A Wool Price Calculator

One of the requirements of the website is to have a wool price calculator (or demonstration thereof).  Rather than trawl through reams of hideous Joomla plugins and spend hours a) trying to get them to work and b) hacking them to make them work the way that I want them to.  I have opted to just code this myself from scratch.  Its a chance to dust of my rather limited JS skills and make a rudimentary calculator.  I should be able to make the beautiful HTML form that houses the calculator using the Joomla editor and them just drop the JS code straight into the page somewhere.  Its not going to be a particularly elegant solution, but it will work.

Above is the first draft of the form and below is the final draft with a little bit of CSS applied to make it look presentable

Looks alright, does the job.  Another page ticked off I think


On my way……

Got 3 weeks to get this website up and running and also to do the entire second project.  Plus I just found out how much fun an arduino can be.  I want to be playing with that.  but lets stick with it….

so, above is a screenshot of where I am at and right now it feels like a rather large achievement after all the wrangling I have done with Joomla.  Theres a lot more to go but I have actually started to get me head around this hideous system LOL.  Oh well I wanted more than a WordPress challenge and I think I’m going to be getting it

I’ll keep you posted

Phew – Phew Milestone 2

Its done.  Milestone II is completed. the assignment I thought would never end.  I have learned an awful lot about CMS’s and it seems kinda odd sitting here using the wordpress dashboard after picking through and reviewing it for an hour.  And hey, WordPress didn’t even win, I decided to go with Joomla, which really is a stupid move because I don’t know jack about Joomla and I can bang out a half decent wordpress website in a day 😦  Oh well you make your bed and all that.

So we are in to the final furlong of this degree now,  two more assignments for Todd, build a website and a web API/mobile app (fun fun) and a single assignment for Sandra and then all I have to do is RPL one course and its all over red rover.  Then I can start on the MS exams that SQL Services wants me to do for my job (each one comes with a payrise – proper bonus)


Catch Up with Todd

Today in class was really a catch up with Todd.  he looked at peoples progress with their Milestone 2 of the project.  It was a good chance for me to ask him a couple of questions about some of the sections titles that I am expected to be using.  Its the classic case of peoples brains being wired differently, the way that I interpret the section titles isn’t at all how Todd sees them, which probably explains why I was having so much trouble getting my content to ‘fit’ into those sections.  After a brief discussion I think I have a better handle on what I am expected to be producing, guess I’ll find out once it is marked 🙂

Ticking away

Well, its been a busy weekend. I had hoped to sit down and write my assignment 1 MS2 up and get it in the bag.  But I’ve ended up cutting down trees and given myself an RSI injury from the mulcher 😦  Could be worse.  I finally got to sit down this evening and do some work on the CMS analysis, surprisingly interesting, particularly reading the history of some of the CMS’s.  Who would have thought that SilverStripe is older than WordPress and that Joomla was born in a fierce political melee.  The things you learn when you have the time.

I also found 5 minutes yesterday to sit down and start work on Project 2, I started to have a look through some of the Untappd API documentation and tested my client ID and secret toe ensure that they worked.  The API doesn’t seem to directly give me some of the information that need to use in my app, so it might be a bit of a process to get to where I want to be, but thats what I’m good at.

I have finished all of my other assignments for the year now (forever actually), so I can focus on this web701 course, now I just need to find some time…….

Week 11 – Max Degree of Parallelism

So we are into the thick of it now.  We are working on both Project 1 and project 2 at the same time. For Project 1, I currently have MIlestone 1 handed in, Milestone 2 in progress, Milestone 3 is still a glint my eye.

For Project 2, I have so far given it a LOT of thought, but not a lot of action.  I have completed the initial story board in the agile process that we will be using. currently I have these stories:

  • User can connect to Untappd API and get the relevant data to identify beers, venues, ratings reviews etc
  • User can connect to custom API and view Untappd data that is filtered for the times and venues that have been defined in the custom API
  • User can view the data from both APIs in a Smartphone App
  • User if able to ‘spot’ existing beers from the Untappd API and add them to venues or rate them in our custom API.
  • User is able to login to Untappd API through smartphone App
  • User is able to register Untappd ratings and new beers through the smartphone App

Above I have presented 6 user stories, I really don’t think that I will get any more than this done within the timeframe of the project (I possibly won’t get all of these done) I really hope to get at least 4 or 5 of these done.  If I am being honest then I don’t know if I will get the Auth0 login stuff with the Untappd API completed in the timeframe. But We shall see…….

The next stage is to break these down into sprints and give each sprint a timeframe to be completed in.  Pressure is on 🙂  lets rock

A good week

Its been a good week, finished my milestone 1 for the first project and had my idea for the second project accepted.  I’m hoping to build a proof of concept integrating the Untappd API with my own one.  Hopefully I can use the time in this project to get some useful learning done that will come in handy for Nelson Beer Week App next year.

SQL Services is continuing to teach me very much indeed about SQL Server, got past the really boring stuff at the start and beginning to work on some slightly more interesting stuff now like replication and performance monitoring 🙂

All good this week 🙂

The Auckland Wool Mark

Today in class we had a great question and answer session, great in the sense that my questions got answered and everyone else kicked and asked lots of questions about the Wool website that we have to do for Friday.  Not so great in the sense that now I have a whole heap more information to work with.  I have pretty much finished my analysis.

So I have to go and revise what I have written and rework a few things, but overall I think I’m on the right track and so shouldn’t be too big a job to get this first milestone finished.

Information Architecture

Lets get one thing straight, I hate web design, despise it with a vengance, have no interest whatsoever in faffing about with fonts and colors that display differently across every browser.   Webpages that need so much crappy JS framework code in the background to make them work that the whole thing just looks like a nightmare if you actually look into the code.

I hate web design, if I could choose the part of IT that I dislike most it would probably be web design.  (well maybe sys development, but it would be a close run thing)

So this is like the third time I’ve been asked to go through the Information Architecture process for a website, and for the third time it has amazed me how good and efficient it actually is.  I mean, a lot of the steps are supposed to involve a real client, who we don’t have, and I don’t think I will ever fully understand how the metaphor section is really meant to play out, but on the whole its a good system.

Thats Milestone 1 in the bag…. I’m off to make a start on Milestone II


Meeting the client again

Today was our last class before easter break.  We had our client come in again to look at our websites.  we have made a number of changes to the general layout of the website, we have changed things like the colour scheme. We have also added things like a google map plugin and an ability to set up different user groups and give them different sets of permissions.

Generally he was pretty happy with the websites,  he said that none of the websites really stood out, however he said they all matched the brief.

The client asked us all how much time we had put into the website so far.  We conceded that we had put in about 25 hours.  most of the teams had done roughly the same amount of time into their website.  We discussed that for example this equates to about $2500 – $3000 if we were to charge $100 per hour.  This is the normal cost of a website.

In an interesting aside, we discussed how he sees the IT industry in Nelson and globally.  It was really interesting to hear what he thought about IT, after all he is a professional with 25 years experience.