Software and Web Development

As stated elsewhere, I am a programmer and I use mainly C# for both Windows and web apps. The IDE I use (and, in fact, use to work on this site) is Microsoft Visual Studio 2008. Additionally, I have programmed in C++, VB.NET, Visual BASIC, QBASIC, GWBASIC (my first language—English is my second), Javascript/JScript/ECMAScript, VBScript, PHP, the Unreal Engine's UnrealScript (starting with the original Unreal Tournament on up to the UDK), Flash's ActionScript, Lua, Python (in an attempt to modify one of the Battlefield games and also Paint Shop Pro 8 scripts), Ruby (oh how I hate that language), Lightwave 3D's LScript (one of the most poorly-documented languages ever), Direct3D HLSL, Bash, and possibly others that I cannot recall at this time.

And then there are things you could arguably consider programming languages such as SQL, T-SQL, (X)HTML, CSS, and regular expressions. However, I would not really consider them programming languages, thus they are in the second paragraph here.

As if all that mess wasn't thrilling enough, I also have created a couple of near-useless specialty programs that I have considered putting up for sale here, but I doubt anyone would purchase them. They really won't if I don't put them up for sale.

Note: I may be making these available soon. Stay tuned...

Even Noter: Or not. I'm too lazy and nobody would pay money for them anyhow.

Know-Nothing Web Developers

I'm serious. There are people out there who claim to be professional web site developers who seem to know squat (that's nothing) about HTML much less XHTML and proceed to make up whatever elements they feel like putting into the markup. I don't know why they think they're doing something when the undefined element "MAKEBIGGER" has no effect. Ugh.

I can't recall a single web site I have ever had the privilege of working on or moving that has ever been completely valid. A lot of them, too, were created by persons claiming web development as a profession. Granted, there are some who try. They at least put a doctype. However, that does not save you. If you specify a document type definition, you should also adhere to it!

For less offensive and more patient help when it comes to web development, please read the World Wide Web Consortium's web site. They make all this slag up. Also do a lot of reading at A List Apart.

I get really uptight about this subject because it's really not all that hard to make valid web sites, but nobody seems to want to try. They're almost all stuck in 1996's HTML primordial soup days and won't join the 21st century.

Oh My Gosh You've Got to Be Kidding Me

PDShop.NET. If you want to remain sane, do not purchase this software.

PDShop.NET is an e-commerce web application designed for the sole purpose of ticking me off. The original PDShop is actually ASP, but I tried the allegedly ASP.NET version. One look at any of the code in it will make you realize it was created by ASP coders, and you will cover your head and maybe even cry.

The assembly itself contains one class whose members are every method and property used by the program. This includes everything from data source readers to UI generation. In one class.

The program uses a few template files that can be modified to alter the appearance of the interface. It does not even attempt to use ASP.NET user controls. It's just a plain HTML file containing ##TOKENS## that are replaced on page render with the appropriate data or other templates.

The templates with which it is packaged are hideously written with table after nested table. Some of it does appear to be valid HTML transitional though. At least most attribute values have quotes around them. However, every piece of markup generated by the program (which, of course, cannot be altered) is invalid by any specification. It also writes a completely useless comment before the doctype definition, rendering the doctype ineffective. Speaking of completely useless, it also slaps an empty, invalid table in the middle of your main page template for no apparent reason. I've not found any way to make it put something in there. It is honestly there to make me rant about it on and on. Fortunately, at least some of the generated markup appears to be removable with a call to Substring to trim it off the ends. It takes a lot of work to make it even remotely valid, and I still have not successfully made a page completely valid, though there is the possibility.

So if you were looking to purchase this program to make it easy to sell stuff on your site and care the slightest bit about good design practices or valid markup, look elsewhere. This ain't the one unless you're prepared to spend a ton of time hacking it to be valid (now there's an oxymoron). It barely even qualifies as ASP.NET.

Also, VB.NET

I believe the "VB" in "VB.NET" (or even just "VB") actually stands for verbose. Try using the language and you'll know what I mean. Some may argue that it's a good thing, but I argue that it's bad. I get fatigued writing VB.