Many Pies

Many Pies

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ada Lovelace Day 2014 - Rachel Andrew

I was reminded by this blog post by LornaJane that it's Ada Lovelace Day. This year the woman whose achievements I admire is Rachel Andrew. (2013 Kathy Sierra, 2012 Aleks Krotoski) That picture above isn't her, but comes from Sydney Padua.

  • She is, together with Drew McLellan, responsible for writing Perch, a small and neat content management system that I probably haven't written about enough. It is very impressive for being just enough for a small website, whilst also now having a bigger sibling which doesn't detract from the original. I dived into the code a while back to write my own plugin and I was very impressed by its inner workings.
  • She's also written books, none of which I've actually read. However from the extracts published on her blog if I wanted to make a profitable side project I know I'd buy her Handbook on the subject.
  • She shares knowledge through conference talks, articles on other sites and most recently helping freelancers with the changes to VAT rules. All of this is good for the webby business.
  • (Update:) she has technical editing skills.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Blackbaud Online Express direct debit bug workaround

My opinion of Online Express has gone a bit downhill since I discovered a bug in the Direct Debit functionality. It always seems to be UK specific features that have bugs. There was a time when after every RE upgrade I would have to check Gift Aid carefully to see if they'd fixed previous bugs and introduced any new ones.

The bug is that if the donor chooses direct debit but doesn't tick "Make this a monthly gift" then a cash gift gets created. Whilst it's possible to have one-off direct debits this cash gift isn't a recurring gift, and so you can't generate an instruction from it. I consider it a bug, but the person handling my case suggested I put something on the BBOX UserVoice website. So if you want to lobby Blackbaud to fix this you can do it on these suggestions:
Checked box as default for recurring gifts?
Allow forms which only have direct debit as an option

I've since been approached by a couple of people who work on BBOX in the US to discuss it, and so I've given my input there.

This is the workaround to make sure that people are warned if they choose direct debit without ticking that box. You need to put this code into the waitUntilExists code as described in my previous blog post.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Translating tech jargon

A tech-related post on our Wycliffe blog - cookies, caches and cows - made my metaphorical ears prick up. It's about translating tech jargon into many different languages. The Economist article that it quotes says Firefox uses 40,000 words, but that sounds too high for me. I dug a bit into the Mozilla website to check it out. The process of translating words used in interfaces is called localisation or localization, depending on your locale, or l10n (that's L ten N as there are ten letters between the l and the n) to keep everyone happy. I suspect that figure is either the number of strings of words that need translating for Firefox, or for all the Mozilla products (including websites).