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July 31, 2006

jquery tryout

Filed under: Javascript — see @ 9:00 pm

Today a colleaque at work asked for help on a small HTML/CSS problem, namely a design causing a bit of a headache. The underlying HTML coming from a CMS meant no possibilities of starting from there and using a CSS solution only proved not possible.

So I suggested using a bit Javascript DOM magic – actually to just insert a br or a surrounding div in this case. This would solve the problem rather nicely while being still fully usable for people with Javascript disabled (really just a small design wish, effective but not content relevant).

Writing the small script by hand would not have been a big problem but as it was for a mock-up only and I wanted to try out jquery anyway I wrote the script using that “framework”. Framework is just too big a word for such a small library which nevertheless is very powerful and because of its smallness very easy to use and write. It took only about 10 minutes to find the relevant calls in the API documentation and putting the script together which ended up being just a 3 liner…

I knew jquery was good and even suggested it to another colleaque some time ago to use in a big project we work on together but never had the time to actually use it myself. Now I know it was the right suggestion ;)

July 18, 2006

blog design

Filed under: Uncategorized — see @ 9:10 pm

finally I tweaked this blogs design a bit. I put a categories tagcloud instead of a simple list in which resulted in small changes here and there which resulted in quite a few changes here and there…

hope a new wordpress version does not change it’s HTML too much :|

plans (and actions)

Filed under: cssutils,Programming — see @ 8:27 pm

I reread my own blog entry plans… in which I put some plans I had. I thought I have not been doing well but all in all it looks not too bad. I have not reworked my own site yet, which is not really necessary yet but would be nice to have it in German too. And I did not work on the publishing system I was planning. But – I have been working on a simple CMS which has multi language support and is a kind of publishing system. It is not near a release yet but I already use it on some websites I did (mostly for friends’). The system is written in PHP which is kinda nasty but at least available on all servers it seems ;) Also I am more interested in an at least bearable user experience so if that is ok a port to another technology should not be to difficult.

What I also did was restarting development on the cssutils parser (which current version is rather naive). It goes not too bad considering the time it took to start again. I hope I find some time over my short summer holidays – literally days :( but anyway. At least in this new version I see quite a few things which are not working in the old parser (but should…), maybe that is a good sign…

July 13, 2006

Python and Excel

Filed under: Data,Markup,Python — see @ 8:58 pm

I guess there are quite a few tools to process Excel with Python but I found (and used) the following which are easy to use and were sufficient at least for my humble needs…

To just read an Excel spreadsheet a recipe in the Python Cookbook is very useful.

To actually produce sheets the pyexcelerator at SourceForge is very nice. Helpful usage instruction may be found here.

Another even simpler (no lib needed) possibility is to actually produce a simple HTML file with just an HTML table in it and save it as *.xls. Anything like simple “print” statements (taking care of proper escaping of < and & for example) or (preferably) any XML producing library should do fine. Just open this in Excel and even stuff like coloring (with td/@bgcolor), aligning (td/@align) or row/colspan just works. Unfortunately this was not my idea but that of a colleaque but very easy to use but very powerful too.
Another of those entries to remind myself ;)

July 9, 2006

Wiki markup

Filed under: Programming,Python,reStructuredText — see @ 9:59 pm

I am currently using at least 3 different types of Wiki markup at work: JSPWiki markup, REST (reStructuredText) and another Wiki of which I don’t know its name. I have been using REST for personal projects too and I guess am biased a bit being a Python “fan”.

Anyway, I found the http://www.wikimatrix.org from an article on O’reillynet. Not bad for decision making although REST markup is not checked. (A quick googling showed at least MoinMoin seems to handle REST.)
After my experiences until now I still find REST the most readable. Maybe it is just me (and my designer background) but I find REST (just like Python sourcecode) the most pleasing and therefore also the most usable format.

(BTW, I know I should not do any bashing but that’s exactly why I think Perl is unusable – its ugly syntax [besides the do-it-5-different-ways philosophy]…)

Functional Programming HOWTO

Filed under: Python — see @ 5:15 pm

The Functional Programming HOWTO is a very interesting thing to read. I knew about iterators for example but never really understand what they are good for. Also now I know what generators are good for. But if you want a good documentation for the itertools module, here you go.

Help for the functools module is also very helpful. I sometimes wondered how to do this stuff easily, calling a function with a fixed set parameter. Of course writing a wrapper is always a possibility but makes the programming feel like crossbrowser Javascript which seems to be all about wrapping contradictory browser implementations ;) A shame functools will only be in Python 2.5…

July 8, 2006

corporate work

Filed under: Death,Programming — see @ 6:58 pm

Currently I work inhouse at a customer of the company I work for. It is quite a big organization, not huge but I guess around 200 people altogether. It itself is owned by a larger international corporation. Working there and seeing how projects are actually done is quite interesting. At least in this case the efficiency level is almost unbearable (negative of course), teams working against each other, development is very difficult because of the OS policies in place. I understand a strict security policy for “normal” meaning people like concultants, secretaries or e.g. callcenter operators may make sense and may save money in the long run buy enfording a basic level of security. On the other hand IT developers are just plainly hindered by a policy which even prevents a right click on the Windows task bar…

I guess it is not easy to distinguish between security and accessibility (which I would define here for being able to work at a PC without too much hassle) but at least in this case the security aspect is just way too high prioritized and hinders any real productivity.
Funny thing is, the same company uses IE as its main browser which is a disaster for security so if any user (average or developer) really wants (or accidentally does) breach security the tool to do it with is part of the corporate policy ;)

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