Posts Tagged ‘development’

Kicktrade goes beta

I am proud to announce that my hobby project is entering the beta testing phase. For those of you who don’t know yet, Kicktrade is an Android multiplayer game where the players buy and sell virtual stock of football teams that are participating in a real competition. In this case you can trade the 16 teams of the Euro Cup 2012 with the goal to become the richest player. You are invited to try out the free beta now. Head over to the Kicktrade Section (top right menu) and download the apk file now. There you will find also further information on the game itself.

The basic functionality is finished, however there are some special cases that might not be handled correctly, for example differences in OS version, screen resolutions, input devices… This is where you come in: Try everything and report any bugs you can find. The following things will be added in one of the following releases:

  • Bug tracking / support ticket website
  • Night mode: Trades are slowed down at night between 0:00 and 8:00. You will be able to make only one buy or sell per team during this time or maybe even no trade at all so i can use the time as maintenance period.
  • Link to football team websites or other news feed to get live information on gossip and facts.
  • Evaluation of winning conditions: This will be implemented toward the end of the Euro Cup.
  • Design: The design will be changed completely including a consistent identity more fitting to football and trading.
  • Order book: Sell or buy at a set price.
  • Display of possible volume to sell / buy.
  • Messages/Social: Send messages to other players, form groups of players, collect achievements, facebook wallposts, twitter and the like…
  • Better feedback on errors with messages and popups or required updates of the client. Also on the server side there are still some open issues, like how to upgrade the database after making structural changes.
  • Localization in different languages
  • Oh and and many many more…

BUT: For now I am asking you to help and focus on finding bugs and exploits first.

Now for some screenshots of version 0.11 beta:













Howto: JBoss Seam Performance Problems and Optimizations

Are you a java web application developer and you are working with JBoss Seam? Ok, then you might be interested in the following JBoss Seam performance problems (and their solutions). If not you should seriously consider leaving this post! It is rather long and dry and might make you never consider programing with Seam EVER (which can also be a good thing, but I will leave this discussion for another post). In any case: You have been warned.

Soo… I have recently gained some experience developing a medium/large web application with Seam and I also discovered a couple of pitfalls you run into when using this framework, especially in terms of performance optimization. At some point, I had pages of just average complexity, loading in more than 17 seconds! In this post, I will go over each of the steps that i did to speed up those pages to 3 – 6 seconds. During my code analysis, I searched through a couple of Seam performance tuning pages out there, but for some reason they did not really provide me the tweaks or straight solutions I was hoping to find. Many of the tips I found sounded very reasonable, but when I applied them to my project, there was barely any change in Seam’s performance! That’s why I publish my own list of performance optimizations, which definitely had a visible impact at least on my code and hope I can help those among you, who find themselves in a similar position like me. And even if my performance tuning tips are not able to help in your particular case, at least you will learn how to identify performance problems in your Seam project with this post.

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How to merge multiple RSS feeds into one

If you have a wordpress blog (or any other kind of website), you might come across this problem some day: you want to fetch multiple RSS feeds and merge their entries in chronological order into one feed. Don’t panic, I might have found the solution for you. On my WordPress blog you can see I have RSS feeds for the blog posts, the user comments and now also the shoutbox entries. Most visitors were not aware of the different RSS feeds on my page (and who could blame them?), so I decided to combine them all into one big feed. Here is what you need to do…

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WordPress: how to hide/remove pingbacks and trackbacks from recent comments

Its pretty simple to remove pingbacks and trackbacks from your sidebar actually, but the required change is overwritten by any wordpress update since it is done directly inside the wordpress files:

  1. Open the file wp-includes/default-widgets.php
  2. Find line with $comments= get_comments( array( 'number'=> $number, 'status'=> 'approve') );
  3. Change line to $comments= get_comments( array( 'number'=> $number, 'status'=> 'approve', 'type'=> 'comment') );

Your pingbacks and trackbacks should be hidden from the default recent comments widget.

Edit: I tried stromkopf’s suggestion to use a plugin and it works perfectly. To get it, go to

Real Life Habits of a Programmer

I came across this list some time ago and today i found it again in my bookmarks: People collected and voted on a list of habits that a person might have attained by working as a programmer and which he/she applies to real life. Some of them are pretty accurate, for example:

“I now consider 256 to be a nice, round number. Occasionally I’m caught off-guard when non-programmers don’t get that.”

“I tend to take things hyper-literally. For example, my wife was annoyed when she used to ask “Do you want to take out the garbage?” (no) instead of “Will you take out the garbage?” (yes). Whether this is a result of programming, or just an innate trait that helps in programming, I cannot say.”

“Knuth would kill me, but I try to optimize every single path that I take, from college to home or just to the bathroom. I also tend to try to optimize the flow of people serving things in restaurants. But that’s just sad.”

“I temporize way too much in conversation. Things that anyone else would say as fact, I will still throw a “probably” or “perhaps” on, because I know there could always be that one edge case where a meteor strikes my neighborhood and I wouldn’t after all be able to make it out that day to Thanksgiving dinner.”

“I try to compress orders at restaurants by giving all necessary information in one packet. This frequently does not work, because the order taker’s task buffer is limited to one piece of data at a time.

Fast Food [Guy|Girl]: Can I take your order?

Me: number 6, BBQ, diet cola, debit.

FFG: What dipping sauce would you like?

Me: BBQ, diet cola, debit.

FFG: What would you like to drink?

Me: Diet Cola, debit.

FFG: Is Pepsi OK?

Me: [ponders Abstract Base Classes and the FFG’s lack of Polymorphic Behavior] Sure. I’ll pay with my debit card.

FFG: And how will you be paying?

Me: [sighs] debit.”

“I google everything.” with the user comment “”ARE YOU CHEATING ON ME?” — “Hangon, lemme Google that quickly.””

Find the complete list here:

HTML 5 explained

In recent discussions about apple’s boycott of adobe flash on its iPad we heart about them praising the advantages of their alternative bet on HTML5. What exactly does that mean and does that really give you the ability to implement more interactive content without any plugins? I just came across this graphic which explains the main features of HTML5 and compares which browsers are supporting them.


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