d3pie 0.1.3 released

Posted on Jul 2, 2014 in d3pie, Open Source Projects | 0 comments

This should have been done a couple of weeks ago, but I’ve very busy, got sick, and then had to go on a business trip. But better late than never!

The highlights of 0.1.3 are that the jQuery dependency has been dropped (yay) and a new small segment grouping option has been added. You can find the script online at d3pie.org and the code on github. Enjoy!

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nginx and d3pie

Posted on Jun 22, 2014 in d3pie, Form Tools, Open Source Projects | 0 comments

In anticipation of moving formtools.org over to a new host, I’m trying out Digital Ocean with one of my smaller scripts: d3pie.org.

This morning I set up a “droplet” (virtual server) and configured it with node and nginx. In theory, it should run a lot faster for d3pie.org, which is completely client-side and can thus benefit from nginx more than Apache. I *am* running it on a VS with very low memory (512MB) so I guess we’ll see how it goes. This is very much an experiment.

I’ve just updated the DNS so now we play the waiting game. What could go wrong, right?

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Back to Form Tools!

Posted on Jun 2, 2014 in Blog, Form Tools, Open Source Projects | 1 comment

I posted this on formtools.org, but thought a second post here was in order. A good day. :)


As of today, I’m returning to work on Form Tools. Woo! Exciting day! In case you’ve no idea who I am, I’m not surprised – I’ve been a bit of an absentee landlord the last couple of years. My name’s Ben Keen, I’m the lead developer. I was the guy that created Form Tools 10 years ago this summer (whoah!).

Maybe I should start with a little history.

Some history

Three years ago, thanks to my business partner Joseph Lo and a grant from the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) I was able to quit my job and work full time on Form Tools, working to commercialize the script and make it into a viable business. This gave me time to work on such features as the premium Form Builder and Data Visualization modules – both of which have greatly enriched the project. A big thanks to everyone who’s purchased them!

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Polymer component: polymer-country-region-selector

Posted on May 26, 2014 in Open Source Projects | 0 comments

I’ve been wanting to toy with Polymer for some time, but never had a project in mind. So I decided to just convert one of my smaller github projects into a Polymer component. See:

It’s uber-simple. It just lets you add country-region dropdowns to your forms. The component automatically updates the region dropdown with whatever values are appropriate, based on the user’s selection in the country dropdown.

Polymer is pretty neat. Very simple, very easy to understand. I’ll totally play with it some more.

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d3pie.org released!

Posted on Apr 23, 2014 in d3pie, Open Source Projects | 2 comments

d3pieFinnaallllly - a good two months later than expected – I just released the first draft of d3pie. It’s a pie chart library and generator script, built on d3.js and jQuery, and found at d3pie.org. Have fun! It was actually a super fun project to work on, but it’s very much a first draft. There’s oodles of features and improvements I hope to make. Please log all bugs and feature suggestions on github. :)

Many more updates to come…

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Posted on Mar 24, 2014 in Open Source Projects | 2 comments

This week as part of some contract work I found I needed to add a simple country & region dropdown to a form, where the fields would be tied to one another; i.e. when you select a country, a corresponding region field would be updated, containing the regions appropriate for that country selection.

Such a simple thing – done a million times. But it turns out I couldn’t find a pre-existing one that fitted the bill exactly as I needed. Lame! So I wrote my own and stuck it up on github.

Documentation: https://github.com/benkeen/country-region-selector
Demo: http://benkeen.github.io/country-region-selector

In the spirit of “You don’t need jQuery” I wrote the thing in plain JS, then ported it over to jQuery just to see how much filesize I’d save. Virtually sod all, as it turns out (1KB).

Oh, and it turns out the file size had to be fairly large (~50KB) due to the sheer amount of string data being stored in it. But I think that’s probably preferable to doing a complex Ajax call to retrieve the individual region field data – much less fussy!

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grunt-search 0.1.4

Posted on Mar 9, 2014 in grunt-search, Open Source Projects | 0 comments

grunt-search 0.1.4 has just been released. It’s a Grunt plugin that searches a list of files for particular search strings and logs the results in JSON, XML or text format – or just output to the console.

This new version contains a contribution from Sergeii Iavorsky, to allow for generating the results in JUnit format as well. Thanks, Sergeii!

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