Friday, February 17, 2017
In April 2011, I developed a political interface allowing visitors to the WiredPages Government & Education page, the ability to query for political officials based on a United States address.
Illustrated in this post, how the interface used to look on the page.
Almost from the very beginning there were issues with the initial version of the interface, mainly because it required three entirely different input resources- to generate the data.
The initial resources included:
- Sunlight Labs
In 2013 or so, I stopped trying to maintain the political officials interface and then of course, the hosting-q.com domain moved to a new IP which caused a security risk for all of the tools I maintain on that domain.
Rather than update my security triggers, I decided to allow most of the tools hosted on hosting-q.com to use the "unauthorized use" message. That said, many of the tools still work-- [I can run them from my local environment]- however I will not update the online versions until I can secure my domains. I am not sure when this will happen.
In any case, yesterday morning I found a service that offers the political data as part of their API offerings-- and decided to implement a new interface. This is how the new interface looks- running in the local environment [via NetBeans] on my Macbook.
Also shown, part of the data returned from the API service. As I have indicated on a number of occasions, I am not sure when I will install the new interfaces I have been updating or rewriting entirely, however I am ready to go if I resolve my domain security issues.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Hanover, Maryland these days seems more like an ever growing metropolis, rather than the mid-size town I moved to in 1996.
There are several reasons for this...
- Arundel Mills [huge outlet mall that hosts big outlets for major retailers like Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Ave] opened in 2000. See a complete list here.
- Maryland Live! Casino opened in 2012
- Proximity to Fort Meade and the National Security Agency.
- It also does not hurt that an international airport, BWI is less than 5 miles away.
When I started the FB Hanover, MD Business Page in 2010, I thought I would connect with other business owners in the area, even though my business, QiSoftware is listed with a Columbia address.
In 2013 or so, I started listing websites and Facebook pages for the businesses or events in the area.
New features that I want to add to the pages include:
- Hanover, MD Jobs, currently the "Use App" button on the Facebook page
- Area Events, The Casino and RamsHead Stage often offer headliners.
- Real Estate, another area that has grown quite a bit.
To that end, today, I built two new interfaces that I will eventually integrate as page tabs for the FB Hanover MD Business page. One offering, area jobs as provided by Indeed, and the other, area events offered by Eventful.
Shown below, the new servlets running in stand-alone mode on my Macbook. Just behind the two windows showing the output from each, is the Netbeans IDE which is providing the local server I use for implementation, testing and debug for most of the software I develop.
There are several restrictions when integrating widgets and interfaces on Facebook pages, including size restrictions and using resources from secure sites. Neither of my sites, qisoftware.com nor hosting-q.com uses SSL certifications, however I hope to incorporate this feature to one or both of the sites- sometime in the future.
In the meantime, I do have other options for installing the new interfaces to the Hanover MD Business Page-- as a tab on the Facebook page, however want to hold off to investigate as many options as possible. Hopefully, I will have these new interfaces in place in the near future.