Web Development
Why I integrate Google Calendars into clients' sites PDF Print E-mail
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News - Web Development
Written by Tim Black   
Friday, 10 October 2008 12:46

I integrate Google Calendars into my clients' websites because Google Calendars are free, allow group sharing & editing, integrate multiple calendars into one, and are very easy to syndicate.

Let me explain by way of an example. I have a lot of calendar events to keep track of--my wife and my schedules, anniversaries & birthdays for family & friends, events at church, at my business, clients' calendars, and as a pastor, various community calendars scattered throughout multiple websites and printed publications. I really don't want to compare multiple calendars with each other every time I add an event to my own personal calendar.

Too many calendars!

So I've grouped all the events I can control in separate calendar files under one Google Calendar user account. I open my Google Calendar and all my different events display in one unified view. My wife and I share some calendar files so we can both edit them, even simultaneously from different locations.

Ahh, one calendar

But the events I can't control still live in websites & newsletters where I have to manually enter them into my calendar if I can find the time. What's more, if I install a calendar for my clients that can't easily be syndicated via RSS and thereby integrated into another calendar, too often the client simply doesn't use the calendar. Disconnected calendars are an evil; even a result of the Fall and probably of Babel. But there is a solution.

Not integrated!

Normally I'm not real excited about retyping someone else's calendar events. But in one case I did type them in: I want to go to my local high school's sports events to get to know people in the community, so I added all the high school's sports events to my calendar, in its own calendar file. Google makes it easy to put that calendar into any web page by inserting a little code Google provides, which results in a calendar like the one below.

New and improved!

Works great! So now I know what's going down at the football stadium. And what's cool is all my friends can add these events to their own calendar by clicking the "+ Google Calendar" button at the bottom. But I don't want to add the high school's events to this calendar every time the high school's own calendar changes. Nor do I want to be promoted to the "Calendar editor" position at the high school. They already pay someone to do that.

So I shared the calendar with her and gave her editing privileges. She can give editing privileges to anyone else she needs to in the school, and create and integrate different calendars for other kinds of school events (PTA, School Board, clubs, etc.) Now all that needs to happen for me, my friends, and any parent in the school district to have a perfectly up-to-date calendar is:

  • for the right school administrator to approve replacing the school's current calendar with a Google Calendar,
  • for them to approve posting the little bit of code above into their calendar page on their website,
  • and for people who visit the calendar to add it to their own personal calendar.
Last Updated on Monday, 13 October 2008 13:51
Pastoral call and transition to subcontractors PDF Print E-mail
News - Web Development
Written by Tim Black   
Thursday, 31 July 2008 02:00
As you may know I have received a call to serve as the pastor of Caney Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Caney, Kansas.  I thank the Lord for this opportunity to serve Him and His church there.  This means I will transition from full time web development (6 days a week) to part time web development (1 day a week). Using that 1 day a week I plan to continue serving my current clients by utilizing my subcontractors more and serving as the project manager over them. Here at Always Reformed Web Development we already successfully use several collaboration tools (Trac, Subversion, and Bazaar) behind the scenes to divide the project into tasks, track the progress of completing each task, and collaboratively manage the code in a version control system, so this transition should not change the level of service we are able to provide our clients. The only noticeable change is that for the past few weeks I’ve been unavailable as I packed, took ordination exams, went house-hunting, and now as I’m moving out to Kansas. I will resume web development work August 11, and soon after will be launching several new sites we’ve been developing.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 August 2008 08:42
Ubuntu 8.04 is coming! PDF Print E-mail
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News - Web Development
Written by Tim Black   
Wednesday, 02 April 2008 14:28

I really hope Firefox 3 is faster than FF 2...

UPDATE:  It is!!

Last Updated on Saturday, 14 June 2008 23:09
How to limit access to content in Joomla using JACLPlus & DocMan PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 13
News - Web Development
Written by Tim Black   
Tuesday, 08 January 2008 14:38

Committee pages on matlpres.org The Metro Atlanta Presbytery of the PCA asked us to create a Joomla site where each committee has its own set of pages, as well as its own section of downloadable files managed by DocMan.  Each committee also has a section of private pages, and private documents, accessible only to that committee's members.  This is functionality most presbyteries and many businesses would really like to have.  So how can you get it?

The short answer is that JUGA makes it easy but lacks some features, and JACLPlus makes it hard but is more mature.  Maybe I wouldn't be writing this had we gone with JUGA...

Last Updated on Monday, 14 January 2008 08:34
Python on a Symbian-based Nokia S60 smartphone PDF Print E-mail
News - Web Development
Written by Tim Black   
Monday, 31 December 2007 13:07

Over Thanksgiving I wrote a little program in JavaScript for my Dad, who is a charter pilot who needs an easy way to record several time values with the press of one button on his smart phone:

  • engine start
  • takeoff
  • landing
  • engine shutdown

It works great, except Opera doesn't allow files opened from the local filesystem to store cookies, and Dad doesn't always have web access when he needs to record a time value.  (Maybe I should try an Opera Widget...)  So, in the spirit of the Do-It-Yourself books he's got on his bookshelf, over Christmas Dad asked me what language I'd recommend he use to write a program for his phone.

If I knew how to use Google Gears on the Nokia S60, maybe I'd recommend it.  But I don't and I wonder if Gears is still too new.  So after a little research, here's what I came up with:

It looks to me like C++ is the default language to use on Symbian, and Java is a close second.  However, I wouldn't use either myself, because the syntax of both C++ and Java (see Executive Summary, short code comparison and long code comparison) (and development process--you have to compile for your particular operating system before you run) is more complex than Python's (and I already use Python), and Python works on Symbian.  It is my impression that Python programs are also more portable to other operating systems than are C++ programs.  For these reasons, it looks like Symbian development is moving toward using Python and Ruby.  There are several Python libraries available that you can "import" into your Python code to create the application's GUI features (title, menu, central content including buttons, text boxes, pictures, etc.).  They work by providing a Python interface to Symbian's software development kits - SDKs (see S60 SDKs) including Symbian's graphical user interface (GUI) libraries and other available functionality (contacts, calendar, filesystem, phone, etc.).

I'd also consider using an integrated development environment (IDE) specifically designed for creating GUI programs on Symbian, because an IDE can give you a layout editor that lets you create the program by dragging and dropping GUI widgets (buttons, text boxes, etc.) into your program and then writing code to respond to widget events (mouse clicks, character presses, etc.).  One Symbian C++ IDE is Carbide, a set of extensions to the Eclipse IDE.  It appears there isn't a Symbian GUI IDE yet for Python or Ruby.

So to summarize, here's what I would use, in the order they would need to be installed on your computer:

Python interpreter
Use the latest version of Python 2.5, unless you find that the other tools below are only compatible with an earlier version of Python, in which case, install the earlier version.

SDK  A package containing a Python interface to a Symbian SDK and related tools:
PyS60 (seems to be the
best & most current)  Python for S60 seems to be an older version of the same, see its helpful wiki
Python for UIQ (out of date)

Simple:  IDLE, which comes with Python & is included in PyS60
More full-featured: 
Boa Constructor (requires wxPython) (I recommend installing TortoiseCVS first to install the most recent version of Boa Constructor)

Essential background reference material
Introduction to Programming:  Beginner's Guide to Python
Introduction to Python syntax:  Dive into Python
Python Tutorial
Python Library Reference -- (ActivePython's had nicer formatting at one point)
Python Quick Reference Guide

If one exists, it's a good idea to use a book as a guide to how to program on the S60 in your chosen language.  The only one I can find for Python is Mobile Python, and it looks to be exactly what you would want.  I might start with the author's tutorial instead.

Other stuff
Code snippets
Here are some tools for making it easier to test your Python code on the phone:  http://people.csail.mit.edu/kapu/symbian/python.html

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 December 2019 03:01
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