MissionDuke Technology, Electronics, Scripting, Internet and Open Source Software!

2Nov/091

Some things I am taking on right now…

So I have some experience in PHP and even more in HTML. I have a small background in Visual Basic, AppleScript, and a few other languages. Recently I have added some Objective-C and have been playing around with Xcode. While that is all fun and everything, I see more of a future for myself in web programming. For some reason I enjoy doing stuff for the web.

I have created several small applications that help me at work. To name a few of them:

  • AI CS3 to CS2 converter
  • UPC check digit calculator
  • Droplets for processing images based on resolution and color space
  • Basic image calculators
  • Several automation projects
  • Converting my Applescript UPC check digit calculator to Objective-C language
  • And my best piece of code yet...My FontFinder system for work

See at my work we deal with thousands of fonts everyday. When a client sends a job without a font we substitute one of our fonts. So we have a huge server full of tons of fonts. When we need a font we can usually find it because most of the fonts are in folders alphabetically. Now the problem is there are two sets of alphabetic folders and even more folders inside those. The problem with just looking for a font is you can't spend all day doing it. We need to find it quickly. You could use the search function of your machine but that would slow the server down and it takes forever. So I saw a problem and my gears started turning. I ended up coming up with a decent solution.

My solution was to make a searchable database with the paths to every single file on the font server. I used HTML, PHP, and a MYSQL database. This started as a basic "search a database" type of system. Eventually I added logging so I could see how much the service was used. I added security. Made searches somewhat hacker proof. I later cleaned up the interface and made some visual improvements.

I started to loose interest in the project. I needed some more things to do to the system. I asked around and got no answers to what I should do next. Eventually I added a feature to save or highlight a font path for future ease of finding. Later on that feature was removed because nobody used it.

I decided to go through and clean up my PHP code and go through and comment everything. Now I was happy with what I had created. Getting back to the interface...I had been learning some CSS and thought I could make a new interface. I started in Photoshop, and finished in Dreamweaver CS4. I added some flare and a logo. I made the page "not so boring". I also added a piece of code at the top of the results page to allow for searching again. Now the PHP code calls itself and loads itself so no more going back to the search page to start a new search.

Now after I completed that I wanted more...I started learning about Dashboard Widgets on the Mac. I put my all in and had to learn a little bit about JavaScript. I ended up with two things. A new web language to get into, and a really cool "Widget" version of my FontFinder web application. Now I can roll in style with my cool Widget. I can finally rally "WOW" my co-workers.

Hmmmm! Maybe I should do an iPhone version next...What do you think?

Below is a few images of the final product of my FontFinder web application.

24Sep/090

A Shout-Out to a very helpful site…

I have used this site off and on while learning PHP and HTML. I still use it for a great reference. Go check them out!

Free HTML, XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, XML, ASP, PHP, SQL tutorials with lots of working examples and source code.

Free HTML, XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, XML, ASP, PHP, SQL tutorials with lots of working examples and source code.

Enjoy!