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December 2010

QiSoftware Business Blog

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

the process of change...

Yesterday, it took me over an hour to change this to this . It is the accent graphic used to highlight titles on the QiSoftware main site.

I actually went through this process earlier this year when I updated the WiredPages accent graphic [see graphic or the right], so it should not have taken so long. The reason it did? I lost all of the files [not backed up]-- on my netbook when I had an operating system problem last fall. No, it was not hard to recreate a similar graphic [Microsoft Basic Shapes, Image Composer]-- but I had to rethink what I did. But that was really not, the time consuming effort. Color, size, 3D effects were the elements that took longest to adjust.

But what has me really concerned with where I place my focus insofar as site updates? That fact I seem to totally ignore the main site areas. And this is where-- most people, even if they do not start at will check, at some point. This weekend I made so many edit changes to the main area of QiSoftware and the catalog- I was surprised.

Why- have I allowed the site to remain that way for so long? I was not sure until I followed a link to a blogger's site who used to work as a writer for the FoodNetwork. While reading the bio-- I wondered about the claim of writer. No, I do not claim to be a writer. I have read a lot. But while I was thinking about this-- I decided that she probably made the same mistake I did. Her about page- and my main site areas are easy to find. Posts-- are not. We edit and reread posts. I also tend to put place markers where I am thinking about the correct wording when writing posts. I probably did the same thing with some of the promotional discussions I provided for QiSoftware Main areas-- which I meant to go back and rewrite or edit. I never did.

I have more work to do on the main areas of QiSoftware-- and one of my new year's resolutions-- [which I never make], will be to place more focus on and the catalog. WiredPages? Oh, I will continue to keep a lot of focus on the news service.

Blogger, how is the rest of your site?

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

US Composite Mortgage Rate Data

Added a new interface to the WiredPages Real Estate page. The interface provides a composite of the current mortgage rates, fees/points and margins. The interface is powered by Freddie Mac.

Here is how the information is presented on the page.

The data is based on averages for the United States and is updated weekly. The interface automatically pulls all current information.

Contact QiSoftware for your own custom mortgage rate interface. Freddie Mac also provides recent history information as related to mortgage rates and brief summaries of news related to the mortgage industry.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Added ARIN Search to QiSoftware Products Catalog

As part of the end of year "site updates"-- finally added the ARIN Search Interface to the QiSoftware Solutions Catalog-- here.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Revisiting Java Swing

I finally found a pretty good ActionScript Compiler-- something called HaXe-- sounds like Hex. This is the new software environment I have been researching-- that I have talked of recently in several Q's Wire posts.

In the late 90's and early century-- when I first turned my focus back to programming-- I was happy to start working with Java.

Initially, I did not have a private domain nor any type of server that supported JSP/Servlets/Beans-- so my initial focus with Java was mainly the Applet side- GUI. This actually the more complicated side-- however compared to x-windows and the c environment that I was used to-- this seemed like child's play.

The Java Applet was a natural for me in that I came from an x-windows, gui and c development background.

There are two types of Java Applets-- AWT and Swing. Swing is the later more robust offering from Sun [now Oracle]. That said, early on I focused on AWT mainly because I did not like the <object..> and <embed..> tags preferring the simpler <applet..> tag. Another big problem for me-- I was on dial up for a great many years and was always concerned with how large my program files were and how long they took to download. In my opinion-- code implementation in AWT is less complicated-- and therefore uses less.

That said, in 2001 or so when I developed the History Calendar-- I did not like the way the AWT calendar buttons looked in Mac browsers so I created a Swing version for that platform. I actually have worked with both applet types and still use the swing version online for WiredPages when visitors are using Mac browsers.

Over the years-- while researching for a new Java applet project, I have often said "I wish that was an AWT component". Last year I dabbled with the Java Media Framework [JMF], video record/playback functionality, and here again-- wanted to use many Swing only functions.

This morning while researching an email from a Java forum-- I noticed another Swing only supported function and asked myself-- "why am I not using Swing more?" I thought about my recent research with HaXe and said-- you know what-- I have to use the more complicated HTML embed/object tags with Flash too. I could have done some neat things with the JMF if I had used a Swing Applet, and I already know Java.

ActionScript is actually a front end for Java and I am still learning this scripting language. Why am I not just doing more with Java Swing applets? Plus I now have Verizon FiOS broadband [have finally moved into the new century in this regard] and can download larger files more quickly-- something I believe most have been doing for sometime now.

So I plan to start doing more with Java Swing Applets. These applications should be very rich-- and I am looking forward to doing some of the neat things I have been wishing I could do with AWT. I can't believe when I was working with JMF last year-- I did not see my mistake then and rethink sooner my avoidance of Java Swing Applets.

Who uses Java applets anyway? Youtube to name one- however it looks like a FlashPlayer. I know Java... why knock my head up against the wall trying to make ActionScript-- Java?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

CIA World Factbook

Yesterday, I was able to locate a resource to power the CIA World Factbook interface I wanted to provide on the WiredPages Government page.

After reviewing the data-- and noting the amount, I decided the Reference page was a better fit.

Screen shots of the type of information the interface provides:

Still beta testing, so let me know [] of any problems.

Some of my design and usefulness thoughts.

I like the ability to look things up quickly. I like a single source-- as opposed to a search engine that may give me more than I want to wade through. For instance, I use Fat Secret for nutrition data, FRED for Government economic data, etc. This new CIA World FactBook interface is meant to provide visitors a quick check tool. I do not like scroll bars-- they tend to do different things in different platforms/browsers and I prefer not to use them. For this reason, I have extended the frame in which the new interface [World FactBook] sits-- so at times there will appear to be a lot of whitespace. I plan on adding another interface to the page-- which will make it less noticeable -- however WiredPages is meant to be a credible reference resource using "single source" providers-- and not in competition with the providers of my data nor their sites. See their links-- which I provide, to get "pretty" pages or more information. I am more interested in providing quick credible data.

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