Ben Langhinrichs

Photograph of Ben Langhinrichs

E-mail address - Ben Langhinrichs






June, 2005
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Genii Weblog


Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Thu 2 Jun 2005, 11:04 PM
I happened to be checking total page hits today, and noticed that our main CoexEdit page had exactly the same number as our main Midas Rich Text C++ API page.  Why is this amazing?   Simply because the Midas Rich Text C++ API was introduced on September 16, 2004, over eight months ago, while CoexEdit was introduced on May 11, 2005, less than a month ago.

Does this just mean the Midas C++ API is a dud?  No, it has been quite popular, but the Midas C++ API is an API, after all, while CoexEdit is a solution, and the solution to a pretty universal problem for Notes/Domino shops.  Nonetheless, the early response to CoexEdit has been stronger than that for any product I have ever introduced.  It should be interesting to see what happens when the first evaluation licenses run out in a few weeks.

Copyright 2005 Genii Software Ltd.

Thu 2 Jun 2005, 09:46 PM
I was doing some HTML validation yesterday, and was horrified to find how many images I add in this blog without ALT tags, which both makes the HTML invalid and harder to read for those who use need screen readers.  I decide to use our Midas Rich Text LSX to whip up a little routine to find all the images which do not have ALT tags defined.  After writing it, and after fixing quite a number, but by no means all, of the images, I decided to offer it here for those who have Midas and find the idea useful.

Midas Rich Text LSX script to find missing ALT tags

Copyright 2005 Genii Software Ltd.

Thu 2 Jun 2005, 12:18 PM
I was reading Rocky's comments again on making your business successful, in which he says (among other things):
Is my success in this marketplace typical? I have no idea. However, let me give you some insight into my success - and others' lack thereof. Over the last few years I have worked very, very hard to market myself and my abilities as an expert. I speak at least four times/year, I write for Lotus Advisor and Websphere Advisor on a regular basis, I published a book with Brian Benz a couple of years ago, and I created this blog. All of these things help get my name out in the marketplace as an expert - and I truly believe that all of these efforts are the sole reason why I am successful.
He has more to say, all of it quite interesting, but I want to expand on this a bit.  Let's make the assumption that you want you, and your business, to be successful.

That was easy.  Now comes the hard part.

What have you done TODAY to improve your business?  And by this, I don't mean just doing a good job and trying to keep your customers/employers happy.  I mean, what outside of your ordinary duties have you done to improve yourself, your business, your exposure, your website, your skills, etc.?

I try very hard to do something every day to make our website clearer, improve my relations with customers and friends and strangers, clean up Help entries, whatever, but things outside of my normal routine of selling, developing and supporting customers.  It isn't always easy, because it isn't part of the routine.  Sometimes it even hurts, because I miss some part of the job I should be doing to handle something not so directly necessary, but in the long run, it sems to pay off.  Today, I worked on making sure a bunch of our web pages were valid HTML Transitional, and took the opportunity to fix a small bug in Midas which was causing slight problems.  I also cleaned up some of the exessive use of ecblank images, and worked on a new format for our product pages.  That was all before noon, and it doesn't bring in a cent or satisfy a customer, but the slow accumulation of lots of those actions has led to a very successful business and a very happy customer base.  Of course, there is always more to do, but there are a lot of tomorrows, and even more time left today.

So what have YOU done to improve your business TODAY?

Copyright 2005 Genii Software Ltd.

Thu 2 Jun 2005, 07:47 AM
There is a cool extension to Firefox called View formatted source which lets you view your page source in a formatted way, with CSS elements highlighted, etc.  I wouldn't care for just the pretty printing, but I really like the way you can quickly identify the extent of a <div>...</div> or a table cell or almost any other inclusive group of HTML.  This makes analysis of a database much, much easier.  For example, the first image below is part of the source of the Genii homepage with the regular View - Page Source in Firefox, and the same part with formatted source:

Regular View - Page Source in Firefox

Page Source in Firefox

New formatted page source

Note that the highlighted area shows up when you mouse-over any <table> or <td> or <div> or whatever, and lets you instantly see where it starts and stops (you can do it on the </table> or </td> or </div> as well).  You can even click on the hink-minky on the left and collapse a whole element.  This is very good for finding mismatched elements, abd seeing just parts of a page, etc.
Formatted page source

Copyright 2005 Genii Software Ltd.