Monday, October 27, 2014

Rails Rumble is Over, Back to Code

Rails Rumble is officially over, so I can get back to working on my FML app. Unsurprisingly, I wasn't able to complete it in the ten hours I had to work on it after work each night during the competition. I've given myself until the end of October to finish at least a decent MVP.

Here's where I am right now:

I'll keep chugging away and I'll check in from time to time. Soon I will have some posts about the SeaGL conference last weekend, as well as my talk! (It was a first talk, it was a first talk, it was a first talk... ;) ).

Friday, October 17, 2014

And So It Begins

I've finished zizzer-zoofing for the night and it's finally time to start coding for my Rails Rumble submission. My app is the scratch-my-own itch list-compiler/downloader app that I've been thinking about for over a year now. (Aptly enough, it's called Fix My List, or FML for shortsies :D.)

Enough gabbing, time to code. Wish me luck!

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Year Ago Today (Part II)

I suppose I could write 365 of these kind of posts, but I realized today that I've hit something of a milestone:

With the exception of that awful spot during Hell Season for retail workers, I've got a year full of contributions on GitHub. I have some patches here and there, but those are actually from working off the master branch on different projects (or when I crumpled up my paper by deleting repos and started over.)

I don't have much to say right now, but back to work. I'll post some links to my Zombie Floss app once it's live.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

So How Was Your Day, Dear?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Just Ship It

Last week was a bit of a whirlwind. I slammed through most of my backlog in Skillcrush's Web Developer Blueprint course and published two (imperfect) sites:

The url for this site is about to be swiped for my Rails Rumble submission. I'm open to ideas for a better (more fitting) name for this brainstorming site. Also on the to-do list is to get set up with asset hosting on AWS so that the images uploaded along with the ideas will be saved! (Image storage on Heroku itself is strictly ephemeral!)


This resume-splash page was for an assignment on Skillcrush. I've got two main to-dos for this site. First, optimize the image better so that the background isn't so slow to render. Second, it looks terrible on a mobile screen in portrait mode.

I need to figure out how to tell the css to drop into a different mode when in a really small screen.

I'd like to continue my streak and ship another page this week. Not sure what yet (likely a starter page for my SeaGL talk this month.) Finally, I'm throwing in my hat for Rails Rumble - registration starts on October 6th and I'm super stoked to be a part of it this year.

Oh, yeah, and I've got my "day" job at [company name retracted due to uber-restrictive social media policy].

It's going to be a great week!

Edited to add:
I completely forgot! I also (finally!) got around to signing up at I've just started but it's so much fun! :D

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What a Summer it Has Been

This is a difficult post to write. I started this summer excited by my new OPW internship and anxious to get started. It began with a lengthy project map

The following enhancements are needed to allow storing and rendering of time-based information in OpenHistoricalMap.

1. Enhance the iD and The_Rails_Port so that a javascript time/date slider can be added to control the time period that is of interest.

2. Enhance the ID and The_Rails_Port so that meta-data hooks are added to the code that allow for custom deployments of both software. The intent is to support their use as dedicated user interfaces to certain applications (such as medieval walking path editing) while still using a generic data source.

3. Modify the Mapnik tile renderer to handle Key:start_date and Key:end_date.

and an ambitious proto-developer.

The goal of the project was/is, essentially, to put a time slider on a fork of the Open Street Map to enable users to search for historical maps that have been loaded into the system.

My original OPW proposal was ambitious and reveled my inexperience. As I worked through the first part of the project and then moved on to tackle the tile renderer, I began to understand the reactions of more experienced developers who I shared my work with. Still, I strove on (see logs).

In the end, I suceeded in integrating a timeslider into the OHM and in propagating a time variable throughout the tile renderer. I've also learned a great deal about how real-live applications look and I've picked up some C, as well.

I plan to continue contributing to the project. As my internship time ended, I was still working on building a working test server. I've had some hardware issues but expect to be able to begin working (part-time - I need paid work, too! :) ) soon. After the initial time variable is proven to work, I will then be able to introduce the actual keys to the render.

I would really like to see my code make it into the wild and it's a great mission. I've learned a lot about how real-life Rails applications work (look, Ma, there's business logic in the JavaScript!). I've learned even more about how far off paper time estimates can be from reality. ;)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Postgres and Postgis are a PAIN

The following is from a blog post from 2009. Installing PostgreSQL and PostGIS is still (still!!) incredibly painful. I'm re-blogging this here (I hope the author forgives me!) I'm terrified of losing these instructions. I know I'll need them again:


Install PostgreSQL 8.4 and PostGIS 1.4.0 in Ubuntu 9.0.4



Install PostgreSQL 8.4 and PostGIS 1.4.0 in Ubuntu 9.0.4

I am a big fan of the new PostGIS 1.4.0 (and also of Paul Ramsey) . I always have troubles installing PostGIS in ubuntu so I thought that this time I was gonna document it and blog it here. So this is just a log of the steps required to install it on an EC2 instance with Ubuntu 9.04. I hope it can be useful for someone else.

Just for the record. The EC2 instance I used was ami-ccf615 from .

Once login (totally fresh).

apt-get update
apt-get install vim
#The sources are still not available on the regular package servers... edit the sources 
vim /etc/apt/sources.list
  add deb jaunty main
          deb-src jaunty main

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys 8683D8A2
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install postgresql-8.4
#This changes the port from 5433 to 5432
sudo sed -i.bak -e 's/port = 5433/port = 5432/' /etc/postgresql/8.4/main/postgresql.conf

sudo /etc/init.d/postgresql-8.4 stop
sudo /etc/init.d/postgresql-8.4 start
apt-get install postgresql-server-dev-8.4 libpq-dev
apt-get install libgeos-dev
apt-get install proj
tar xvfz postgis-1.4.0.tar.gz
cd postgis-1.4.0
make install
sudo su postgres
#change the postgres password to "atlas" so that you can later login
psql -c"ALTER user postgres WITH PASSWORD 'atlas'"

createdb geodb    (with password atlas)
createlang -dgeodb plpgsql
psql -dgeodb -f /usr/share/postgresql/8.4/contrib/postgis.sql
psql -dgeodb -f /usr/share/postgresql/8.4/contrib/spatial_ref_sys.sql
psql -dgeodb -c"select postgis_lib_version();"
#This should return 1.4.0

Good Luck!