Web Development

The Mootrix has you!

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At work today I was reminded of the fact that a) I'm a geek, b) I'm nuts.

A few months ago I was working on a program, an events calendar as it happened. I needed a way to be able to count up a list of week ordinals (first, second, third, etc) so I put them in a matrix, and because it was an Ordinal MaTRIX I called it mootrix.

Custom made t-shirts, mugs, you name it!

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There's a company out there that lets you sell everything from clothes to postcards to posters to mugs and mouse-mats with a picture of your choice. All you have to do is upload a picture to them, say which products you want and how much mark-up, and they'll do all of the hard work. And the cost to you? Zilch! Zero! Nothing! What's more, once a month they send you a check with your portion of the income, e.g. if the base price on something is $10 and you sell it for $12 they'll send you $2 for each sale! Pretty awesome if you ask me.

One nice thing for security-conscious folks is that they have an option when you are setting up your shop to make it private, which hides it from website search engines and directories - not completely secure but not too bad either.

I just made my first RSS feed :-)

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I just made my first RSS feed for the site at work, and it didn't take long at all. What does that mean in plain English? You know how most websites have some sort of a news feed, either a page listing news items which you can read more, or maybe a weblog like this. Anyway, an RSS feed is a special way of presenting that news so that modern web browsers (Firefox, Safari, Opera) and stand-alone programs can read it, making it even easier to keep up-to-date with your favorite news. Furthermore there are marketing aspects whereby other sites can show your news on their site, syndicating it as it were. It is this last aspect that I plan on pushing at work, once I get some time to do some planning on it.

Giving a short talk

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On Tuesday the 12th I agreed to embarass myself in front of a group of people for my art. I'm giving a quick talk on Fusebox a web development code framework I've mentioned before. It's going to be short and hopefully not too boring.

Fusebox 4 is awesome!

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I've been reading a book on the web development code framework Fusebox 4 and it is finally clicking.

Fusebox is a code framework that helps you break your projects into small components, allowing you to work on each piece of the puzzle at a time. You break down the project, define what each portion needs to do then have a definite roadmap on how to do so. Beyond that it just has a few guidelines on how to keep each component separate but doesn't force you to work a specific way - you can write it all procedurally, use MFC, or do it all in ColdFusion Components (for people using ColdFusion).

There are a few really great aspects to it, beyond simply breaking up a puzzle into separate pieces. For a start knowing how to work with it means that you'll be able to jump into maintaining an existing project a lot easier than without it. It is also a fairly standard framework and is used a great deal in web development work. Though originally designed for ColdFusion the latest version (4.1) is also available for PHP, the other web language I use; this lets you use the same solid framework with multiple languages, making your work decidedly easier when you need to.

One of the things I really like about Fusebox is that at my last job I wrote a framework myself that was extremely similar. My framework was probably 60% the same, with enough time it probably would have gotten closer to 80% or more. As a result of this once I got over the initial learning curve working with it has come naturally to me given that it works the way I feel these kinds of things should do.

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