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.

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.

Adventure Development

Drupaldelphia 2014

Took the PATCO again to Drupaldelphia yesterday. It’s really a great Drupal and just overall tech gathering, with a lot of higher ed folks. Which is really great to meet some peers who face similar issues as I am at work.

The trip was so much easier that it was last time around for me. I knew to bring exact change and not a $20 to the station to get my pass (change is given from the machine in $1 coins, I have no idea what to do with a $1 coin). I also knew which way to insert my ticket as well. Apparently last time was quite the disaster know that I mull it over a bit.

I got there right on time and saw Jesse from Atlantic Cape who is in the position I once held. We discussed work, shared ideas, and joked of co-workers and situations that clearly don’t change. Fun times, he’s a good guy.

I took in the following sessions:

  • Keynote – pretty interesting discussion with 4 folks. They had some very valuable ideas.
  • How to make Drupal NOT look like Drupal – this was  a solid session on theming. I’m interested to see his slides and code once posted on the site.
  • Using Git to Manage Deployents/Updates – uhhh, this one wasn’t for me. I left after a few minutes and went to …
  • Drupal Security Made Simple – though I arrived late, this one had some very useful modules to consider in securing a Drupal site. Oh and never hack the core!!!
  • Migrate Magic: An Overview – I still have to master the migrate modules. This session was helpful, but I just need more hands on practice.
  • Building Beautifully Complex Content Types – the presenter was very entertaining, but I found much of what he discussed to be bad practice. I hope nobody walked away with bad habits.

I started my first every BOF (Birds of the Feather) session. I picked up a magic marker and wrote “higher ed” in the 3:30 time slot. I had no idea if anyone else besides Jesse and myself would show up, and we were pleasantly surprised to find a table full of folks attending our BOF session!

This was probably the most useful thing of the entire day. A bunch of higher ed web folks exchanging war stories and sharing their success and pitfalls. We all went around asking the group questions, and pretty much at least on of us had been though it and had some sage like advice. It was pretty great. Very glad I picked up that marker and wrote on that board!

For lunch I met up with first ballot Honey Badger hall of famer and Atlantic Caper great Lauren. She works a few blocks from there and we dined at the Hard Rock Cafe. I’d never been to one of them, so it was a true adventure for me. Felt like old times lunching again, and it was pretty great to get caught up in person. I did smuggle a really ugly Drupaldelphia t-shirt for her for taking the time out of her busy schedule to meet me for lunch.

All in all a pretty great and useful adventure. Looking forward to more conferences and continuing to be more active when at such events.

Adventure Development

Resigned from Atlantic Cape Community College

While I was happily employed at Atlantic Cape Community College for nearly 13 years, I had officially resigned and worked my last day on May 16, 2014. Not aggressively seeking employment elsewhere a pretty exciting opportunity opened at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, and after interviewing they offered and I accepted.

Working at Atlantic Cape was a great experience, I’ve grown and learned so much during my time there. More importantly I’ve met and worked with some amazing people. Easily the thing I will miss most will be no longer seeing some of those great friends on a daily basis any longer.

My co-workers gave me a fantastic send off. A pizza party, treats and some very generous gifts! Tonya baked an amazingly creative Lego cake (they know me so well), and NGM made a severed head in a jar (umm, maybe doesn’t know me quite that well). The head in a jar was very morbid and disturbing, but I do have it admit it was creative and flawlessly executed.

It was sad saying good-bye and thanks to everyone. Some folks got a bit emotional at times, and while I felt a bit guilty for leaving them they completely agreed that it was a wise move for me. They were so understanding and happy for me, even though they expect to miss me a great deal.

I’m very excited to get started at Stockton this week! Everyone I met and the tour of where I’ll be was very exciting. I can’t wait to get in there and help make them an even better place!

Development Projects

Automatic Plant Watering Project

After nearly losing  a few plants at work with extended weekends with all the snow, I figured it’d be nice if there was a way for my plants to get water while no people were around. I’ve been toying with Arduino for a little bit now, and believe I’ve found a great project to use it with!

I’m going to make an automatic plant watering system!

My plan is to hook a moisture sensor up to my Arduino controller, then write up a little script to check the moisture sensor levels. The moisture sensor just gets inserted in the soil and is only a few dollars. So knowing when the soil is dry enough to need water, shouldn’t be too difficult to get working.

I’m still a bit puzzled on how I’m going to deliver the water, but I think attaching an electronic valve to the Arduino board would work out in this case. The plan to to hook up an IV bag or something similar, fill it up and let gravity and the electronic valve work their magic when the soil gets dry.

Also thinking of rigging up a solar power source, but will concentrate on those first two problem first.

Very excited to get started and will post updates and photos as I progress on this project.

Development Sports

QR Codes on Honey Badger Awards

QR codeA few years back at work QR codes were really becoming quite the fad. Every industry article seemed to herald them as the next big thing. They were supposed to be on everything by now.

Sadly we had a difficult time not only finding great success using qr codes, but also finding examples of others finding great success with them too.

Well, at the end of every SJSL season I hand out awards to my teammates. It’s a lot of fun to come up with nicknames, haikus, stats, etc. and share them with everyone at the end of the season.

This year one of our dodgeball opponents whom we played twice happened to of recorded our games. He was kind enough to post on Facebook, and I downloaded them all and began to sort and edit all those minutes into personal highlights for everyone on the team.

The really cool part was that I was able to upload a nice little clip to YouTube and then I created QR codes for each clip that were then included on their award. So simple, but also turned out to be a perfect use of the technology.

They can hand their award up with pride on their refrigerators and friends and take out their smartphone and get to view their personal dodgeball highlights right on their smartphones.

This turned out to be such a very simple and effective use of QR codes! I will have to do this again for future seasons.


PhoneGap Build Andriod versionCode

Just went to submit updates to an app in the Google Play store. Worked out all the annoying bugs, of course forgot my key password (NEVER forget your key password), and finally got to submit it to the Google Play store.

When I got the message that my Version Code must be greater than the current value. I was quite stumped at this point as I did increase the version number in the config.xml file.

After some research I did notice that in my config.xml that I had set a versionCode value. I have absolutely no recollection of this at all, and am beginning to guess that I must’ve just copied and pasted it from an example config.xml file at some point. As the previous versionCode doesn’t really follow my typical numbering conventions.

Either way, I just incremented the value there, and re-submitted and all seems well.