Archive for the ‘Web Design’ Category

Installation Tip: Installing Vibrant in Windows 7

Monday, October 29th, 2012

The Preface: The other day I showed up to a free introductory Ruby on Rails(RoR) lecture class. I have never worked with RoR and I did not realize you needed either Linux or a virtual box to be able to create a virtual machine and run RoR. You create this using Vagrant, which uses VirtualBox, an Oracle product (from the erstwhile Sun I think).

I did not find good instructions on how to do what should be an easy install and so I decided to write them up. Hopefully, this helps someone!

Here are the installation steps. These worked on a Windows 7 Pro, 64-bit installation, with most updates completed.

1. Download and install Vagrant. I did nothing special with the installer. Remember the location where you install it. Keep it generic, organized and simple.

You can find Vagrant here: http://vagrantup.com/

2. Download and install VirtualBox. Again, nothing special with the installation. Remember the location where you install it. Keep it generic, organized and simple.

You can find VirtualBox here: https://www.virtualbox.org/

3. Go to the command prompt by typing “cmd“.

4. Using the command prompt, change folders and go to the Vagrant folder. On my computer, it is here: c:\vagrant\vagrant\bin

5. Initialize Vagrant: at the command prompt, type this: vagrant init

6. Set up the VirtualBox path, so that Vagrant knows where it is, and can set up boxes at your beck and command. On my machine, I did this, based on my VirtualBox path:

set path=%path%;c:/Program Files/Oracle/VirtualBox

7. Set up the base box as follows:

vagrant box add base http://files.vagrantup.com/lucid32.box

The reference for this is here: http://garysieling.com/blog/fixing-the-box-base-could-not-be-found-vagrant

You are all set! You can now set up as many virtual boxes as possible. You can read all about that in the VirtualBox documentation.

If this post was helpful, or if you had issues, do leave a comment…

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A design challenge or a mole hill that looked like a mountain? – Flash Movies and the Firefox Browser

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

One of the main aims for Designably is to serve as an online portal for free design and engineering education. The goals are lofty, I know, but I wanted to throw content out there, as much as a single guy with ADD can :).  And, with this aim, I downloaded “Question Writer”, a nice little software that helps you create simple multiple choice tests. It took me about 20 minutes or so to think through a few questions and create a test. I was able to publish it out to html in no time.

Pleased with myself, I uploaded it, tested it, and then – decided to circumscribe my site’s basic css design around it. A few hoops later, I decided to use a server side include for the quiz. Then, disaster struck!

The test contained in an Adobe Shockwave Flash Object loaded just fine on IE and even on Chrome. But Firefox and Opera would not do be me any such favors. Specifically, the flash quiz loaded too small as you can see in this image (opens in new window):

http://designably.com/blog/images/screenshot-before.jpeg

I spent a few hours blaming my CSS for it. I went through the sheet up and down, left and right..well you get the picture. And then, I scrubbed the html high and low…I finally landed on this website:

http://www.actionscript.org/forums/showthread.php3?t=82685

After tussling with everything, I came across the “Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t” solution.

1.  If according to the standards you included:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">

then Firefox told you to go stuff it that it was not going to allow flash objects to a reasonable site.

2. If on the other hand,  if you violate the first thing in Web standards, then of course, things work out. That is, you either delete that line above the html tag, or comment it out. Life’s like that I suppose.

Anyway, here are the end results:

http://designably.com/education/quiz/fundamental/index.shtml

I guess you could say it was a “mole hill” and not a mountain. However, it did piss me off to Kingdom come.

What kind of a browser would demand you violate web standards to allow you to play a simple animation?

And guess what, it still won’t work in Opera…!

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