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.
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.
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.
Our friends over at C2 Graphics Productivity Solutions are looking for web designers, developers, and programmers. Below is more info from Erica Conway:
"We're generally paying $25-$30/hour for any of this work and I have clients in both Milwaukee and Madison looking for help."
MinneBar was a big success. With nearly 400 registered participants it was the biggest barcamp in the U.S. to date! People are starting to fill in the wiki with links to their photos and notes.
The big last minute surprise was that David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of Ruby on Rails, came to the conference. The organizers knew this would be big, so the only other session going on during his panel discussion was a Nintendo DS thing.
He was very interesting to listen to. Luckily, you can catch it on podcast if you missed it!
See the event listing for details, or just show up at Bucketworks on Saturday May 12th, 2007 at 10AM ready to help. Bring your ideas and don't be afraid to speak up.
Join the Bucket Brigade! Bucketworks needs your help. If you have the desire to get involved, we’ll find a way to use your unique talents. Many hands make light and fun work (we’re all about blurring the line between work and play, anyhow), so get in touch as soon as you can (but better late than never) and talk to us about playing a part in determining our shared future.
More info at: http://www.bucketworks.org/Main/April15
Web414 is now listed at Drupal Sites.
Have you build a Drupal site? Add it to the list...
Hey, just wanted to let you all know that the next meetup.com web designer get together looks really good. Luke will be starting a series of walkthroughs for taking a web design from Photoshop to valid HTML/CSS. (Great for n00bs like me!)
Web414 is currently running Drupal 4.x and it works well, but I've been running a Drupal 5.x site for a month now and it's a great improvement. Drupal has always been a little confusing for new users (due to it's power) but version 5 really helps to alleviate that problem a bit. Today if you're starting a new Drupal site, I'd recommend version 5 over version 4.
We should consider doing the upgrade on Web414 as well when we have time (and depending on all the modules we use!)
This is a subject we've touch on in Web414 meetings, as well as at BarCampMadison: Job Hunting? Go Google Yourself:
It's interesting to see some actual numbers on this subject.
minnēbar is Minnesota's BarCamp. It's taking place Saturday April 21st, 2007. It appears to be just a one-day event, but if it's anything like the Wisconsin BarCamps, it'll be a good time for all.
I'm still not 100% sure I can make it, but if you can, try to hook up with some of the Wisconsin BarCampers who are headed up there if you're interested in carpooling.
A few of use between Milwaukee and Madison are interested in throwing a DrupalCamp, which would be somewhat similar to the BarCamps we've put on, but focusing completely on Drupal, and probably lasting just one day.
If you're interested in this, get in touch with me, and mention how you'd like to help make it happen (sponsor, present, get past the newbie stage, etc.)
Update: Blake Hall set up a DrupalCamp Wisconsin Wiki. Go there for more info...