Nuit Blanche

Someone correct me if I’m wrong. Nuit Blanche which means white night in French marks the sunset to sunrise arts festival in Toronto. Just coming from it and I must say it was quite an interesting night. The streets of downtown Toronto were packed with people crawling and they were carrying with them happy faces, which is a very different scene compared to Christmas shopping season or boxing day where the only thing people are carrying are shopping bags and stressed out faces.

Couple of cool things I saw were a gaint balloon bunny floating with strings attached to it, huge 4 letter text suspended in mid air, batman, this guy who was colored in bronze who apparently was a regular, some guys doing dances in th streets, rides, some cool street drummers,and DAVE! and well… few other things as well that I can’t really remember at this moment. Honestly it’s late but I still will wake up for my morning power walk.

I think every night should be a nuit blanche in Toronto! This is probably for the first time I saw people so friendly and in such large crowds who were not even afraid to give a smile if you bumped into them. Or maybe I’m just in a continuous good state that I’m seeing everyone happy lol…Either way this was an interesting night, and I might even participate in the next Nuit Blanche event. I already have a cool idea that I want to display :).


Gandhi Day

Today, the birth of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is celebrated all across India and is also a national holiday there. Gandhi is known as the father of India, who with his non-violence and civil disobedience movement led Indians to an independence from British rule. He has affected millions and still does today with his philosophies and principles around the world.

I studied in a high school named after this man, “Mahatma Gandhi Memorial High School” where I learnt few principles that has stuck with my ever since. One of which is “satyameva jayate” (Truth alone triumphs). I just want to thank God, life, fate, or karma, or whatever it is that is guiding and shaping our destinies for bringing about such a man into this world and also for providing me the opportunity to learn about him and instill few of the principles in me that otherwise I would not have known.


#1 Unacceptable blunder of website deployment

The number 1 unacceptable blunder of website deployment is people not turning off the display of errors. I just came across one two minutes ago. People, when you put your website live make sure others dont see any kind of errors that no one but the programmer should be using during development. I’m not talking about I.E. crapping out on the user and I’m not even talking about 404 errors(no to say that is acceptable – I know I’m guilty of this one).

Why is it unacceptable? Number 1 reason is that you will lose credibility of your site. Second is you are exposing what’s under the hood – why this one is bad is a whole other story.

This mostly happens with sites running on php. Make sure “display_errors” is set to “OFF” in the php config file. What is even more surprising to me is that some of the sites that have errors, and I’m not just talking about php sites, are actually well reputed sites! I’m not going to mention any names here, but they are there and if you’ve ever used the Internet, I’m sure you’ve come across a few already.

Philosophy Self Development

Great things happen when you’re ready for a change

Its October 1, 2008 and I am feeling great. What’s so special about this day? Most will say, ‘There’s nothing special about this day’, but a few will say, ‘This day is special, just like every single day of your life!”.

And yes I will also say that every single day of your life is special. I’ve been going for my early morning power walk consistently for almost a week now, and BAM! I’m feeling great. I started this almost more than two weeks ago, but I was not consistent. Now I just make it happen; I do whatever it take for me to get up in the morning and go for my jog/walk.

Never try to do something. Just do it! The reason I like Nike shoes or shirts or whatever is because it says ‘Just do it’. Now I’m not trying to promote Nike wear, nor am I getting paid for it..haha… I wish I was. But just think about it. If you’re telling yourself, ‘Comon you can do it’ or ‘I’ll try to do this’ or something like that, how many times have you notice yourself actually doing it?

More often then not you might not end up doing that thing you wanted to do. So just go out there and do it!

I am so excited with my morning walk routine that I’m spreading that energy to others. Today while I was walking(I usually jog, walk stretch, throw punches in the air – whateverit takes to keep me moving), I saw this guy who was maybe in high school walking with his bike. That’s right he was WALKING with his bike.

I asked him as he was passing me by since we were walking in opposite directions, ‘Is there something wrong with the bike?’.

He said,’No’.

I said, ‘Then you should be riding your bike, not walking with it”.

He said, “Ya I know, but I’m just lazy”.

So I got all hyped up. By this time we had already passed each other, I turned and said, ‘Ride the bike’. He smiled a little, acknowledging that he should.

Than I said,”Ride that bike, Ride your bike. Comon you can do it. Righ that bike. You can do it!”. And I got all excited and told him that.

This guy, got all so hyped up, he turned and looked at me and I saw him smiling . I could see the excitement on his face. He got all hyped up, as if to tell himself, ‘He’s right. I should ride my bike.’ Then he paddled his way up hill.

So now I’m thinking to myself, “Wow, it actually worked”. There were few other interesting encounters with a few people today. But this was the highlight of this morning.

Among other things – what can I say about net beans. Its so much better than eclipse! I was even using cssedit by Macrabbit on mac, and I thought it was a wonderful tool – something worth paying for. But Netbeans does an even better job at it (I think) AND ITS FREE!!

And there are other things that have happened, but this blog will just turn into a recording of my life if I talk about all that. SO coming to my conclusion. GREAT THINGS HAPPEN WHEN YOU’RE READY FOR A CHANGE!!It all started from me finally making the move to upgrade my site and do an extreme make over.

Who knows what great things are waiting to happen for me :). All I can say is, I’m ready for a change and ready for great things to happen!


Migrating from Eclipse to Netbeans

continued from “I love Open Source and Freeware”

I have never actually made a move this big this quickly. I guess it all comes with the idea of change. Netbeans is clearly a developers IDE where as eclipse is a bit of an overall IDE. For large scale projects I still think Eclipse is better.

The question is what are the benefits I’m getting with Netbeans? and What am I compromising on?

Well as for the benefits – This will be biased because my requirements at the moment orbit around PHP and web development and I must say I am amazed by the wealth of tools available. I really didnt even have to search alot for this. Netbeans has a PHP IDE that you can download. It has amazing code completion for html and javascript AND css with a little preview window at the bottom – its really a full fledged web development IDE.

Eclipse really lacked this. Even eclipses PDT project didnt provide what netbeans has. The UI seems much pleasant to work with, but eclipse seems to have a much more efficient default layout in its PHP perspective.

I also liked the netbeans update manager – its much more gracious, but limited in comparison to eclipse’s.

But I really feel the pinch in netbeans issue/task management. NOTHING comes close to Eclipse’s Mylyn. Luckily Netbeans does have a connector for bugzilla, but its not that great and you’re just better off opening up your browser to manage all your code issues. But I have to make a choice and I had to choose netbeans because of the tools provided for actual development. Plus at the moment all my projects are small and managed mostly by me, but as my projects grow and more people join I might again have to switch to Eclipse, unless netbeans gets something that can run head to head with Mylyn.

It will take some time for me to get used to Netbeans. I found JMaki and it seems to be a bold step to bring in all the javascript libraries under one roof – seems a bit confusing at first glance, but I will look into that and maybe even give it a chance to show its head up in one of my projects. One thing sucks is that it doesnt support mootools(yet, or maybe there’s a way to get it to work).

@Deepesh Kapadia

Also, just want to say thanks to Deepesh for suggesting Netbeans – it’s improved quite a lot since the last time I used it.


Manifesto for Agile Software Development

I found this while I was searching for code management software. I will get on implementing this as soon as possible. Software development is a complex task, with numerous methodology and even more components. Its very dynamic and it can span so many different realms, from science to art, to engineering and management. It virtually exercises every muscle of knowledge and learning.

Manifesto for Agile Software Development[1]

We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.

Quote from



Miller not running for Toronto Mayor

Today David Miller announced that he will not be running for mayor in the next election. I think this is a sad day for Toronto. Although I agree that recently, especially after the 39-day civic strike hi s popularity hit rock bottom, I still think he did a pretty good job at holding the title as a Mayor. I see a man who has great love for the city of Toronto. He’s had to make some tough choices to try to do the right thing, but the people don’t seem to try to look past the decision that they see on the surface into the deeper reason for why sometimes certain thinks have to be done. Sure, he took a hit and it cost him his reputation with the people of Toronto.

I think people should stop bashing the mayor. Miller did try to explain his decision, but I think he failed to reach out to people and explain thoroughly reasons behind the things he was or was not doing. I personally bought his logic and his situation, but there are a lot of people that don’t heed to logic; they just look at ‘oh tax increase, oh civic strike’, and so maybe in that sense he failed as a politician.

I wish him luck in whatever he plans to do after his mayorship ends next year, and I hope that we don’t have another Mel Lastman running this City into the ditch. I hear some iditios say Miller was the worst mayor they’d ever known. Some of these people are my friends. Do they even remember Lastman, he was nothing more than a big overflowing pot of joke.


I love Open Source and Freeware

Have you ever heard “Technology brings us closer”? I know I have, and I know its true. Specifically, I think programmers are at forefront when it comes to sharing and connecting. In what other profession is there hundreds and hundreds of hours of work put in to make something really useful for people that you don’t even know and do it for FREE; and not only do it for free, but make your work available to the public so they can see how you exactly did what you did.

This friends is the world of open source. The reason I love open source is, first of all – everything is free! It also keeps us variety and the power to chose not to be confined to large software enterprises that at times seems to be sucking out our wallets from our back pockets.

Open source software is the only field where FREE is actually fascinating, fantastic, fabulous and fun and not just free. Some of the open source and freeware software is actually 5 to 10 or even more times better than software that you actually pay for. Here are some of the software that I use and absolutely LOVE:

  • Linux – Specifically Ubuntu desktop. I just love this OS. Some people might find it a bit surprising, but given a little more time to mature I may even be able to trade in my mac book pro for an ubuntu notebook! Let me add a little note here, Ubuntu is actually the Linux OS, the user interface is from the GNOME project. Whats really amazing about any linux distros is that you can easily change the interface to something feels right for you. There are other distros that I should mention here ‚Äì Fedora, OpenSuse, Debian etc.. But I like ubuntu, especially the desktop because it just works. I used fedora in 2006 and it was a pain in the rear.
  • Eclipse ‚Äì according to me this is THE best IDE to use. There is a flavour for everything that you want to do. I use the PHP Development Tools (PDT) and it makes my work less work and more fun. I also use the free aptana plugin from time to time for web development.
  • Mozilla Apps ‚Äì Mozilla offers such amazing apps its hard not to talk about them. Firefox is by far the best web browser out there, thunderbird is a fantastic email client ‚Äì few years back I tried to like this email client but I couldn‚Äôt and instead opted for MS Outlook. Now 2 months back (July 09) I stumbled onto thunderbird again and wow does it impress me. I got so impressed I switched from Outlook. I you are fond of the outlook calendar, look no further, thunderbird has an amazing plugin called ‚Äòlightning‚Äô and its got all your calendar needs. I‚Äôm not a big fan of plugins, but this friends is an Ah-mazing plugin ‚Äì it actually feels like a native feature of thunderbird.
  • Apache ‚Äì Apache is by far the number one http web server out there, and I highly doubt that this will ever change!
  • Mootools ‚Äì is a javascript framework that I use and that I think is really convenient. I don‚Äôt know if this is the best one out there because honestly I have not used any other. There are actually many out there. Yahoo even has one out there and has large library with tonnes for features.
  • AVG Free ‚Äì although not open source, it is actually free and I think gets the job done. An excellent (and free) substitute for Norton ‚Äì oh how I hate norton.
  • Zonealarm ‚Äì again this is not open source, but is actually free. It had a few problems with some of their intermedia releases, but now they are back on track.
  • Gimp ‚Äì I love this. Its not as user friendly has photo shop(but then I don‚Äôt find photoshop that user friend to begin with. But being fair, I‚Äôm really a beginner at using advanced image editing software anyway), but its free and it does the job exceptionally well.
  • OpenOffice ‚Äì this is THE best substitute for MS Office. This is an excellent package. After all it does everything that MS Office does and more; you can convert your word files into pdfs ‚Äì thats one feature that first caught my attention. I use MS office on windows since I already had it, but I use OpenOffice on my macbook, since I didn‚Äôt want to pay the extra. You don‚Äôt need to be worried about your friends, co-workers or your boss not being able to open your openoffice files because you can save those files in MS Office formats.
  • Filezilla (ftp client)‚Äì an ftp client and server. Can‚Äôt say anything more about this. I think this one just rocks. If you are using anything other than this for your ftp needs, you should slap yourself haha.

There may be more that I’m using that I’m missing out there. I’ll update the list later. If you have any questions, you can contact me or leave a comment.


The Emmys

Before I say something else, I’ll say I used to like the Oscars better than the Emmys, and the Emmys better than the Grammys. But last night when I was thinking about it, I actually like the Emmys better since I spend a lot of time watching TV.

I have to say that Julia Louis-Dreyfus looks better than ever, and Neil Patrick Harris did a pretty good job of hosting the Emmys. But what blew my mind away was Bryan Cranston and his winning of the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series award. I always saw him as the unfortunate father of four notorious boys in “Malcolm in the Middle”. I knew him from his work in a comic role and I knew he was pretty damn good, but this…wow. I haven’t seen any of the episodes of Breaking Bad ‚Äì well frankly yesterday was the first time I heard about it. But winning an Emmy sure tells that he must be really good at what he‚Äôs doing.

Other not so surprising ones were awards to 30 Rock.

And more on TV later…


Content Kings

If I say all Germans are Nazis, all Indians are Gandhis, all Americans work for the CIA and all British are double O agents and you know what I’m talking about then congratulations you are amongst the 99.99% of the normal populations…haha. But if you don’t, then you need to read more books, watch movies or simply pay attention in class; but mostly watch movies.

It’s finally fun updating my blog – its almost like a power shift from being(or trying to be) a developer, a designer to being a content creator. I spent too much time bogged in reinventing the wheel instead of wordpressing my way to blogging. Now that I have finally shifted my focus and decided to leverage the power of CMSs, I feel an overwhelming power from within that not too long ago I did not feel I possessed.

If you have no idea what I’m really talking about in the last paragraph, then you’re mostly normal – or one of what programmers classify people as: developers, designers and dumb (in real these people are normal and the other two aren’t really haha). Please people (@ developers and designers), don’t get me wrong, I fall into that category (about me).

The conclusion that I would like to make is I was very optimistic, but at the same time I was also very idealistic, trying to be the inventor and creator as I spent time reinventing everything I needed to do my work, and then it finally hit me – time is money and money my friends is very important. So I have decided to leverage what is available and take it to the next level. I am starting to realize the power of asking the right questions to yourself. It’s helping me to take everything that’s been happening around me to my advantage, and that feels outrageously awesome!

That brings me to the next BIG question – what’s happening with