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A guest post by Scott Sullivan, an independent Digital Product Designer. He has a background in technology-based art, visual design, and User Experience design. He can be found on Twitter @scotsullivan.
For this project you’re going to use Processing, a language built on Java to build an Android application that will simply turn on and off a LED every time you touch the screen using the Android IOIO (“yoyo”) board. The IOIO is a microcontroller and has very similar capabilities to an Arduino, except this microcontroller specifically plays nicely with Android devices. In this post, we’ll be using the IOIO board for simple digital output, the most basic IOIO capability. We can also use the IOIO for pulse-width-modulated digital output and analog input.
If you’re not familiar with using Processing to write Android applications, check out this Android Processing Tutorial by Jer Thorp and the Android Processing Wiki. We’ll specificially be using the PIOIO library for Processing by PinkHatSpike. Continue reading →
This is the second post of a two-part series. Go back and read Killing Dinosaurs with Meteor if you haven’t already, and then come back here. We’ll wait.
So, in the last episode we created a stock Meteor application and learned how it binds functions to templates and events. In this post, we’re going to start building a custom application and focus on creating, reading, and deleting data. Let’s get started. Continue reading →
A guest post by John Williams, a web developer who has worked for media, education, and government organizations for seventeen years. For the last seven, he has been working for NewCity in Blacksburg, VA, assisting with several data visualization projects in bioinformatics. He can be found on Twitter @thudfactor. If you are at the Fluent conference, be sure to listen to John’s D3 talk today, March 11th.
Overlapping labels in your D3 charts and diagrams are the worst. They’re not only useless as labels, they make your chart look like junk. To solve this you might be tempted to use D3′s force layout so the labels can find their own place. But before you dive into something quite so complex (and uncontrollable), perhaps you should consider using a strategy called “constraint relaxing.” Continue reading →
Middleware is the core concept behind Express.js request processing and routing. By understanding how middleware works, you can create more maintainble applications with less code. The moment a request is received by an Express.js app, it triggers various functions referred to as middleware.
What is middleware?
Middleware is any number of functions that are invoked by the Express.js routing layer before your final request handler is, and thus sits in the middle between a raw request and the final intended route. We often refer to these functions as the middleware stack since they are always invoked in the order they are added. Continue reading →
63 million years ago the dinosaurs walked the earth. Then, one day, a really big rock hit a big peninsula in Mexico and killed a large number of these creatures. Today, with Meteor, we’re going to kill some more.
A guest post by John Williams, a web developer who has worked for media, education, and government organizations for seventeen years. For the last seven, he has been working for NewCity in Blacksburg, VA, assisting with several data visualization projects in bioinformatics. He can be found on Twitter @thudfactor.
Once things get sufficiently complex with D3.js, somebody somewhere is going to insist that you add a right-click context menu to your application. Yes, it overrides browser behavior, violates user expectations, and makes debugging your own apps a bit more difficult.
So, with full acknowledgement of the problems overriding the use of the right menu, but also aware that it’s sometimes unavoidable, I’m going to tell you how to do it with D3.js. Our goal is a right-clickable information panel that:
- Only fires on specific objects
- Behaves consistently with the standard context menu
First, here’s a chart we’re adding the panel to: http://jsfiddle.net/thudfactor/6YyvZ/. Continue reading →
In previous posts I’ve written about using R, from getting up to speed using the R console, to ingesting and parsing external data, to object oriented programming in R, and even how to distribute your R scripts over the Web. Here we will explore how to craft specific data visualizations in R, starting with the Scatterplot.
Scatterplots are charts that plot two independent data sets on their own axes, displayed as points on a Cartesian grid (x and y coordinates). Scatterplots are used to try and identify relationships between the two data points. The pattern, or lack of a pattern, that the points form, indicates the relationship. At a very high level, relationships can be: Continue reading →
A guest post by Justin Ribeiro, a software engineer, building on the edge with his company, Stickman Ventures, Inc. He will hack just about anything–code, hardware, house, car, and kids’ toys. You can find him on Twitter @justinribeiro.
While Google Glass may not be your average device, developing software for the platform takes on an approach that most developers are familiar with.
Mirror API or the GDK?
These days, you can’t start developing for Glass unless you take a look at the two approaches available: the Mirror API and the Glass Development Kit (better known as the GDK). Currently, the GDK is available as a sneak peek, which is to say it hasn’t been finalized and is subject to change. The Mirror API, however, late last year made it’s way into the Google API Console for use by all, allowing you to begin integrating applications.
Choosing which development tooling to use for Glass will largely depend upon your requirements; if you’re looking for real time access to hardware, the GDK is for you. If you need platform independence and are looking to integrate with existing applications you may have, the Mirror API is a good fit.
In this post, we’re going to explore the Mirror API. Continue reading →
A guest post by Peter Le Bek, founder of RethinkUI, an frontend development agency based in Glasgow, UK. He tweets at @_lebek and writes code at github.com/lebek.
In this short introduction to using D3.js with Polymer, we’re going to build a custom HTML element that contains a sparkline for a given stock symbol. Custom elements are used just like any other HTML element.
Here’s an example of a D3.js+Polymer sparkline component
<stock-sparkline symbol="MSFT"></stock-sparkline> inline with text.
And this is the result:
Continue reading →
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A guest post by Shannon Appelcline, a versatile author and programmer who currently works as the lead iOS developer for Skotos Tech, an online entertainment company. In the past two years, he’s written seven iOS games for them, all based on tabletop releases by popular German designers. The first of these was Reiner Knizia’s Money (2010)—which has also been ported to MacOS—while the most recent was Reiner Knizia’s Modern Art: The Card Game (2011). Shannon’s two most recent books show the breadth of his interests. They are iOS4 in Action (2011), published by Manning Publications, and Designers & Dragons: A History of the Roleplaying Game Industry (2011), published by Mongoose Publishing.
Have you heard about Homebrew, a MaxOS X tool reputed to support developers? Do you want to know more? This post explains the basics!
The Mysteries of Homebrew
MacOS X is built atop the UNIX operating system, which means that it can run thousands of free software packages that have been developed over the last several decades — many of them intended to help programmers, administrators and developers. Unfortunately, it can be quite painful to search for UNIX software on many different sites and to get it working on your home machine. That’s where package management comes in. Continue reading →