoy.....  ;)

Living Room / Re: Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....
« on: May 15, 2005, 10:25 AM »
btw, I should says it's not all programming. There are also features and reviews of other more or less technical type things such as maths, science and astronomy software, video editing, dvd burning - and even a few other odd subjects that are out on the fringes such as (in issue 1) learning a language (spoken) using the internet...

all the best

Living Room / Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....
« on: May 15, 2005, 08:52 AM »
First, I promise I'm not spamming the board ( honest  :-[ ).

Your beloved admin, mouser, dropped me a line earlier and asked me to come over and tell you a bit about the free online magazine I'm launching - so here I am! I've only just discovered DonationCoder and I'm mightily impressed. A very nice site - makes a change from some fairly dull programming sites whose names I shall not mention....  ;)

OK, anyway, you want to know about Bitwise, so here goes. A bit of background first. I've been writing programming columns for magazines such as PC Plus, PC Pro and Computer Shopper (in the UK) for more years than I care to remember. I've written tutorials to all kinds of languages ranging from Lisp and Smalltalk to C++ and Java. For the last 10 years I was the Delphi columnist for PC Plus; and for the last 3 I also wrote the C# column. But.....

ah, but.... the big problem with writing for print magazines is that most of the editorial staff don't understand programming and none of the publishers do. I've been trying for years to persuade magazine publishers to publish a really technical magazine - one that talked to programmers and other technically literate computer users but didn't have "50 Reviews of inkjet printers; 10 mouse mats rated and reviewed" and all that other guff. I went to meeting after meeting and lots of people said "yeah, good idea" - and then did nothing about it.

In the end, I deicided that if this was going to happen I'd have to do it myself. I can't afford to print a magazine so that meant I'd have to publish it on the Internet. However, I decided that I would publish it just like a 'real' magazine - with regular features and columns and regular monthly 'issues'. That's what Bitwise is - or will be when the first issue goes online on June the 1st.

To give you a bit of an idea of what to expect. Here are a few of the things you'll find in issue 1 (hey! This is a world exclusive. I haven't told anyone this before  :) ). There is a C# tutorial on serializaton; a VB tutorial on programming the comms port; a Delphi tutorial on writing a screen-grab utility; a beginner's tutorial to Smalltalk; special features on DVD compression and burning tools; an exclusive interview with the chief architect of Chrome (Object Pascal for Visual Studio and Mono), plus various book and software reviews, opinion columns, features and interviews. So I'm hoping you may at least find one or two things of interest.

You can find a bit of brief background info at

In the meantime I also have a regular column (not so technical) online at plus a blog, which has some info on Bitwise (plus a picture of a man's bottom dressed up as Elvis Presley  :o ) at:

all the best
Editor: Bitwise Magazine

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