Off to Wellington

Its been sometime updating this blog due to well being busy (as usual) and being caught up in the 22nd Feb Earthquake in Christchurch.   Just a bit of an update of what we are doing and where we are heading.

Firstly we are relocating to Wellington where Tim will spend his time during the day working for NV Interactive as a Senior Developer.  He works for NV in the Christchurch office (the temp office at the moment) but looks forward to working in the Welly office.

Over the past several months (and a few sleepness nights) Codelab have helped Coolpak coldstores upgrade their corporate website onto the ASP.NET MVC3/razor and Entity Framework which is working really well.

We setup and ran Medicsafe Online Distributors which is a online shop for purchasing Firstaid Kits and supplies.   We have recently handedthis over to Pro+Med which is a firstaid and safety training company.   We have also upgraded Pro+Med’s website to MVC3/Razor using the EF framework.

We have helped Verb implement the Unicef Campaign Monitoring which was featured in the Timaru Herald several months back.

We have created a new windows phone app called Prepare Yourself that helps users prepare for natural disasters.   This was inspired by the first earthquake in Christchurch in September 2010.

We can now annouce that we are merging the design business Madcow Solutions (ran by my wife) into our company so we will be offering a bunch of new services soon.

Once everything is settled we hope to keep this blog updated with technical posts of problems (and solutions) over a vast range of technologies.

New Windows Phone 7 App coming soon

We have been developing a new Windows Phone 7 application called “Prepare Yourself” which will be in the marketplace very soon.   The application helps you track items that you should have in your survival kit in case of a natural disaster.   You can view the demo here

Auckland 2011 Website Hickups!

Auckland 2011 Website isn’t too bad but it has a few design flaws! Can you spot them? This appears across all browsers, look closely where the Visitor Services text is.

A way around page refreshes/back button problems with a simple concept

The problem:

You have a form in which the user fills out and clicks a “submit” button that validates their input, does some processing and output’s some results. The problem being the application needs to cater for page refreshes, back buttons and the case of the page being submitted more than once (latency/slow internet connection).

The Solution:

Possible solutions can be (this assumes not using Ajax as a solution), once the user clicks the submit button the server validates the user’s input and has processed the information. Store a unique id in session and redirect to a “complete” page. If the user clicks the back button and resubmits the page, you can build logic to check if a unique id exists in session and if it does, redirect to the complete page without having to re-process the information.

If the user is on the complete page and refreshes the page, because its on a page which has used a GET, there is no processing done and hence no duplication of data.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post/Redirect/Get

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/665399/how-do-i-stop-the-back-and-refresh-buttons-from-resubmitting-my-form

Facebook “like” button API rocks!

You can now add the “like” button on to your own webpage by using either their iframe html markup or using the new Javascript SDK which is more flexible than the iframe solution.

You can see a live example of this on http://www.medicsafe.co.nz which uses the like button on each product listed on the website.

Or you can test it out here

Just make sure that you set the height css as by default it’s not set which is annoying!

References:

http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like

http://www.medicsafe.co.nz

Timaru District Council is on Youtube!

You can view the photos taken as a time lapse video from the Timaru District Council’s web cam here.    I implemented the software and web cam back in the days when I was apart from the IT team, and they since have extended it further to make good use of it.  Well done!

Quotes from Clients/Project Managers

Here are some quotes that clients/project managers have asked me while working in the web development industry:

Can you do me a wee favour?

Can you do this 10 minute job for me?

I have this small problem I need you to fix

This job should only take an hour!

The website is broken

Yes, all of the functionality meets our requirements..but can we just do this instead?