Monthly Archives: June 2006

Cafe Marina

On Sunday, Claire and I drove to the North side of the Gold Coast to the Marina Mirage shopping complex. While we were there, we thought we might as well have some lunch and ended up sitting down at a little place named Cafe Marina. Claire and I were happy to be greeted by a very happy bloke who sorted us out regarding their menu promptly. What we were even more impressed about was that they had a wide selection of gluten free meals available. The bloke (I presume the owner) was ‘in the know’ regarding gluten free dining, so that was fantastic and promptly pointed out a whole swag of meals on their menu which Claire could eat. In the end, Claire selected a chicken and mushroom risotto while I picked a spaghetti bolognaise. Since the restaurant was a little swish, the price matched that; however they were delicious!

If you’re in the area and want a fine meal, especially if you’re looking for a good gluten free restaurant:

Name: Cafe Marina
Address: 75 Seaworld Drive
Main Beach, QLD, 4217
Phone: 07 5591 1400

C Espresso Bar

This morning Claire and I were in Southport, so we decided to find a cafe to have breakfast at. After a short walk, we ended up at the newly constructed Southport Central. A quick scout around and C Espesso Bar seemed like an excellent candidate. I ordered a big breakfast, while Claire ordered bacon & eggs. Both of our meals were excellent, delivered in good time and very tasty. I was also pleased to find out that they make a fine cup of espresso as well! The price was pretty reasonable as well, I think it was about $27.00 which included the two meals, a mug of espresso and a juice for Claire.

In case you want to check out what C Espresso Bar has to offer, their details are:

Name: C Espresso Bar
Address: Shop C5 Southport Central
56 Scarborough Street
Southport, QLD, 4215
Phone: 07 5591 6377
Fax: 07 5591 7449

Professor X Firefox Extension

Ever wanted to look into the <head> section of a web page without having to constantly view the source? Well, good news folks – Stuart Robertson has released a new Firefox extension named Professor X because it gets into your head!

The Professor X Firefox extension will make all of the content in the <head> section of your site or anyone elses, available for you to view without having to suffer the laborious task of navigating to ‘view source’.

This is another excellent Firefox extension to complement Stuart’s ever popular X-Ray extension.

Changing Of The Guards

The company I work for, Stella Resorts Group, have been going through some massive change, most of which is a good thing™.

Over the last five years, BreakFree has experienced explosive growth. BreakFree was initially a small business with a handful of employees, which five years later has transformed into a publicly listed company with over 500 employees. At the start, the business had access to only a very small number of properties to sell through, while it currently has access to 115 properties spread from North Queensland down to Tasmania and into New Zealand. In the last 18 months, BreakFree has been purchased by the Gold Coast based funds management company MFS Limited (ASX Stock: MFS) to complement their extensive leisure assets. After the acquisition, Stella Resorts Group was created to act as an umbrella over all of the MFS leisure assets, including BreakFree, Peppers, Mantra, Bale, Falls Creek, Mount Hotham and others.

During the same time frame, BreakFree has seen two CEO’s take the hot seat and a third take the reigns since Stella Resorts Group was formed. We have a new CFO and Financial Controller, along with a new COO. A CIO was introduced into the company and a new General Manager for sales appointed. Coming down the chain a little bit, there has also been a IT infrastructure manager and a software development manager slotted in. The infrastructure side of the fence has increased from one up to six with more on the way, while the development has increased from two to nine. Along the way, the rest of the company has also grown proportionately with approximately 120 staff in the head office at the Gold Coast.

A little closer to home and in the last two months, a contractor who was essentially permanent didn’t have his contract renewed. One of our longest standing developers, who has seen the company grow from its infancy has also moved on after four years. After being with the company for a year, we’ve had our two other developers leave for a change along with our development manager also.

Without any doubt, all the changes collectively have created a lot of flux. I personally see it as a good thing™, as it allows the company to put the right people in the right seats to take the company forward. Once some of the dust settles and bodies are replaced, there is going to be a lot of round table discussion on who, what, where, when and how the next business directives are going to be executed. There is a huge amount of change for the business on the horizon which I can’t wait for it to unfold.

Exciting times ahead.

WordPress Performance

In the last month or two, I’ve begun writing some simple plugins for WordPress and I’ve been a little frustrated by one of the application/database design decisions which have been made.

Most web sites consist predominantly of read activity and infrequent write activity. As such, it is in the interest of performance that, where applicable, you store an aggregate value instead of calculating it. This design decision was made correctly by storing the number of comments per post in the wp_posts table. Unfortunately, this technique has not been used for storing the URL for a post. For whatever reason, to get the URL for a particular post you need to call get_permalink() – which through the use of a few other queries derives the URL for the page.

I can understand to some extent why this was done, it makes sure that the URL presented for a post is always the current one. I think the other reason might involve creating a convenient templating language for the public to use with WordPress. As a simple example, consider the lists of posts you see on this site. Instead of requiring a single query to generate these lists, it requires n+1 queries to generate the lists where n is the number of posts you want displayed.

What I don’t understand is why the guid field in the wp_posts table isn’t updated and kept in sync with the post and a users desired permalink structure. Employing a simple mechanism like this would mean generating a list of URL’s would only issue a single query. If this was the case, you’d end up with a scenario where:

  • drafting a post would create a permalink
  • publishing a post would update the permalink
  • changing the publishing date of a post would regenerate the permalink
  • changing the permalink structure would regenerate all permalinks

One other thing which is a little frustrating is that after asking in #wordpress on, no one at the time could clarify what the guid field was used for and why it isn’t kept in sync as pointed out above (maybe its a bug?). The other thing which I couldn’t find on the codex, was a good definition of all fields in all tables and what they logically represent. If I happen to run into Matt or Ryan, I’ll be sure to ask them to confirm one way or the other.