generatedata.com site bug

Posted on May 26, 2015 in generatedata.com, Open Source Projects | 0 comments

So this is strange. The last 24 hours or so I’ve noticed that the generatedata.com website sometimes fails to load. The JS errors don’t make terribly much sense, it’s like the JS isn’t fully loading sequentially. I haven’t changed the code in several months.

Seems like it’s local to Chrome only. Firefox seems fine. I’m going to monitor it – possibly it’s a Chrome issue that was introduce in 44.x.

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generatedata 3.2.1

Posted on May 25, 2015 in generatedata.com, Open Source Projects | 0 comments

I just released a new version of generatedata. You can download the free standalone script from the github repo here. This new version fixes a few smaller issues that have been reported, but most significantly it includes a great new feature to back up your data set configurations. Now, any time you save a data set it automatically saves a new copy of the configuration. Loading it will always default to the latest copy, but in case you ever need it, you can just click in the History link for that data set in the main dialog (found by clicking the Data Sets icon) and you can browse the history.

Every now and then I’ve heard of people run into problems when saving a data set. And if you’re dealing with really large data sets, clicking “save” and finding you’ve lost all your data is a pretty darn serious bug. But not being able to reproduce it, I decided that this would be a nice interim fix – as well as provide some good additional functionality.

I won’t be updating the public website for a little while longer yet. I’d like this feature to be out in the wild for a few months to confirm everything works as expected.

Enjoy! :D

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Form Tools update. Or lack thereof.

Posted on May 13, 2015 in Form Tools, Open Source Projects | 3 comments

Feelin’ mighty discouraged, here.

A year ago this month I got back control of Form Tools and was extremely excited to return to work on it… and then something came up, and I had to put it off for a month or two. So then I returned to it, and something else came up. Wash and repeat.

Cut to one year later. What do we have to show for it? Well, the documentation has been ported out of a custom database and into github where (eventually) anyone can edit it – admittedly, that was a huge task – and I’m still working on the website re-write. But really that’s it. The old site is still just sitting there; I’m not helping out in the forums, and basically the whole script has gotten sadly out of date.

The problem is time, not motivation. In the two years that I took off from Form Tools I started numerous other projects include d3pie, grunt-search, country-region-selector, and I re-wrote my popular generatedata.com script. All of these, plus many others, take time to support. When bugs are found I have to fix them – and even finding time for that is difficult.

I absolutely don’t want to give up on the project, I’m just at a loss about how to proceed. July 1st my wife and I are moving to Bowen Island where we’ve bought a house. Initially that’s going to mean even less time while we get the house shipshape.

The goal with Form Tools was – and still is – to get it to a state where people are able to contribute so it can hum along on its own steam. But in order to do that, I need to do work myself – the website, considering the functionality it offers, has to be closed source.

Anyway, </vent>. Sorry the project seems to be stuck in limbo.

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Ace-diff

Posted on Mar 21, 2015 in Ace-diff, Open Source Projects | 2 comments

I just released a first version of a new open source script called Ace-diff. It’s an extension to Ace Editor to show a 2-panel allowing you to diff/merge two copies of a document. You can check it out here:
http://benkeen.github.io/ace-diff/

We needed the functionality for a project I’m working on at work, and decided that since it could well be useful for other people, I’d do it in my spare time and open source the result. Seemed a good idea at the time… now, a month on…

Quite honestly, it ended up being the project from hell. It was a far, far more difficult problem than I initially thought, with a lot of judgement calls about how to handle different scenarios and endless issues to work through. Also, there’s a key feature that’s missing from this first version: scroll locking. I poured sooooo much time into that feature but still haven’t been able to get it working well enough to my satisfaction. So for the moment, I’ve removed the relevant sections of the code.

I’m not that happy with this first version, so consider this a first salvo. I have a lot of other work to do (Form Tools, anyone?) and frankly it’s been stressing me out for weeks. Once I’m feeling a little less burned out I’ll return to this.

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