Read my latest article: Ezra Zygmuntowicz -- Farewell, Friend. (posted Mon, 01 Dec 2014 17:53:00 GMT)

GoogleAnalyticsProxy - now minified

Posted by Tue, 10 Jul 2012 17:39:00 GMT

It’s been several years since I released GoogleAnalyticsProxy, which allows our team to test their GA event/click/view tracking during the development phases of our project. Today, I pushed a quick update to it with a minified version of the JavaScript so that there is a smaller footprint.

For more information on how we use it, read my older post, Tracking Google Analytics events in development environment with GoogleAnalyticsProxy.

HTTParty goes foreign

Posted by Mon, 16 Mar 2009 07:05:00 GMT

Just a quick post to get share something I was tinkering with this evening.

I came across this post by Gerald Bauer, which shows you how to use the Google Translation API with Ruby via Net::HTTP. I thought I’d play with the service with HTTParty.

class GoogleApi
  include HTTParty
  base_uri 'ajax.googleapis.com'

  def self.translate(string="", to="", from="en")
    get("/ajax/services/language/translate", :query => {:langpair => "#{from}|#{to}", :q => string, :v => 1.0})
  end
end

A few examples from playing with it.

>> GoogleApi.translate('bonjour', 'en', 'fr')
=> "{\"responseData\": {\"translatedText\":\"hello\"}, \"responseDetails\": null, \"responseStatus\": 200}"

>> GoogleApi.translate('Red wine', 'fr')
=> "{\"responseData\": {\"translatedText\":\"Vin rouge\",\"detectedSourceLanguage\":\"en\"}, \"responseDetails\": null, \"responseStatus\": 200}"

>> GoogleApi.translate('Where is the bathroom?', 'es')
=> "{\"responseData\": {\"translatedText\":\"\302\277D\303\263nde est\303\241 el ba\303\261o?\",\"detectedSourceLanguage\":\"en\"}, \"responseDetails\": null, \"responseStatus\": 200}"

>> GoogleApi.translate('Good morning', 'it')
=> "{\"responseData\": {\"translatedText\":\"Buon giorno\",\"detectedSourceLanguage\":\"en\"}, \"responseDetails\": null, \"responseStatus\": 200}"

What a party!

>> GoogleApi.translate('party', 'it')
=> "{\"responseData\": {\"translatedText\":\"festa\",\"detectedSourceLanguage\":\"en\"}, \"responseDetails\": null, \"responseStatus\": 200}"
>> GoogleApi.translate('party', 'es')
=> "{\"responseData\": {\"translatedText\":\"fiesta\",\"detectedSourceLanguage\":\"en\"}, \"responseDetails\": null, \"responseStatus\": 200}"

Look how easy that was. :-)

For a previous post on using this gem, read The HTTParty has just begun.

BetterFavicon for Google

Posted by Mon, 12 Jan 2009 22:27:00 GMT

Not loving Google’s new favicon too much?

Google (before)

Check out my quick and dirty hack… BetterFavicon for Firefox. (greasemonkey required)

Google

Install it here: http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/40367

Enjoy!

Google Chrome: discuss

Posted by Tue, 02 Sep 2008 02:40:00 GMT

I’m sure that most of you heard the news that Google is releasing a new web browser named Chrome. Their comic for the announcement was very refreshing and entertaining read. Granted… nobody that I know has seen it (as of today)...

For me, I’m really interested in seeing what they’ve done to hopefully improve some of the short-comings of the user experience through their interaction design process. For example, tabs containing their own url/search fields sounds refreshing (I really dislike the hierarchy currently). Also, I’m really looking forward to their dashboard-like default page.

Google Chrome - Google Book Search

From a web development standpoint, it definitely raises questions about what we’ll be able to do in the coming year(s).

What are your initial thoughts on this? Discuss…

Update: Gary came across this amusing quote from a response by a representative at Microsoft.

“The browser landscape is highly competitive, but people will choose Internet Explorer 8 for the way it puts the services they want right at their fingertips … and, more than any other browsing technology, puts them in control of their personal data on-line,” Hachamovitch said. (read article on CNN)

I’m really not sure what that even means. Don’t we already have our online services at our fingertips? I suspect CNN interviewed the wrong person.. because this person said nothing.

Update #2: Only a PC version available… OSX / Linux are in development. Oh well…

Things (in the Rails world) You Don't Yet Understand

Posted by Tue, 25 Mar 2008 15:12:00 GMT

This is inspired by a recent post by Seth Godin titled, Things you don’t understand, where he shared a list of things that he probably could understand if he put your mind to it, but doesn’t. I decided to post a list of five (5) things in response within the context of Ruby/Rails.

I’m really interested in various things but am really unable to prioritize them high enough to spend the time to understand them.

  • RSpec User Stories
  • Using Selenium with RSpec
  • JQuery (Graeme speaks highly of it)
  • JSSpec (BDD for Javascript)
  • Using the Google Charts API with Rails

What about you? What’s your list of things that you’d like to understand more about?

Putting Tumblr to work for you

Posted by Wed, 19 Dec 2007 20:27:00 GMT

I’ve been using Tumblr off and on since early April. I tend to neglect it because I’ve found the interface a bit clumsy. The recent redesign hasn’t improved on the things that I consider obstacles in getting things quickly added to my tumblr. Since the concept behind the tumblr is to quickly share things with people, the interface doesn’t facilitate this workflow as quickly as I think it could.

In any event, I tend to not login to my dashboard very often (few times a week?), which means that I don’t post as often as I’d like.

A few months ago, I finally started to use the Feeds feature in tumblr, which will automatically add things to your tumblr from an RSS feed.

The first feed that I started to use was my Flickr account.

Flickr to Tumblr

This solution for this was to tag photos that I want Tumblr to automatically with ‘to:tumblr’.

Next, you just need to grab the URL for the Flickr RSS feed for photos tagged with to:tumblr.

Next, you’ll want to add this feed to Tumblr.

Voila… in a little while, your photos tagged with to:tumblr will start to show up on your Tumblr.

Del.icio.us to Tumblr

Links to blog articles, web sites, etc… are things that I generally use Deli.cio.us for… so doing it once for each was taking too much. So, I’m now using the same tagging formula with Del.icio.us to get Tumblr to automatically add links to my Tumblr.

Now, I can use the RSS feed for items tagged with to:tumblr on my del.icio.us account with Tumblr.

Pretty simple. :-)

Google Reader to Tumblr

Another place that I find myself wanting to post to Tumblr is from within Google Reader. Well, it’s actually really easy to do this by taking advantage of the RSS feed that Google Reader provides for your Shared Items.

google reader shared

Just grab the RSS feed from here…

Then add this RSS feed to Tumblr like the examples above.

Putting Tumblr to work for You!

I’m hoping to continue using this pattern with other sites as well. I’d be interested in hearing how other people are using Tumblr to aggregate focused content in an easy to browse way.

Update

It appears that Tumblr currently only allows you to use five feeds to import. Until they upgrade this limit, you can use Yahoo! Pipes to do some of the heavy lifting.

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