Tuesday, August 26, 2014

wheel library

Gábor Berkesi sent me an interactive version of the hooptime information disply I posted the other day. It uses his wheelnavjs library, working to make it easier to make little dial and circle based navigation widgets -- good use of SVG!

Monday, August 18, 2014

piece on frameworks

I don't agree with all of it, but this Opinionated Rundown of JS Frameworks echoes many of my concerns about some of the popular systems out there, especially Angular.

Also, Why Libraries are better than Frameworks -- I guess a lot of what I think has been argued under the terms libraries vs frameworks, sometimes described as "if I call the code from my code, it's a library, if their code calls my code, it's a framework". I really think libraries lead to much easier to debug things!

Friday, August 15, 2014

the ux of time, the ui of p5.js!

Over the past few years I've realized that I use an idiosyncratic visualization for certain kinds of time; I see the cyclic nature of the twelve months of a year and the seven days of a week in the form of a circle, both going counter-clockwise. I spent some time today generating images reflecting this view. Here's a reflection of what a week is like for me:
I guess the specific rotation and counter-clockwise direction reflects a dash of synesthesia, and also how important physical layout is to my sense of recall -- if I'm trying to do a week-based day calculation, I'll often use my hand to as an arrow to mark my place in the week, in the same way I'll still unconsciously shape an "L" with my left hand to recall which direction is which. 

I'm less certain why I place the weekend down. My best guess is see that as the start and stop of a week, and is either "heavier" or "where the week meets the road" (to stretch the physical metaphor, since I view myself as moving in the fixed week-wheel rather than it moving to accommodate me.) The counter-clockwise motion then springs from that - I read left-to-right, so the Saturday-Sunday "start" to the week is in that "forward" direction, and thus drives the rest of the loop. 

Years are even more strongly laid out in my mind's eye: 

Here the calendar starts at the top, as one might expect, but I think that's because I view a year as progressing from school year to school year, with the loveliness of summer vacation anchoring as the base (though a separate desire to have the numeric transition be straight up tilts the thing a bit.) 

Neither visual is strongly color-coded for me, but week vs weekend and the various seasons have a different ephemeral feel, here color-coded for grins. 

As a side note, I used a new technology for this, p5.js -- the same processing.js I've used for years, but now as pure javascript, rather than going through some weird java-to-js convertor. Highly recommended! You can check out the working page and source code if so inclined.

(Incidentally, I looked into doing this with CSS trickery, but man, the CSS shapes page uses such crazy, inflexible hacks... relying on how if the div is tiny and the border is REALLY wide, then one side of the border looks like a triangle, and messing with border radius makes circles, and then you can get :before and :after going for extra stuff... bleh, it's a mess that breaks quickly when you try to adjust it.)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

snapshotting music and video from streaming

I have a strong preference for paying for music. (Though I'm spoiled, and am less inclined to pay for whole albums.) I looked everywhere (err, meaning iTunes, Amazon, and general Google) but could not find an MP3 for Novel's Peach (a slightly raunchy hophop slow jam)

I tried the OSX app "Grappler", but it has been failing me lately. However a friend pointed me to http://www.deturl.com/ a kind of metasite with links to various "grab file from streaming" services.  http://convert2mp3.net/ was able to make an MP3 from the video, and then http://www.telechargerunevideo.com/ was able to grab a different youtube movie that I had previously uploaded, but that the OSX app Grappler was choking on. (Grappler wasn't able to do the Peach MP3 because "video not available on mobile").

Again, I pay for music (albeit, in a entitled way) whenever I can, and hope people dig on supporting artists as well.

Friday, August 1, 2014

PROTIP: Use OSX "Preview" to trivially fix janky iOS Photo EXIF issues

iPhone 5 macro mode isn't half bad. Although the lens isn't up to my Canon's quality, the touchscreen helps...

But more importantly I have a good-enough fix for my iOS EXIF workflow I was ranting about the other day.... I realized the easiest (Apple-centric) way for me to correct EXIF rotation on iOS photos is to open the image in OSX Preview and hit cmd-Save... then I can drag it straight into my dropzone.js powered webpage, and I'm set. (Sometimes I think I should just use tumblr so I can participate in the sharing, but I would lose the "what did I post on this date in previous years" ability.)

Monday, July 28, 2014

angular edit-in-place

http://jsfiddle.net/joshdmiller/NDFHg/ is a decent little angular.js "edit in place" - i.e. it's a span, click on it for an edit box

Sunday, July 27, 2014

the joy of exif

This is just a rant. I hope to do a followup post once I fix the damn problem.

Man, EXIF and iOS and browsers == bad, bad news.

So, iOS doesn't bother to actually rotate a JPG when it stores it in memory, just notes which way the camera was held in the EXIF metadata, and sophisticated display programs do the right thing to show you your image right way up. Fair enough, I guess, rotating big chunks of memory is hard work for a device.

BUT -- Chrome Safari and Firefox ignore the EXIF when it's a jpg in an img tag, so the images appear at all kinds of random orientations, but then they respect it when you open up the image by itself in a tab. (!!!) IE just always ignores it. So points for consistency for IE.

http://alienbill.com/kirkdev/exif/raw/view.html if you want to see this wonderous magic for yourself.

I was all psyched about my this drag and drop image upload library I found (  http://www.dropzonejs.com/ ) but now I have to figure out how to get ImageMagick to fix this crap before I can enjoy the fruits of my labor. This is really horrendous.

UPDATE: an uncool and limited but dead simple and effective for my needs solution is to open up the iOS image in OSX Preview and hit cmd-S for Save. The resulting file I can then drag right into my dropzone.js-based UI.