About max

I love to learn, laugh and find adventure and opportunity every chance I get. Whether canoeing, fishing, dancing or programming I can always find fun and entertainment. I'm an Information Systems Programmer and enjoy the challenge of new languages and techniques. Entertaining and seeing people laughing and having fun is finding paradise. It's a nice balance.

JQuery Rules!

Lately I've been working on learning not only JQuery but also more on CSS, Javascript and more PHP.  We're using API's to handle any sql calls. 

An experimental project involved transfer courses and which schools offer which courses that have PSU equivalents was used to not only familiarize myself with jquery but also understand all the other components that are needed (or just desired) to have in the application. 

Then I moved onto a program which allows a user (via an oracle directory object) to be able to upload their feeds without connecting to unix.  JQuery handled this beautifully sans some obstacles such as quotes begin uploaded getting in the way etc.  I would like to share bits of this technique. 

Things that need to happen are:

  • Make sure all is secure,  I use Yale CAS so the user not only needs a portal account, but they also need to be included in the authorization listing. 
  • Set up the mechanism to get the file to be uploaded. 
  • Give the filename a title which is passed as a parameter
  • Allow the user to view the contents before uploading.  From the time the file is picked up, it is encoded. 
  • Then when the user clicks on the upload button, it automatically goes to the directory for pickup later on. 

I can not show all the code, but can show the obstacles that got in my way while working on this.  First issue was passing an array successfully.  We ended up flattening it out like this:

  <!-- BEGIN: items -->
   <input type="hidden" name="itemarray{items.nbr}" class="itemarray" value="{items.record}" />
  <!-- END: items -->
Then this value is picked up by my behavior.js  file containing javascript and jquery where the next php app picks up these values and moves the data along    [segment from behavior.js]:

 $('.itemarray').each(function(){
  var statement='variable_list.'+$(this).attr('name')+'="'+$(this).val()+'"';
  eval(statement);
 })

What that basically did was, after I assigned a class called itemarray (in the template),  jquery can now search for the class and pick up the attributes and values.  If you want to put it back into an array afterwards, just assign the values in a loop back into it. 

Issue #2:  This one had me stumped at first, but although it picked up the file I was transferring correctly, when I tried to upload a comma quote delimited file - the items in behavior.js didn't know what to do with the quotes!  Finally I found that if you do a urlencode first when sending the values and then urldecode the values when you wish to view the results, it works great.  If you do nothing and there are quotes in the file, nothing will upload and the process will fail. 

So, the process is now working.  Thanks to Matt Batchelder for helping me with some of this and getting me started with jquery!  Hope you find some of this useful. 

Jquery continuing....

Well, still having fun with Jquery.  I'm curious though if there are any experts out there that have used Jquery in an application that involves downloading and uploading files?  We've been experimenting with it and found that uploading and downloading involves more than I thought.   The biggest hurdle with this is associative arrays.  As soon as I can figure out the best way to handle this, will post.  If you know easy ways to do this please do post!  Thanks.

jquery!

This stuff is great! If you are interested the site is: http://www.visualjquery.com/index.xml

Going to get into that technology - it appears to have the things we need. Technology is growing so fast these days.... one of my colleagues, Matt Batchelder just got back from an Ajax conference and I think that what he picked up will greatly enhance what we are trying to accomplish on campus. jQuery rocks!
..............and web surfing will be even more fun!

Getting ready to deliver the 2hr presentation to the SUNY Wizard Conference next Wednesday. Looking forward to meeting everyone and delivering the presentation. I love talking!

Been away

Start of the school year always is a trial.  In the chaos of things we're still able to remain sane and productive.  Yay!

I just got a CD done that reflects our experience at Sungard Summit this past year.  Today I hope to show it.   Always nervous about things like that though.... guess it's an artsy thing huh.  Found a great site today for you history buffs.  It's at  http://www.picture-history.com/ and shows pictures and stories of some of the most famous and intense times.  Enjoy!

Got invited to speak at the Wizard's Conference in NY.  I am so excited to be able to do this!  It's the same presentation I gave at Summit and is so much fun to give except now I need to remember what I 'said' somewhat and remember what slides come next well (there are 98 or so of them).  It's funny how much you forget in just a few months.....  PSU definitely rocks!

Brain Exercises!

This is a fun site I found that just gets those grey things in your head really moving!  Check this out:  http://brainmetrix.com/

I can't really say it's better than coffee tho as I don't drink coffee but probably does the same thing.....

Microsoft does it again....

Now and then at lunchtime I work on my book. The other day I went to see how many pages I had and found I could not see the page numbers. They *used* to work. Then while trying to do a mailmerge, I could not see the image for the header. That *used* to work. Then when merging and viewing merge results I could not see the merged field information! That *used* to work. I just love the idea that those programmers who probably live in Hollywood dream houses get paid a fortune to do that.... Yup.... makes me soooo happy. Yup... I'm just sooo happy... They really know how to test and put that stuff out there.... Yup. (NH translation Ayupppp)

Just LUV those upgrades..... just LUV those bugs/er/features even more!
Gotta find some paper that needs TEARING UP!!!! Yup Yup Yup...... Off to RIP AND TEAR! (It's a healthy thing you know.....)

Happy to be alive!

Had a very bad last week and worst weekend but it's over for now.  I just found the most unique and interesting site I absolutely LOVE!  For you math buffs try: http://scienceblogs.com/goodmath/

It's a bit complicated, but makes total sense.  I always knew that math has a lot to do with what goes on around us, whether we see it or not, and to think in those terms - hey, lies can be built so easily from it.... it's scarey.  Folks using statistics to easily lie to the public.... Big important folks like Homeland Security.... ouch!  If you have the time, check it out.  It's a real eye-opener.

Blue Button Madness

Am thinking of how easy it is to just wake up, hit that blue button and everything just automagically falls into place..... It doesn't matter what you are trying to accomplish - just hit that button and your job is done! -grin-

The blue button was a beast that lived regularly during our POISE stage. It was easy to create a report by just hitting that one command. We got really used to those! Of course, that command has a ton of processes behind it that the user sometimes does and sometimes does not know about. Over time, the blue button eventually becomes a black box.

Enter a new database system! Blue buttons were abandoned and scattered everywhere in a frenzy of survival and panic. Everyone wanted them back, but they were just blue non-functional things now and the question is - should they be replaced? Can they be recreated?

Doing a daily routine of a lot of not so complicated things is a very desirable situation to be in for those who really don't mind change. Of course, that's usually the individual who doesn't use a blue button or is even aware that they are using one. Also, it's hard to be challenged in an environment that nobody is 100% used to yet. We have been drawn into a situation where depending on others is much more important than before. We find we now need to communicate and work with each other, and we find, most importantly, how much we need each other's skills.

The blue button world was where a person could come in, push it, wait for the outcome and then deliver. Rarely would a group effort enter into this. That button was that person's responsibility and in no way should anyone else touch it..... But, the value of "the button" suddenly decreases for the department. That button is dependent on that person, and that person alone. Were we in that situation? I've seen it here and there, but fortunately not too often, and those buttons are now long gone.

Are blue buttons good or bad? I can't help but think of the fact that technology changes wait for nobody. Change seems to destroy those "blue buttons" so maybe they'll evolve into something less stiff and black-boxy. I'm extremely uncomfortable with the idea of applications being developed by folks with absolutely no programming background or experience whatsoever. Push this button and code automagically just pops out? Those are very scarey applications.
Thoughts?

It's Hot!

  1. I'm sticking to my chair
  2. I'm sticking to my desk
  3. I'm sticking to my hair
  4. I'm sticking to my socks
  5. I'm sticking to my shorts
  6. I'm sticking to by shirt
  7. I'm sticking to my keyboard and arm protector pads
  8. I'm sticking to my papers
  9. I'm sticking to my mouse
  10. I'm sticking to my pencils and pens
  11. I'm sticking to the bottled water - which is now warm...  

You name it!  I'm sticking to everything!   It's HOT! 

Down time vs. REAL down time

I'm sitting here counting on my fingers the number of things I keep putting off, like:

  • Getting the video I was working on done that uses the pictures from Summit 2006.
  • Working on my book
  • Submitting photos to the Photographer's Workshop

This list really does go on and on... and practically none of it is work related.  I don't get it that I can procrastinate with the things I love to do vs the things I need to do - like work.  (slapping side of head right now)....   that's soooo wrooong......
It's down time!  I have bad case of "downatimeaanemia", I just know it!  It would be nice to just have a week to do absolutely nothing so I guilt myself into doing at least those three items above.  Ahhh yes, that, and a nice tall - very tall - (no - even taller!) glass of Planter's Punch from Fosters would definitely do the trick.  Got a week off after next week and can't wait!

This morning I woke up to find my cats playing with a live snake.  How it got into the house is beyond me but it was a little one and very fast so it's likely it slipped in while a door was open and we weren't looking.  Then, in the shower I found a fat spider.  Waking up to snakes and spiders isn't exactly what I had in mind!  Mind you tho - I turned them loose safely in the back yard.  Did ya ever feel like that religious bald guy that turns everything loose and safe on that commercial on TV?    Something like that.
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