Hand coding websites – How to…

May 21st, 2013

What does it mean and why do it?

Simply put, hand-coding means to write the necessary tags or lines of code by hand, without using a graphical interface. Usually when one speaks of web design, the first thing that may come up is DreamWeaver, a superb (but expensive) piece of software that you can use to create websites with ease.

But there are times when you may need to take full control of the process and write the code by hand. This video gives some reasons in brief and shows you how to code a web page by hand, simply by using a standard text editor. Depending on your OS (operating system) and kind of work you do, you may have a number of editors available like GEdit, NotePadd, NodPad++ and so on…

This is NOT a complete course on web design but is meant to get you started.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwbKuMA6zQ0

Happy learning :)

Java attack – Are you in trouble?

January 11th, 2013

Homeland Security (USA) has warned all users to disable or uninstall Java because they’ve identified a vulnerability with the platform. Here’s their story.

Now, I’m not going to repeat that story. But BEFORE you even think of removing Java, here are a few things you need to pay attention to… And please don’t ignore this. It is serious!

1. Do you need Java?

Well, I do. My virtual classroom software is written in Java. So removing Java would mean end of work. But that’s only one example. If you’re a business, you should make sure if you really need this software. Perhaps you have one or more business applications running Java.

2. Are you online?

This may seem like a silly question in today’s context, but rethink this. There are applications like payroll, for example, that only depend on the local network or a stand-alone PC. If these apps can be run without depending on an Internet connection, then you might as well use them with the Internet unplugged on the system. This would be a way out at least until you find an alternative means of running those apps or until there’s a fix (which  don’t see as immediately availabe).  But if you cannot afford to disconnect from a net connection, it’s best you remove Java 7.

3. Examples of Java applications:

The following is not a comprehensive list but it is somewhat popular. So taking off Java means the end of these…

  • RuneScape – a browser-driven game
  • LogMeIn – Remote access application. Often used for troubleshooting (even by many Mac service folks). Even I used it once but I was more for TeamViewer.
  • VB6 (Visual Basic 6). No, VB6 is NOT Java-driven. But the installer needed a Java update. And since then you may have updated Java up to version 7; just maybe…
  • WizIQ – Virtual Classroom environment. I’v been using this for some time now.
  • Select Oracle appilcations and certain other applications – For the front-end, they use Java.
  • Applets for alerts, games and website plug-ins or animations. A very old applet since the start of Java has been the fluttering flag. There are more like buttons and stuff.

4. Is OpenJDK vulnerable to this?

Since Oracle (the developers of Java) have licensing restrictions, not everyone is allowed to have Oracle’s Java platform. Thus came Open Java. So is OpenJDK vulnerable?

Answer: Seems not… READ THIS

However, it’s best to look away from Java-based solutions. This is because of the nature of the language, you’re prone to bump into more (similar) issues in the future as well. And as a Java 7 user, maybe your app might not work correctly on Open Java.

Should anyone need fixes or advice from experts, we’re just a few clicks away!

*** All trademarks acknowledged ***


Project raised exception class “EReadError” invalid value for property

January 2nd, 2013

We were working with Lazarus 0.9.30 on Windows. Then after a few edits on a pretty large project, we suddenly got the following error on trying to compile and run.

Project raised exception class “EReadError” invalid value for property

Ideally this would suggest that you are trying to assign a value to a property that is not compatible. But in our case it was different.

The cause of the problem and its solution…

Usually when you double-click a text box on the form, it creates a default event with code for the OnChange event. Since this was not needed, the code for the OnChange event was removed (by hand) as a means of cleaning up.

But the IDE did not take care of the rest of the clean up. i.e., In the properties window for the text box, the OnChange event was still referring to the code. So we had to manually do this as well by deleting that reference in the properties window.

And the moment we did this, it compiled just fine.

First, we hope that you find this useful in debugging your code that brings up this error. Second, if you’ve encountered this error for a different reason, we’d like to hear about that.

Please confine yourself to the identical error. If you have any question apart from this, please use our forum.

Happy coding!

How to learn web development for free… Again!

December 4th, 2012

Due to the results produced in the past and the birth of more professional web developers we’re doing this yet again!!!

Did you ever imagine than you could get a full training course worth LKR.20,000/- at absolutely no cost? Well, it’s proven true by us. What’s more, you even get to put on your record, 4 months of work experience along with your newly gained skills!

So why wait another moment..? Now’s the time to get to the top!

What you learn

  1. How to design websites using (x)html + CSS
  2. How to build interactive web applications using PHP and MySQL (LAMP/WAMP). And for those who don’t know, PHP is the world’s most popular web development platform.
  3. Client-side scripting using Java Script. It needs no introduction – JavaScript is clearly the best and first choice for secure and fast client-end browser programming, with least resources.
  4. Introduction to object oriented programming techniques. That’s right, like you’ve been doing in C++ and Java… But this time it’s PHP.
  5. Introductory graphics using InkScape + Gimp. Ever since we got this wonderful combination of super-easy and useful programs, we’ve never seen the color of Photoshop at work.
  6. Joomla – Yes, you may have heard of it. The world’s most popular open-source CMS (Content Management System)
  7. CodeIgniter. With a lot done to ease the life of the programmer, CodeIgniter takes you ahead by leaps and bounds, exclamation

So why is this free…?

We realised the demand for folks with the skill-set above, and also discovered the severe shortage of experts with real skills. Of course there are thousands of courses available by various institutions, but whether they succeed in delivering to meet the demands is questionnable.

As a software company, Marha Online has been faced with this dilemmna of finding the right skills. We don’t like programmers who take above skills as salt and pepper. Rather, we want them to have it as their main dish. So we decided that the best way to go about this would be to train our future staff. Thus the training program was born.

So what we do is give you the full training and hope that you’ll work with us for at least 4 months. That’s our pay-off. After that you’re either free to go, or you may be absorbed as a member of our full-time/part-time staff.

Of course this does not mean that you must work for us. You may also get the training and go your way. But here’s the deal… If you do leave us soon after training, you owe us the cost of training. Now isn’t that being reasonable…? We’re sure you’d agree that this is the best deal in town.

Here’s how to get the FREE program…

You must have the following attributes in order to qualify:

  • Know at least one programming language well
  • Have a liking AND general skill towards creating programs/algorithms
  • Have an elementary understanding of working with any one database system (eg: Ms-Access, MySQL, etc)
  • Be willing to learn at a fast pace
  • You must be residing in Sri Lanka during the training period AND 5 months after it
  • You must be honest, committed and punctual
  • You must NOT be employed as we will need your services afterwards

Well, if you’re not in the above category and you’d still like to discuss your training at the same level, please do get in touch with us.

Still want to go through? Read on…

  1. You take a small written test based on algorithms and computer literacy
  2. If you pass you get selected for training
  3. During training, you have a chance of working on real-projects
  4. After training, you MUST commit to work for Marha Online for 4 months.
  5. After 4 months, you are free to go or continue as a member of the staff or work as a freelancer

Commencement: Friday 21st December 2012
Days/Times: Friday – Monday 8.00AM – 10.00AM during training. Post-training work experience will be full-time – 9.00AM – 5.00PM

Contact: Mr. Khalid – 0722.980.688 between 7.00AM and 8:30PM

WarrantyTrack User Guide

November 8th, 2012

Finally, it’s here! Yes, we’re talking about the long-awaited user guide for the world’s first and most popular open source warranty management software – WarrantyTrack.

In keeping with our objectives of making things available to our users with least trouble, and in order to make this affordable, we’re giving away this user manual for just USD19. It’s a fantastic piece of documentation designed to A4 standard so that it is easily readable and printable if needed. The manual is provided in the form of an e-book and can be purchased here online.

Looking forward to your feedback, as usual 😉

Learn web development for FREE

August 27th, 2012

Are you interested in a career as a web developer? Here’s your chance to learn it for free in a real classroom, by an expert.

What you learn

  1. How to design websites using (x)html + CSS
  2. How to build interactive web applications using PHP and MySQL (LAMP/WAMP)
  3. Client-side scripting using Java Script
  4. Introduction to object oriented programming techniques
  5. Introductory graphics using InkScape + Gimp

What you need to be eligible…

You must have the following attributes in order to qualify:

  • Know at least one programming language well
  • Have a liking AND general skill towards creating programs/algorithms
  • Have a general literacy of working with databases (eg: Ms-Access, MySQL, etc)
  • Be willing to learn at a fast pace
  • You must be residing in Sri Lanka during the training period AND 5 months after it

Here’s the deal…

  1. You take a small written test based on algorithms and computer literacy
  2. If you pass you get selected for training
  3. During training, you have a chance of working on real-projects
  4. After training, you MUST commit to work for Marha Online for 4 months.
  5. After 4 months, you are free to go or continue as a member of the staff or work as a freelancer

Note: This is a full-time training program and you are required to put in your full effort and commitment during the entire period.

Commencement: Sooner the better
Days/Times: 9.00AM – 5.00PM

Contact: Mr. Khalid – 0722.980.688 between 7.00AM and 8:30PM

New forum launched

August 3rd, 2012

Finally, the old forum is gone. And with it, we’ve removed all of the posts from the past.

Our new forum is located at the same link but this time, we’re on with bbpress.

Why the change…

After carefully considering the use (or should I say misuse) we decided that phpbb was not the way ahead for us. We had an average of 100 spammers registering each day and this was just a nuisance even for simple administration.

We’re sorry about the old posts but we hope that some of them can be restored in due course.

Our new forum has 3 main areas at present. And one is dedicated to the WarrantyTrack community, the world’s first (and so far only) open source warranty management system.

Welcome aboard!

Vacancies @ Marha Online

November 5th, 2011

We have the following openings at our Sri Lanka (Dehiwela) office.

1. PHP Developer
2. Graphic/web designer

We’re not really keen in seeing your ‘papers’… Rather, you’ve got to prove yourself at our little test. If we’re happy with your performance, you’re in!

If you’re interested, simple mail us at jobs@marhaonline.com at your earliest.

Looking forward to the best in you!

WarrantyTrack launched

June 4th, 2011

It brings me joy to finally make the WarrantyTrack software public. I hope this project turns out to be the most leading open source project of its kind.

I’ve hosted this project on sourceforge and it is ‘GNU GPL’ed. Here’s an introductory video to the software. Please look forward to more news on this product.

You are encouraged to try it and send me your feedback so that we may make this a better project.

The WarrantyTrack project has a fantastic roadmap and I hope to reveal this soon.

Enjoy!

Khalid from ~/