$1 Australian Economy

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Feb 192014

Even at $1… no-one yet wants Australian Citizenship!!!! and I wonder why that is?

2014/04/14 200 000 jobs


2014/03/05 200 jobs

2014/03/05 100 more jobs

2014/02/25 5000 jobs

2014/02/19 800 jobs

2014/02/19 540 jobs

2014/02/18 1000 jobs

2014/02/10 30,000 jobs

2014/01/31 600 jobs


2014/01/23 200 jobs


2014/01/17 250,000 jobs gone since start of GFC




Just a new RapidFMS preview

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Feb 172014

Here is a new screen shot of RapidFMS showing the Calendar, the File Format editing form that lets you create new file formats, the Sign on Glass form as well as the new Script Editor form which allows things such as workflow to be scripted visually.



Choosing your Web Technologies

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Feb 052014

RapidOS is a relatively new web technology based framework / platform for developing advanced desktop like web apps quickly.

We had quite a lot of requirements, but among the highest priority were:

1 – must be developed in a commonly used well established programming language.
2 – have maximum hosting options available including on mobile devices themselves.
3 – have few application architecture restrictions.
4 – have a low learning curve for current and future developers.
5 – must be relatively quick and easy to implement user requirements.

When we sat down to create RapidOS, we first looked at available programming languages as well as experimenting with many of their existing frameworks.  We soon realised that although some of the frameworks were promising, they generally were not well suited to our requirements.

We had a good idea what the most commonly used technologies were, and a quick investigation of hundreds of popular websites / web apps proved what we already knew. w3techs.com is one of the leading web technology usage stats publishing websites – their stats also reflect somewhat our findings. Let’s look at the top 3 most popular techs in each of the categories below (stats taken from w3techs.com):

Server-side Languages: PHP 81.7%, ASP.NET 18%, Java 2.7%

Interesting these stats. Although we knew these were the top 3 platforms, we never reaslised how little used Java was as a server-side language. Java isn’t a bad choice, nor is ASP.NET, but of these only PHP satisfied our number 2 priority. In fact we have done POCs using ASP.NET and Java also should we require to develop a server in these techs one day, but at this time not a priority.  We like the idea of JavaScript on the server but it isn’t even a blip in the stats nor does it satisfy our number 2 priority – over time this may change. We chose to code our current server in 100% PHP.

Client-side Languages: JavaScript 88.1%, Flash 15.3%, Silverlight 0.2%

We don’t mind what can be achieved with Flash, but it was never a consideration. Neither was Silverlight. In fact, we considered JavaScript, Java and PHP only for this – but if we chose PHP, our client wouldn’t be ‘as rich’.

A RapidOS App has a client component and a server component – both could be hosted in a browser but both could be hosted on a PC or Server. In the end we chose to use both JavaScript and PHP for the client (98% JavaScript, 1% PHP and 1% Java).

JavaScript Libraries: JQuery 57.5%, Mootools 4.9%, Modernizr 4.6%

As we had chosen JavaScript as our client-side language, we looked at whether we wanted to use any util libraries. We liked the way the JQuery selectors worked and the way it hid some of the browser idiosyncrasies and the fact that there is a vast array of plugins and 3rd party components that also use JQuery, so we chose to use JQuery. In fact we use a few other less common libraries too which are simple to redevelop should we ever need.

Markup Languages: XHTML 50.5%, HTML 50.2%

We use XHTML for most part, because the World is moving that way, but that doesn’t really matter so much for now. Our templates are 100% XHTML/HTML with zero logic or embedded funny extensions.

Site Elements: CSS 90%, Compression 54.2%, Cookies 46.5%

Cool, interesting to know that chances are, whatever we do in CSS (sans HTML5 extensions) are usable by most of the World.

Web Servers: Apache 62.7%, Nginx 18%, Microsoft IIS 14.4%

Related to our language choices, we mostly host on Apache, but our client and server also works on Microsoft IIS. That gives us at least 77.1% target hosting compatibility based on those stats.

Content Languages: English 55.5%, Russian 6.1%, German 6%

We only speak English, but our software is easy to cater for multiple languages.  We have made specific effort to ensure that the core foundation of our software is Asian language capable due to one of our requirements.


Trusted Websites

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Jan 082014

It’s an all too common occurrence that you read in the news these days – this or that website got hacked and thousands of bits of private information has been made available to the public from addresses to credit card information. More often than not the website didn’t actually get hacked but rather the website was insecure and the owners of the website had made the data available to the public either through a mistake, ignorance, irresponsibility or negligence.

Mistakes can happen, we are all human and it’s in our nature.  Sometimes data can be made insecure through process error.  That’s unfortunate and such errors should be investigated as to what the root cause was. If it can be found, analysed and ideally the same or similar reasons for the insecure website won’t happen again.  I put things such as wrongly applied web application permissions or even network administrator errors (making the host server insecure) in this category.

Ignorance is probably the next greatest cause of insecure website.  That is… ignorance of the businesses for which the website was created for.  Whether the website was developed in-house, purchased or outsourced, the business must take the responsibility to ensure the website is secure or at least do anything in their reasonable power to ensure that it is.  Developers make mistakes, operations make mistakes.  Some developers don’t actually care or even know how to develop websites in a responsible and secure way but… even if they do, it is always a good and responsible thing to do a security review.  Security reviews should also be regular to ensure that bug fixes, updates, system patches or even configuration changes haven’t made what was a secure website insecure.  I would strongly recommend that any website that hosts important private information be reviewed either by an in-house security analyst or outsource the review to a 3rd party who offers such services – they should be able to examine your system and give you a report on common security flaws and whether they exist or not in your website.

Because we are all human, errors are inevitable no matter what processes or good practices are put in place.  The occurrence of such security breaches however should be much much lower than they presently are.  The worst thing though is that it’s also more common than it should be for companies to hide or ignore breaches if they are discovered and even in some cases make outright negligent decisions to try hide the issues.

Related articles:

Snap Chat big lol 


the Australian Government’s Public Transport Victoria cannot get some basic things right 


Dodo won’t exist any more if that happens too often 


Australia Post Can’t Get it right, and someone wants to buy them?



Companies that rip you off for years

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Dec 312013

An interesting article in the Sydney Morning Herald today “Putting a price on your bill-paying laziness” which we totally agree on in relation to companies that rip off their customers for years, that is why we reward our customers for loyalty in many cases giving them discounts for repeat or ongoing business.  Giving only new customers a reward and neglecting the ones that helped grow your business is just plain wrong!


Inefficiencies and Off Shoring

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Nov 162013

Was thinking about how some projects seem to be run where the developers think they are being paid per line of code, e.g. $1 per line – 100 lines = $100. At least some of the off-shored projects that we’ve had re-develop for our clients must have been taught this at school – 10,000+ lines of code for a form that should have been a tenth that? 😀

I wonder if in a typical project, a form could be gauged to be 1000 lines on average for a good developer, you’d end up with better code by the off shored service providers if you paid them for the lines less than the average that the developers didn’t code ‘below’ the average? You could have $1 per line as a starting value for a good developer and potentially double it for a master… Any lines of code outside the average, maybe they didn’t deserve to be paid.

Ideally such a metric isn’t perfect and would require some more thought… Time factors could also be added in a similar way in paying people for their efficiency rather than their deficiency. Could be a fun way to encourage projects to be more efficient.


laughable comment by DevExpress – supposed #1 Visual Studio Magazine Readers Choice Best Component Suite Manufacturer

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Oct 212013

I just read this laughable comment by supposed #1 Visual Studio Magazine Readers Choice Best Component Suite Manufacturer… “In web MDI applications are rarely used because they reduce the website performance much and do not provide a good look and feel” – www.devexpress.com/Support/Center/Question/Details/S137676 – I guess if your product doesn’t do it, then… pretend it’s not possible 😀

Leading the pack with a modern Web App Framework, Web Renovators can provide best fit re-implementations of your legacy Client Server Apps to the Web, including MDI VB6 Apps – www.youtube.com/webrenovators

Web Renovators MDI Apps are FASTER than your standard Web App and they look fantastic too!


Bringing RapidOS Products to your devices…

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Oct 032013

Just noting the devices that RapidOS is compatible with:

Windows PC (Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8) (works flawlessly)
Mac with OSX (Leopard, Snow Leopard and Lion) (works flawlessly)
iPad, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPhone 3G, iPhone 4 (works flawlessly)
Various Android based phones 2.2 and later (works flawlessly)
Various Android based Media players (works flawlessly)
Google TV (works flawlessly)
Nintendo Wii (works suprisingly well if not a little slow – likely due to lack of RAM)
Blackberry Bold (the browser sucks, it works but not really nicely)


before you lock yourself in with Microsoft MVC or WebForms

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Sep 272013

For Software development, currently one of the ‘in things’ is the MVC coding pattern (along with it’s related counterparts MVP and other variations). Event Driven patterns are also quite popular and there are just as many good Event Driven frameworks on the net as there are MVC to satisfy every architects needs.

These days everyone including us are pushing their own development frameworks or coding standards. Microsoft is one of the dominant vendors in this area and they produce some very good development environments (Visual Studio and their Express counterparts). They also preach their MVC and WebForms (event driven) frameworks and these are quite popular if you check your local Job ads. They achieve what they were created to do and are constantly improving with each version – however there is a serious downside to how they are architected.

Microsoft’s MVC and WebForms frameworks have their front end (which runs in a browser) so tightly coupled with their back end (which typically runs on a server) they are difficult if not impossible to separate. For a business that develops in-house software only or wants to call themselve’s ‘a Microsoft House’ – some of the time it may not matter, however, time and time again, I’ve walked into a business and they have pondered how to adapt their .Net MVC and WebForm applications to work on non-Windows servers. Now, if they were to sit back and evaluate every available framework before they started their project, or perhaps just made some careful architectural decisions it may not have been an issue – and to be fair no-one can predict or cater for every future requirement or product direction.

Something to think about when choosing the right framework for your projects that you may not have already. How easy is it to replace the front end without the back end and vice versa? Can multiple backend’s be supported concurrently? Do you only want to install/host your software on a Windows server? What about Linux, OSX or Android? Android? Why would you want to host your web app on Android? With the right choice of technologies your web app will run hosted on android with no additional development, this will give your application the ability to work out of range of the internet – of course you could spend additional effort and develop a custom android solution, but then your customers are going to complain about lack of functionality… or you are going to add another 33% or more to your budget assuming you can share the same back end for two different clients?

As previously mentioned Microsoft produce some very good development environments and I regularly use Visual Studio by choice, actually it rocks! However using Visual Studio and C# (or VB.Net) doesn’t negate structuring your product in a way that gives you the flexibility you need/should have or the performance your customer’s expect. Structure your product right and you won’t have tied your entire application (front and back ends) to Microsoft for the foreseeable future.

tip: jQuery is a very good semi-low level library that I like to use in most projects and even Visual Studio itself uses to richen your product’s GUI experience. Interestingly, jQuery provides out of the box, much of the functionality you require to create in a very short time (less than a day) your very own nice, structured, flexible and maintainable Event Driven form pattern with loose coupling between the front and backends. You can of course with a little more time create a losely coupled MVC if that’s your preference.