October 7, 2015

My Top 5 Most Used Web Applications

In the past, I’ve written about several of the programs I use daily on my Mac. But as the web matures, I find that several of the “applications” which have become indispensable to me are web applications. I use every one of these on a daily basis.

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All downloads should be working now.

In the changeover to the updated WordPress installation, I somehow managed to misconfigure the downloads.  It is fixed, and everything should be working now.  Please let me know if any files are still missing for you.

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A short example using django-app-plugins

At Djangocon a couple months ago, I was intrigued to hear about Django App Plugins. This small app adds the ability to make mount points in your Django templates.

That way, you can have your apps insert text into your templates just by referencing the mountpoint in the template. This allows you to have apps which possibly aren’t central to your main application add text which you wouldn’t want to put into the default template.

Unfortunately, there is absolutely no documentation, so I spent the evening working out how to get this to work. There are tons more options than what I’ve figured out, I think a simple example is much better than no documentation at all.

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Git SVN Error – Fixed

While working on a SVN project using my new favorite tool, “git”, I ran into a small problem. A network bobble caused the subversion portion to fail. I stopped it, but then when I tried again, git said:

Cannot dcommit with a dirty index. Commit your changes firstor stash them with `git stash'.
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Weewar Status Notifier for Adobe Air

satellite dish 128 Weewar Status Notifier for Adobe Air

I’m pleased to announce the release of my first Adobe AIR application. This is a simple little desktop (not browser) app which checks your status on Weewar to see if you have any games waiting for your attention.

Revision 2.2 feature list:

  • Checks your status using the Weewar API
  • User settable interval between checks
  • You can force an update by clicking on the “games waiting” message.
  • Semitransparent, draggable window
  • Built with HTML, not Flash.
  • (New in version 1.1) If you have waiting games and you click on the message, you’ll open a new browser window and go to your headquarters.
  • (New in version 1.2) Works on Windows.
  • (New in version 1.3) Turns red when you have games waiting. Resizes to fit contents.
  • (New in version 1.4) Lists the games waiting for your attention
  • (New in version 1.5) Added the option to have the window always stay on top
  • (New in version 1.5) Changed the last checked display to show “xx minutes ago”
  • (New in version 1.7) Compatible with AIR Beta 2
  • (New in version 1.7) The window floats to the top automatically if you have waiting games. That way it doesn’t get buried but you don’t have to have it always floating on top of the other windows.
  • (New in version 2.0) Updated for Adobe Air 1.1
  • (New in version 2.2) You can now click on the “checked x minutes ago” status line to do an immediate status check.


  • Install the AIR Runtime. It is very small and fast.
  • Download Weewarify 2.2
  • Install the app by double-clicking on the downloaded installer.
  • The first time you run it, it should detect that you haven’t configured, and show you the configuration window. Put in your username and your “token” from your Weewar account page.
  • Click the icon on the top right to save and flip back to the status page.
  • That’s it, the program will now check Weewar every few minutes for you.
  • Important! If you let the installer run the app after install (which is the default), it doesn’t work. I have no idea why. Just quit and restart it. It will work when launched normally.
  • WARNING: Doesn’t work on Windows at the moment. I’ll fix very soon.

Open Source

Feel free to contribute, browse the source, report bugs, or request enhancements at Weewarify’s home on Launchpad

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How to send HTML Mail to a Mailing List

Many stores use GNU Mailman to maintain a mailing list for store sales and newsletters. Satchmo has this as a built-in option, for example. It isn’t too bad an option, after all. You can easily set options so that it is “push only” and therefore only the mailing list owner can send mail.

(Yes, it really isn’t a great idea. I heartily recommend a service such as Aweber to manage your list, which will lead to much better legal compliance and more professional results. But bear with me, not all store owners want to pay for additional services.)

However, what if you want to send nicely formatted HMTL newsletters? How do you get your mail client to send those so that they’ll look nice for your customers? Answer, you don’t. You send it manually from the commandline.

Here’s how…

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Why I didn't switch from jQuery to ExtJS after all

A while back, I wrote an article about why I was switching to ExtJS from jQuery. This remains one of the top ten pages on the site, despite the fact that I never really did switch. Checking it just now, I am certain that it is the most heavily commented article on the site.

The fact is that I started to switch, did a site or two, and then I quickly changed my mind.

There are four reasons I didn’t end up switching from trusty jQuery. Size, familiarity, purpose, and license.

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Updated Weewarify for Adobe AIR

Using the free AIR code signing certificates offered by Adobe AIR Marketplace I’ve signed Weewarify 2.1 so that it doesn’t give nasty “UNKNOWN PUBLISHER” warnings when one goes to install it. Evidently, I’ll now be able to publish updates as well, and have them be automatically offered as available, so long as I use the same cert.

I’ve got some big AIR plans, especially now that my Flash skills are growing exponentially. I think I’m going to make a store monitor app for Satchmo to allow admins to know when they’ve made sales or the site is down.


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Fixing a category assigned with itself as parent in Satchmo

One annoying possibility in Satchmo is that administrators sometimes accidentally set a category as its own parent. This causes an infinite loop and hangs the site. So you can’t even use Django to fix the error.

Luckily, the solution is simple. At the commandline do like so:

/opt/webapps/mystore $ ./manage.py dbshell
mysql> update product_category set parent_id=null where id=parent_id;
mysql> quit

Problem solved.


Free Code Signing Certificate from Adobe

Score! I just got a free Adobe AIR code signing certificate from Thawte. Adobe is giving out 125 of these to the first people who upload to the new Adobe Air Marketplace.

This is a $300 value, and it is good thinking by Adobe, because while I enjoy making free apps for AIR, I wouldn’t have spent the money on the cert otherwise.

Warning, this only works if you have a company to associate the cert with. You can’t get one without a company. That’s why everyone should have at least a solo company set up at all times. It gives you freedom to do a lot of stuff closed to the rank-and-file.

[tags]adobe air,developer certificate,free[/tags]