Posts Tagged ‘Programing’

PHP unexplainable errors on line 1

Posted in Programing, Web Development on September 25th, 2014 by Jarred – Comments Off on PHP unexplainable errors on line 1

Just throwing this out there for anyone who might be experiencing some crazy PHP errors that don’t make any sense. I have been away from PHP for a while but started working on little project that requires a php back-end. But, right from the get-go I was getting some really simple errors that I knew could not be the issue (such as “unexpected end of file” or simple syntax errors for unexpected strings etc.) At first I thought it might be that I was just a little rusty on the php syntax, but could not figure out what was going on and could not get anything to work. The files I was working with were extremely small and it was obvious the syntax was correct, but the weird errors were persisting. Thing was they were were all occurring at line 1, which was puzzling at the time, but I didn’t give it much thought (which should have been a huge red flag to me). So, it turns out my editor of choice (Notepad++) was only inserting a CR (carriage return) and not the full CRLF (carriage return line feed) not quite sure why this behavior was happening (or why PHP engine could not figue it out), but as soon as I replaced the CRs with CRLFs everything started working as expected. I did not investigate this all the way, but I am assuming this probably has something to do with how my host has PHP configured or something simple like that, but for the uninitiated this can really perplexing (and incredibly frustrating). So, the take away here is if you are having some unexplainable PHP errors that are all occurring on line one, maybe check out what you are using for your EOL (end of line) characters and see if that is the issue.

Jquery click not binding to checkbox (or any other element)

Posted in Geekdom, Programing, Web Development on January 24th, 2014 by Jarred – Comments Off on Jquery click not binding to checkbox (or any other element)

I am just writing this down for the sake of my own personal sanity. I just spent way too much time trying to trouble shoot why I could not bind a click event to a checkboxes in jquery. This post here gave me a clue what I was doing wrong. If by chance you are having a similar issue make sure that the element you are trying to bind to is already created and part of the DOM or it will not work and you will be left befuddled why exactly nothing is happening (at least I was).

Combining JSON objects from the google datastore problems

Posted in Geekdom, Programing on December 10th, 2012 by Jarred – Comments Off on Combining JSON objects from the google datastore problems

So, here is the story: I have two different JSON objects stored as strings in the google app engine datastore. I have been trying to fetch both of the two JSON object in a single ajax call in an attempt to reduce the number of request made to the server which hopefully will make my application more efficient/quick. However It took me a great deal of time to figure out exactly how to merge / combine the two different JSON objects into a single object server side for ajax transfer over to the client. I kept on getting JSON validation errors even though the code looked perfectly good to me. Even worse the online JSON validators would tell me that there was an unexpected character, but they would either not tell me where it was, or the location they specified was perfectly valid JSON. So, eventually I figured out my problem (at least one of them); I was encoding (unwittingly) the objects in the datastore as UTF-8 with the “byte order mark” which was causing validation errors when I tried to merge the two object. Once I encoded the files that were creating my datastore object without the byte order mark, they successfully merged into a unified JSON object that I was able to pass via ajax and successfully parse.

In case anyone is wondering (or I have to figure out how to do it again), here is the way I combined the two python JSON objects server-side:

combinedObject = { 'obj1' : dataObj1, 'obj2' : dataObj2 }

However, for some reason (as of yet I do not fully understand) I have to call the JSON.parse on both the parent object and then child objects in order to get the objects correctly parsed into javascript.

EDIT: Another note regarding unexpected character errors when trying to parse JSON: I was pasting in formatted and what I thought was validated data from one of the many online tools, however I think I was also inadvertently pasting in hidden characters which was causing all sorts of confusion and problems. Another thing you might want to check this if you are having parsing errors.

Problems with binding events on subview in backbone.js

Posted in Programing on November 23rd, 2012 by Jarred – Comments Off on Problems with binding events on subview in backbone.js

I am working on learning backbone.js and well it has been a bumpy road. Along the way I have come across several hiccups, but this one was a doozy and caused me all sorts of frustration. I was trying to to bind a change event to a select menu in one of my subviews. For the life of me I could not get the event to fire correctly. If I copied the exact same event to the parent view it worked just fine. This lead me to believe that I was experience a scope issue. There is lots of information on the web about breaking the scope of “this” in backbone.js which further lead me to believe this was the problem. But turns out that was not the problem at all. After a whole lot of confusion I lucky stumbled upon this post on stackoverflow

Unfortunately it looks like it was not the answer to the original posters problem, but it solved my issue.

According to the post, events in backbone.js are not actually bound to the changing element but rather the root element of the view and then delegated to the children from there. This is important if you are not actually inserting your the root element of your subview into the DOM, because then your events will not fire (which is exactly what I was doing).

So, this render function simply inserts the rendered template html into the DOM which fails to actually insert the views el into the DOM.

render: function() {
$('#anchorDiv').append( this.template(this) );

Something like this however will actually insert the view’s root element into the DOM which will (at least in my case) solved all my event issues.
render: function() {
$(this.el).html( this.template(this) );
$('#anchorDiv').append( this.template(this) );

I am really liking backbone.js as I think it is helping me better structure my applications. That being said, it has been tough to really learn and grasp how everything is supposed to work. This issue was not straight forward to me at all and hopefully might help somebody out there figure out why their events are not working like they thing they should.

Universal AJAX function

Posted in Geekdom, Programing, Web Development on February 13th, 2012 by Jarred – 1 Comment

Here is my universal AJAX function. I am posting it here for reference. Over the months I have adapted/revised this function and now have finally gotten it to do pretty much what I want it. I did not write all of this myself I pulled most of it off of somewhere, but I can not remember so I can not give proper credit. Let me know if you have any suggestions on how to improve it.


// ******************************************************
// Universal Ajax Function
// Useage Example:  universalAJAX('', "var1=true&var2=false", functionWhenDone, functionWhenWaiting, functionWhenFail);
// ******************************************************

function universalAJAX(URL, DataToSend, doneFunction, waitingFunction, errorFunction)

var json_http;
if (window.XMLHttpRequest)
{json_http=new XMLHttpRequest();}
{json_http=new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");}

   if (json_http.readyState==1)
  if (json_http.readyState==4 && json_http.status==200)
	if (json_http.status==200)
  json_http.setRequestHeader("Content-type", "application/x-www-form-urlencoded")

  var timeOutVarCancel=setTimeout(errorFunction,10000);

Iterating through properties of a JavaScript Object with the “For In” loop

Posted in Geekdom, Programing, Web Development on January 16th, 2012 by Jarred – Comments Off on Iterating through properties of a JavaScript Object with the “For In” loop

As I have mentioned before I am a novice self taught programmer and I often come across little problems that take me quite a while to figure them out. I like to post them here so I can come back and remember how I solved the problem and also so hopefully others can benefit from my struggles. I came access one of these said problems this weekend trying to iterate through a object in JavaScript using a “for in” loop. I understood the looping mechanism quite well, however getting the syntax to work for me through me for a loop.


Incorrect (This is how I would assume it would work)

 for (var x in someObject.someProperty)

newVar = someObject.someProperty.x.anotherProperty;

This is how I got it to work

 for (var x in someObject.someProperty)

newVar = someObject.someProperty[x].anotherProperty;

You will notice you cant use .x to access the property the loop is currently processing,  you must use the [x] In truth I do not understand why this is so if anybody out there cares to enlighten me that would be appreciated. Either way hopefully this might save some frustration.

Little surprises for the uninitiated

Posted in All on August 1st, 2011 by Jarred – Comments Off on Little surprises for the uninitiated

AsteroidsInc is pretty much the first game I have ever programed so there have been lots of surprises along the way. Probably one of the bigger surprises I have come across so far is the amount of time it has taken me to program the menu system. I was expecting that to be one of the easier/simpler parts, but has taken me quite some time to get everything working correctly. I have tried to take a OOP approach to make everything as organized as possible, but it is still quite complicated, is requiring a massive chunk of code, and in truth has been quite boring. Quite possibly this is due to me doing stuff the “hard way” or flat out the “wrong” way (like everything else), but I cant think of any easier way to accomplish what I need. I guess the moral of this story is that sometimes the little things take a lot longer than expected. I am finding that it takes quite a bit of perseverance to push through the “little” things that are turning out to be “big” things. Hopefully the finished product will be worth it…

Along the same note, I think that focus is also becoming an important factor in bringing this project together. I keep on coming up with other projects/ideas/tangents that sound more interesting in the moment and the temptation is to work on those. However, time I have to work on this is limited and if I am ever going to finish my game, I am going to have to focus on it.

HTML5 Canvas performance for scaling sprites

Posted in All on August 1st, 2011 by Jarred – 1 Comment

Well…This is likely a nobrainer for most, but for some reason it took me quite a while to figure this one out.  In my latest game asteroidsInc I have been designing I was experiencing some pretty awful frame rates, and so I started to try and optimized the code for better performance.  I was using the JavaScript drawImage function to scale the images I was using as sprites in order to achieve a retro pixely effect.  While it did accomplish the effect I was looking for it turns out the frame rate took a big hit due to the scaling.  To improve the performance I simply used Photoshop to enlarge my images (in order to retain the retro effect) and then used the drawImage function using no scaling. The performance boost was quite significant. In hindsight it seems quite obvious that using the scaling was a bad idea on sprites and would require more resources to render, but hey…sometimes the obvious just takes a little longer.


In recap, if you are are trying to animate multiple objects on the canvas it appears that resizing the images themselves has performance advantages over using the drawImage to scale the images.

Safari not liking the HTML5 Audio

Posted in All, Programing, Web Development on July 30th, 2011 by Jarred – 1 Comment

 Well this one threw me for a loop….

 I never use Safari, but in an attempt to make my latest HTML5 Game compatible in all the major browsers I downloaded the PC version of Safari to do some testing and trouble shooting to see if it would work. The game worked well in Chrome, Firefox, and I.E. so I assumed it would just work in Safari. But no, to my surprise it started throwing the following error every time I tried playing one of the audio elements.

 TypeError: ‘undefined’ is not a function (evaluating ‘’)

 After much frustration I came across a post which indicated that HTML5 audio and video tags will not work in Safari without QuickTime. So much for HTML5 not requiring any plug-ins. I installed QuickTime and to my dismay Safari was now giving me the following error when I tried to start it up.

This application has failed to start because QTCF.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem.

After trying to reinstall the the browser (this did not work) I found the QTCF.dll file in the Program Files/QuickTime/QTsystem made a copy of it and put it in Windows/System32. This solve the problem and Safari now started up. I was able to load my game with no more errors playing the audio objects. Safari seemed to handle the canvas object fairly well (although the frame rate on seems to be fairly poor).



Free Animated explosion on transparent background

Posted in Geekdom, Programing on July 5th, 2011 by Jarred – 1 Comment

While creating my first game I came across the need for some sprite sized explosion animations. I tried multiple times to draw them myself, however I just couldn’t get them to look right. So I turned to the web to see if I could find some royalty free explosion animations that I could use in my game. After a little searching I found several suitable sprite sheets like the one below on (The website also features a free explosion generator program to make more).

The animation however was on a sprite sheet that had a solid background and I needed a transparent background. So, I took the time to cut them out using an alpha layer and then saved them to individual files. I have upload the cutout files as I figure it is likely others might find them useful. The below file includes a photoshop file with all the different frames of the explosion on different layers as well as all of the frames of the explosion separated into individual .png files with transparent backgrounds. These images are royalty free so please feel free to use them any way you like.

Download animation with transparent background

UPDATE: Couple more free animated explosions can be found here