The Dark Doodad

Dark Doodad

It's been a while since I did a blog, so after twiddling the way the front page of the site displays, it's time to post a new one.

Continue reading »

The Dark Doodad

Add images to Drupal from your mobile device

iPhone camera

You can add images to Drupal, but mobile devices don't allow you to upload any photos to image fields. This is something that sort of irked me from time to time in the past, but recently came up for a website project, so I thought it would be good to see if it could be worked around.

HTML5 allows for this, but sadly that's mostly a no go with Drupal 7 at the moment. However, it turns out the fix is nice and easy via the HTML Media Capture method. Add the following snippet of jQuery, so it runs when pages load:

Sponsorship Success Metric

Hissy fit

Just after DrupalCon Sydney at the start of February of this year, I overheard some people wondering why they should sponsor a DrupalCon. Considering the people who attend, there's not a lot of product selling you can do if you're a Drupal shop and unless you're looking to hire delegates as new staff, there's not a lot of direct benefit from having a sponsor booth or table.

Obviously, helping to fund a DrupalCon and the Drupal Association via a sponsorship are good things to be doing for the community, but the payoff isn't necessarily immediately apparent. However, there definitely is one. There just hasn't been a metric for it, let alone a testable metric.

Announcing the Drupal 8 Compatibility API

Drupal Compatibility

For some time now I've thought that I don't like the direction Drupal 8 development is heading in. The code base is getting larger and larger, the code is getting slower and slower and the mix of plugins and annotations that replaces hooks makes the development experience far less consistent.

On top of that, the PSR-0 "standard" means humans have to now write code that is more convenient to parse for computers than for other humans.

The Spam War

The spam war

As things on the internet go, not many are worse than spammers. At best they're nuisance, at worst the hardware, cycles and power wasted on dealing with them is causing global warming and pollution at an ever accelerating rate.

I'm most annoyed by the wasted cycles. When I run a web site, I'd like to use the CPU power I pay for to be used to serve (admittedly mediocre) content to people that might get some (questionable) value out of them.

Datæ Visualisation

Date visualisation

We're looking at perhaps running an open source event this year and want to avoid overlap with other events that might attract a similar audience or that we want to attend ourselves. A calendar is possibly the single most unhelpful way to visualise dates, so I wanted something else.

If you turn a year into a clock face, you can just about fit a whole year into 360 degrees. And if you're not overly worried about the number of days in a month (and who would be, for a broad visualisation?) you can stick a months in each 30 degrees, for a total of 12.

Telescope cam creation

Transformed webcam

This is a continuation of my Telescope cam debugging blog.

Unfortunately it proved rather hard to obtain  plastic mounting feet and screws tiny enough for me to be able to put the camera assembly in a small project box. However,  I did realised I had a custom fit plastic camera housing to hand - the one I'd just cracked open.

I'd noticed earlier that metallic ring with Zeiss branding on the front of the camera was pretty much the same diameter as the 1½ inch eyepieces and adapters I have. Since I have two adapter rings (I was generously given a second one as part of a kit by mig5) I decided to glue an adapter ring straight onto the camera housing.

Bloaargh Refresh

Bootstrap screenshot

In 2007 I moved my blog from my own bespoke CMS into Drupal. Back then, Drupal 6 was the state of the art and so that's what I used.

Drupal 7 came out just under two years ago, but for many and varied reasons there was a significant lag before contributed modules were updated to work with the newer Drupal core. I happily kept working mainly with Drupal 6 until I got a job developing new sites using Drupal 7 at the start of this year.

Telescope cam debugging

Webcam Pro 9000

I was reminded the other day that if you want to do planetary astrophotography, hacking up a webcam is a cheap and easy way to computerise image capture. Better still, software exists to process videof rames into a single higher quality still image.

A spot of researching which webcams are best suited for this found a page explaining how to hack a Logictech Webcam Pro 9000. Better still, my corner discount computer parts shop actually still stocks these for all of $35 a piece.