I'm currently working on an article that discusses various third party services that can help flesh out a static web site. While researching that article, I got to thinking about contact forms and how (or if) I could use Parse to power them. Parse is built for ad hoc data storage of - well - anything. I wouldn't typically think of contact forms as being something I'd want to save, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought that in some organizations this could be a powerful feature. You can track communication over time as well as use the email addresses as a list to contact in the future. There are probably multiple ways of doing this, but here is what I came up with.
Last week I blogged about the release of Snap.svg, a new library for modern browsers to simplify the creation, usage, and animation of SVG assets. Over the past few days I've worked on a new demo of Snap.svg that I'd like to share with you.
I'm currently working on an update to my jQuery Mobile book (jQuery Mobile Web Development Essentials), but for those curious about one of the cooler new features of jQuery Mobile, check out my new article on DZone (and yes, I am doing a lot more articles this year - all part of the master plan):
Have you ever seen a web site that seemed to know where you were located? I'm not talking about a map, but the actual name of the location? This is done with a process called "Reverse Geocoding." Whereas geocoding refers to translating a human-readable address into a longitude/latitude pair, reverse geocoding is, well, the opposite of that. Given a longitude/latitude pair, what would be the description of that location. In this blog post I'll show a simple example of this process. My example application will attempt to report the city and state you live in.
A huge thank you goes to Andrew Trice for spending hours on polishing and editing a video of my last presentation. He uploaded it to Youtube and now you guys can watch it as well. I'm proud of this presentation so I hope it is helpful. As always, criticism is welcome. You can download the demos and slide deck here:
A while back I ran into an interesting problem with Google Maps. I was booking travel for a conference and needing to find the closest Marriott to the conference location. I didn't know the area very well so seeing a few addresses meant nothing to me. I figured Google Maps would be able to help me, but I could only plot one location at a time. (To be clear, I bet there is a way to plot multiple addresses, I just couldn't find it.) I then tried the Directions service. That too was only able to work with two addresses. I ended up entering 4 or 5 Marriott addresses and just trying to remember which one seemed shorter. To get around this, I built a simple application that lets you enter up to five starting addresses and a destination. It then plots driving directions and reports on the total distances for each. It also reports on which starting address is the best.
This request came in from a reader and I thought I'd share it. I'm not sure how re-usable it is for others, nor will I promise that it is The Best jQuery Code ever. (Far from it.) But on the off chance the example helps others, I wanted to post it.
Over the past few days I've exchanged emails with David. He had a simple jQuery-based application and he ran into some issues with it. His problems were, I thought, fairly common and I thought it might make sense for me to share what he did and what I suggested. We went through a couple of iterations of this so you can see how the project evolved over time. One thing I want to point out. David writes his code differently than I do (as I expect everyone does!). When he asked for help, I tried to make my help/suggestions as minimally invasive as possible. I was tempted to just delete all his code and do it "my way", but I thought working within his 'style' would be less jarring. Ok, with that out of the way, let's look at his code.
One of the more interesting new features in PhoneGap 2.2 iss the inclusion of a globalization plugin into the core of the SDK itself. This plugin has many features, but basically boils down to the ability to get the user's locale and language as well as being able to format numbers and dates. You can read the full API docs for a complete guide, but I thought it would be interesting to build a simple proof of concept application that tested out this feature.
This week I demonstrated Edge Animate to two cities in Texas as part of the Create the Web tour. Animations are not something I typically spend a lot of time thinking about, but I was grateful for an opportunity to show off what I think is a pretty cool program. At my first presentation, an attendee asked if Edge Animate supported data-driven animations. Hear is what I told him, and a look at a simple proof of concept.