Many Pies

Many Pies

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The best article I've ever read about cloud computing

Cuts through the hype and explains what it's really about.
And most importantly if you suddenly realize that you need 50 new machines, then you simply didn’t do your job well.

The cloud is great. Stop the hype.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Clever four part form

I have just finished converting our online "enquirer" form so that it uses our new site template. The previous version hadn't been updated since it was created and didn't even match our old site (c. 2005). I can't take any credit for the form, as someone else designed it. However it is quite clever. It's a bit like a tabbed dialog as you can move between the different parts and it remembers what you filled in. When you get to the last part and submit it only then does it see if you've filled in required fields and take you to the first field that you need to fill in.

As I say I can't take any credit for it. It's a good example of what can be done. Hopefully it gets enough information from people, whilst putting off those who aren't really serious.

Search box on

Before we launched the new site we realised that despite several people looking over the proposed design, we'd missed out a search function. So I had to squeeze one into the top navigation bar.

The way I did it probably wasn't original, but I can't remember where I'd seen it. When you click the search link a text box opens up, obliterating the labels to the right.

You can view the source on the pages to see how it works, so I won't reproduce the code here. I just use a bit of jquery to show the hidden search box and hide the other labels. The other challenge was to make it work for people who don't have javascript enabled. The way I did that was to make the search text a link to a dedicated search page, where you could type in your query. If you have javascript the jquery changes that link to run the bit of code which shows the search box etc. If you don't have javascript you go to the dedicated search page.

I like jquery.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Weather report and tax information

I've recently sent out a report to a number of our workers asking them for some information about tax matters. In amongst the replies supplying the information I got this:
Weather hot (=40C) and dry (10-20%) for the moment here. I am imagining the Wycliffe Centre with snowdrops and chilly breezes. Enjoy!
My reply was:
Yes we've got both. And frost, but lots of sunshine. I'm enjoying it, but not so much for the few minutes I'm on my motorbike!

It's good to remember the variety of situations in which people working for Wycliffe Bible Translators find themselves.

Monday, March 01, 2010

OSCAR's 10th birthday

I don't carry any advertising on this blog, but I am happy to promote, for free, OSCAR, with a badge on the bottom right of the page. OSCAR is "the UK information service for world mission". (It's just occurred to me that I don't know why it's called OSCAR, maybe I'll find out today.) This is a very useful website if you are a missionary or a mission agency based in the UK, packed full of all sort of information. It's their 10th birthday today and they are having a virtual party. Why not drop by and say hello!

As well as the main website they also have an interactive community hosted by OSCARactive, with the usual social networking facilities - groups, chat etc.