If you are anything like me, frustration is common place when looking for an app in the App Store. There obviously isn’t a short supply of note taking apps, task lists, or photography apps, but some categories seem a little sparse of quality developers.
Any seasoned developer knows about Github. It’s great for storing code, issue tracking, and even just being social. The main problem I have is accessing this wealth of information on the go. I don’t have an expensive iPad with 3G service. All I have to rely on is my trusty iPhone.
I was one of a handful of testers fortunate enough to beta test the app over the past few weeks. The one thing I kept hearing over and over again was how fantastic the app was. Matthew delivers on terrific Github experience on your iPhone. Gitty has everything you need in a Github app: code viewing, issue tracking, and even push notifications.
If you find yourself in need of feature filled Github client on your iPhone, Gitty is the best around. It doesn’t hurt that it only costs $4.99 right now as an introductory price either!
Earlier this year, I took a chance and decided to leave Wordpress and migrate over to Statamic. My main issue with Wordpress had always involved my personal workflow and easily using the tools I loved. Statamic solved almost all of these issues, but I still wanted a better way to update the site without relying solely on Dropbox or using FTP to sync to a server.
At first, I figured I would go the Dropbox route but it brought on its own set of challenges: installing it on the host server, symlinking folders, permissions of folders, as well as a host who would continually kill the Dropbox daemon.
Lets fast forward a few months. I stumbled onto Pagoda Box while reading through my twitter feed one day and reached out to some folks currently using them. With a little back and forth correspondance, I instantly found myself at the sign-up page.
Pagoda Box is a PaaS which relies heavily on Git (SFTP is available but limited) for pushing changes to their server. In its simplest form, a user creates a php application with Pagoda Box which creates an ‘instance’ of your site. You also have the ability to easily create multiple ‘instances’ on demand. Of course, the flexibility to add caching, databases, custom dns names, as well as schedule cron jobs is available too.
For me, I basically just added Pagoda Box as a remote destination to my repo and pushed any changes. Couldn’t be simpler.
A few caveats though for Statamic users. The repo on Pagoda Box is read-only so your content can’t be changed in the Statamic admin pages with a standard config. However, thanks to the services flexibility, you can add specific folders you would like writable in a Boxfile. This file is basically just YAML which allows for a ton of customization to your Pagodabox ‘instance’. You can specify which PHP version as well as name specific extensions, list out writable directories and so much more. Check their documentation for a complete list. Here is a quick glance at my Boxfile.
Now the downside to having content as a writeable folder is the inability to push content using Git. Pagoda Box creates an empty directory on a shared storage cluster for your folder and links it back to your applications root directory. If you go this route, you’ll have to upload your markdown files and folder structures manually via SFTP but now you use the admin screens to write. It’s a trade off of accessibility and easability when it comes to content. Use Git, and push from your repo, or use writable folders and use the admin pages.
After all of this, I can’t begin to explain how great it is to be running this site on Pagoda Box’s platform now. I still want a better solution to content but that doesnt change how ridiculously easy it is!
A good friend of mine asked me to write a modern scoring system for his gyms annual crossfit competition. The goal was to make it easy for the competitors to use but advanced in regards to the scoring methods for the competition. I put together a slick front end as well as an admin section for the judges. Within seconds of finishing an event, scores were entered and competitors could see their scores to determine exactly where they stood overall.
Feel free to contact me to discuss how you could use it for your upcoming events too!
I have always been amazed with app developers who spend time to produce quality apps that not only work great but look great too. Pythonista is no exception. I installed it a few months ago on my iPhone and am always catching myself trying to figure out new ways to use it.
Federico Viticci had some great ideas which initially inspired me to create a script to take a website and convert it to Markdown before placing it in a Dropbox folder with one single click. I uploaded it as a Gist if anyone wants to play around.
Now let me introduce you to my newest hobby. Statamic, which I wrote briefly about last week is an awesome CMS which uses markdown files and PHP. Right after the install, I looked on the Internet to try and create a simple way to upload both photos and articles to my site directly from my iPhone but came up empty. Thanks to Pythonista, I was able to make it a reality in short order. I stumbled onto a script by David Sparks and then modified it for my own needs and added a few bells and whistles.
So the new year is upon us and I felt like the site needed a little change.
The old site was sitting on Wordpress and was wrapped in a theme I made months ago. I honestly have gotten a little bored with things in Wordpress so I started looking for alternatives. My first reaction was to go with something like Jekyll but I wasn’t too keen on having to generate pages each and every time I posted a new photo or article.
I’m happy to say I finally transitioned from Wordpress and successfully moved everything over to Statamic which had been a goal of mine since I first heard of it back in May.
For those that don’t know, Statamic is a fairly new player in the CMS world. It appealed to me like Jekyll, but instead of relying on Ruby, it uses PHP. Upgrading was a cinch thanks to the simple folder structure and separation of content. The Statamic team was even kind enough to write a script to export all of my previous posts into text files from Wordpress. I did have to tweak it a little for my own purposes but it was fairly straightforward.
All in all, I’m happy with the change as well as the new look. I now get to sit back and reap the benefits of versioning content and configuration files as well as easy theme creation. I guess I’ve run out of excuses now for writing more.
In October, my wife and I moved into our first home. Since then, we have been digging through old boxes which had been in storage for several years. I’d catch myself sifting through a box flipping through pictures or popping CD’s into the laptop just to hear what was on it.
I was amazed at the things I had simply forgotten.
Now I’ve tried writing in journals, but the task always seems burdensome. I’m constantly forgetting to write in it or even take it with me when I travel. It simply sits there on the corner of my desk as a daily reminder of all the things I’ve already forgotten. I hate it.
I absolutely love this app. Bloom Built created a version for both my iPhone as well as the Mac so I never have an excuse not to have it with me. Everything syncs to either Dropbox or iCloud so your memories are always available.
Finally, Brett Terpstra of nvALT and Marked fame, wrote an amazing Ruby script called Slogger which lets you plug into your social networks to have your journal updated daily with whatever you do on online. There are plugins for Twitter, Github, Instapaper, LastFM, and I even wrote one for Readability. Now don’t be lazy and let Slogger do all of the work. Get in there and write your own thoughts down too.