Helpful applications



I happened upon a new rails learning resource today called codelearn :) It’s a little confusing actually setting up your account, and there’s no settings or user profiles yet. It appears that the whole site is currently in beta and is free for the moment, but may cost a little cheddar in the future. Once you have an account and figure out where the classes work the interface is pretty cool. It has the interactive terminal like a lot of other similar sites have, and it’s code editor isn’t unique either, but what is quite cool that I haven’t seen done before is that it has a file browser and app output. Where you can actually click through the file tree of the app you’re working on, and physically see and click around the app you’re building.

Those are some pretty nice features and I appreciate that you can actually explore the app a bit and poke through the code, so I’m definitely planning on going through all the coursework they currently have available :) I would love to get a profile link where I can include the course progress in my extended resume, but hopefully that will be added on later :)

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Awesome, yet painful free online Windows Phone device testing


On my quest to find a way to test my windows app I finally came across Nokia Developer Remove Device Access.  It’s a bit of a mouthfull and does pretty much exactly what the name implies.  They give you free access to a pull of real nokia devices that you can control from a program on your computer.

It isn’t strictly Windows phone devices that they have either, they have a plethera of other nokia devices that you can hot wire and take for a spin.  Most noteable however, is that they give you access to their full Lumia line that’s running Windows 8.  Not to say that Android and iOS isn’t nice either…but there are some nicer alternatives to testing on those devices.  Like Sauce Labs or running Android as a virtual machine.

The big drawback here is that there is immense lag.  For each action you take it takes about 30 seconds for the device to realize you’ve done something and react.  Obviously this makes testing features a bit like pulling teeth.

But it’s free and (eventually) does the job :)  So you can’t complain 😉

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Ripple Emulator for PhoneGap


I was trying to track down an effective way to test PhoneGap for Windows devices when I came across the ripple emulator extension for Google Chrome.

Sadly this doesn’t help my issue with windows :/  And it is a few versions behind for PhoneGap, but I was happy to see some errors showing up in my browser that had only shown up on an actual device before.

Specifically I have noticed the back button styling for one of my apps was misaligned, it looked fine in the browser, but was broken on actual devices.  As well as some error dialogs that would just error out in a normal browser because they were dependant on PhoneGap actually work in ripple :)

It doesn’t eliminate the need for device testing, but being able to fix a few more issues before having to compile the app is definitely a time saver.

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A way to add on some nice icons to a page without images is to use ascii characters. These characters are essentially the same as text, so their size can be changed as much as you like without increasing the weight of the page or get degraded. If you’re anything like me, you’re very familiar with the double charat “»”, but there are so many more arrows and useful shapes you can use. Finding a full list of all the ascii codes available can be a little tricky, so I was very happy to come across

Character Codes -- HTML Codes, Hexadecimal Codes & HTML Names ❤ ❤ 2014-05-28 15-24-16

This site has tons of great symbols you can take and use on your website without the muss and fuss of opening your graphics editing program :)

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Why No Padlock?

Anyone whose dealt with secure pages before has undoubtedly run into the issue of having insecure items on the page that compromise the security.  I have this issue pretty much every time I write a new secure page ._.

The only way to solve it is to track down all the little insecure elements and change them to a relative link.  Sometime it can be really frustrating hounding through the code in search of the only little JPG that doesn’t want to play ball.  That’s why I was really happy to come upon the “Why no Padlock” service today :)  It’s pretty simple, al you have to do is put in the URL of your secure-to-be page and it will list out all of the insecure items for you!  It’s like magic 😀  Or, not so much…but it’s definitely wort a bookmark :)


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