Auto Screenshots & New Project Site

Before Mark left us for the green dusty start-up fields of Austin TX we had a conversation about creating a better, faster way to do our examples page. The idea of having a resource like this is always popular but people don’t add content.1 My current belief is that it’s because it’s a hassle and despite good intentions people just don’t do it. After seeing what Mark did to associate users with their blogs in the mother blog plugin, I figured he could also automatically pull the theme, plugins, and admin email of any blog on our system based on the URL . . . and indeed he could. This theme requires Advanced Custom Fields and the Benson plugin to tie in the Angular stuff. The one thing he wasn’t able to do was to auto-generate the screenshot from the URL. I’ve looked into that in the past and done it in a variety of ways but none of them were quite satisfactory. I didn’t really want to end up reliant on a 3rd party system and then Mark sent me http2pic yesterday. So now I just needed to install it and get it working. That led to a bit of an adventure for me. There are directions on the github page but they’re written for someone who is a […]

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Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

Overcoming Bias : Forsee The Speakularity ““There’s no way this means that everything we say is now in the open,” Hanson argues. “There’s a layer of what we say that’s in the open … but we’re always talking at several levels at once.” … Our brains adapted to writing, to libraries, and to the Web. They will adapt to the Record. And people will, anyway, continue to be less concerned with how they sound than with how they look.” tags: weekly privacy internet record Defense lawyers of Reddit, what would your defense be for various Disney villains? : AskReddit “Defense lawyers of Reddit, what would your defense be for various Disney villains?” tags: reddit weekly law Megan Fox Posts “I’m Still Here,” Takes Confusing Stance On Object Permanence – StarWipe ““I just continue to have an angsty relationship with social media,” adds Fox, seeming to lend credence to an interpretation of her selfie as offering a conventional understanding of object permanence. Presumably the “I” that has an “angsty relationship” with “social media” is a separate entity from that media, as it is in relation “with” the “social media” rather than “of” it. Still, it is possible to have a relationship “with” oneself. So, strictly speaking, Fox could be referring to the angst she experiences by depending on social media in […]

Complexity

Current rampages.us stats . . . 11,772 sites remain of 11,900 created 12,029 users 229 plugins (not all visible to all users) 229 Themes1 (not all visible to all users) 153 GBs of data You throw a few other elements in there . . . 4 other WordPress installs, a separate server with its own WordPress environment, a Discourse install on Linode . . . you end up with a lot of infrastructure to manage. Things to upgrade, users to support, issues to track down and fix . . . not to mention learning the particularities of different server environments and software packages . . . most of it done on the fly. It’s a lot of pieces and a lot of people. I start to feel like things are complex. I start to understand why people lock stuff down, give users a plugin or two . . . streamline administration. It is sensible. It is hard to keep up and keep track. But I keep thinking about the two billion lines of code that Google deals with and how they do it. Google engineers modify 15 million lines of code across 250,000 files each week. Sure, some code is more locked down than other code but it seems pretty open.2 Clearly I’m not Google and, as is frequently the […]

Google Script Drop Box/Display Package

flickr photo shared by cogdogblog under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license Because I still read the posts from the good people over at HCPS I came across Doug’s post on a script that Michael Price wrote. The script sets up a form that lets anyone upload a file to a Google Folder.1 It intrigued me so when one of our professors was asking about allowing students to upload raw video for other students to use, I figured I’d check this out as a solution. You can/should get the basics from the video that’s in the post above. I made a few alterations based on our particular needs. One, I wanted the folder to be viewable by anyone so they could get the files easily. I could have set the sharing permissions after the creation of the file by hand but . . . I didn’t want to.2 I also wanted to tighten up the connection between submission and being able to see all the results. It turns out you can’t currently iframe any of this without drama so I included a link to the folder after the submission and demo’d using the Google Folder WordPress plugin I made a while ago below. The main work is done in the script below (all credit to Michael Price). I just […]

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Grabbing FaceBook Comments – More Primitive Programming

Functional is a kind way to describe this . . . but it’s hard to argue with computers doing tedious work that was previously done by hand. The goal here was to automate the collection of the comments on 300 or so posts from the CDC’s Facebook page so they could be analyzed. Ebola is in the mix which leads to some comments that may very well rival YouTube comments in terms of causing me sadness. We did end up with around 34,000 comments which would have been hand copied in the past. So some karma balance was achieved. wTake all this with a grain or two of salt. It works but may very well be illegal in some states or do things in a way that would make real programmers weep. Consider my programming skills to be like a man trying to swat flies with a broomstick- lots of furious action, panting, cursing, and every so often I will kill a fly and celebrate wildly.1 The Facebook This was my first experience trying to do anything with Facebook. The hardest part here for me was just getting the stupid access token needed to get at the JSON feeds. I eventually found the secretly named Facebook Login Example. Part of my issue was that I thought I could skip the […]

Photography – Week 92

I find these pet pictures interesting. They seem oddly private and at the same time sad. Your pets are on display trapped in your house. You don’t often see people practicing for boxing on the street around here. This one looks better larger. Fun light, lots of repeated shapes. Gyro guy looks oddly tender as he makes the food. He chatted up everyone and in at least two languages. More fun with light in the morning.

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Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

Five years, building a culture, and handing it off. – Laughing Meme I/we need to consider this with our team and education more broadly. “Theory 1: Nothing we “know” about software development should be assumed to be true. Most of our tools, our mental models, and our practices are remnants of an era (possibly fictional) where software was written by solo practitioners, but modern software is a team sport. Theory 2: Technology is the product of the culture that builds it. Great technology is the product of a great culture. Culture gives us the ability to act in a loosely coupled way; it allows us to pursue a diversity of tactics. Uncertainty is the mind-killer and culture creates certainty in the face of the yawning shapeless void of possible solutions that is software engineering. Culture is what you do, not what you say. It starts at the top. It affects everything. You have a choice about the culture you promote, not about the culture you have. Theory 3: Software development should be thought of as a cycle of continual learning and improvement rather a progression from start to finish, or a search for correctness. If you aren’t shipping, you aren’t learning. If it slows down shipping, it probably isn’t worth it. Maturity is knowing when to make the trade off […]

15

Facebook Comments for Research

This is a post about (at least temporary) failure. I should be able to do all this via the Facebook API/SDK but I’m doing something wrong. While I’m learning a decent amount in the land of programming, fundamentally I still suck. With that cathartic self-flagellation out of the way . . . I’m working with someone who wants to grab all the comments from a large number of CDC posts about health issues for some research. She is currently doing it by hand. Here are two improvements to that awful reality.1 Expand All Comments In FB land if there are many comments you only see the most recent. And if there are many, many comments you have to keep hitting “View Previous Comments” over and over. That’s super boring to do once. If you have to do it a lot it would really suck. Enter Alec’s bookmarklet. I tweaked it a tiny bit because I think FB changed the wording but it works like a charm. You’d copy the text below. Add a bookmark and then click edit. Replace the URL with this text and name it whatever you want. Grab All Comments Now to grab all these enlightening comments . . . Install the Scraper Chrome Extension. You can now right click a particular item and choose “scrape similar.” […]

A google map showing the data being plotted

Google Forms Interacting with Google Maps

The challenge as initially laid out was to let students log the miles they walk and have those miles show their progress from Richmond VA to Key West FL on a map. I found quite a few ways not to do this- mostly because I was attacking the problem in the wrong way. I wanted to set a point of origin, a destination direction and then map a straight line for X amount of miles. It may be possible but it feels like you’re fighting the system the whole way. I took some time off and let it marinate in my head and a much easier solution appeared. Goal In the end I realized I wanted to get the path from Richmond to Key West and then be able to add a marker to that path at any mileage point along the way. The miles would be pulled from Google Form submissions. One of the key helpers was epoly.js . It adds a number of tricks which come in handy- including the option to GetPointAtDistance along a path. I used this example for find the midpoint of a route as the starting template. I figured I’d leave the midpoint as a goal and then all I needed to do was add another marker that was placed based on the sum […]