generatedata.com updates

Posted on Jul 30, 2017 in generatedata.com, Open Source Projects | 0 comments

Just a heads up that the main website has been updated to 3.2.7. I’ve also moved it over to use SSL (https://generatedata.com) – it was something I’ve meant to do for a while. Because the site has a login form, plus donation form, SSL just secures it a little better.

A temporary SSL cert is in place right now so it’ll whine at you when you try going to https://. Once it’s all sorted out, I’ll add an auto-redirect so that all requests go to the secure site.

Please let me know if anyone has any problems! (ben.keen@gmail.com)

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generatedata 3.2.7

Posted on Jul 29, 2017 in generatedata.com, Open Source Projects | 0 comments

Hi all! generatedata 3.2.7 has just been released. It fixes a couple of minor issues and adds a new “Computed” Data Type. It’s a bit complex to explain, but the idea is that this new Data Type allows developers to get access to a lot more information about what’s being generated on each row – metadata of the actual generated field content – so they can use that information to output whatever they need in a new field.

The one example usage of this Data Type currently provided in the help documentation is for the Names data type. In case you need to know whether a name is male or female, you can use this Data Type to output something appropriate. But really, it can used for anything. Over time, we can add additional metadata to any Data Type to expose details of it’s inner workings: anything that may be of use to developers to customize the output of another field.

The main website is a couple of versions out of date now, so I’ll look into update it tomorrow. I hate to say it, but I’m going to have to add some ads to it (sigh). I really need to cover my costs for the hosting, etc. They won’t appear for people who’ve donated, at least.

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Form Tools site rewrite

Posted on Feb 8, 2017 in Blog, Form Tools, Open Source Projects | 2 comments

Almost there…! I’ve been posting regular updates on the Form Tools twitter account, but the new site is almost ready for prime time. You can find the staging environment here:
https://next.formtools.org

Finding time to finish it off is the tricky part. If I could drop everything, I’d say it’s only 2 or 3 days away, but since I have a day job (and a helluva commute) it’ll probably be 2 or 3 weeks. Doesn’t help that our car died, so a lot of time is going into finding a replacement. But… coming soon!

Man, can’t wait for this to be done so I can return to the actual script itself.

EDIT: the new site has been released. Few issues here and there, but on the whole it’s been pretty successful. Form Tools 3 is now coming along. :)

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birdsearch.org mobile

Posted on Dec 12, 2016 in birdsearch.org, Open Source Projects | 0 comments

bs-mobile

I just released a first draft of birdsearch.org for mobile devices. You can find it at birdsearch.org, just like with the main site. The website is now responsive and shows a different layout based on the device size you’re browsing it on.

Still a few bugs to work through, but it’s basically there. I decided to target iPhone 6-size screens and higher. iPhone 5 was just a little too small to handle well, and it seems like for better or worse, small screens are going the way of the passenger pigeon.

Form Tools next!

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birdsearch.org 2.0.5

Posted on Nov 26, 2016 in Birding, birdsearch.org, Form Tools, Open Source Projects | 3 comments

Alrighty! I just released another small update to birdsearch.org, the latest of a series of bug fix releases. I believe this release now fixes all the significant errors, so I’m going to be putting the site largely aside for a bit. The next task for that site is to add mobile support – something badly needed! But first I want to return to Form Tools for a little while.

btw, I’m off to Mexico for a week so sorry if I don’t respond promptly to anyone.

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Taking stock

Posted on Nov 14, 2016 in Blog, Form Tools, Open Source Projects | 2 comments

Now that birdsearch.org is out the door and looking more solid by the day (maybe a week or two’s worth of bug fixes left, I think), I’ve tentatively pulled back the veil on Form Tools once again. Form Tools is a script I created well over 10 years ago, which grew and grew into something of a monster. But a good monster. Sure it lives under the stairs, drools a lot, and is pretty terrifying when you first meet it, but really it’s pretty great at heart. Honest.

Since departing the project a few years back, I’ve made two or three aborted attempts to return to the script. Question is: how? It’s so massive, each time I do, I get overwhelmed with the sheer volume of work required, something life-related comes up and I end up having to back off. But the bottom line is I think it’s a great script and well worth updating.

So anyway, I’m trying to come to terms with exactly how I can return it  - how I can split it up into smaller pieces to tame this creature. Let’s see how this goes.

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birdsearch.org 2.0.2

Posted on Nov 6, 2016 in Birding, birdsearch.org, Open Source Projects | 0 comments

Couple of small updates to birdsearch.org this last week:Map styles

  • Report Sightings link added to the top header
  • Incorporated feedback from a few people to improve the UI in the few places.
  • Settings tab updates to include a new “Map Styles” section that lets you customize the look of the map. There are now six styles, chosen to be either quite dark or light to ensure the map markers show up clearly.

Next version is going to be for bug fixes only. There are a few small things I’d like to patch before letting more people know about the site.

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