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I can has Kindle Development?

January 16, 2011 by Steve

I got an Amazon Kindle for Christmas. It is cool. It is a book you can program. And I really want to make apps for it. But so far the beta is very, very closed. Search for "Kindle Beta" on Google and you get a few year-old news articles about the original announcement and a bunch of development forum threads with people asking each other if they know how to get in. There are a few games from EA available on the Kindle store, but at this point, it looks like if you're not EA, you're not cool enough to play in Amazon's garden.

On the other hand, there is a development community growing for the Kindle outside the official channels. Turns out the Kindle is a very flat Linux box running an ARM processor, and Kindle apps are written in Java. Android development is done in Java. Barnes & Noble's Nook development is done in Java. Time for me to learn Java. Since I'm familiar with other languages but not Java, I asked for some help. I got pointed toward JavaFX. JavaFX allows you to define what you want the application to do at a higher level than regular Java - just tell it, I want a window with these buttons and those text entry fields, and the engine takes care of the rest. (Something like Flex or Silverlight.) It is, in fact, intended to compete with those two packages as a way of doing Rich Internet Applications. This is not news to anyone who has been paying attention, but it is all new for me.

Now, JavaFX does not appear to make code that will instantly run on a Kindle. It may not make code that will instantly run on any devices I'm interested in making apps for. But it will allow me to dip my toes in the Java world with a workflow that is already familiar to me from Flex. And who knows, maybe I'll find work as a JavaFX coder.

How to show all of first article on front page

May 6, 2010 by Steve

I want the first article showing on the front page, the most recent one, to show full length, while the rest of the articles show teasers as they normally do. There are not a lot of good references to this in the Drupal.org documentation, nor on the forum, nor elsewhere on the internet. It took a lot more searching around to figure this out than I thought it would.

Basically, there are two ways to do it: use the Views module or hack the theme PHP.

How to change the CSS for the <code> tag

May 6, 2010 by Steve

As installed, the <code> tag definition in the Newswire theme has extra space between each line of output. I needed to tighten that up so that code snippets will be a little more readable. I'm using Firefox with Firebug installed, so I can right-click on the code and choose "Inspect Element" from the menu. Firebug shows me all the CSS that builds the display for that part of the page.

I learned that the <code> tag was defined in sites/all/themes/newswire/html-elements.css, on line 61, which looks like this:

pre,code { margin: 1.5em 0; white-space: pre; }

Flash Builder (Flex 4) for Free

May 5, 2010 by Steve

If you haven't heard of it, Flex is an Adobe product that makes it possible to edit Flash applications in an IDE similar to what most programmers are used to, rather than trying to edit your Flash application as a movie timeline. The SDK for Flex 4 is open source and available for download. Adobe's tool for editing Flex applications (based on the Eclipse IDE) used to just be called Flex. Adobe is now making a distinction between the Flex architecture and the tools you can use. The new version is called Flash Builder, and the trial version is available for download.

How to move the tags around on the node

May 3, 2010 by Steve

The part of the node layout that gives you all your taxonomy terms is called "terms". I've got these as subject tags, so I want them next to the title of the post. The default for Newswire is to have them at the bottom right, so I need to move them. This requires rearranging the PHP code in node.tpl.php and making some CSS changes, but none of this is too difficult. (This will be easier to follow if you have sites/all/themes/newswire/node.tpl.php open in the text editor of your choice while you are reading this.)

Free application hosting with Joyent - my wait is over

May 3, 2010 by Steve

I signed up with Joyent for their free Facebook developer program. There's no link to that page from the Joyent front page, but the Facebook developer pages has a prominent link. They do mention, down low on the sign-up page in small print, that "Our Free Facebook Developer Program is a limited user offering. Please note that there may be a waiting list for your free Accelerator." Nowhere do they say what the wait time might be.

Main menu

April 30, 2010 by Steve

I want the main menu items to be the names of the Sections from my first Taxonomy group. In the Newswire theme, the big colored stripe across the top is the location for the Primary Links menu, so that is the next thing to configure.

Configure the Print module

April 30, 2010 by Steve

The Print module makes printer-friendly versions of your pages, as well as making nice versions for email, and allowing access to a few different third-party PDF generation packages. I'm just using it for the printer-friendly link you see on each node.

Configure the Links module

April 30, 2010 by Steve

From the Links project page, the "Links Package is a multi-module set for managing URL links in a master directory, and attaching them in various ways to your content pages." First, this allows you to attach "related links" to your nodes. There are other ways to do this, but Links allows you to attach an arbitrary number of links, from zero to many, and have the layout work nicely. (This was important to me.) Links stores all those URLs in a database, and if there is ever a duplicate, it manages that gracefully.

Configure the Views module

April 30, 2010 by Steve

It is not an overstatement to say that the Views module seriously changed Drupal development when it was released. Before Views, if you wanted to change the layout of a page or make a block that showed your data in some custom way, you had to write a module to do it. Depending on your needs, you may still have to, but a great many display solutions can be done through the Views interface.

@stevew99999

  • @rosamundlannin I make regular chili but use that veggie crumble meat substitute stuff. 1 year 50 weeks ago
  • @Snarky_Geek Since I was awake at 4:30 this morning, and finally just gave up and went to work around 5:45, I feel your pain. 1 year 51 weeks ago
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