2011-05-26

Ride to Finland

In case you've missed it an you're only following this blog, we've started a new blog that is about our motorcycle ride to Finland. We're starting tomorrow, Friday, and we'll be on the road for 16 days.
If you're interested, follow the Ride to Finland blog.

2011-04-15

Testing Blogsy for iPad.

This blog post isn't really about anything apart from a bit of ramblings to be able to test a new blogging application on the iPad. The application (or popularly called Apps) is called Blogsy. You can find it in the AppStore and the website at: http://blogsyapp.com/how-to/

It brags about easy drag-n-drop style image addition etc. So far it's working well, but I'm a bit annoyed that I can't type on the "other" side, but only the "write" side. Watch the videos and you know what I mean.

But let's try some photos, these are from my Picasa album.

That worked well. Adding links seem to work quite well too. I tried a few things (after having watched the tutorial videos) but it still wasn't totally intuitive.

Let's add a video too.

"Third time is the charm" it seems. I had trouble getting the video into the end of the post, but it's there now.

The quick verdict; It works, but it could be better. Worth £1.79, yes, I'd say so. Especially if you factor in the AppStore-factor; Apps will only get better and I'm sure the guys will add some impressive features and polish to Blogsy over time.

2011-03-09

Micro Frabster a tiny templating system

I thought I'd mention it here too. I've had this templating system lying around for a long time. The first version was built sometime in 2003 or so. It has since been improved over several iterations, 4 at least. A breakthrough came at iteration 2 or 3 when I cut out the "content file". This simplified the whole process a lot.

Micro Frabster is now live at Frozenspeed, and has been so for over a year (at least). It's also running on a few other sites, but I think they might need some updating, so I'll leave them unmentioned.
The whole idea centered around the fact that users, or site owners, are usually very happy to add and edit content. They know their content. Having some cocky programmer tell them what to do or not to do is usually not a good idea. So I wanted my "customers" to be able to edit their own pages, add more pages and so forth, without my intervention. However, I wanted to keep them on the straight and narrow when it came to how the site looked. If they can easily change everything, they will. This distracts from the content, not to mention it'll look abysmal.

Also many of my "customers" are clever enough to be able to read simple PHP code, understand the required HTML code they need and so forth. They're also pretty decent when it comes to uploading files and such things.
This is the reason why I wanted to create a system that "wasn't in the way" of simple content. I just wanted the content to come from the author and for them to put it on a web server, but framed in their nice look and brand.

The principle is that the templating engine reads the file where it came from, called the content file. It then picks up the important content from the content file and prints those pieces out inside the template. It then terminates the execution before it's time to display the original content.
I've also included a tiny meny-system (only one depth) in the source so people can start a simple site within minutes. I've built more elaborate menu systems if someone needs them.
I've also incorporated a way to run simple business logic, erhm... that's PHP code, sort of a "module" on a page.

Technically it's running on PHP, and needs no particular dependencies. It should work straight out of the box, no config needed. I've had it running on IIS in the past, but as I don't have one to test on, results may vary. It is however developed on Linux/Apache and runs just fine.

Anyway, it's out there, for anyone to use. It's released under the Mozilla License, so feel free to use it commercially. I'd love to hear feedback on the system and I'd love to hear ideas on how to improve it.
Find the source on Github https://github.com/jocke/Micro-Frabster
See it in action on my home server: http://madhouse.selincite.com/js/microfrabster/ :)