Computing stuff tied to the physical world

A site for the home – part 2

In Software on Sep 12, 2011 at 00:01

I’ve been making good progress since the recent post.

Some things work, some things don’t when you use “off-the-shelf Open Source”. For example, I started using Twitters Bootstrap as CSS grid framework for page layout. It looks great. But there was too much interference with other components, such as jQuery DataTables. Well, either that or I simply don’t get it. So I ended up removing it all, in favor of the 960 Grid System (note how all JavaScript development seems to be happening on GitHub).

So now I’ve got a first rough cut at the “Niner” layout, i.e. 3×3 pages accessed via tabs on the bottom/right. Here’s a screen shot from an iPad:


The tabs don’t look so great (I’m so inept at GUI design that I don’t even try), but the general design is shaping up nicely. The area at the bottom left shows the last two lines of the log on the server, and it’s updating in real time. So is the table itself, using Server-Sent events.

With this sort of dynamics, all sorts of details start to jump out. My first approach was to have one page per URL, i.e. “” for page 1, etc. But that causes a full page refresh, which is too disruptive, especially with that log area constantly updating.

Which is where JavaScript and Ajax come in, of course. So now navigation only updates the main area – not the bottom & right-side borders. I’m only testing with Safari/Chrome, and occasionally FireFox, BTW.

The indentation idea I described earlier is also working out nicely. Here’s the main page description which produces the HTML sent to the browser:

Screen Shot 2011 09 11 at 22 39 33

(as you can see, there are limits to syntax coloring when mixing several languages in a single source file!)

And here’s the description of the page with that table shown above:

Screen Shot 2011 09 11 at 22 40 15

Let me just say that I’m “over” HTML. Bye bye, <div> et al. Good riddance.

PS. Oh yes, and here’s the fun part – this defines the structure of the site:

Screen Shot 2011 09 12 at 0 02 40

Tabs and titles are automatically generated unless overridden in this layout.

  1. That HAML looks just lovely for a Python programmer like myself! Going to give it a try really soon..

  2. Ah, that explains why it’s turned my head sideways and made me go “Eh?!”. I don’t know Python!

    And to think I used to say C++ was barely readable! lol!

    /me crawls off to a quiet corner with his Delphi comfort book.

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