Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Hello World,

Yes, I know it’s an old joke but the picture shown below reminded me of that jest. Take a look ..

How long does it take to make a mobile app?

Kinvey Backend as a Service

Pretty neat huh? So how does that measure up to your experience as a developer?

And as for the question, “How many Coders does it take to screw in a light bulb?” There have been many answers to that question but I like – “None, that’s a hardware problem”

Until next time (my review for the Tiggzi App Builder is coming up next) …

Keep On Codin’


“Taking Inventory”

Posted: January 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hello World,

CES 2013

Well CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas was a blast! As expected, we simply couldn’t do it all in a day … not even in three days but we certainly did our best. I spent the first third of my time exploring the CES floor, satisfying my “tech geek” hunger to see the newest technology. I then shifted into Application Developer mode for the remaining 2 thirds of my time at CES – viewing all the technology I encountered though the lens of an application developer. I was inspired by most, prompted to explore by many, and working to use and integrate a select few. I hope to provide more details in a future posting.

The MoDev Hackathon at CES was the biggest eye openers for me. My business partner and I entered the contest with a dynamite idea in hand. Although we didn’t expect to win the grand prize we had high hopes that we would win at least one prize. Sadly we didn’t win at all. It was a huge disappointment for us. We knew we had a winning app idea (still do). We knew we had a winning presentation. However after reviewing the video footage of our demo I objectively came to the only conclusion about why we lost: the app’s overall interface SUCKED! Truthfully speaking, I was ashamed of what I saw and that motivated me to analyze, evaluate, and take action. So what happened?

Simply put: I used the wrong tools, with my current skill set, for the right job. First let’s talk about my current skill set. I have been developing software applications for over 30 years. It started with Assembler on a Commodore 64 and now rests in various Web Technologies. Along the way I’ve spent years using languages and tools such as PowerBuilder, Coldfusion, Flash, Flex, HTML, CSS, and Javascript (and many Javascript-based libraries). Last year I discovered a mobile app development, testing, and deployment platform that makes creating HTML, CSS, and Javascript mobile apps very easy. My team and I were able to win prizes in 3 out of the 5 Hackathons using this platform. I got to the point where I believed appMobi was the perfect tool for all occasions. How WRONG I was! I forgot my own rule in application development (and in many areas of life): “Use the right tool for the right job”. If we had planned to build a standard mobile app using standard mobile interface widgets then appMobi (with jQuery, jQuery Mobile, etc) may have been the perfect tool to use. However what we planned to build was not a standard mobile app, it was more game-like in nature and that meant using tools that were more suitable to the task.

So to that end I am spending the next few months evaluating and learning the  languages, IDEs, platforms, and paradigms (my tools) I currently use to develop apps. In addition I will be evaluating other tools used in the development community. I find that the best way to do that is to create one or more small projects that tests the capabilities of each of the tools. In most cases I may need to combine two or more tools in order to complete my learning objective. At the end of each evaluation I will try to post a short tutorial that will explain what tools I used and how. First up …

Sencha Animator

Sencha Animator

I admit that my knowledge of advanced CSS3 topics (animation, fluid layouts, etc) is below average. Right after the Hackathon in Vegas I began looking at Visual IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) that will enable me to create highly visual, HTML/CSS/Javascript based apps by dragging and dropping elements. Sencha Animator is one such tool. So, for the next 7 days I will evaluate Sencha Animator by reading their documentation, watching their tutorials, and creating a working app. At the end of the 7 day period I will post my findings along with the resources I used, the source code, and maybe a screencast demonstrating my efforts.

I will be evaluating a different combination of tools each week and posting my finding. So keep an eye on this site. You never know when you might discover something that could help in your application development efforts. And if you do please share your comments and views. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

// CIAO –>


Posted: December 9, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Hello World,

I am back from my self-imposed sabbatical from the blogosphere. During that sabbatical I have spent (and continue to spend) a lot of time designing with, developing on, and exploring brave new technologies. During this time there have been major changes in my development career:

Windows to Mac

I have crossed over to the LIGHT. I am now a committed Apple user and developer. This happened as a result of my current project with my current client. I entered the project group as a Windows user and developer surrounded by Mac users and developers. One day my client surprised me by buying me my own MacBook Pro. Since then I never looked back.


My current client had no use for ColdFusion. The other developers on our team started using Erlang (and now Node.js) and so ColdFusion was dropped from my development toolkit. I now embrace PHP and Node.js.


I was called to join the team because of my Flash/Flex skills and game development experience. We explored and developed several prototypes using the Flex platform using external libraries such as Away3D but found them unable to scale to the type and size of our project efforts. Because our requirements include the need for cross-platform, mobile apps we are now working with Javascript-based platforms and libraries. I am now able to leverage my longtime web design and development skills to produce web and mobile applications across many platforms using technologies such as: Javascript (jQuery, jQuery Mobile, jqMobi, PhoneGap, Sprite3D, Knockout, and more), CSS3, and HTML 5.

So although I’ve been absent from my blog for over 3 years it’s been a very busy 3 years full of learning, growing, designing, developing, Hacking (I won prizes in 3 Hackathons – World Grand Prize in one), and teaching. And it’s only just begun!!

Stay tuned to this blog as I continue to bring you The World Wide Web According To …


Hello World,

My choice of browsers has always been Firefox. However as a web developer my clients expect me to deliver solutions that work in the current popular browsers – that includes Firefox and IE. Well, last night I decided to upgrade my “old” IE7 to the latest version – IE8. I did so not expecting what I found next.

Firebug has always been my developer tool of choice but it was only available for Firefox and not IE. Ok, I know what you’re thinking. Firebug Lite has been available for IE for sometime now. However I found that the differences between Firebug (the Firefox extension) and Firebug Lite (a Javascript add-in) are almost like night and day. In addition to that, in order to use Firebug Lite you need to insert a reference to a JavaScript file in your code. Now, with the release of IE8, I can finally see the light of day. IE8 includes a tool called Developer Tools. This is actually an improved and integrated version of the Developer’s Toolkit available as a IE add-on. All of the tools I have become accustomed to in Firebug are now available to me in IE8 – out of the box! Some of the Developer Tools include:

  • Debugging HTML and CSS
  • Debugging JavaScript
  • Profiling
  • Element Outlining
  • Controlling Cache and Cookies
  • Testing in Different Document Modes
  • Testing in Different Resolutions
  • and many more!

If you haven’t upgraded to IE8, visit this Microsoft site and take a look at some of it’s features. I think you’ll be impressed! In case you are not familiar with Firebug visit this site – you won’t be sorry.

“Let’s keep making this world a little better one app at a time”



If you live in the Washington, DC area or will be visiting the area this week I would suggest that you make plans to attend the next Capital Area Flex User Group meeting. We will be meeting at the AboutWeb offices on Wednesday September 3rd. I can give you three reasons why you should attend this meeting;

  1. Meet and network with fellow Flex developers
  2. Free pizza, free soda
  3. Listen to an engaging and informative presentation – given by yours truly

I will be doing a presentation on MATE, a tag-based architectural framework for Flex. You can get more information by view the My Presentations section or going to the CAFUG web site.

I hope to see you there



My second presentation, Tweens, Behaviors, View States, and Transitions, was a lot of fun. You can find and download the full source, docs, and lab exercises by going to my Presentations page;

Feel free to contact me should you have any questions or comments.




My first of four presentations, Consuming and Creating RSS Feeds, is now “in the can”. You can find and download the full source, docs, and lab exercises by going to my Presentations page;

Feel free to contact me should you have any questions or comments.