Negativity Sandwich: Accessibility and Building a web for everyone because sometimes it’s not all about us

Jenn Schiffer shares her thoughts on why accessibility is important. Students who have taken my HTML Fundamentals (CTEC 122) class at Clark College are taught web accessibility and why it’s important from day one of class.

I’m going to talk about accessibility. Not how to make your sites accessible, because there are plenty of resources (which I list some of below) but why it’s important. I feel like awareness is the issue with this subject and I have a big mouth so awareness is a space I can own.

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100 Days of BlueMix Training

Calling all Born on the Cloud, Entrepreneur and Mobile Developers: Come learn about IBM’s new cloud development platform, Codename: BlueMix. Here you will have the opportunity to deploy your application and have it running in a matter of hours!

As part of this workshop you will be able to:

  • Learn the fundamentals of building and deploying your application in the Cloud (JazzHub & BlueMix)
  • Work with BlueMix experts on how to use the product and migrate your application
  • Help shape BlueMix with your input and feedback

BlueMix is an open-standards, cloud-based platform for building, managing and running apps of all types (web, mobile, big data, new smart devices). Capabilities include Java, mobile backend development, application monitoring, as well as capabilities from ecosystem partners and open source — all through an as-a-service model in the cloud.

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MongoDB and Python: A Simple Example

The code below demonstrates how to use Python to connect to a MongoDB database. I chose to use a cloud based instance of MongoDB provided free of charge by MongoLab.com. The script demonstrates how to:

  • Use the PyMongo library to connect to a Mongo database
  • Insert documents into a collection
  • Display all of the documents from the collection

I also used a local instance of MongoDB for testing. You will will need to use a Python package manager such as EasyInstall to install the PyMongo library.

Here is the Python code:

# mongo_hello_world.py
# Author: Bruce Elgort
# Date: March 18, 2014
# Purpose: To demonstrate how to use Python to
# 1) Connect to a MongoDB document collection
# 2) Insert a document
# 3) Display all of the documents in a collection

from pymongo import MongoClient

# connect to the MongoDB on MongoLab
# to learn more about MongoLab visit http://www.mongolab.com
# replace the "" in the line below with your MongoLab connection string
# you can also use a local MongoDB instance
connection = MongoClient("yourmongodbconnectionstring")

# connect to the students database and the ctec121 collection
db = connection.students.ctec121

# create a dictionary to hold student documents

# create dictionary
student_record = {}

# set flag variable
flag = True

# loop for data input
while (flag):
   # ask for input
   student_name,student_grade = input("Enter student name and grade: ").split(',')
   # place values in dictionary
   student_record = {'name':student_name,'grade':student_grade}
   # insert the record
   db.insert(student_record)
   # should we continue?
   flag = input('Enter another record? ')
   if (flag[0].upper() == 'N'):
      flag = False

# find all documents
results = db.find()

print()
print('+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-')

# display documents from collection
for record in results:
# print out the document
print(record['name'] + ',',record['grade'])

print()

# close the connection to MongoDB
connection.close()

If you have any questions please let me know.

Registration is Now Open for MongoDB University

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14 Years Ago: Mobile, Mobile, Mobile

In 2000 I co-wrote an article with Steven Knez for Group Computing (ePro) on how to mobilize a Notes database using a Palm VII. Some things never change :-)

palmvii

Outdated UX Patterns and Alternatives

I must admit, that after reading the article “Outdated UX Patterns and Alternatives” by Brian Krall, I felt a bit of guilt about some of the UX patterns that I am still using in some of my work. After reading the article, please share your thoughts. Do you consider these patterns outdated?

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How to Learn AngularJS

The ng-newsletter site has a nice comprehensive article on how to get started and learn AngularJS:

Learning AngularJS can be complex. There are an overwhelming number resources available on the web. The blog posts can be conflicting and confusing, and a simple google search can turn up 5 articles all describing the same thing in a completely different way.

This guide is written to be your roadmap; your personal guide of how to learn AngularJS. We’ll we’ll through the basic concepts of AngularJS in a logical, conceptual order. This post is intended to be the first post to read when starting to learn AngularJS. Use this post as your guide and you’ll be mastering Angular in no time. Let’s get started!

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IBM Notes and Domino: State of the Union – Part 1

This article has been in draft mode for several months and I thought the timing was right to publish it. First let me state that my love affair and relationship with IBM Notes and Domino is now in it’s twenty-first year. So much of my identity as an adult has been tied to the people and technology involved with Notes/Domino. Whether it was my work at Underwriters Laboratories, OpenNTF, SHARP, Taking Notes, Elguji or my consulting customers; everything I did was intertwined together with Notes/Domino being the common thread. I am writing at this time to share the current “state of the union” as it pertains to IBM’s Notes and Domino.

Here is the first part of my address which, focusses on the Independent Software Vendor (ISV) and Business Partner ecosystems. Frankly, it’s the shortest section of my address. The next part will focus on IBM Notes and Domino customers and my thoughts on what they should be planning for.

The State of the ISV and Business Partners

First let me speak from an ISV and Business Partner perspective. Elguji and our IdeaJam software created an amazing opportunity to sell a packaged software application for IBM Domino. We set out in 2007 to prove a few points. The first point was to prove that Domino was an extremely capable environment for creating Web 2.0 apps. Secondly, we were fortunate to have sold a lot of licenses. To this day we continue to sell and improve both our IdeaJam and IQJam products.

It’s no secret that the overall ISV market has drastically shrunk. Sure there are some great ISV offerings out there to help manage Notes and Domino infrastructures, mobile app and other development tools, but its not like what we had say 10 years ago with hundreds of ISVs. One of the things that I hoped would happen and didn’t, was that a web app ecosystem would have developed. Especially with the introduction of XPages and the IBM XWork server. I am aware of a few ISV’s who have created vertical apps with XPages and the XWork server who are doing quite well. This is awesome.

A new PaaS offering was announced at IBM Connect 2014 based on SoftLayer however, I’m not really seeing this as a play for ISV’s to create cloud apps. Much like hosting market leader Prominic do today (and do it very well – Elguji is a happy customer).

The number of exhibitors at the annual IBM Connect (Lotusphere) Product Showcase has also gone down significantly. Frankly, I didn’t recognize many of the exhibitor names at this years conference. Sure, the big ones like Panagenda, Teamstudio, Ytria, BCC and others were there, but not the dozens that used to exhibit.

It was a rich app ecosystem that helped propel the adoption and allure of Notes and Domino in the enterprise. So the question becomes: How can this be turned around or changed? At this point, I’m not quite sure if it can or even needs to be changed. Is there even a need for 3rd party products and apps?

What are your thoughts?

Part 2 coming soon.

Clark College Web Development (AAT) Degree

Here is information on the Web Development AAT degree from the Clark College Course Catalog. Many of you have written asking about this program and what it entails. Well, here you go:

The Web Development AAT degree provides students with a foundational and employable skill set in web programming and development technologies as well experience and skills in web design and media associated with the World Wide Web. Essential skills are developed through practical hands-on experience, real client project work, a focus on professional skills and building a portfolio of work.

General Education Requirements
Human Relations (5 credits required)
CMST&210
INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION (recommended)
5 credits
or CMST&230
SMALL GROUP COMMUNICATION (recommended)
5 credits
Computational Skills (5 credits required)
CTEC 121
INTRO TO PROGRAMMING & PROBLEM SOLVING (recommended)
5 credits
or ENGL 135
INTRODUCTION TO TECHNICAL WRITING (recommended)
5 credits
Communication Skills (5 credits required)
ENGL&101
ENGLISH COMPOSITION I (recommended)
5 credits
Major Area Requirements
Web Foundations
CTEC 160
WORDPRESS I
5 credits
ENGL 160
WRITING FOR THE WEB
3 credits
CTEC 122
HTML FUNDAMENTALS
4 credits
CGT 106
SOCIAL MEDIA EXPLORATION
3 credits
Web Media
CGT 101
PHOTOSHOP RASTER GRAPHICS
4 credits
CGT 104
WEB MULTIMEDIA CONTENT I
4 credits
CGT 201
WEB VIDEO PRODUCTION
4 credits
Web Design
CGT 105
USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN
4 credits
CGT 205
WEB DESIGN I
4 credits
CGT 206
WEB DESIGN II
4 credits
CTEC 165
BUSINESS WEB PRACTICES
4 credits
CGT 214
PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES
4 credits
or CTEC 199
COOPERATIVE WORK EXPERIENCE (4 credits required)
1-5 credits
or CGT 240
CAPSTONE PRACTICUM
4 credits
Web Development
CTEC 260
WORDPRESS II
5 credits
CTEC 126
JAVASCRIPT
5 credits
CTEC 127
PHP WITH SQL I
5 credits
CTEC 227
PHP WITH SQL II
5 credits
CTEC 228
API AND ADVANCED INTEGRATION
5 cr.
CTEC 145
WEB SERVER TECHNOLOGY
5 credits

dW Answers [BlueMix]: Is Domino Being Offered as a Platform?

Yesterday I ran across this question on the IBM developerWorks Answers site:

IBM BlueMix and Domino

Today, IBM’s Peter Janzen posted a response:

bluemix_domino_answer

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