Wow, a pig just flew past my window

Posted on the 26/03/2008 at 01:56 AM

There are some very rare events in the world. The discovery of a new technology, the bringing of peace to a war torn region, a nice sunny day here in England. If you read the list you eventually get to "A Mac user agreeing with John C. Dvorak". Oddly enough that's what has just happened to me with his latest post entitled The iPhone is No Desktop.

The gist of the article is that it's ridiculous to think the iPhone, or any mobile device for that matter, will replace the desktop. I have to say I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment. I own an iMac, a MacBook and an iPod touch and general trends would say that I would be using one of the latter as my main computing device. Funnily enough the iMac is my main machine.

All my serious web browsing, talking with friends, development, media consumption etc. is done on my iMac. My MacBook is there for when I need to use my computer on the go, especially around University where I use it in the labs and in lectures. When I'm at home during a holiday my MacBook generally sits on a shelf under my desk turned off. The same goes for my iPod touch. I use it when I need to quickly look something up online that's easier than pulling out my laptop, such as when I'm walking.

Mobile devices are great for when you're on the go as they give you quick access to the internet in the palm of your hand. The problem is that they're limited. Yes they're great for finding out where the nearest supermarket is or for keeping up with the football scores while you're on the move. They can also make pretty decent gaming devices.

The thing is that they're small, which is both their greatest asset and their biggest weakness. Screen estate is limited, you can't really watch a movie on them, you can't do any serious writing on them. Mobile devices are merely consumption devices for "small" content. They suck for consuming big content such as watching a movie or surfing the web for a long period of time (the lack of "open in new tab" in mobile Safari makes it impossible for me to waste endless hours on Wikipedia, this makes me sad).

They suck even more for any form of creation. You can't create movies on them, nor music, nor images, nor websites, nor applications, nor novels, nor magazines. A kid may use their mobile device to check up on their friends on Facebook, but they'll never use it for doing their homework. Not now, not ever.

Those who claim that the desktop will cede to mobile devices are as delusional as those who claim that the web will replace the desktop. Ironically the web sucks at exactly the same things that mobile devices do, though the reasons are different.

Now some may say that I'm biased because I develop for the desktop, but I believe developing for the desktop gives a unique view of the world of technology, a view that allows you to better see the state of things. You'll never see a desktop developer proclaiming the death of the mobile device or the death of the web. Desktop developers instead see the integration of the desktop and the mobile device and the integration of the desktop and the web. Like with many things in the world, the existence of one thing doesn't need to negate the existence of another when those two things could co-exist and give a much better experience than either one alone ever code.

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Code Collector Pro 1.2.1

Posted on the 21/03/2008 at 12:45 AM

I wasn't planning on releasing this until next week but I managed to get everything finished today and fix a bug that was rather serious. Unfortunately snippets that shouldn't have been shared were put on In a few cases these included rather private items, but I have removed these as they have come up.

The problem is that integrating with requires updates to be sent when many events occur including adding, deleting and editing a snippet as well as adding and removing them from groups. On top of informing the class that managed communication with, there need to be checks in place to find out whether it needs to be informed at all, and this bug was caused by me forgetting to put in one of those checks.

On top of this rather serious but are also fixes to snippet list, which now remembers the column size and sorting between launches and a new toolbar icon for adding a snippet from the clipboard. This isn't in the toolbar by default so you'll have to add it yourself if you want to use it.

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The Perfect Download

Posted on the 18/03/2008 at 05:38 PM

One of the best bits of Code Collector Pro 1.2 is the downloading of snippets. Click on a "Send to Code Collector" link on any snippet on and you'll see that snippet appear in Code Collector Pro. The problem is if people want this on their website.

The ideal situation is that when someone clicks on a link to download a snippet via a 3rd party site that it will download the snippet, otherwise provide users with the ability download Code Collector or at the very least view the snippet online. Now this is what does, but it did require a bit out of the box thinking.

I'm not going to claim credit for this, the suggestion came from my friend Jerry Nummi ( The problem is that when Safari, or any other browser for that matter, sees a protocol it doesn't recognise it starts to complain. People who don't have CCP 1.2 or higher installed will see an error, and so think there is a broken link. I tried PHP redirecting, which worked fine for people who had CCP but again failed for those without.

The solution was the humble iframe. Load the link in a hidden iframe, let the browser complain to itself and let people view the default web page. Incidentally, this doesn't work with the "Send to Code Collector" links. This is to make these links as seamless as possible. If you're wanting to link to a snippet to download directly to Code Collector Pro on your site then I urge you to use the links on the right of every snippet page.

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Introducing the one and only Code Collector Pro 1.2!

Posted on the 12/03/2008 at 03:29 PM

3 months ago I told you all that “you ain’t seen nothing yet”. Well today you get to see everything as we are releasing Code Collector Pro 1.2. This version features loads of great new features such as the locking of the code area from editing, an improve source list and enhanced drag & drop. But by far the biggest new addition is integration with our new snippet sharing service,

One of the biggest feature requests we’ve had is integration with snippet sharing sites. We’ve had several alternatives recommended to us, but none of them could have given us the integration that we’ve achieved with Once you have enabled sharing your snippets are shared seamlessly with your online account. And it works the other way as well, with all snippets online having a “Send to Code Collector” link that will download the snippet directly into Code Collector Pro (or Lite) for you.

We’ve also bumped the free version of Code Collector up to 1.2 and given it its new name: Code Collector Lite. Code Collector Lite gains the enhanced drag & drop functionality of CCP 1.2 as well as the vastly improved syntax highlighting engine that was introduced in CCP 1.1.

In other news, we have decided to end of life Transceiver. We’ll leave the disk image on our servers but we will no longer be providing support for it. Why end of life it? Well it hasn’t been updated since last January and wasn’t going to be updated anytime in the foreseeable future. It also allowed us to clean up our site a bit and move Code Collector Lite to the Code Collector Pro page.

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