Tagged: House Stuff

How Mortgages and Housing Hurt the Economy

I had always assumed that the potential for default on risky mortgages was a problem, but I didn't realize how far reaching it could become. Here is an article in the New York Times that explains how bad mortgages can have a dire effect on the global economy.

In case you want more bad news here is another report on what is going on in the housing sector.

With ThePlanCollection.com we are able to observe the market somewhat because many people buy a house plan before they build a home. In some states things are still moving along and people are still building homes. It will be interesting to watch which styles of house plans continue to sell. Even in hard economic times luxury house plans tend to remain popular. Interesting.

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Add Website Search Using ASP.Net and Lucene

I have read a lot about Lucene over the years and finally managed to find an excuse to play with it. I used it to add a general search to ThePlanCollection.com. Here's a detailed writeup including the code I used to implement search using Lucene on ASP.Net.

Enjoy.

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Kill Internet Explorer With CSS

We got a call today at The Plan Collection that was interesting. A guy was trying to print out one of our pages. Each time he tried his browser would crash. At first I thought, "that is just nuts. Html can't crash your browser." Then Jake tried it and it crashed Internet Explorer. Then I tried it and sure enough whenever you try to print a page on ThePlanCollection.com your browser will crash.

I decide to investigate and sure enough Google comes through. Specific tags in your html code will cause Internet Explorer to crash when you try to print.

That same website lists a couple of other nasty Internet Explorer bugs. So yes you have to be careful when you write your html code. I would have never guessed that.

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A Favorite House Plan

I am one of the owner's of ThePlanCollection.com an online home plan publisher. When you write all the code that powers a site like that you become very familiar with the product. This is one of my favorite house plans of all time. It's not huge, but it isn't small either. I think the style is classic. Maybe it is the picture that I love, but I really wish more homes were built with this sort of timeless style.

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The Plan Collection

I have spent the past few weeks working on two projects. One is brand new and very exciting - houseplans.info. I developed that site in Ruby on Rails and it uses mysql on the backend. That project took me about four weeks working a few hours in the evenings. It is a joy to work on. I compare that to The Plan Collection which I have spent the last 7 years working on. It is written in old ASP and is painful to work on. I have been updating it to ASP.Net here and there and it just isn't as much fun as working in Ruby on Rails. By fun I mean that in twenty seconds I can setup url rewrites in Rails while I spent several days testing, debugging and cussing url rewrites in ASP.Net. I'm still not done. So far I am still unable to find a way for a form to post back to the rewritten url. ASP.Net happily ignores the rewrite and sets the form postback for you and refuses to give you a way to change it.

Open source is so much better and lets me be in a happy place.

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