2016 OmniUpdate User Training Conference: Travel Day

Traveling over to LA with Lou went pretty well. I woke up a little before 2:00 am with no problem. Drove over to his house and his super friendly father in law gave us a ride to the airport. We arrived at the airport with no issues, got our boarding passes, etc.

Security was a cinch too. We didn’t have to wait in line at all. I did have to be patted down (this seems to happen to me often), and Lou had to have his notebook checked out, but besides that no issues.

The flight was pretty easy. We sat next to small children or skinny women, so there was plenty of space for us on the ride. Very minor turbulence, and the take off and landing were very smooth.

The shuttle service from the airport to the hotel was great too. The driver was super nice and very fast.

However, travel and the early morning hours left me a broken man. I was dehydrated, had a really bad headache, and my whole clock was just off. Quite frankly I was mad that I wasn’t in the comfort of home for a good part of the day. Not in good shape.

After taking a very long shower, attempting to eat (it was difficult to put food down I felt so lousy), and drinking water constantly I eventually got close back to being my normal self. Oh and I no longer curse California to hell as I’m now feeling a lot better.

Later in the day we had the conference registration where I got some cool long sleeve tech shirt thingy. Might be good to go running in on colder days. We also had a little area for people to play huge games. A massive game of Jenga, Operation, etc. It was pretty cool, and we were able to meet a lot of people from other schools. Though I was still feeling pretty lousy and probably said some very strange things to some of the folks.

The Millennium Biltmore, the hosting hotel is pretty unique. It’s very old and really sums up the golden age of Hollywood. Very glamorous and you can tell it must’ve been a very big deal back in the day. The only drawback is that our rooms are pretty old too. But alas, I just need a place to sleep so I’ll live.

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Front-End Web UI Frameworks and Tools

I just completed and enjoyed the Front-End Web UI Frameworks and Tools on Coursera. It’s part of a Full Stack Framework 6 course specialization.

I’ve taken a couple of courses through Coursera, with some being great and others not so much. This course specialization has been pretty great so far. The courses are very well organized and the instructors do a pretty solid job. They even are very active in the discussions (you’d think it’d be a given, but it’s not).

I’ve been very impressed and am looking forward to the next courses in the specialization. Particularly the angular.js and PhoneGap courses coming up. Good stuff.

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Append DOM to Another Page Using YQL

Apparently there is a data limit to how much we can fit into a content field on our CMS at work. The problem was that there is an incredibly long list of donors names, and when saving the edits to a page in the CMS, it just wouldn’t save past a certain point in the list.

So, I was a bit stumped on how best to workaround. So, I created another page with a good amount of the names in an unordered list. I then used YQL to create a REST query that would output only the HTML on the page that I wanted into and XML feed.

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select * from html where url="http://www.a_web_page.com" and xpath='//*[@id="main"]/ul/li'

I’m not too sharp on my xpath selectors, but luckily it’s very easy to find an xpath using Chrome. Just right click on an element in the inspector, and the option is there. Huge timesaver!

Ok, now I had a REST query courtesy of YQL of the HTML elements that I wanted to take from that page.

Next was to load and append the data from the REST query onto the unordered list on the other page.

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$(function()
{
    $.ajax(
    {
        type: "GET",
        url: "https://query.yahooapis.com/v1/public/yql?q=select%20*%20from%20html%20where%20url%3D%22http%3A%2F%2Fintraweb.stockton.edu%2Feyos%2Fpage.cfm%3FsiteID%3D221%26pageID%3D271%22%20and%0A%20%20%20%20%20%20xpath%3D'%2F%2F*%5B%40id%3D%22main%22%5D%2Ful%2Fli'&diagnostics=true",
        dataType: "text",
        cache: false,
        success: function(xml)
        {
            $(xml).find('li').each(function() { 
    			$("#main ul.append-list").append($(this));
			});
     }});
});

Using the jQuery library I was able to load view the ajax function the REST query. I had to choose the dataType of text not xml in this case. That way I was simply appending the results as they were in the REST query.

I can clean up the javascript a bit, and will work on that. However for now, I am able to add data from another page to work around the data limits of the CMS.

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FileMerge

I had to compare 2 hefty directories, and was looking for a slick Diff tool to help me out. I really was looking for something with a slick GUI to help me sort through my potential mess of code and files.

After a bit of searching I realized that I had FileMerge already on my Mac as part of Xcode.

Once I fired up FileMerge all I had to do was drab the 2 directories I wanted to compare into each side of the GUI, then run a comparison. It was exactly what I needed for this task and saved me who knows how much time.

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Drupalcamp NJ 2015

Though I’ve registered for Drupalcamp NJ for 3 years now, this was the first year that I was able to actually attend. The past 2 years were just some unfortunate luck that had me cancel my plans.

Hosted at Princeton, this was my first visit there. The ride there wasn’t too bad and I didn’t get lost. Once I arrived in Princeton it was a bit tricky as it was like a city that was a school. Plus there was snow everywhere, but I eventually found the parking lot and the building.

The keynote speaker did a great job. He talked about ways that you can manage yourself/career. It was very interesting and he was a very great speaker.

I attended the following sessions:

  • Using Media, Picture, and Focal Point modules – this was a pretty bad presentation. It just seemed to rushed and unorganized. I do look forward to checking the mentioned modules and workflow out.
  • 5 Top Drupal Innovations You Can’t Live Without – a solid presentation. Didn’t learn too much new from it, but was enjoyable though.
  • Acquia Workflows for Drupal Developers, Site Builders – I was interested to learn more about Acquia’s offerings. I was impressed by their tools offered and look forward to playing around with them a bit in the future.
  • SEO Awesome for Drupal Sites – good and useful presentation. The speaker was very well organized and pointed out some great tips.
  • View Demystified – a great presenter. While it was a bit more for beginners than I’d of hoped, it was a great presentation.

All in all it turned out to be a pretty great day. Learned a lot and explored a new place. The Drupal community continues to impress me.

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Android Display Issues with jQuery Mobile and Cordova 3.5

Wow, I’ve been having all sorts of fits with a mobile app that I had created and how it was being displayed on Android devices with a very high pixel density display. I was really stumped for a while, on iOS it wasn’t having issues like that at all.

I had built this mobile app using Cordova 3.5 and jQuery Mobile. On a Android with a very high pixel density display the text in app was appearing super, super tiny. It was a pretty big difference, and an significant inconvenience.

After much research I did find a suggestion to change a setting on the viewport meta tag. Apparently if you set the target-densitydpi to medium-dpi things will display a bit better in varying Android devices/displays.

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meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0, maximum-scale=1.0, target-densitydpi=medium-dpi, user-scalable=0"

While this doesn’t seem to scale as pretty as on iOS, it is much better than it was displaying before changing that to medium-dpi.

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