Nov 20 2012

Hello World

Published by under Icenium,Telerik

This is a post cross posted from my work blog at http://icenium.com/community/blog I will not be cross posting much but I wanted to make sure anyone who looks here knows what I am up to.


OK, I know that is just too easy of a title for this blog post, but hey, I am posting here for the first time. I wanted to take time in my first post here to introduce myself and I hope to explain what I am trying to do as your representative to the Icenium product group. Then, I will want to hear from you to see what I really should be doing.

My name is Woody Pewitt and I have been in the software development business for just too long to admit. I have been an entrepreneur, software developer, development manager, product manager and many other things in this crazy exciting space that we all have decided to make a living in. For Icenium I am your Developer Advocate – my goal in this role is to help you get the information you want and need to be successful with Icenium. It is also to communicate the feedback you give straight back to the development team. The crazy thing about my job is that you all have almost the same level of communication with the development team as I do thanks to the Forums accessible at our Community page. Every post to the forums gets seen by our development team. We often have conversations about the posts there to make sure we are answering and addressing your comments, questions and requests as best as we can.

Currently, I am working on a set of short videos introducing various features of Icenium.  You can see them as we post them on the Icenium YouTube account. We also have some demo projects posted to the Icenium GitHub account. You can clone any of the demos there and work with them. We will be adding more demos over time so there should be plenty for you to see there but I want to know what we are missing. I am also doing a lot of traveling to shows in order to help introduce Icenium, you can keep up to date with where I will be on the Community page or even in my TripIt profile. If I am going to be close to you please let me know, I always want to meet people and understand what we can do better for them.

I think that is enough about me and what I am trying to do – now it’s your turn let me know what you want to see me do. Please feel free to leave a comment, post requests, or just email me!

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Sep 21 2012

Mobile Application Development

Published by under Cordova,PhoneGap

Have you been looking for a way to get in to mobile application development?

Well I have been looking around have been playing with Apache Cordova (aka PhoneGap). OK so why am I liking Cordova? To be honest because the way smarter people I work with here at Telerik looked at the options and decided to build the new not yet released product that I work around it. I have done a buch of looking myself to see if would have come to the conclusion (ok I did this long before coming to work on the product) and I did come to the same conclusion. Why? Well a lot of reasons but a big reason is the community that has grown up around Cordova. I recently attended the PhoneGap Day in Amsterdam and this event reinforced my conclusion.

If you have not looked at Cordova I would suggest you check out the Apache site for it http://incubator.apache.org/cordova and then check out the Getting Started Guides. You will see that while Cordova solves a lot of problems with the cross-platform issue there are still many moving parts (SDKs, platforms and code) that you will need to understand, setup and maintain but it’s better than trying to do native development for the platforms you want to target.

Let me know what you think, have you done some Cordova programming?

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Sep 20 2012

Facebook & HTML5 – What is all the fuss over?

Published by under Cordova,HTML5,PhoneGap,Rant

fb_html_notSo in my new job I work with HTML5 on mobile platforms all day, with a product that I still can’t talk about (I will be able to soon). So when Mark Zuckerberg made is comments about HTML5 (read full statement) and the press jumped all over it proclaiming HTML5 on mobile was dead I was a upset by how much damage control I and anyone involved with Apache Cordova and other HTML5 mobile platforms are going to be doing for the next year.

So lets take a look at HTML5 on mobile platforms and see what it’s good for and what it’s not.

If you have not looked at Cordova (formally PhoneGap) or other such cross-platform solutions they enable you to create a single code base and have it run on multiple operating systems and devices. Like any cross-platform solution the cross-platform mobile solutions can’t take advantage of every feature of the platforms they target. Is this a problem? Yes and no! For the vast majority of applications that is not a issue, if you look at the applications I have on my Android device all of them could be written with Cordova. The advantage of using the cross-platform is that I can create an application and have it up and running on many devices without having to rewrite my application for each of the devices.

I in no way am saying that Facebooks decision to create a native iOS application was wrong but I think it was more of evolution. I will not go in to why there JavaScript was likely the issue but they did have some valid reasons to move to a native application. I think that like the last time we were using cross-platform tools once you prove a market you can then justify going native but for the developer who dose not have the resources Facebook has Cordova [with the yet to be released product] enables a single code base that can handle at least the 80% scenario for mobile applications.

I can’t wait to start sharing more information with the world!

Some more reading on the Facebook app:
Under the hood: Rebuilding Facebook for iOS
Perf Feedback – What’s slowing down Mobile Facebook
Not Everyone Is Facebook: HTML5 Will Still Thrive
A really geeky wonky message thread

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Aug 08 2012

Super quick Introduction to HTML5

Published by under HTML5

Super quick introduction to html5 from Woody Pewitt

Last night I presented to the San Diego .NET Developers Group about HTML5. I was surprised that no one in the audience was currently rendering HTML5 so I think this was a good topic for them.

The over all premise of my talk was that if anyone went searching for HTML5 content you most often find content around video playback, Scalable Vector Graphics or the canvas. All topics worthy or exploring but to be the simple functionality of the new form elements (or I should say the promise) is where HTML5 gets some nice functionality. This also really affects mobile browser space as device browsers will more and more use the new form types to customize data entry for the end user. So when you are asking for a email the device might have a custom keypad for that type of entry.

Support for the new form elements is quite spotty which you can test your browsers at html5test.com. Lets take a look at the new elements (the list below is just the new elements all old elements are still supported).

<input type=”date” />

<input type=”datetime” />

<input type=”email” />

<input type=”month” />

<input type=”number” />

<input type=”range” />

<input type=”tel” />

<input type=”time” />

<input type=”url” />

 

As you can guess having specialized functionality for these inputs would greatly enhance data entry on a desk top or limited form factor device. In previous versions of HTML we would have to had to add a considerable amount of extra markup and JavaScript to get things like a calendar to popup.

Jan Kleinert from Google did a nice explanation on all the new elements and the new attributes that can be used on them. Check it out Making Forms Fabulous With HTML5.

Soon I will do some screen shots from various devices to see how well they support the new form elements and attributes.

And I want to apologize to everyone who was at the meeting, I was running a fever and was not at the top of my presenting game.

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Jul 20 2012

Back to Evangelism!

Published by under Personal,Telerik

Today day is my last day at King Schools, the time here has be fantastic! I have enjoyed working with everyone at King Schools and been truly impressed with how John and Martha run there business. They have build a great company around there passion for flying while enabling many other people learn to fly. I simply can’t express how dedicated the King’s and every individual that works for them is to get the best training content in to the hands of students. Every day I see the feedback from the people who use the content from King Schools and can’t believe how much people simply glow about how they liked the content. For the first time as a software professional I saw absolutely fantastic feedback from a user base. I will truly miss King Schools!

Now as for where I am going… let me start by telling you how I got pulled in to the new job. At King Schools (and my own interest) there is a need to deliver applications on mobile devices, customers were demanding it and it’s becoming expected more a more at the smart phone market grows. I have done mobile development on Microsofts CE platform for along time (we are really talking a really long time here) and I had played with Windows Phone 7, iOS & Android development and creating at least two platform specific applications at King Schools was just impossible with the constraints we had on development. So as I was looking in to options I received an out of the blue email from my old buddy Doug Seven offering to reveal something wonderful if I was willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement. That’s right with no further information information I signed on the bottom line and waited, a week or so later Doug had a web based meeting for myself and several other people he had gotten to sign as well. I was simply astounded at what he showed us and a few days later I was working with Icenium my self. I commented to Doug when I saw him at the MVP summit that I liked the product a lot and would be inserted in working on the team when they really had something ready to go to market with. I was thinking they would be a year or so before they would be ready so imagine my surprise when he contacted me just a month or so later.

Well here I am, just posting this as I walk out of King Schools and getting on an airplane to go to the Telerik headquarters at 6:50a tomorrow to meet my new team and find out what I will really be doing for the next few years. I am really looking forward to getting to help in the success of Telerik & Icenium!

2 responses so far

Apr 10 2012

Geek vs. Hipster

Published by under Personal

OK normally I don’t just repost stuff but this was just too classic! Any guess witch side I fall on?

Geeks vs Hipsters
From: BecomeCareer.com

2 responses so far

Feb 02 2012

SoCal Code Camp Fullerton 2012

Published by under Event,SoCal Code Camp

ccblogbadge2[1]We just completed the 16th SoCal Code Camp this one was Fullerton addition and I can’t believe it’s still growing and getting such good feedback. There were no problems this time and if anything this seamed like one of the smoothest ones so far.

There are way too many people to thank so if you did anything to help thanks! It just could not work without the help of so many people.

The next event will again be at UC San Diego on June 23rd & 24th but we have not decide anything else about the event so if you have any suggestions please let me know.

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Jan 04 2012

At 2012 is off and running!

Published by under Personal

Today is my first day at work and it started with a bang, we pushed out a new version of our ecommerce web site at kingschools.com and over all even with a few speed bums and some tense times it all went well. I really can’t take any credit at all for the success as the rock stars around me did all the heavy lifting. I hope the rest of the year will go as smoothly!

Now on to the obligatory list of goals for the year. My brother-in-law Ross Rizzo did a great smart thing to help all of us in the family to make 2012 the best it can be. He send a email to everyone in the family asking for two lists of goals. One list was to be the reasonable goals and the other was to be less reasonable. I decided to publish my list as I am a firm believer in failing or succeeding in public so you stay motivated and others can learn from your actions.

Reasonable Goals:

  1. Run a half marathon by the end of the year
    • Will identify the event by the end of January
  2. Get 2 product web sites up
  3. Coach Lacrosse
  4. Spend more time with my boys
    • I know it’s open ended but I could use some help identifying a metric to us on this
  5. Don’t work too much
  6. Tell the important people in my life how important they are and showing it to them

Semi-unattainable:

  1. Become the wineries brew master
  2. Develop a killer phone app
  3. Get a better grip on my finances
  4. Get my boys to enjoy more physical activates
  5. Rewrite socalcodecamp.com

I will post about how I do on each of these but please feel free to comment with suggestions.

I hope each of you will take some time to think what you would like to accomplish this year and then make a plan and do it!

Happy new year!

One response so far

Dec 24 2011

Now a little update…

Published by under King Schools,Personal

king_logo%20high%20res%20050208[1]OK I know I have let this space go a little dark, I have recently taken a new job at King Schools as the Director of Software Development. King Schools provides aviation education and information and there largest mechanism to deliver this content is software. The company has been around so long now that software delivery of educational content is the third mode of delivery. John and Martha King started King Schools in the 70s and have enjoyed great success and much recognition for the quality and enthusiasm for flying.

I am not a pilot but my father was a Naval aviator and many of his friends were and are still quite involved with the industry so I have grown up around this industry and I am constantly amazing myself at how much I know about the industry though just pure osmosis.

The software environment is a mish mash of software platforms and architectures like many other companies that have been in business for a long time. I have been trying to determine the best way forward and I am feeling like I am getting a handle on things. We are moving forward with developing new delivery frameworks with a combination of Entity Framework, MVC, some WCF and all UI in HTML and HTML5. This all good for me as I am up on all of this except for the HTML5 canvas element with is where I want to go with a lot (not all) of the UI rendering. I look forward to seeing what we are going to be able to do with it in the long run.

I am sure I will start to blog more often again now that I think I have my head wrapped around this place, I would like to know what anyone who stumbles on this thinks of UIs rendered in HTML5 using the canvas element epically if you have any pit falls I can learn from.

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Oct 18 2011

How does your password hold up?

Published by under How To

securepasswordgeneratortips08-300x214[1]I heard an interesting story yesterday on KPBS about password strength and ways to make passwords easy to remember but still quite hard to crack. The concept is simple use a short easy to remember password and then add a number of the same charter or a pattern of charters.

Any example would be “Do!t……………………” or “Do!t<!><!><!>” you can see both are a variant of “DoIt” and then a pattern of charters after. In the story they point you to a online tool that can measure the time it would to take to crack a password. You can see this tool at https://www.grc.com/haystack.htm, I have validated that it dose not send any data back over the internet so while I would normally say never enter your password to test it in to a page this page it is ok.

I hope it will help you make and use more secure passwords in the future!

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