The odd bit

Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is an enemy action.

The odd bit - Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is an enemy action.

Milk Inc: Forever

It started with Milk Inc Supersized in the Sportpaleis in Antwerp to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the most popular Belgian dance group. It was supposed to be a one-time event, but it was such a success that they decided to do 3 concerts the year after. And because they came back, I also headed to Antwerp for Milk Inc Supersized 2.

That was nearly a year ago and back then they already announced Milk Inc Supersized 3 for this year. The event has been renamed to Milk Inc Forever because that’s also the name of their latest album. I’m going this Saturday to what will be the second concert from a total of six. I’m sure it will be one hell of a party :)

PS: And the damn commercials on the radio seem to make it an even longer wait…

Interesting browser stats

I just checked the browser stats for this blog and there are some interesting facts to gather from the data. Just so you know, the data is based on the past month (Aug 23 – Sep 22).

The first one is not really a surprise to me because this blog has a higher chance of attracting a more technical crowd that the average site. The number one spot is clinched by Firefox with 52.18%. Second place then of course goes to Internet Explorer with 33.88%. If I take the same browsers combined with the operating system, I end up with the following list:

  1. Firefox / Windows: 39.74%
  2. IE / Windows: 33.88%
  3. Firefox / Linux: 9.71%

Conclusion: Firefox is the leading browser on this blog on all major operating systems (Mac is further down the list with 2.74%) and thus also overall.

But what really surprised me was the browser that clinched the number 3 spot overall. My guess would’ve been Opera and while it did come close, it was just beaten by Google Chrome. I guess this shows what a strong brand name can do. I’m curious to see how Chrome’s percentage will evolve.

For the record: Safari came in fifth.

Farewell eZ Publish

It is with great sadness, and a bit of anger, that I’m writing this post but today is the day that we have officially lost the fight for a future with eZ Publish.

It all started in 2002 with the 2.2 version of the package. We shifted to the 3.x series as soon as the very first alphas became available and continued to walk the enlightened path across all of the 3.x releases. The shift to PHP 5 and thus eZ Publish 4.0 also unleashed the power of the eZ Components and it only happened in early spring of this year.

We knew the day of doom would be coming despite our attempts to enlighten others. The only thing we managed to accomplish was to delay the decision by nearly two years. I would happely accept it if we were going to something superior, but the only reason why we have to switch is because “it is not .NET”. That’s just sad…

So I’ll take this opportunity to thank eZ Systems for their great product and let’s not forget the wonderful community. I’ll continue to monitor the project to see where it’s heading, but that will be about it.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the replacement for eZ Publish, our CMS future is now called Sitecore.

So long and thanks for the fish!

F1 Belgian GP: Petition against FIA decision

The Belgian F1 grand prix ended with a spectacle. Slight rain turned the race into a gliding party and a historic fight for 1st place started. Hamilton (McLaren) passed Räikkönnen (Ferrari) who later crashed into the wall and Hamilton won the race… until FIA came into action.

Just before overtaking Räikkönen in La Source, Hamilton had little choice but to cut the last corner of the Bus Stop chicane. By doing that he got in front of Räikkönnen so he let him pass again. The traction of the Ferrari on the wet surface was awful, but when they both passed the start/finish line, Hamilton was driving nearly 7 kph slower than Räikkönnen. Hamilton got behind him again and passed him in the next corner where the Ferrari was again very slow.

Two hours after the race, FIA stewards decided Hamilton had gained an advantage by cutting the corner and gave him a drive-through penalty. That’s a bit silly after a race so it was converted into a 25 second penalty, putting Hamilton third in the race’s rankings.

I have read the Formula One Sporting Regulations and the FIA International Sporting Code with special attention for the two rules quoted in the official press release, but those rules say nothing more than “you must use the track”. The so called “gaining an advantage” is never explained or declared and the rules are absolutely void of any regulations about what should be done to normalise the situation again.

The decision has once again fueled the discussion about FIA being biased in favour of Ferrari and several important people in the F1 have now said what a big part of the public has been thinking for years. In any case, such decisions are the exact opposite of what the sport needs. An online petition has been started to try to convince the FIA to revert the decision. Will it help? Probably not, but not trying won’t help at all.

Do you want to sign the petition? Just click here. I already did!

The quest for a PHP editor

I’ve had a hate-and-love relationship with a few editors over the past few years, but I’ve never found one that I truly love. Some look promising in the beginning but after some time I really get tired of their limitations.

I thought I had settled with Eclipse (with PDT) because it’s the best I’ve used, but the software update messes up so often it’s not funny anymore. That and those pesky “builders” that keep flagging stuff as errors in places where they’re absolutely useless. So with Eclipse rapidly losing credit I started a new search… without any results so far.

Perhaps my requirements are too steep, but Visual Studio [1] manages to combine them so I don’t think they’re too far-fetched. What I want in a PHP editor (or rather IDE):

  • Projects instead of loose files (think of: Visual Studio solutions or Eclipse projects).
  • Smart intellisense (not just autocomplete, it should be able to parse the project and recognize custom classes – Visual Studio is the reference here).
  • Handle whitespace properly (tabs to spaces, clear trailing whitespace per line, clear empty lines).
  • Formatting (with bonus points if I can configure my own set of rules).
  • A non-cluttered modern interface.

Extra bonus points are awarded to IDEs that can perform small “design-time” checks (e.g. unreachable code, non-returning branch, unused variables, …) and have a couple of refactoring functions/shortcuts (to name two: rename variable/method and implement interface).

So if there’s anyone who knows about a little gem for PHP development, please let me know. Oh, and don’t make me beg 😉

[1]: No, there’s nothing wrong with your eyes. Visual Studio is actually a Microsoft product that I like. It’s simply the best IDE in my very humble opinion.