A bit over two years ago I posted a description of my solution to simplify and automate the inclusion of those small tracking snippets that allow to analyse visitor impact and behavior on your web sites: Piwik tracking & snippet inclusion. Approach and solution are not specific in any way to the open source software Piwik I personally chose for this purpose. The same applies to comparable offers, namely the ever present google analytics which does exactly the same as Piwik, except that you obviously hand over all your private data to the big octopus too ūüôĀ

Back then I described how to setup and configure an http server to automatically inject the snippet at the bottom of all delivered html documents requested from that server, regardless of which actual site (domain or host) has been requested. Now, more than two years later I wanted to apply that solution to further documents, which turned out to be a small challenge…

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As stated many many times I stopped maintaining “my” ownCloud apps, those four little helpers you can add to your ownCloud installation to extend it with additional features. Back then designing, implementing and maintaining them was fun and allowed me to learn quite a lot about that type of web technology. The decision to stop contributing to the ownCloud project was a hard one, but it also was a correct one. Besides the fact that I simply could not invest that amount of time into this contribution is only one side of the reasons behind the decision. The bigger problem was lack of support I received and the insight that the core team and the company backing the project showed no motivation to address long known issues with their app store and support of 3rd party apps which made maintaining those apps a pain.
Continue reading “Found a video tutorial featuring “Shorty” and the “FluXX Compensator (Y)” on YouTube!” »

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arkascha on March 5th, 2014

Every once in a while when working on some software project you require some utilities and tools to test your approach. Usually when looking around you will find a wealth of options for such purposes, often even free software with all its advantages of being able to adapt and enhance it as required. So typically it is more a question of having to decide upon which one than of searching for it. But sometimes it turns out that your requirements are simply too narrow, too special to be fulfilled by some available solution. In such cases you either have to skip testing (rarely a good idea…), radically change your testing strategy, or you simply craft your own utility perfectly tailored to your needs.
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Die Entwicklungen in der Ukraine haben während der vergangenen Wochen oft die Tagesmeldung dominiert. Gerade erst zeigt sich erneut eine massive Bewegung und vielleicht auch Wende in diesem umstritten Land ab. Und auch wenn mein persönliches Interesse an den Entwicklungen eher privat motiviert ist, so denke ich doch, dass diese Entwicklungen insgesamt wichtig sind. Ich ahne, dass wir hier etwas beobachten, was noch sehr weite Kreise ziehen wird.

Die L√§mmer haben sich erhoben. Sie haben den Zaun nieder gerissen, sind ausgeb√ľchst. Was weiter?
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arkascha on November 29th, 2013

Library for unit based mathematics

In my last project I faced a few tasks of page layouting in a dynamic manner. I had to code rules to position and scale elements on documents with the complication of all data being of dynamic nature. So forget using a clean sheet of paper, a pencil, a ruler and a pocket calculator. Instead a basic layout has to be filled at runtime with data from various sources, text, logos, plans, tables. Sure, not such a complex thing from a mathematical point of view: geometry defines all required tools, all computation rules to find out where to position the top left corner of a logo file which has to be scaled by what factor to fit inside a predefined area whilst still leaving some space defined elsewhere. All fine, so let’s go… However everyone who has coded such a layouting routine will agree that this quickly leads to endless monotonous computations in the code, an flowing list of numbers getting converted, added, subtracted, factored. When you want to find out afterwards why that code scales a logo slightly wider than expected things get annoying. Because all you see is endless computations, but no layouting.
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