Monthly Archives: November 2010

Why So Slow?

All apologies to my readers, but my server has decided to slow down to a crawl the last few hours/days. It has been on the docket for a few months now to move this blog from shared hosting to a VPS, but the last few days of (bad) server performance is making it very clear to me that it is bad as even pages with very little text and no images are taking longer than 10 seconds to render.
I have run a selection of pages through the validators** to see if there is some dropped code or other reason, of which there is nothing to fix right now, so it is the server. Please bear with us and hopefully we* will return to reasonable server performance fairly soon, or by December we will move.

* By we, I mean the royal we of me, my computer, Scruffy McDoglet, all the photos, and the text of this blog. ;o)
** Yes, I know that the code of this blog’s template needs serious updating. My plan has been to move to a VPS and strip down all the template code to a very simplified html5 + modernizr/googlehtml5shiv.

Nokia N8: Seal

Seal Beach Pier Seal Bronze Statue at Sunset
Mon 11.15.10 – Photo of the Seal Beach Pier seal statue taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N8.

DIY Programming: Should HTML be Required for Literacy in the 21st Century?

After I wrote last night’s post on “DIY Mobile Programming: Get Started with HTML, CSS, and Javascript“, I realized that I assumed that all of my readers who want to learn to create | develop their own mobile apps are already familiar with and design | develop in HTML, CSS, and Javascript.
This is after I shut off my computer and was on my way to bed, when I realized that maybe those of us in the web & mobile industries need to give more than lipservice to the idea of web education but is it time for all of us to consider that HTML should be apart of the canon of literacy.
Should HTML, in a basic form, be taught in primary school along with reading, writing, and arithmetic?
Yes, I do think it should. The internet, in all of its permutations, is in every aspect of our lives regardless if one lives in the developed or developing world(s). If we don’t teach the basics of the markup language of how to develop | create for the internet, then we are leaving literacy half-baked at best for the 21st Century, because if one does not understand the basic underpinnings of the internet, then one is illiterate to a major facet of 21st Century life.
The drive to increase literacy over the last 200 years has been more than making sure the most folks possible can read and write but it has also been the drive to give everyone the skills to participate on a more level playing field in society, as well as to open the opportunity for all of society to rise to the level of the educated. In every country where literacy has risen above 80%, poverty has decreased, self-sufficiency has increased, and the economy grows in proportion to the increase in literacy.
If you can learn to count to ten in another language, you can learn the 10 most used tags in HTML. If you can string to together a sentence or two in your native language, you can learn the semantics and grammar of HTML. With HTML, you are more than partially capable of creating simple pages and apps for the internet, be it mobile or desktop.
When one can create a page or alter a page in their care, then they are no longer audience, but a participant. No longer just a consumer, but a creator.
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Ms. Jen’s DIY Programming Series:
DIY Dev: Program or be Programmed
DIY Mobile Programming: Get Started with HTML, CSS, and Javascript
DIY Programming: Should HTML be Required for Literacy in the 21st Century?

DIY Mobile Programming: Get Started with HTML, CSS, and Javascript

“If you can build your app with HTML, CSS & JavaScript, then you probably should.” – @jonathanstark #wdx (via @garazi)

Some friends recently asked on Twitter what was the best way to start programming mobile apps with Nokia’s Qt, as they found that it was not as easy as the publicity from Nokia had purported Qt to be.

I replied: “When devs say a ‘framework’ is “easy” it is code for “It won’t take 15 months of 10 hour days & make you want to KILL yourself.”

Anyone who has developed an application, be it for the desktop or mobile, can tell you that framework makes it so much easier, but easy is a relative term. What easy may mean is that development time is reduced from 6 months to 6 weeks or less. Still not that easy, but easier and a big relief.
For folks who want to learn to create and develop their own mobile apps, but don’t have much programming experience or little at all, I would like to suggest starting with developing a simple app in HTML, CSS, and Javascript to get your feet wet and see if you can get your idea up and running either as a mobile web app or as a native mobile app that is coded in HTML, CSS, and Javascript.
As I wrote in DIY Dev: Program or be Programmed a couple of weeks back, there comes a time when your own natural diy urge or curiosity or frustration with a lack of an app drives one to learn how to program a computer, server, or mobile phone so that the itch has been scratched.
Rather than get bogged down in the debate between mobile web apps and native apps, let me give a few links to resources out there to help get you started on creating your own mobile HTML, CSS, Javascript app be it for the mobile web or a native app:
Cross Platform HTML, CSS, Javascript Mobile Development Frameworks:
PhoneGap – http://www.phonegap.com/
Sencha – http://www.sencha.com/
JQuery Mobile – http://jquerymobile.com/
Qt Quick – http://qt.nokia.com/products/qt-quick/
Tutorials and Presentations:
Building Mobile Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
HOWTO: Create native-looking iPhone/iPad applications from HTML, CSS and JavaScript
Forum Nokia on Developing for the Mobile Web
Tips and Tricks for developing Mobile Widgets
Books:
Programming the Mobile Web
Beginning Smartphone Web Development: Building Javascript, CSS, HTML and Ajax-Based Applications
Building Android Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
Have fun, get coding, and send us/ let’s us know what you have created.
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Ms. Jen’s DIY Programming Series:
DIY Dev: Program or be Programmed
DIY Mobile Programming: Get Started with HTML, CSS, and Javascript
DIY Programming: Should HTML be Required for Literacy in the 21st Century?

More Fun with the TSA: Kilts!

More folks out in Internet-land are getting riled up over the TSA’s back scatter x-ray scanner (aka the Porn-o-Scan) and a few more are getting riled up enough to call for a boycott/activism stance in the form of National Opt-Out Day and then Mr. Goldberg puts forth the best suggestion yet:
Kilts.
Oh yeah.
In other News, Ask the Pilot, tells America to remember recent history and take a chill pill. And that includes the TSA.

Nokia N8: No Flash, Flash in a Red Room

Nokia N8, No Flash: At Alex's Bar Nokia N8, Flash: At Alex's Bar

Photos taken by Ms. Jen at Alex’s Bar on Fri 11.12.10 with her Nokia N8.

Sat 11.13.10 – Last night I helped out Alex and worked the front door at the bar for the Ill Repute / Fang show that Ron Martinez put on. I used the opportunity of my favorite low light photography challenge to see how the Nokia N8 does at taking photos inside of Alex’s, as the walls are all painted a deep red and suck the light out of photos making most photography dashedly difficult even with a flash.
With both the flash turned off and the flash turned on the Nokia N8 did a great job at capturing the scene and not either whiting out with the flash or being completely dark without the flash. Due to being at the door all night, I was not able to see how it performed in taking photos of the bands on stage.
Next time.