OpenVis Conf 2015 (and articles that I liked: April 2015)

openvis2015

Bocoup’s OpenVis conference is by far my favorite conference of all time. I was only able to go one day in 2014, but I participated fully in 2013 and 2015, and I’ve loved every session. Before I forget (which I did last year…) I am going to write down/copy over my notes here.

Languages and libraries to checkout:

Ideas, cool presentations, quotes etc:

  • “Treat user input as first-class streaming data” – Jeffrey Heer
  • “Scrollytelling” “Web is a story telling medium” – Jim Vallandingham (and here is how, and thought on that by Mike Bostock)
  • “Editing is not simplifying, but clarifying.” – Nigel Holms on “Context”
  • “Million, billion and trillion is confusing. It should be mln, billion, trillllllllllion.” – Holms
  • “Getting your web development environment ready = Mise en place” – Alyson Hurt

This conference is awesome and looking forward to next years!
Continue reading…


Articles that I liked: March 2015

I’ve been posting links that I liked at my tumblr blog. Below are the month worth of links:

An excellent and brilliant “Quotes on Design,” a creation by Mr. Chris Coyer:

… Loading quotes from “Quotes on Design” …

And other links that caught my eye.
Continue reading…


Open Vis Conf 2014 was amazing! Love that conference.

Good people at Bocoup puts out this kick-butt conference in Boston every year. I am lucky to have participated in both of those years.

openvis

I only was able to go to one day of it this year, but it was very interesting and inspiring as last years. I whole heartedly agree with Mike Bostock’s sentiment of “design is hard” and it was helpful for me to see his breakdown of why. Neat to know about “Fitts’s Law.” NYTimes git tool called “Preview” which takes screenshot of git commits are pretty cool. Thoughts on explanatory graphic vs exploratory graphic. He says don’t be afraid to fail. Try bad idea deliberator to evaluate it. He says “Javascript” is “One True Language.” Sam Selikoff’s js framework talk was very interesting and I need/can’t wait to see the code. Kennedy Eliot of WaPo and Jen Christiansen’s talk was very close to my field. Print publication with online challenges. Finding “Narrative” in data. Story telling is important. All good design/presentation is a god story. ICanHaz.js sounds really interesting. I need to check it out. All the other talks, I have notes to go over, but was great. Nice to see all the folks too. Those are my people. Very inspiring.

I’ve been posting links that I liked at Posterous (RIP) and then my tumblr blog. Here are the week worth of Articles that I liked: Friday, May 9, 2014:


Got Galaxy S5 with Android KitKat 4.4

devices

I know the photo is terrible, but I wanted to capture the screen size. It is large enough to view any responsive websites without trouble while still fitting in my pocket.

Did it. I have been an iPhone user for a while, but switched to Android. Got myself an Galaxy S5, and like it alot. I noticed that there are bunch of apps out there, perhaps more choices, but quality seems to vary a bit. Looks like you need to be more selective what you choose to use. So far, the transitions were very smooth. I was using Google for most of my stuff — like gmail, contact, google calendar etc — anyway, so that was very simple. And Dropbox integration was great. It is definitely more like computer than phone, and I like it. Samsung Health app have replaced my (lost) fitbit and Sleep as Android app seems fine replacement for SleepCycle. Al the other apps that I was using on iPhone, like MLB At Bat, Waze, FoodSpotting, Wunderlist, Social Media apps (facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Foursquare, Instagram), Evernote, OpenTable, Fantasy Baseball apps (Yahoo, CBS and ESPN) all have native android native versions. Google Play Books are as good as iBooks, and iCloud/Find iPhone capability can be (seems to be, anyway) found on Android Device Manager.

Couple of memos:

  • Lost my “Alternative Password” once already. To reset it, you just deregister all if your finger prints, and when you strat the process over, it will ask you to set alternative password.
  • I was recommended to check out Google Now, Keep, & Newsstand. All services that I was not familier with, but it looks interesting. Especially Keep.
  • Chromecast and its $35 price tag is really enticing.
  • A Tech friend, and Google guy, recommended following utility stuffs for me: Advanced Task Killer is good for keeping on top of background processes, ES File Explorer is a good general purpose file manager.
  • I am looking for pod catcher. He recommended AntennaPod, but it looks a bit too basic… Trying out Pocket Casts, (not free) but liking it so far.
  • MBTA Bus stuff, I was using Catch the Bus on iPhone, just because it was one of the first one out and did its job but since there are bunch of free ones now I am trying out YourBus MBTA. It is pretty good and seems accurate.

I’ve been posting links that I liked at Posterous (RIP) and then my tumblr blog. Here are the week worth of links:


Random front end tips and tricks

I am learning tons this week. Very exciting. Working with smart people of Bocoup, learning/picking up tricks and tips on how to do many little “a-ha, that’s how you do it” things.

Here is my notes:

  • With Editor Config, you can create a project specific configfiles for your text editor of your choice. I am using sublime, and there is a package for that. Now we have a file on the project home that specify that we use tab for indentation for our project — that’s our style that we agreed on, and we are keeping it consistent — but I can start using two spaces for my other projects with this.
  • Bower is powerful. It’s managed by Twitter. Their stock is now at $40. Time to buy?
  • This gist by Matt Surabian is awesome. If you put it in your .bash_profile, your terminal shows your branch and with a * star if there is a change that needs commits. I use terminal with white backgroudn so I change like 38 to

    echo " on "$PURPLE$branch$dirty

    If you don’t want new line, get rid of \n from line 41.

  • I am learning about require js and Asynchronous Module Definition (AMD) API (Boy, do I have a lot to learn) but here are some example of diffrent types of AMD flavors by Tim Branyen and also, example of how to use it on multi page. I think I will start with Anonymous CJS style and see how it goes from here.

I’ve been posting links that I liked at Posterous (RIP) and then my tumblr blog. Here are the week worth of links:


Vagrant+Puppet is AMAZING!

vagrant-up

At my work on my team, we have five main developers. Two of us are on Mac, while the other three are on Windows. I, as a front end guy in the group, am advocating for SASS/Compass be used prominently on the redesign, like in depth use (great book btw). There is one little problem — workflow. To be able to developed locally, SCSS require pre-compiling, and it uses ruby. Mac comes with ruby, but Windows does not. Grunt could do it, but then you need node.js/npm. If I want everyone on my team to have it, I need to install all of those (ruby/sass/compass/node/npm/grunt)… that would be just way too much customization/potential places to break.

Enter Vagrant and puppet. It is just amazingly awesome. You can create a linux machine on VirtualBox – which is an open source VM. I am running latest puppet-enabled ubuntu box available from puppetlab, which is Ubuntu 13.10 (saucy Salamander).

Dealing with Vagrant really tickled my inner linux nerd-ness. Once upon a time, I was involved with running a group called BJLUG, Boston Japanese Linux Users Group — this was way back when, when you still had to pay for Apple’s CJK Language Pack to have Japanese installed on your machine, and I figured out that if you use linux, it was FREE to write email back to Japan etc. There were certainly a lot of LUGs back then. Not sure if they are around any more.

I learned how to install puppets, thanks to my colleague Kevin D. who patiently walked me through it, and was able to create box with apache and the likes.

Now we all need to download, and then just run vagrant up and vagrant provision. And your local scss changes, on your filesystem, using your favorite text editor on your OS, will be watched and css is compiled without any additional work. This is beautiful.

The Vagrant CLI documentation was useful for me, who have not used Vagrant before.

Some useful command:

  • vagrant up – Start the VM
  • vagrant provision – Provisions the VM
  • vagrant ssh – Logs into the VM with ssh
  • vagrant reload --provision – Restarts and provisions the VM
  • vagrant suspend and vagrat resume – If you don’t want fully shut the VM down
  • vagrant halt – Stops the VM
  • vagrant destroy – Deletes the VM

Actually, first time I saw use of vagrant was WordPress VIP team’s quick start. It includes all their server hosting environment. They do good work there over at VIP. And also there are ways to have local WordPress environment in vagrant such as Varying Vagrant Vagrants (VVV) environment. I am still using MAMP for my local wordpress theme/plugin development (when I have “free time”) but perhaps I should reconsider it. For new version of Daigo.org theme?
Continue reading…


Slashathon! My third hackathons in 10 days.

slashathon

SXSW was pretty awesome. Total geek out. I have to go though all my notes, but it was very good. Meeting Brian Holt from Reddit was definitely the highlight, and went to two hackathons, first the Hackathon For Social Good, and then Slashathon! It was pretty cool. Event was held at Capital Factory in Austin, and the place was gorgeous. We had a plane to catch, but I kept coding in the airport… final product looked like this: Groupieology. SeatGeek’s API is pretty amazing: it requires no API Key, unlimited and very eimple to use. Including the Baseball Hack Day the Saturday before, it was my third hackathon in 10 days. My buddy Kevin Davis was a good sport and attended all three with me. Pretty crazy stuff.

Have not had a chance to use it, but this service, import.io sounds really cool. I need to check it out and see if I can use it for some hacks in the future.

I’ve been posting links that I liked at Posterous (RIP) and then my tumblr blog. Here are the week worth of links:

Continue reading…


2014 Boston Baseball Hack Day was awesome

I had an awesome time last weekend at Boston Baseball Hack Day! 33 people. 8 project. More to coem later, but it was great time, met tons of very inspiring smart people. Technology and Baseball, two of my passion combined. Awesome.

baseballhackday-logo-2014

I’m going to write up about it little more later.

Following is links that I liked. Some unrelated to BBHD.
Continue reading…