Ashe's blog

February Meeting Recap

February's meeting turned out great. We had a lot of really awesome, engaging discussions about people's workflow as well as the future of web development with a discussion on frameworks vs CMSs. Matt Gauger wrote a recap of the meeting on his blog.

Part 1: Workflow
-What do you use for bug tracking?

Mantis, Trac, Bugzilla, Pivotal Tracker, Intervals

Hacking OpenAtrium case tracker to support bug tracking
What do photographers use? (Photographer Workflow)

* Lightroom, Photoscape (John December)
* The DAM book:

Bandwidth, backups

* There isn’t enough upload bandwidth to mirror all your content if you have a lot of data.
* Everyone sign up for Google’s fiber program.
* Amazon S3(Jungle Disk), Dropbox, Carbonite.


Part 2: Frameworks versus CMSes

A web application framework has some things written, but things like delivering web pages is up to the coder. -> An incomplete web application, a framework that you hang your business logic on.

Arlen: “The future of the web is in frameworks, not in CMSes.”

* Every CMS does things its own way. “one size fits all.”

Arlen: ”I’m fighting the CMS. The CMS has a way it wants to do things. I have to write the business logic in such a way that the CMS can do it. Every CMS brings in POV.”

The big three of CMSes:

* Drupal
* Joomla
* Wordpress

Example web app frameworks: PHP:

* CakePHP
* Zend
* CodeIgniter (behind ExpressionEngine)

Other languages:

* Ruby on Rails for the Ruby language.
* Django for Python
* Catalyst for Perl
* Seaside for Smalltalk
* Lift for Scala.
* ASP.NET MVC or .NET Webforms

Derek: “Are we arguing the semantic difference between being a developer and being an integrator?”

Go read the full wrap up here.

AIR Roadtrip!

September 29th is both the Tech Café - Adobe AIR session at Bucketworks and Adobe's OnAIR Chicago. We are going to be taking the train down to Chicago, going to the OnAIR (it's free - but you *have* to register on the site!), sharing a hotel room (free wifi, I am sure - all night coding sessions, anyone?), and going out for Jordan's birthday (shh, don't tell him I told you). It should be a lot of fun. ^_^

It'd be great if we could get a bunch of BarCampMilwaukee2/Web414 people to go. If you want to come along, let me know and I will include you on the planning emails!

May Meeting Notes

We had a few new people this meeting and it was nice to see some people who haven't been in a while.

After finally locating a room with a projector (thanks, Jeramey!), we started the meeting around 7:30.

iStockPhoto - Mike Rohde

Mike talked about iStockPhoto, an stock photography site that allows you to both buy and sell images for web, print, and other uses. Some of the highlights of the site include the mockup feature, which allows you to hold on to the images for mockups before purchasing; the lightbox feature allows you to pull together images into a folder that is public to be able to show clients a theme or to have them choose images to use; the payment goes by credits wherein you purchases credits for a little over $1 for the smallest resolution; you can purchase not only images, but vector artwork, video clips, and images with clipping paths.

We discussed the cons of the service as well - Pete mentioned that he was looking for some images on there earlier in the week and that it was kind of hit and miss - the bad thing is that if it isn't a popular topic for the photographers, you can't really get much out of the service. He was looking for images of downtown Milwaukee and couldn't find much. He mentioned that he searched around on flickr and came across a lot of Jeramey's images that he ended up requesting some rights for.

Jeramey also talked about other stock exchange sites and the pros and cons of those. Including free sites not having good rights management or good editing.

Ruby on Rails1 - Tim Bailen

Tim uses a Windows package called "Instant Rails" and uses RadRails (an eclipse IDE) for development. He noted that the nice thing about RoR is that you already have a framework - it is easy to make something "out of the box" without having to do a ton of background work and can be used to create a lot of flexible apps. Rails is an interpreted language, so you can write a line of code and see its effect right away (without a long compile/deploy cycle). It is dynamic in that you can put it into a static document and still have it easily updatable - for example adding a price for parts and being able to update all the prices at once without updating the HTML file itself.

Tim put together a basic "Hello World!" document with 5 lines of code and a simple HTML file. All said and done it took less than 100 characters. He gave us a few examples of the syntax, including how to display the time in one hour which was very legible.

He talked about the separation of HTML/XHTML code and programmatic code for the same reason that one would separate CSS from XHTML - for one it is prettier and easier to read and secondly separating out function from function.

After the initial simple program, he created a more involved one for bookshelf management - a tool used to enter books onto a "bookshelf" and allow them to be "picked" by the user on the front end and added to a cart. One of the nice things about RoR is that it gives you a programmatic view of your database. Within a few minutes and one line of code, he had an easy interface to manage items in the database.

1 - Agile Web Development with Rails - Dave Thomas


As IRC was so wildly popular and helpful at BarCampMadison, I added our IRC info to the sidebar.

This will help everyone who is unable to attend a meeting or who just wants to chat/hookup with other Web414 members.

Perhaps someone would be so kind as to transcribe the event for those attending remotely?

Thanks to Jordan who hooked us up with the IRC info.

Organic Groups Redux

I have been holding off on re-enabling the organic group modules until we decide when/if we are going to start holding group-specific events (meetings for just developers or designers, etc).

Organic Groups will allow us to create many subgroups to bring people with specific interests together. We have the ability to allow the creation of subgroups, group specific calendars, forums, and galleries.

Currently, the major tech groups on meetup are: web design, MySQL, web technology, digital photography, PHP, new technology, Photoshop, bloggers, Linux, web standards, Ruby, SEO, game development, and LAMP.

I think it is in Web414's (and it's members) best interest to appeal to as many groups as possible. Meetup succeeds in bringing people into groups, let's get those groups of people together to create a strong community for networking.

Organic Groups Modules Added

I have been working on adding the organic groups modules to the site since last night. These will allow us to add such functionality as: separate groups(programmers, designers, usability gurus, etc), calendars, events (with rsvp ability), galleries, etc.

I have been working on any bugs as I go along. If you spot anything I have missed, drop me a line.

Milwaukee Coworking?

Stumbled across Coworking | Milwaukee a little while ago. Does everyone know about it? What level of interest does everyone have?

I, for one, am really interested in an affordable coworking solution. Currently we meet once a week by UWM at Espresso Christoph, but the attendance is low and we don't always get the "big table".

What do you look for in coworking? Pros and Cons? What days/times would be best for you? What side of the city are you on?

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