boogdesign links

Links contains a big list of links, with a little bit of commentary

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Category: Programming

08/17/07

06:42:40 pm Permalink Hiding the Vertical Scrollbar in IE

Categories: Programming, Web

Also related to my little signage project in the last post, one problem I encountered was the IE would insist on displaying a vertical scrollbar even though it wasn't required - and since I knew the exact pixel dimensions of the display I knew I didn't need one. It turns out there are many solutions to this on the internet, it's a common complaint when IE is rendering in standards compliant mode, and the solution is easy enough, just put:

html {
overflow: auto;
}

in your CSS file.


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06:22:01 pm Permalink Resizing the browser viewport

Categories: Programming, Web

Today I've been working on electronic signage, to display meeting details on small screen outside of meeting rooms. The details themselves come from the booking system sold by my employers and the data is sucked out from the back end database by a fairly simple ASP page. The sign is really a Windows CE device embedded in a box with 640x480px display, which is configured to launch PocketIE in kiosk mode, pointing at my ASP web page when it starts up.

Nothing too complicated. However, to confirm with the client that I've developed what they actually want I need to send them screenshots. There's no facility for screenshots on the device itself, but it displays almost identically on desktop IE - from which I can easily produce screenshots. The problem is I wanted the dimensions of the displayed page in desktop IE to exactly match the dimensions of the device screen, but desktop IE has a whole load of window chrome (borders, toolbars etc.) which don't show on the device. I could have messed around trying to get the correct size manually, but I thought there had to be a way I could achieve with code.

The solution was a little harder to find than I expected, most browser resizing solutions concentrate on changing the entire window rather than the visible part, but I found a good solution at the above link. I also turned the code into a bookmarklet so I could add it to my favourites in IE by hardcoding some of the values, it should be easy enough to change if you need a different resolution.


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05/31/07

11:50:13 pm Permalink Google Developer Day 2007

Categories: Programming, Technology News, Web

I spent today as a guest of Google, and I can highly recommend the experience - if nothing else it's worth it for the free lunch :) I'll do a more 'complete' post with reviews of all the talks I attended at the weekend, but for now I'll present some highlights:

  • "What's good for web developers is good for Google!"
  • Google Gears - enable your web apps for offline use in an incremental way
  • Google Maps Street View - photos integrated with maps, I'm sure I've seen this sort of thing before, but the real-time 3D-style interaction was very neat
  • Mapplets - presented as a 'meta mashup' technology, allowing you to mashup mashups, overlaying the results of several different mashups on the same map control

I also attended a session on the GData APIs and a very informative talk on developing web content for mobiles. I'm going to check out the video of the KML talk when I get the chance as, from what I heard about it in asides during other sessions, it seems like it could be really useful. Anyway, check out the videos for yourself, and I'll be back with further comment later...


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02/10/07

12:53:45 am Permalink WebDD07: Alternative Perspectives

Categories: Programming, Web

Some alternative opinions on WebDD, from people who went to at least some of the same talks I did, culled from the excellent Backnetwork site for the event:


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01/26/07

12:51:05 am Permalink Firebug 1.0 Released

Categories: Programming, Technology News, Web

Started up Firefox just now and the automatic updater told me that Firebug 1.0 is now available. Of course, I immediately upgraded. The visual look has definitely seen some work and there are a number of new features - see the screenshot to see a loading time breakdown of all the elements of this page.

Firebug 1.0 Screenshot

This, coupled with the 1.1 release of the Web Developer Toolbar (my favourite new feature - it is now possible to validate local pages) and the release of Prototype 1.5 (now with documentation!) last week, makes it an exciting couple of weeks for web developers everywhere.


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09/19/06

09:14:39 pm Permalink New Boog Design Home Page Features

Categories: Programming, Content Management, Web

I've just been updating the boogdesign home page so that it displays recent updates from the rest of the site. I used Magpie RSS rather than hacking around with databases, as I figured it would be easier to extend later and less code in the short term. Here's the code:

<?php
$rss1 = fetch_rss("http://www.boogdesign.com/b2evo/xmlsrv/rss2.php?blog=1");
echo "<ul>";
for ($i=0; $i<=3; $i++) {
	$href = $rss1->items[$i]['link'];
	$title = $rss1->items[$i]['title'];
	$date_timestamp = $rss1->items[$i]['date_timestamp'];
	echo "<li><a href=\"$href\">$title</a> <span style=\"font-size: small\">(".strftime("%c", $date_timestamp).")</span></li>";
}
echo "</ul>";
?>

It displays the most recent four posts, the post titles linked to the posts, with a timestamp. Since my existing index page was already linked directly from several places I added a redirect directive to index.html:

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;index.php"/>

And I edited my .htaccess page to force index.php to be the default page:

DirectoryIndex index.php

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09/04/06

07:52:57 pm Permalink Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)

Categories: Programming, Technology News, Web

This looks way cool - the internet service platform of the future, IBM and their 'utility computing' can eat their hearts out. Get around the cost of dedicated hosting by renting machines, dynamically, as needed. It also seems to be really cheap compared to other hosting options. I looked up VPS hosting plans at one of my ISPs for comparison purposes, the cheapest package is $24.95pcm. This includes 40Gb monthly transfer and 4Gb of storage, costing that up on EC2 gives $0.60 for the storage and $8.00 for the transfer. What's not clear to me is how the '$0.10 per instance-hour consumed' is calculated - does this mean actual processing time your instance takes up or that you pay for all the time your instance is loaded even if it's doing no actual computation? (Hopefully, Jeff Barr will explain it &amp;#59;&amp;#41; ) In the latter case you'd be looking at a VPS-equivalent solution, except using a higher spec machine, for less than $10pcm. Even if you're paying for every hour that the instance is running for a whole month that's still only $74.40 (in a 31 day month), giving a total cost somewhere in the region of $85, which is still very competitive. If you just wanted a server for testing and development in this scenario you could probably end up paying less than $20pcm, I think it could be an ideal solution for the burgeoning cadre of Ruby on Rails or even Erlang web developers - cheaper than VPS or Dedicated Servers during the development period but with practically infinite scalability.


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08/01/06

10:23:32 pm Permalink Can Your Programming Language Do This?

Categories: Programming, Web

Joel is usually quite entertaining and today he posted on a subject I've been devoting some research time to recently, Functional Programming:

If your programming language requires you to use functors, you're not getting all the benefits of a modern programming environment. See if you can get some of your money back.

His examples are in Javascript, which ought to be easy enough for most webheads to follow.


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05/09/06

03:28:03 pm Permalink Jeff Barr (Amazon Web Services) in London - May 15th!

Categories: Programming, Web

"When you think about Web Services you think about Amazon. And that's how good a job Jeff Barr, web services evangelist at Amazon, does!

Speaking in London on May 15th, for one night only, we're fortunate to have Jeff presenting on their stable of Web Services: AWS, S3 and the mechanical turk."

Read more at the link above.


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12/10/05

12:21:36 am Permalink XOAD: a PHP based AJAX framework

Categories: Programming, Web

This looks quite interesting, though still at an early stage of development (quite a few of the examples are a bit unreliable). Given the large number of PHP enabled hosting plans in use out there I would think there are a lot of people looking for an easy way to add AJAX to an existing website. The only other AJAX framework for PHP I've seen is Sajax.


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10/31/05

01:52:21 am Permalink Oracle to offer free database

Categories: Programming, Technology News

The biggest name in Enterprise databases is heading downmarket in an effort to snag all those young developers who are learning their SQL on MySQL and MSDE.


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