Thursday, January 25, 2007

Word of the day: Unicodality

Unicodality: Property of an application or piece of code to support Unicode and/or ANSI. Studies show that this word was invented by a guy named Michael Kaplan who seems to care about this kind of thing.

Yes, Google, Yahoo et al show use of the word on different sites (not only on MichKa's blog). But read carefully: They're all comments his comments!

If I like the word? Yes, I do! :)

Lesson of the day: Fingerprints don't like saws

Totally unrelated matter: Eric Sink teaches us that's you'd rather pay attention to your fingers if you rely on fingerprint reader to enter your password. Interesting (who said scary!) reading.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Strong passwords policy = Security weakness?

Interesting point by Michael Sutton: Forcing people to use passwords they can't remember leads to them writing their password on sticky notes. Sticked where? On their monitor of course!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Twelve Networking Truths

RFC 1925 (The Twelve Networking Truths) is a short yet interesting reading. I believe it applies to Software Engineering in general and not only to Networking in particular.

Rule #3 is probably the most instructive:

With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. However, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

[Edit Dec 5th: Updated link]

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

appTranslator 2.1 is released

I already mentioned the new features in this release in the beta announcement post.
Here is a short reminder subjectively sorted by descending importance.

Feel free to download!
Note: The demo version contains some restrictions (documented in the download page) regarding word count and pseudo-localization.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

New EU Airports Security Rules

Security rules about carry-on luggage in airplaces have become fairly confusing lately.
Here is a summary of what you can or cannot take aboard.

You may take your razor (not this kind) but you may not take your shaving gel or aftershave. Yes Sir! I experienced it in London recently :-(

Friday, November 17, 2006

HTML Tables Import into Excel

Some of the software applications we use daily involve really smart engineering. Take word processors: The algorithms and computation involved in positioning every word of your text according to the justification, font, size, bidirectional alignment, embedded pictures,... It's a really tough problem requiring smart people to solve it. (D)HTML rendering and spreadsheet updates are other example of hard computational problems that are so difficult to solve yet we take it for granted that these programs just work. And let's not even speak about games!

What usually amazes us is not these smart pieces of codes but slick ones. Such as HTML tabular data import into Excel! Let's say you have this nice HTML report produced by someone else and you want to get it back into Excel:

Don't try to copy/paste it from your browser, there's much better: The Web Query dialog.
In the main menu (Excel 2003. Don't know for earlier versions. Excel 2007 is coming tonight to a computer near me), choose Data / Import External Data / New Web Query and type the URL in the address bar. The dialog opens the page and puts a small black on yellow arrow in front of each HTML table in the page.

Click the arrow to select a table and click Import. And here you go: Your table is now in Excel!

Being smart doesn't pay off. Be slick!

There's no rocket science in there: Just a DHTML script to inject the arrow heads and some code to parse the table layout and contents. But it's damn slick if you want my opinion.

So if you want to impress people with your software: No need to be smart. "Just" be slick!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

appTranslator 2.1 beta version

I just posted a beta version of v2.1. (Download). Here's the main new stuff:


I already blogged about it. Remember: Pseudo-localization is limited to menus in the demo version.

French Version

Several people asked me why I didn't translate my own software! Well, I have been eating my own dog food for long but for some reason that I fail to find, I've never included that French version in the package. This mistake is now fixed. (BTW, German version will follow in a few weeks, as soon as my favorite German translator can find some time).
If you are French, chances are appTranslator 2.1 will automatically start in French. If it doesn't (or if you want to switch back to English, point to View/Language/whatever).

Word Count

A very missing feature so far. Word Count is important when you work with external translators: It helps them make a quotation by providing a count of source words. It helps you check translators' bills by giving you the amount of words translated when you import a TE or XLIFF file back into the main project.
Point to Translations/Word Count and here's what you get:


CLanguageSupport class and Sample Code

An article (in the online help. Includes detailed step-by-step how-to) and ready-to-use MFC code to implement satellite DLLs support and a Language sub-menu for your application.

It's not new really: It's a copy of an article and code I published last year on