Simple dynamic site generator with standardised templating tools: certainly looks nice for building those early-stage prototypes before you need a full backend.
"The history of switching power supplies turns out to be pretty interesting." It really does: long, fascinating post about a history of AC-DC conversion and how new technologies affected it.
"Remote terminal application that allows roaming, supports intermittent connectivity, and provides intelligent local echo and line editing of user keystrokes." As recommended by Matthew Somerville. Looks useful!
"Modern digital cameras capture gobs of parsable metadata about photos such as the camera's settings, the location of the photo, the date, and time, but they don't output any information about the content of the photo. The Descriptive Camera only outputs the metadata about the content." Lovely: a camera powered by Mechanical Turk.
"The template used for a custom post view is decided by the ‘get_single_template()’ function in the wp-includes/theme.php file. And it basically tells locate_template() to look for single-’post_type’.php or single.php. So the simplest way to customise the way a custom post is displayed is to add a template file to your theme with the name single-xxxxxx.php" Oh. That makes life simpler.
"nanoc is a tool that runs on your local computer and compiles Markdown, Textile, Haml, etc. documents into static web pages, ready for uploading to any web host." Easily build static sites with a teeny bit of templating.
"This library implements the Software serial Arduino library to establish a serial connection to a Mobile phone. The methods methods hides the AT+ commands from the user allowing messages to be sent by passing the method on a phone number or email and the message." Oh, now that is interesting.
"Late last year, my family found a line-a-day diary maintained by my great-aunt from 1937 to 1941. She was in her early teens, living on a small farm in rural Illinois with her two brothers, one of which was my grandfather." Now it's being syndicated, one line per day, on Twitter.
"This is the real line-a-day diary of a young farmgirl in 1937. It is maintained by @griner."
"We should be an embodied person in the world rather than a disembodied finger tickling a screen walking down the street. We need to unfold and unpack the screen into the world." Wonderfully put. I love Jones.
28 September 2007
A year later, I’m ready to release the bundle; you can get it from its Google Code site. But before you go there, an explanation for the delay is in order – and on the way, I’ll tell you about how the bundle was written.
Continue reading this post…
13 July 2006
Solution: write one yourself.
I’m currently working on a basic Velocity bundle for Textmate. We use it as a templating language at work, and, let’s face it, Textmate is an awesome editor with many, many ways to make your life easier. Given that it’s listed as a bundle people might be interested in… I’d better get started on it, right?
If you’re interested, leave a comment or drop me an email. So far I’ve got some basic function and syntax highlighting, along with autocompletion of some common constructs. Once it’s more finalised – and has been built in accordance to the VTL spec, not just the way I write it, I’ll start putting out releases.
(And if none of this makes much sense: Velocity/VTL is a templating language for Java web-apps. It’s one of the least sucky Java templating languages, apparently, but it’s not as mature of fully-featured as, say, Smarty.)
One thing most web applications need is a static page template. Now, whilst the page content might be static, the template itself might need to be dynamic – either because it’s going to change in future, or because you’ve got dynamic user information that appears in the tempalte.
So the most obvious way around this is the
static controller. Dead easy, this: generate a new controller called
static (or whatever you want). Then just write views for it named after pages you want. For instance: your
about.rhtml file can contain all your “about” information. Then, when you hit up
/static/about (to use the default routing), you get your static content, without having to make a whole page from scratch in
public_html. You could even write a new 404 page on this controller.
All that remains, once it’s working, is to write some dedicated routes, and then the “static” controller can be hidden from existence – just route
:controller => "static", :action => "about" and you’re done. No need to write any controller logic at all!
Going on from there: one view I’ll always add to that template is the “foo” action.
So: when you’re mocking up a page, you’ll probably use lots of dummy links. Everyone expects this, because it’s obviously just a flat mock. But when you mock up an application, and show it to stakeholders in a working state, they click on things, and wonder why they get ActionController exceptions when it breaks. Also, they wonder why the link that breaks stuff is always
Obviously, it’s because I’ve left
link_to "/foo" all over the shop. Have no fear: the easy way around this is to route
:controller => "static", :action => "foo", and then write a static page called
When you do this, the page should explain that it represents functionality that hasn’t been added yet, but will be added soon, and that the developers haven’t forgotten it.
This (from experience) reassures stakeholders that the thing that is not working will be working soon. It also means that when they do find “grey screen” errors, it either means that something’s genuinely broken, or it means that the developers really have forgotten something. Time to update that link to point to
It sounds trivial, but it turned out to be an effective communication of diligence on the developer’s part, and saved much time in meetings explaining that “yes, we’re working on that”. Consider it, next time you’re developing for external stakeholders.