StumbleUpon-ed

I received 10,765 visitors yesterday, which is pretty good for a small site like this one. Late in the day yesterday I checked my stats and kind of had to do a double take. As soon as I saw the number I knew something had to be up. I checked my referrers and noticed StumbleUpon had sent me a boat load of people.

After a little investigation I found the Text Ascii Art Generator (TAAG) app had for some reason obtained a lot of “thumbs up”‘s from the StumbleUpon community. Someone added TAAG to StumbleUpon months ago, and I received a flurry of visits for a few days after that, but it topped off at around 600, nothing close to the traffic I got yesterday. I’m not sure what caused this avalanche of attention (it seems to have started in the mid afternoon), but it was pretty cool. I haven’t had that many visitors in a single day since I was mentioned in the Lockergnome News Letter back in 2000 (which at the time was a very popular online news letter – now it appears to be some kind of blogging community).

Right now it’s almost 1:30AM and as I write this, and I currently have 1.5k visitors for today already. It’ll be neat to see how long this StumbleUpon bubble lasts. So far my site appears to have held up without any problems too, so site5 earns itself a plus mark in my eyes. 10k isn’t a whole lot, but it’s good to see that sudden bursts of traffic are handled without a problem.

What I’ve Been Doing

It’s been a while since my last update. I’ve been jumping between projects, probably a little too much. Last weekend I was doing some C# stuff, and this past weekend I did a little Javascript (which I’ll talk about below). After reading all the hype on Python, part of me contemplated rewriting the Image Color Palette Generator (ICPG) in Python just as a learning exercise, but I decided to drop the idea after a little more thought. I’ve got too much going on already, and it’s probably better for me to focus on a hand full of projects than it is to try and get a taste of everything.

Ajax Image Uploading

I got image uploading to work separately from the image processing in the ICPG program. Using this nifty jQuery plug-in I was able to set the program up so the user could upload an image and then hit the processing button. It actually worked right out of the box, which is something of a rare occurrence.

ICPG used to handle image uploads, but I kept getting time out errors because my host only allows 15 seconds of processing time for each php file before it kills it. By having image uploading occur separately, I think I can get around this.

However, even though I have something that works now, I’ve decided to wait on uploading it (sorry for being a tease). The new version seems kind of hacked together and since uploads have security issues, I figured I’d take some time to double check everything and try to speed things up as much as possible. I also want to tidy up the interface and get rid of the page reloading.

Well, that’s all for today, I should probably be getting to sleep now since I have to get up for work tomorrow.

12 thoughts on “StumbleUpon-ed”

  1. I apologize if my comment lacks sufficient cohesion, but if so I can truly attribute it to the fact that I have just returned home from a real “booze and snooze” event filled with bountiful and endless supplies of alcoholic beverages, cheap horse devours, and even cheaper, or more desperate middle-aged women. I am glad to hear that you received quite a number of visitors yesterday (and today as well), because it will most likely come as a motivational tool in which will help in the furthering of your work for the website. Hopefully this spike in traffic will have also earned you a decent amount of income as a result of the Google Adsense placed on the pages. Pat, is it difficult to make the transition from languages such as Visual Basic and VB 2003/2005/2008/.NET to something along the lines of C#, or Visual C++?
    I know for the most part the syntax is drastically different, but as I’ve become well-rounded in Javascript, have been doing a fairly adequate amount of work in PHP (I’m in the process of redoing and recreating my website while building a custom framework albeit slowly), and even began programming in Java a number of months ago I would like to make the change to something that is a structured in a similar fashion as opposed to Visual Basic. How hard would you believe it to be as far as the comparisons between C++ and Basic (Visual of course)?

  2. Back in college, while at some bar, some ladies in their late 30′s / early 40′s bought my friends and I a long island ice tea tub (basically a big bucket of long island iced tea with several straws). I think they thought my friend Kaiser was cute, though other than a few thankful exchanges we didn’t really pay them too much attention. It was kind of interesting though. Middle aged women can sometimes be surprising aggressive.

    Anyways, it’s interesting you bring up programming languages because I’m currently working on multiple projects at work and they’re all in different languages. One of my coworkers was even like “how do you keep all of these languages straight?!” I basically told him that it’s easy to keep languages straight once I’ve gotten into the groove of whatever you’re currently using.

    A lot of people say the second language you learn is the hardest, and I tend to agree with that. And by learn, I mean really learn thoroughly. Once you have a couple of languages under your belt, picking up a new one isn’t bad at all. I usually tend to think of languages by the following properties:

    - Object Oriented or Procedure Oriented
    - Dynamically Typed or Statically Typed
    - Compiling Issues (is the code compiled into machine code, byte code that’s read by a virtual machine, is it interpreted, etc)
    - Speed Issues (closely linked to the above point)
    - Available Libraries and Tools
    - What Platforms Its Output Runs On (or in – when thinking about things like web browsers)
    - How Easy It Is To Develop In

    There may be other things, but those are the things that come to mind right now.

    If you’re thinking about switching to C++ or C#, I’d go with C#. The developers took a good look at the positives and negatives of C++ and Java and made something that was really nice to use. Switching from VB to C# or VC++ shouldn’t be much of a problem since they’re very similar. I believe the only major difference between all the .NET languages is syntax (and possibly the use of pointers).

    > How hard would you believe it to be as far as the comparisons between C++ and Basic (Visual of course)?

    What language are you referring to? A lot of people I went to school with feared learning Java. However, Java isn’t that bad at all, and there’s tons of documentation online. Getting good at C++ is probably a lot more difficult than getting good at Java. Comparing languages in this way is just opinion though. Some people find Java hard and C++ a breeze.

    Anyway, hopefully I answered your questions, if not, just let me know. I kind of jumped around all over the place.

  3. I believe my biggest problem in respect to programming in multiple languages simultaneously as opposed to being strictly a Visual Basic programmer is as you said, “the groove of what you’re currently using.” Now when I sit down, and start writing Javascript or PHP code I have relatively few problems other than the ocassional two to three second “blank-stare” at the monitor as I attempt to remember the correct function or method name along with the required and optional parameters found in the language. Most often their syntax is close enough for me to recall such information quickly enough where I can continue with what I am doing, and if not I consult the online manuals. Being that I am having trouble trying to verbalize my thoughts on the subject as a primitive example let’s compare If-Then statements with a few additional bits in Java, Javascript, and PHP to Visual Basic/VB.NET:

    if (Argument1 > Argument2)
    {
    //Execute some code.
    RandomCounter++;
    }

    The above snippet of code would work in all three of the aforementioned languages, which makes it quite a bit easier to formulate as opposed to Visual Basic (or any other off-shoot of Basic):

    If Argument1 > Argument2 Then
    ‘ (or REM) Execute some code.
    RandomCounter = RandomCounter + 1 ‘RandomCounter += 1 in .NET
    End If

    I really hope that I have not just furthered the confusion, but basically I have grown accustomed to the flexibility of the way blocks are set up in other languages rather than our dear old friend, Visual Basic. Now I am not so much of a fan of Java, but this really could be due in part to the fact that I never used an IDE such as NetBeans, because all of the code I put together was written and compiled in Textpad using the JDE compiler, which meant the programs ran from the command line without a GUI. I respect you quite a bit Pat (always have), and consider you a “programming genius” as you not only seem to know the ins-and-outs of each language you work with, but are also able to recite interesting information about them too.
    Now I’m not entirely clear on the whole purpose behind Microsoft’s push for .NET, but I believe sloat had said that it was to unify the languages’ development environment as well as to provide more simplified access to the Windows API. So if I were to say begin using Visual J# the jump wouldn’t be overly difficult then, right? Will most of the objects and their functions remain the same, but with variable declarations, If-Then statments, loops, and other differences mostly related to the syntax? I am just not so sure that I want to continue using Visual Basic to create my applications due to this.
    Now onto the topic of these middle-aged women, or cougars. I felt like the event last night was a virtual hunting ground for unmarried (or even unhappy perhaps) women whose biological clocks were ticking louder than the introduction to “60 Minutes” with Andy Rooney. Most were there wearing clothes that just weren’t age appropriate, or that were quite unflattering for their body-types, and it was quite apparent that many of them were “on the prowl”. Of course it was quite akward as I left, passed one older woman who as someone I was with put it, “looks like she was rode hard, and put away wet” (to which I replied, “or not at all”), and heard her exclaim to a crowd of other associates, “have you met my fiance?” I bit my toungue, and tried to keep from laughing, because the guy, or more appropriately “kid”, was no older than 25 at the most. By the way has the traffic continued its flow?

  4. lol, I’m no “programming genius”, but thanks. If you’re planning on switching between .NET languages, you shouldn’t have much of a problem. There will always be a learning curve, but it wont be as bad as say going from VB to LISP.

    Having code grouped by braces does make it easier to read (in imho). Though I wouldn’t make a language choice strictly on this. Code can look the same yet behave differently.

    > So if I were to say begin using Visual J# the jump wouldn’t be overly difficult then, right?

    Correct.

    > Will most of the objects and their functions remain the same, but with variable declarations, If-Then statements, loops, and other differences mostly related to the syntax?

    I’ve read that all of the .NET languages are functionally equivalent. Though VC++ and C# allow for pointers, and that can make life easier in certain situations. VC++ also generates code that is slightly faster than generated C# code, and C# generates code that is slightly faster than generated VB code.

    > By the way has the traffic continued its flow?

    It’s settled down. Wednesday saw 5.4k visitors and Thursday saw 2.4k.

    That sounds like a crazy party. The guy might have just looked young. Though sometimes young guys just do fall for older women. I’ve actually met a couple of guys recently who have wives 7-10 years older then themselves.

  5. I am quite sure that I am going to decide to go with Visual J# as it’s included in Visual Studio 2005 (and most likely the others as well), and because I did a small amount of experimentation with it this morning, and though obviously it’s a lot more complicated than Visual Basic it seems alright. Thankfully there’s Microsoft’s IntelliSense feature, which I have always loved, and the MSDN library too. Again on the subject of older women I believe that most young men may find it appealing, because at that age (the women’s) they are more likely to have settled down and gotten their act together.

  6. There’s hype surrounding Python? Weird. I’ve always thought it to be one of the most unhyped.

    Though I’ve found a lot of good things coming out of the python web development sector, especially with WSGI and now mod_wsgi. There is finally a decent deployment option for python web applications.

  7. I’ve heard a lot about Python within the last year. It’s definitely hot. According to this site, it’s even in the top 10 most popular.

    I’ve also heard a lot about Ruby on Rails, though recently it’s gotten a lot of attention because it’s slow and not good for large scale web apps. Twitter.com was programmed using it and it’s had all sorts of scaling problems.

  8. I have seen a few awesome web applications in Python, but never found it nor Ruby to be personally appealing. Python’s definitely been hyped over this last year appearing on so many websites and even this comic (http://xkcd.com/353/), which I found amusing. I also came across an article called, “13 reasons why Ruby, Python, and the gang will push Java to die…of old age” the other night, which you may find interesting: http://littletutorials.com/2008/05/28/13-reasons-java-die-old-age/

  9. hehe, yeah, I’ve seen that xkcd comic before.

    Thanks for the article link, it was interesting, though the title kind of threw me off at first. I was expecting him to literally talk about why these languages would win in the long run, not talk about the flaws of the current crop of challengers.

    One point he briefly touched on that I think is important is: “Popular languages have cool names”. If you have a stupid name, your language wont take off. I think this is one of the reasons Tcl has had trouble growing, even though it’s a pretty handy language. It’s name is pronounced “tickle”, and saying to a manager or systems person that you’re using “tickle” always sounds kind of weird. Some of the higher ups at my work can’t even seem to call it “tickle”, they’ll instead say T-C-L. And there really isn’t a good story behind the name either, it’s just an acronym for “Tool Command Language”. Python, on the other hand, has a very cool name. It’s named after Monty Python’s Flying Circus, and it since a python is a type of huge carnivorous snake, it sounds cool to managers and systems people.

    I don’t want to come off sounding like Tcl’s name bothers me, it doesn’t, but I think if it had a cooler name, it would do much better in the market. I think Lisp and Erlang also suffer from having crappy names.

  10. “Never judge a book by its cover”, or more appropriately, “Never pick up a programming language based on its name alone.” I definitely agree that some languages seem more appealing than others simply because of their names, and I suppose that as with everything else first impressions are the biggest and most important in the decision to begin working with a certain one. I hate to be a link-whore, but I figured you’d find this to be humorous (it’s satire): Student Suspended Over Suspected Use Of PHP. “”We’re not quite sure what PHP is, but we suspect it may be a derivative of PCP, or maybe a new designer drug like GHB.”

  11. lol, I’d feel kind of sad inside if that were real.

    Feel free to post links in the comments, however, be warned that my spam filter sometimes quarantines comments with more than one link (I get sent an email and have to approve them – so they don’t get posted until later). And if there are too many links, it’ll just mark it as spam and I’ll never see it (I’ve gotten lazy about checking my spam folder – plus there seems to be a WordPress bug where it’ll only show you the most recent spam comments).

  12. “Never judge a book by its cover”, or more appropriately, “Never pick up a programming language based on its name alone.” I definitely agree that some languages seem more appealing than others simply because of their names, and I suppose that as with everything else first impressions are the biggest and most important in the decision to begin working with a certain one.

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