Blog

  • C# nested property accessor

    I recently had the need to access a property in another property in C#. Accessing a property value is trivial using PropertyInfo but it’s only capable of accessing properties on the current object and cannot go any deeper. Such was my need that I created some recursive extension methods to help set/get properties at any depth as well as copy a value from one object to another. Whilst not a perfect solution, this does seem to work well for my needs and hasn’t caused any side-effects.

  • No JavaScript here

    Earlier today I turned Cloudflare’s automatic email obfuscation off on this site. Why you might ask? Well because it was the only JavaScript on this site and I liked the idea of having absolutely none. A JS free website in 2018 is highly unusual, from analytics to graphics frameworks, a lot can be done with the terrible language1. But I have no need for it here, this is a pure website, one that is as fast as your browser and should load instantly on the dodgiest of internet connections and tiniest of devices.

    1. I can’t wait for WebAssembly to start taking off and then I can write client side code in a nicer language! 

  • Marvin Visions

    Jekyll makes it trivial to edit a site’s look and feel, just modify your sass files and push to Github. I keep playing around with colours, paddings and fonts - there’s always something to tweak.

  • Ubuntu on Windows

    At home I use two computers: a 13 inch MacBook Pro for less intensive tasks and a Dell Precision T1700 with a 4K monitor when I want to stretch the software engineer bit of my brain. Jekyll is only officially supported on Linux and MacOS but it is possible to use Jekyll on Windows if you install Ubuntu via the Microsoft Store1. I remember reading about this awesome little thing when it became available but hadn’t got around to trying it - but now I wanted to run Jekyll on my Windows machine the time had come to install a Linux subsystem.

  • Migrating to Jekyll

    Having spent a lot of time recently (even more than normal) working with Git I decided to once again migrate my site to another content management system. I do this every few years, mainly because it’s a great excuse to play with some software and possibly programming or markup languages that I haven’t use before. This instance is no exception. Additionally I’ve been consolidating my old web servers due to a steady decrease in their load as sites get retired or removed; this has made me reevaluate what I wanted to do with this site as it would require a migration to another server anyway - a perfect opportunity to play with something new.

  • Teaching at University

    Whilst studying for my integrated master’s degree in Computer Science at the University of Lincoln, I’m also demonstrating on a number of modules to enhance my own skills as well as gain some valuable teaching experience.

  • Android (and some not Android) device metrics

    Google seems to be in the habit of making helpful little websites packed with info for developers. An apparently new addition to their line-up is the Device metrics page. It includes a list of common devices with some key data such screen resolution, dimension and aspect ratio - all parameters are sortable too. Although this information can easily be found elsewhere, having commonly used data in one place and delivered in such a usable form is undoubtedly useful.

  • Are there any benefits to making APIs copyrightable?

    The White House has told the Supreme Court that APIs can be copyrighted (arstechnica.com). This is generally being perceived as terrible news, the design of an API is typically very standard affair, meaning there could be a lot of court cases if this where to become law.

  • Moving to a Mac

    First of all, I feel it’s important to make clear that I’m typically a ‘Windows person’, that is to say, I’ve always used Windows as my primary OS. Of course I’m perfectly comfortable working with Linux, but normally you’ll find me using Windows 8.1.

  • 100 Days of Fonts

    I thoroughly enjoy looking at implementations of font combinations; the use of space, colour and content are all interesting considerations when choosing which font to use. Browsing fonts on Google Fonts doesn’t get my creative juices flowing (although there’s likely an argument that choosing a font by comparing it to others on a level playing field is good practice), sampling existing sites is a good way to discover font pairings - however you might end up creating a site that looks eerily familiar.

  • Creating a Koken photography site

    I never need much of an excuse to try a new CMS, subsequently I’ve created a new website for myself to showcase my photographic efforts using Koken. Recently treating myself to a new camera (a Canon EOS M to replace a tired 5D Mk I) I decided I should probably create an online repository of my favorite images. Koken’s been developed (pun intended) with this task in mind, it isn’t really suited for more general sites but for photography it’s seriously slick.

  • Joining Ello

    Ello.co is a new social network that’s caused a bit of a stir online due to its anti-Facebook attitude, the manifesto makes this fact pretty clear…

  • Beautifully visualised algorithms

    Have a look at these delightfully colourful representations of a few common data structures and algorithms. Sometimes grasping fundamental concepts can be achieved faster using well designed visual cues rather than simply the written word - I think these could be pretty useful when introducing someone to a few new aspects of computer science.

  • Minimal form interface

    How can web forms be reformed into a 21st century tool for data input? Codrops have published an interesting take on the traditional form that improves usability at the expense of universal support.

  • An eloquent explanation of Heartbleed

    The Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. SSL/TLS provides communication security and privacy over the Internet for applications such as web, email, instant messaging (IM) and some virtual private networks (VPNs).

  • Introducing the 'Anyone But Richard M Stallman' License

    Having attended Dr Richard Stallman’s interesting talk at Lincoln University yesterday, I thought I’d have a look on Twitter at reactions to his militant views. One tweet sent me to the best software license I’ve ever seen: ABRMS. landondyer has taken it upon themselves to write this short license, presumably they’re not a fan of Stallman…

  • A place to be inspired: Awwwards

    Finding a source of inspiration for a new project can be tough, I think so at least. So when I stumbled upon Awwwards my mind was blown. This site hands out awards to the very best websites as chosen by an elite group of developers. The featured sites are all of incredible quality and are truly inspiring - they’re normally very artistic and almost solely use CSS3 and HTML5 to produce epic effects.

  • Using Tor for web development

    Project Tor enables anyone to browse the internet anonymously as if from another side of the planet. This is useful to those wanting to engage in shady activities, it’s also very convenient for web developers.

  • Moot 1.5 is here and finally brings paid upgrades

    As you will be aware by now, I’ve been following the beta journey of Moot, a new and exciting forum system designed to eradicate dated phpBB forums from the internet. The system has just reached a new mile-stone by including branding and single sign-on as paid extras.

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