Moving to Mac: Text Editor

So notepad.exe was my bread & butter on Windows for doing text editing. Not very powerful, but it got the job done. While attempting to play with various config files (more on that in subsequent blog posts), I came across the program TextMate. It’s got all sorts of neat text-editor features, but the best one, by far, is the ability to use the GUI text editor from Terminal. Just type in something like “sudo mate /private/etc/apache2/httpd.conf” and it opens right up in TextMate. Hit save, and it prompts for your password again, but is otherwise very very slick.

Changing AIR application directories

I came across an interesting feature of AIR. I was experimenting with the -app.xml file params, and was playing with the installFolder value. As it turns out, if you build a release with one value and install it, then build another release with a different value and overwrite the original install, it still gets installed to the first value. Here’s the example:

This installs to c:\Program Files\iotashan\My Application\MyApp\

<installFolder>iotashan/My Application</installFolder>

This normally would install to c:\Program Files\iotashan\MyApp\, but will install to the above original directory if you overwrite your installation.


The way to fix this is to uninstall the app and delete the leftover directories.

Big Fat iPhone SDK “gotcha”

So I had an idea for a great iPhone app that now appears will never happen.

Why, you ask? Because Apple wants to have super-strict control of the user experience. The problem is hidden in the documentation… A nice little limitation that gets but a paragraph mention.

The iPhone will only allow a single 3rd party application to run at a time, and they also disable the ability to run an app in the background. My idea required an app that would run whenever the phone was on. Guess if I wanted to do anything, I’ll have to jailbreak my iPhone after all.

How does this impact the average user? This means no (useful versions of) instant messangers, listeners for push-based services, rss notifications, or anything else that the user would like to happen when they’re not actively using the application. This more or less limits the iPhone SDK to games and a few business applications.

phpBB3 user authentication with ColdFusion

I needed to quickly authenticate some phpBB3 users in a Flex application, and figured that it’d be no problem. Boy, was I wrong. phpBB does some neat dynamic password hashing trick that, to someone with no php experience like myself, looked to be too complex to emulate in CF.

After some searching, I found this post with tips on how to do it with CFEXECUTE. Unfortunately, I couldn’t quite get that to work, but I ended up rolling my own, with the help of some guys in #flex.

Download the sample code here.

remote_login.php and assoc_array2xml.php go in the root of your phpbb3 install.

Hope this saves a bunch of people a lot of time.