Birthday Bash

Not mine, not Crystal’s, but Henry’s first birthday came and went on Sunday. It was wonderful for us to hang out and enjoy the cake we made and watch him destroy a piece of the chocolate and cherry sin. Fortunately, Crystal’s step mom and her half brother came by and filled in some of the depressingly empty chairs at the occasion. Crystal’s mom stopped only briefly to fulfill a formality.

I got the little guy a remote control car and a Thomas the Tank Engine push toy. He has been most excited about the John Deer steering wheel. My, they do start marketing to youngsters young. The whole family has been getting over a cold so he was a little grumpy that day but the last two days have been wonderful with him. He truly brings out the best in us.

At daycare they are starting to integrate him more into the toddler aged room. He seems to be in there a lot for what they call slow integration. I worry almost daily, as he looks up at me and smiles, whether or not I am a good enough dad. If we are the kind of parents that will raise a good man. It scares me to think that I will send him off as the bearer of my family with only the memories and character I help instill.

At work I am working on a survey and sweepstakes entry system. Developing for a load balanced set of web servers presents its own set of challenges. Using the power of a well known search engine and some of my own practical experience I developed a handy class to replace the session handling in PHP. I will post the code in my Interests section under programming. Basically, instead of reading and writing sessions from memory PHP is forced to use a MySQL database. It’s pretty slick stuff and places sessions to a single point of failure. I cringe at the potential database load. I guess testing will reveal the results of that. I have a lot on my plate but it feels good to be working on important stuff. I really hope I can eventually work my way into the server programming group. I don’t know why being a PHP/MySQL developer comes with this stigma in my mind. I mean, it’s good work and has its challenges but I would like to get my hands dirty on some C++/C# code.

Speaking of web development, Sun has announced Java FX (yeah yeah, so all you /. readers beat me to it) and from what I see it is a rival to Microsoft’s Silverlight and a replacement for AJAX. I am not sure if I agree with either of those assessments. I definitively agree that AJAX has its own set of security, say, hurdles but it does not mean it is on its way out especially with how much development has already been done for it. As far as an alternative to Flash? Not sure. I will have to get my fingers on it and play with it.

At work we are looking at a couple rapid development solutions for an ability to easily integrate our game code with any web applications we may want to eventually deploy. Ruby on Rails came up, to my surprise. I do not think it is because of any ease of integration but rather its rapid web deployment that makes it attractive. Right now Gecko seems like a strong, viable solution for what we are trying to accomplish. Programming with those sort of environment would make customizable UIs and other customization much easier than having everything hard coded in C++ while making deploying said modules on the web easy as well.

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