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Mashup update

Dear Reader,

Since it was requested, here is a screenshot of the page in action. UPS Package Track

This is a package that came to me recently. Just so you know, packages can be tracked for up to 365 days after delivery. (I guess that’s in case you forgot you got it.)

Anyhow, I’m working on the AJAX version of this. I also implemented caching of the cities and geocodes since most cities don’t move. (Yes, I know, except for Springfield and if that’s the first thing that came to YOUR mind then you really need to stop watching the Simpsons so much) That’s why, if you put in the package ID in the screen shot, it’ll go pretty quick because it only has to ask UPS for the info and the Google geocoding comes from the database. One interesting side effect, as more people use this, I’m planning on building a map that shows things like:

  • Most common city of origin
  • Most common destination city
  • Most used hub city

Things like that. Why? Because I can. (Why is not really important here, this is a hobby!)

Until next time,
(l)(k)(bunny)
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New Toy! My first mashup

Dear Reader,

I finally found time to write a mashup. Actually this started out as a project for a customer and this page is just an unbranded version of the one I gave to them.

http://www.calevans.com/trackups.php is the URL. It’s really very simple. You put in a valid UPS package id and it tracks it via UPS’s API and then displays a Google map of where your package is/was.

It was fun to write. I’m still working out some kinks in version 1. Version 2, which is about 50% done is an all AJAX version. Once I get it done I’ll probably write up a quickie article on how I did it. (Like anyone with Google and half a brain can’t figure it out.)

Until next time,
(l)(k)(bunny)
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Two Personal Notes from OSCON

Dear Reader,

OSCON is a mind field. There are way too many Zealots here for civil discourse to take place. it’s no wonder tech conventions have to serve so much alcohol. Here are 2 observations.

1: I made the mistake of mentioning to someone that I prefer using MySQL over it’s open source rival. The gentleman (I’m being nice) verbally lunged at me. His words were “I only use *the tool* that works.”

Hey, Mr. Twentysomthing, you were the only tool in the room at that moment. I was designing databases before you were born. I’ve worked on everything from small 30-table databases to multi-terabyte systems. I certainly do not need your help in selecting the proper RDBMS for my projects. I won’t hold it against your technology that it’s represented by people like you. The product is good, it’s just not the most popular. Being rude to people is NOT the way to make it more popular.

Oh and it’s ok to be polite to someone who doesn’t agree with you, ass-hole.

2: I was wandering the tradeshow floor looking for technologies I wanted to write about. At one place, I asked what underlying technologies they supported. He rattled off the usual list and then said the strangest thing. He said

“Pretty much everything except ‘technology X’, I can’t stand ‘technology X'”.

I smiled politely and moved on. But here’s a hint to vendors, know who you are talking to. Not that I’m special or important, but if you are talking to someone who works for ‘company Y’ and ‘company y’ is very closely associated to ‘technology x’, even to the point of having their corporate tagline be “The ‘technology X’ company” maybe you can skip the “I hate ‘technology X’ speech.” It really doesn’t make any difference to me.

If you don’t support it, that’s fine, I’m not a Zealot like Mr. #1 above. Explaining that you hate “technology X” does not win you any points with me. It does make me wonder though if you are nothing more than a market-roid reading from your corporate talking points instead of a developer who has actually implemented ‘technology X’ and knows why his company doesn’t support it.

As always, the views posted on THIS blog are my own. They do not reflect the views of my employer, my family or the voices in my head. If your gonna be hating because of them, hate me.

Until next time,
(l)(k)(bunny)
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