I liked Dashcode

I’ve been using Dashcode for the last two weeks or so while creating my Build Status Monitor widget. First impressions are not too bad. As IDE’s go, it does the job. You can write your html, css and javascript, all in one place, there’s a wysiwyg view, that’s all to be expected. To be honest I thought the code view could have done with better syntax highlighting, I found myself yearning for TextMate or Coda at times.

The winning feature for me though was the debugging facility. I found it to be extremely efficient, I’m sure I saved hours as it reliably showed me where the problems were in my code, allowing me to jump in at the offending line. When I’m developing for the web I can’t live without Firebug, when it comes to Dashboard widget development, Dashcode’s debugging abilities were a pleasure to use.

Deploying a widget couldn’t have been simpler. File > Deploy Widget, File > Deploy Widget to Dashboard. I did see one issue where I tried deploying the widget to my Dashboard at work and the widget simply wouldn’t initialise. All I saw was the default widget image. However I deployed the same code at home and the widget worked fine. I’ve installed that same widget in work now and I have no trouble with it now. I can’t figure out what the problem was. Perhaps all I needed was a restart.

Anyway, thats my Dashcode lowdown. I do recommend getting stuck in if you like that sort of thing.

Rachel Yamagata – Reason Why

I did quite a bit of poking around for this weeks song. If I could have found a decent video for Ingrid Michaelson’s Keep Breathing, that would have been it. However fate intervened and I came across one of my favourite live broadcasts ever. Zach Braff hosted this, The Last Kiss broadcast around the time of the movie release. I may actually run one or two other videos from that in weeks to come. I remember some really great performances from Cary Brothers and Imogen Heap. Anyway, for now enjoy the smooth tones of Rachel Yamagata.

CruiseControl.rb Dashboard Widget

I hated skipping back and forth to CruiseControl.rb at work to keep an eye on various builds so I’ve put this widget together to make life a little easier. The Builds Status Monitor Dashboard widget takes the build rss feed and displays the current build status. Does what it says on the tin.


Build Status Monitor Screenshot

Click here to download the Build Status Monitor. Just unzip and install, minimum requirements MacOS 10.4.x. This is my first Dashboard widget so some of the code is a bit untidy. I’ve tried to keep the look and feel clean. Please let me know if you have any problems or suggestions.

Elbow – Station Approach (Live)

I was first introduced to Elbow by a friend of mine about two years ago. Loved them instantly. Station Approach is probably my favourite track from their catalogue.

Just a quick note on Elbow (via Last.fm)

Elbow was formed in 1990 at a sixth-form college in Bury, Lancashire, England. They began specialising in “chilled funk”, but changed the direction of their music after unanimously deciding they were “shit”. The new songs got notice from both Island Records and Universal, but after signing with both, the band was dropped before anything was released.

Maintaining Scope in Javascript Callbacks

As a web developer I can’t avoid using Javascript. Not that I would want to or anything. I love Javascript. I’m happy enough with my JS coding skills but there was one thing that always found a way to leave me scratching my head. Callbacks!

I had no problem with the concept of callbacks, but something was missing. I always had trouble maintaining scope in callback methods. I haven’t had to pay too much attention to the problem until today as jQuery has met the majority of my Javascript needs to date. Anyway after a quick search I found the solution, which is so easy I deserve a kick in the ass. Continue reading

Jaxer.Web.post and XMLRPC

I've been playing around a little with Jaxer lately. I really like the ease of Cross Domain javascript calls. Just a quick note though. I've been testing the Jaxer.Web.post call against the wordpress XMLRPC.
I kept getting responses saying that the the server only accepted POST requests. But I was using Jaxer.web.post.
So I scratched my head for a while. And then some.
Eventually I figured that the body of the post request was not being set. Then I discovered that Jaxer.Web.post defaults it's content type header to "application/x-www-form-urlencoded" which, as far as I know, passes the data in a querystring format and not in the post body. The simple fix was to change the content type to "text/xml" like so :

  1. Jaxer.Web.post(url,body,{contentType: "text/xml"});

The call worked perfectly after that.

Tina Dico – Home (Acoustic)

Damn I forgot to post a song of the week last week. So I'll do one today and another on Friday. Anyway, I love Zero7, I discovered Tina Dico from listening to them. The original track 'Home' can be found the Zero7 album When it Falls. This acoustic version is pure class. Also I want that guitar, my father has a 12string that looks and sounds just like it, but it has seen better days.

Live from CreativeCamp in Kilkenny

Blogging from an iPod touch today.

Arrived this morning around 9.15. I have to say I'm very impressed with the venue.

Caught an interesting talk from Cathy Fitzgerald about building an online arts community with the help of several local authorities in the south east. The site is artlinks.ie for those interested. All creatives are encouraged to join the community which is currently 650 strong.

Break for fresh air now. More to come. Continue reading