Still Plugging Along

So as interests bounce back and forth I just wanted to put down a few words as to what I’ve been playing with. Bugerator and the lost and found are more or less feature complete. They are usable as is and don’t need a lot of attention. I still pay close attention to any issues people have and make improvements as necessary. I may work on new features in the future but nothing is planned for the immediate time.

I’ve been doing a lot with AVR chips (arduino pro mini among others). There is a time based switch turner on-er and off-er in the git here. It is designed to use a NRF24L01 and keep its own time with occasional communication from a Raspberry Pi. The AVR (client?) side is more or less there. I have one switching multicolored lights on my house. The raspberry pi side is not there. I have something in place to communicate manually. When I make more progress I’ll do a proper write up.

Since we are planning on buying a child care center in the near future I’ve initially started WordPress plugins for accounting and child care management. Why WordPress? Well I’d rather trust their established security. Besides as mentioned before I’d rather have everything all encompassing than install this in this folder and install that in another folder on a web host. That way there is one user name/password that can be used for many different things. Daycareator and accounterator are in the git for now.

Why the ator names? Well I didn’t want to totally copy the inator from Phineas and Ferb. Tickerator sounds good enough and its just kind of my thing.

’til next time.

Life happens

K life happens. Then we get over it. I’m back. I’ve just upgraded the lost and found and I want to try to add a few nagging features to bugerator in the next week or two.

I should probably post the AVR (arduino) and Raspberry Pi stuff I’ve been doing. I’ve been using little radios (nRF24L01) for the raspberry pi to communicate with the AVR and do things like turn sprinklers/lights on and off. But that’s another story for another day. Besides it isn’t finished yet.

Back into Tickerator

Well bugerator is almost where I want it. Couple more bugs and couple more features then I think I won’t be spending as much time on it unless there are special requests.

The Lost and Found for a weeks project received more usage than I thought. I didn’t think anybody would download it, just me but it topped 80 so far. Write for myself, then others use it. Works for me.

So – Tickerator. How we love thee… I decided it is going to be a WordPress plugin first and maybe a standalone. My reasoning now is the same as Bugerator – basically WordPress has a security/user model. Why write another program that has its own? I would imagine that quite a few of community theaters/organizations use WordPress for their site. I know my theater group does (I set it up. lol) I think if people have a user to buy tickets it may make them more likely to comment on the site itself with the same user. I don’t know but at least it will be easy to comment.

So that’s where I am. Happiness prevails.

Bugerator update, Tickerator and The Lost and Found

Woohoo.  Bugerator is going places. :-) I know it isn’t a lot but it has 88 users and I have received several bug reports. Yes it has bugs.  It is hard to find everything before a project is in the wild when you are a team of 1.  But I’m getting to them relatively quickly.  As of now it has 88 downloads which considering I have done no promotion other than making it available pleases me.

I’ve done a little rewriting of the tickerator install.  In a nutshell I hated it.  I already posted about that though.

So I’ve had a request from the community theater to manage the lost and found from our website.  So coming really soon is the Lost and Found plugin for WordPress.  Basically it allows you to post pictures and descriptions of items in your lost and found and people can claim them by typing their Name and email or phone.  No WP login required.  The administrator can elect to receive emails whenever an item is claimed then mark the item as returned or whatever.

Everything is done except the admin interface and I expect to get that done in the next day or two.  This will be appropriate for community theaters, church groups, community centers, or any group that has a Word Press site and has people leave items behind.  We will be announcing the lost and found via our group email so that parents can claim the things their children (or them) have left behind.  Good times…

Rethinking Tickerator

I was comparing tickerator to the finished bugerator and thinking – I really hate how tickerator is right now.  I had just gotten past the install in programming it, but I don’t like the install.  So – starting over. ;-)

Looking back the F3 framework I was using might be a little awkward in typing things.  I would probably get used to it but after working inside of WordPress I decided I like their style of accessing things better.  I’m still debating whether or not this should be able to be installed as a WordPress plugin but I thought I would rework it a bit so if I do decide to use it as a plugin that it would almost be able to drop in.  I’m going to use the principles of F3 such as the templates, single file routing, etc. but just not the framework itself.  Also for bugerator I realized there are quite a few webhosts that do not have PHP 5.3 which F3 requires so that’s another reason for me to move away from F3.

So I’m going to write the DB access as a class with similar methods to WordPress’s db class and while I won’t necessarily have “hooks” I can still use an install class that would be accepted by WordPress with adding some simple hooks at the beginning.  I think I like this idea better.

Still going to use camelCase because I don’t like typing a billion underscores for variable names as much.  So_there.  So if I do this as a plugin it won’t be 100% according to the standards that the WordPress team wants but that’s ok.

 

What’s this Bugerator stuff?

So I was looking for a good bug tracking system.  Now there are many great ones but one of the things I want is to have WordPress integration so I was looking at plugins.  I just don’t want to have people register for the website then have to register again to track the bugs.

Tried a couple of plugins and they just weren’t what I wanted, thus Bugerator was born.  Out of the box it supports multiple projects and multiple users.  While any WordPress admin will be a admin in Bugerator it has an independent Admin/Editor list separate from WordPress’s permission.  So you don’t have to give access to your WordPress pages in order to give access to the projects.

Finally a short code for the Bugerator can give access to all of the different programs you are writing or just an individual one so you can keep projects private, limit access, etc.  Look for it soon in the WordPress plugins directory.

OK OK, it’s been 45 days…

As anybody might guess my interest in creating this kind of project is for the non-profit small community theater I volunteer for.  Well we’ve been gearing up for our production of The Wizard of Oz which opened last Friday so I’ve been rather busy.

It finally opened and I survived the first weekend.  Now that the main stress is passed I’ll start doing some real work on this project again… not that anybody is paying any attention to me whatsoever. ;-)

The git web repository is up as always and I’ve added a direct public git read only download.  Details on the git page.  Otherwise the initial database setup is done and I’m starting to progress through the main event setup so I can get some real information going there.

Development uh definitions… conventions…??? notes??

This is using the Fat-Free Framework found here: http://bcosca.github.com/fatfree/.  I looked at some and decided this was fine.  One of them I looked at had over 3,700 files and I happen to know that many shared hosting sites have file limits.  Bluehost where we are will not run auto-site backups if you are over 20,000 files so I’m certainly not going to waste 3,700 files on the stupid framework.  After having started I’m actually quite happy with this anyway.  The framework is contained entirely in the lib directory.

We’re using camelCase for everything.  I hate trying to find the ‘_’ key all the time – except in MYSQL.  Don’t know why but I’m using the ‘_’ in the database.  Deal with it.

We’re using the object oriented thing – classes are upper CamelCase and class file names need to match the class name exactly for the autoloader to find them.  Created classes will all be in the includes directory.

All routing will be done through the main index.php.

All visual elements will be done through templates in the ui directory.  The index.php will be responsible for calling the templates.

The dict directory will be for the translation files.  The cache and temp directories are used by the framework.

Code should be indented with <tab>s and COMMENTED!  Yes put some comments in that code.  That one of the reasons I started this project!!!

The Whos, the Whats and the Whys

I’m part of a non-profit art organization in my community.  We’re a low budget volunteer based community theater group that puts on 4-6 performances a year.

I work for a top 5 web hosting company as an accountant by training.  I’m very technical which makes me quite a good fit there.  I’ve taught myself PHP and web development and have completed a few minor work projects and personal projects .  I’ve never to this point been a part of a larger open source project but look forward to it.

Our arts council has been working on finding a good online solution for selling tickets for performances.  I volunteered to take on the search.  There are plenty of commercial offerings which in a county of only 10,000 people were well out of our budget.  So I had to forget the commercial offerings and look for any open source projects that may exist.

Based on my searches I found an older now defunct project, and a more updated project that I gladly donated to receive the latest version of.  I’ve since set it up, tested it and dug in to the source code.  It is set up and will be working for our summer family musical and that has me very excited.  One of my immediate goals when I decided that we had to look towards open source was that I wanted to join the project and become a regular contributor to the code.

So with that in mind why am I starting my own project instead of building on what is existing?  First off I’m not naming the other project because I harbor no negative feelings towards them.  Part of it is just the timing.  Based on what I know they’ve had some bad luck with a hacker type which unfortunately has shifted their focus to rebuilding and securing their site.  So currently they don’t have a development tree available anywhere or a current build or anything posted (I did ask).  Their most recent release is over a year old (which again I’m grateful for because our local arts council will be using it this summer.)

I had some requirements of the ticketing program and I was able to make a couple of changes to make things work.  However this showed me the importance of logical flowing code which is easy to follow.  Unfortunately that other project was built upon the older one so there is a lot of old code in there that isn’t well organized.  I actually needed a debugger running it line by line to help me find where to change the code.

So I simply felt that the other project really needs their core rewritten and if I’m going to do that I’d personally rather just start something from scratch.  Now once again I’m really not trying to show any negative feelings towards another project, but I feel it is important to tell where this project started from and why I will be a stickler on a few things.

David