Main Page Updater for Emergencies

posted on October 3rd, 2008 by Greg in CDWS Projects

At a large institution like UCF, it is good to have a plan for emergencies. I set up a simple form that will update the main page at in an emergency so that important information can be realeased as fast as possible.

The main page is an html file that is copied every few minutes from our database driven application. This speeds up the website and cuts down on processor utilization considerably. A simple update to our cron job was added that checks if the site is in emergency mode and pulls from our other emergency page. This emergency page is created with a simple form and simple template file.

I created this page updater to be reliable and simple so that there is little turn arround time from emergency situation to information available. The form edits files in the filesystem instead of using a database that would require more complexity. There is a place to update the important information. That info is then put into the pre-built template when the user hits preview. Once the user is satisfied with the way it looks, there is a button to enable/disable the page. It updates the status that the cron job looks for and the main page will change in under a minute.

Social Network Built with Django

posted on August 27th, 2008 by Greg in Personal Projects

I was learning python and django earlier to build a social network. So far, I have created the ability for users to

  • create an account with e-mail activation
  • login/out
  • add other users as friends and confirm friendship that other users requested
  • send/reply/forward messages

This was the base for a niche social network to be built upon.

Soon after completing those features, I discovered elgg. It’s an open source social network written in php. It can do all of those features and more. I am now looking into using that and modifying it for the original goal.

We’ve gone back to django since elgg wasn’t the easiest thing to modify. I was hoping they might have used a common php framework like cake or code igniter. More on the django developments in another post soon. On CodeSpatter I have posted about what I learned about Python, PIL, and Django working together.

Update November 12, 2008

If you are looking for an Open Source Social Network written in Django, Pinax is looking really good right now. They have combined many reusable django apps into one slick project. Cloud27 is set up as an example of all the features included in Pinax. The contact importing feature is one that I will be adding to my social app that I built before having knowledge of Pinax.

Code Spatter

posted on April 1st, 2008 by Greg in Personal Projects

Code Spatter is a personal project that I started when I thought it would be useful to have a Weblog about projects and other things involving web development to be used by myself and other co-workers. It was also a chance to use CyTE for a practical application and start development on MorfU. Both are open source projects that I develop for.

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Tragedy Guild Website

posted on April 1st, 2008 by Greg in Personal Projects

The Guild

Tragedy was a guild in World of Warcraft that had up to 40 members in a single raid event as often as 4-5 nights a week. There was a lot of information that needed to be saved from the raids. It was important to know which members attended them and which monsters were defeated that evening. The monsters would drop loot and it was necessary to know who received the loot. There was a game modification that would store all of this data, but there wasn’t an easy way to get this information onto the website.

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TechStream (aka ToBeDone 2.0)

posted on April 1st, 2008 by Greg in CDWS Projects

Workflow Management

To Be Done is a Web-based workflow tool that manages the collection, tracking, and processing of work requests. It is written in PHP and uses a MySQL database. It facilitates the collaboration between teams by enabling team members to create requests for other teams’ members to complete. Time-to-completion data is stored when a user completes a request and can be used to display totals, percentages, and averages of requests and hours in a report that can be generated automatically. The report that is generated can also display specific information per user and per course.

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Study Session Scheduler

posted on April 1st, 2008 by Greg in Class Projects

SSS is designed to help students schedule study sessions by allowing them to input their available times and to view available times of students in their courses. A student can start a session at a time that the most people are available and other students can sign up to the study session. This was a project for Software Engineering I and originally suggested by Chris Havreberg. I collaborated with coworker and classmate, Thomas Welfley to develop this site in a surprisingly short amount of time. This was the first test of a new version of a template engine that Thomas and I had been working on (CyTE).

Pyrodius, Inc

posted on April 1st, 2008 by Greg in Personal Projects

All of my web development experience started with I learned PHP and MySQL to allow the website to dynamically add movie reviews to the website and allow users to post their own reviews. I created a blog to display the news of the website before I even heard the word “blog”.

At the moment the site doesn’t have any activity, but I will still use it to learn and test out new software or ideas. I have installed a few versions of phpBB and MediaWiki to test out various ideas. CyTE is also installed there for testing.

There are many things I aspire to do with the site, however other projects have taken priority for the time being.


posted on April 1st, 2008 by Greg in Personal Projects

MorfU is a project that I conceived that will combine all of the features of wikis, blogs, and forums. The name is an anagram of forum and is pronounced like morph you.

Current the only development that has been done on it is with Codespatter which only has limited blog functionalities.

This is a module for CyTE that should be able to be packaged with any installation seamlessly. There hasn’t been much else to test this with as of yet.

UCF Life

posted on March 24th, 2008 by Greg in Freelance Projects

This site was originally created by a freelance web developer and I have helped in a few areas to improve load/execution time and added a few sections. The site is written in PHP and uses a MySQL database.

I developed a section to allow users to sell books to each other. It used an API to Amazon’s book database to get accurate and up-to-date information regarding book details. At first, the section would charge a percentage of the expected sale before listing a user’s books. The fee was later removed to encourage more use of the section.

Another section of the site that I developed was the Nightlife section. For unknown reasons, this section was never made live. Businesses had their own interface in which they could change information about their weekly promotions. Users could use a simple search to browse through nightclubs, or browse by night, as well as indicate that they were attending a specific nightclub on a specific night.

I have also mentored another developer in PHP and MySQL to allow him to be able to complete additions to the site.


posted on March 24th, 2008 by Greg in CDWS Projects

Valhalla, which is implemented with PHP and a MySQL database, powers the Techranger Web site. It provides the Techranger team with the ability to manage all aspects of the site including: image galleries, user biographies, job applications, XHTML templates, multiple cascading style sheets and other site features.

For this project I created the data access classes as well as designing the database itself. I also wrote the job application, image gallery, project showcase, and user biography features.