Computer Science student, web professional

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Reviatizing a blog

After a hiatus from blogging, I have made a decision to begin again. I have numerous ideas of what to cover which range from kiddo stuff to my career development. I’d love to get some of my thought and activities out. I may have had to dig six feet deep, but I am bringing back to life my blog.

I have taken into consideration that I’d be mixing personal and professional. I don’t typically like to do this as it is easier with clean lines of delineation, but as I grow into myself more I realize all the various parts of life are the ingredients that make me. Although I frequently question my actions, my thoughts, and my motives, this is a balance that shows that I am considerate in my time and space of life.

I’d love to touch on writing a children’s ‘book,’ the arts and crafts we do, and the adventures we take. I often contemplate world events and wonder what other’s thoughts are on them and not just what the news relays. Faith. It is worth its own sentence. I have never met a more complicated aspect of life than what our faith is and what I see faith is for others. What about the path to developing one’s career? I have taken a break from thinking of changing anything when we found out we’d have twins. I am glad we did, but now we’re starting to revv that engine again. I’m excited about the future and where we could go as a family. My husband is very career driven and I am a step-by-step career ladder type.

Go Stanwood Blogging!

Connecting Android to .Net Web Services

I have  successfully implemented a form with numerous elements. I’m taking the next step up and attempting to connect Android to .Net Web Services. I have had to learn about WFC services through Visual Studio 2010. It has been difficult to pick-up the environment aspects of Visual Studio and setting up the services and making sure all the references and service references are correct. In addition to this, you have to learn a couple of attributes which allows your methods to be used via the web service. Connecting to the database has also been challenging due to the nature in which the organization is managing the umbrella project that I’m working under. 

With in the project an entity type of the database was developed by the main programmer, which is what fellow programmers utilize to make a database connection. All calls to database tables and the associated fields. On top of learning the software, I am also trying to pick-up the C# that I need in order to do some funtionality within my C# functions.

After learning just a glimpse of Web Services, C#, Visual Studio, and more, I need to address how to pull all of those services into the Android project in eclipse. I have had extensive research online looking for resources. I have worked with a fellow-intern to watch videos on setting up the environment in Visual Studio, but nothing has been quite found for the Android consumption of web services.

I found this resource online http://timewasted.net/?p=127. I think it may be exactly what I’m looking for, but I’ll have to check it out via my own code and environment.

Quick tips on Android Development in Eclipse

Within Eclipse there are a couple of quick key presses that go a long way. For example, Ctrl + Shift + O adds any packages that need to be imported. Ctrl + F11 runs the visible application saving a couple of mouse clicks.

Eclipse requires you run the Android applications in a virtual machine (Android Virtual Device – AVD) to use the emulator.  Android runs Dalvik Virtual Machine.

Android uses the Content Providers to store & retrieve data. It uses the android.provider prackage. When you are going through the data returned, using curser object will only read the data, but by using ContentResolver you can add, modify, delete data.

The Activity class performs the actions. There may be multiple actions, but only runs one at a time. The onCreate() method is what performs initialization and UI setup.

Android uses View object to work with the UI in drawable objects. It works with buttons, images, etc.

 

 

Web Technologies most requested for job requirements

http://blog.timbunce.org/tag/graphs/

As it turns out it depends on where you are looking for a job on what type of languages are requested. In the Seattle area, it will be laguages such as Ruby on Rails, Python, or Drupul. For state government in Lacey, the languages of choice are traditionally Microsoft based. I’m not clear why there is a distiction or why state government leans this way. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to talk to someone and find out why.

 

Google Translate API – Terminated

The evening of May 30th, my instructor passed along an article that Google would not longer be supporting the Google Translate API. After accessing my tranlsation application, the result 0 (zero) was returned instead of the translation. This was a truly sad occurance for me. I was truly excited about my application.

I pushed forward and decided to present on my application anyway during class. In the meantime, I did a bit of searching and found a potential solution through Microsoft’s Translate Array Method. I will doing further testing with this software. If I am successful in implementing a new translation api via Microsoft, I will modify the look-and-feel for a funner environment.

Microsoft TranslateArray Method: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff512407.aspx. I’m off to create a bing id so that I can access the method.

Translate Facebook Comment from English to Romanian

Utilizing Facebook’s ui method (http://bit.ly/mvcPSG) has been a great success. I established a page that had a input textarea to make one’s comment in English. Then I did a GET action for the form, to pass the textarea’s value to the url. Once the value was passed, I had envisioned the page grabbing that value, posting it to facebook and then doing the translation. With the translation done, then it would do another post.

The Project In Review

I encountered some issues with deciding what type of technology to use and what process actually worked using the Google translation api and the Facebook’s UI method.

google's code logo

I decided upon using PHP with HTML and JavaScript. I found it quite easy to pass the data from the text area to the URL in this fashion. What I found difficult was how to do the translation and when. I attempted to do it first on the page that I passed the value to. Unfortunately, this was causing a bit of a cumberson nature of use for the user. I stepped-back at this point to re-evaluate the project and how I would want to use this as a user. I wanted to be able to input the facebook status (comment) and click post, and it would go to Facebook. I decided to move the translation to the initial page as well.

The Translation Revamp

I decided that if I was going to do a translation on the same page as the input area, I didn’t want the user to have click excessively. As a result, I decided to implement an onchange javascript call to a function that would do the translation. Then with this, Google’s api has a callback feature. With the callback feature, I was able to reassign the value of an HTML’s element. I updated a hidden translation input field for the form. With this done, I was then able to easily pass the value’s of the english input textarea and the hidden tranlsation element to the URL. On the receiving page, I pulled the data from the URL via PHP and passed the value to the Facebook’s UI. It functions sort of like this:

User input -> click post -> popup for translated post -> user click post or skip -> popup for english post -> user click post or skip

Analysis of Project

I believe that I’m going to work on implementing it a bit differently. If I combine the english & the translated text, I feel this would be easier for the user.If the user decided they didn’t want to include the translated piece then they could delete it. This is more difficult than just clicking skip, but on the flip-side it is much faster than clicking post twice. In addition to this, the wall would not have two posts, but one single one, which will result in a ‘cleaner’ wall. Next steps: modifications to the application and attempting to incorporate it into Facebook’s canvas (https://www.facebook.com/developers/).

Auto-Translate Post
http://www.stan-wood.info/apps/translate/graphcomments.php 

Facebook’s Connect Plug-in

I have decided to go with Facebook. Considering the time restraint for my class and the scope of my project that I desire to complete (and be successful at).

I was able to implement the Facebook’s Connect Plug-in which has one specifically for the commenting. https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/comments/

Facebook has it so that you are utilizing xml type of coding in order to implement it. This makes it REALLY easy for developers and non-developers, a like, to get a comment thread going on one’s side or page. This doesn’t lend to easy implementation of auto-filling that comment box, or updating it with comment dynamically.

I dug further in to the tunnels of Facebook API and into how other users are tieing in the commenting feature for facebook onto their sites. This is where I tripped about a feed feature from a Facebook method called FB.ui. What a great resource! https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/javascript/FB.ui/. It was easy to implement and has helped me to start working on combining a user’s input into the posting on Facebook.

American & Romanian Flag
American & Romanian Flag Blended Image

Next I am going to approach doing the double post: one in english (my native language) and one in romanian (my desired posting language). You may take a preview at a very rudamentary version, although it may break and work break and work as I continue to update the code and implement to new features (cross my fingers). http://bit.ly/lDksA1

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