Category: Development

Various articles, public code and other developer resources.

Phonetic Alphabet Fun

I spent more than a little time learning about the history and multiple styles of phonetic alphabets when putting together DP_AlphaWords (which supports eight different standards plus a couple of just-for-fun additions). I’m not an expert, but I’m definitely an interested amateur.

So when a reader by the name of Lurie brought The Phonetic Alphabet according to Google – 2015 to my attention, I was intrigued. Eliran Ouzan of collated all of the single-letter search suggestions from each of the regional editions of Google and created an interesting infographic of the results.

So, for example, instead of saying “Whisky Tango Foxtrot” when things get odd, you might just say “Walmart Target Facebook”. I considered adding it to DP_AlphaWords, but as I’m lazy and this is bound to change regularly, I decided against it.

Still, its an interesting exercise, even if it does reveal some potentially uncomfortable things about the power of branding and global marketing.

Adding Lync or Sametime Presence Awareness to SharePoint

SharePoint Logo

When Sharepoint and Lync instant messaging are installed in the same environment, SharePoint will automatically add Lync presence awareness icons (indicating availability) to “people” links. However sometimes you may want to add presence awareness to arbitrary names or email groups, or provide similar functionality for those forced to use Lotus Sametime. This article will cover several ways to accomplish this.


SharePoint Scripting Basics: Master Pages, Caching and Loading Scripts

SharePoint Logo

SharePoint is a functional, feature-rich platform, but there is definitely room for improvement. In this article, I’ll cover some of the basic issues and solutions that you may run into when attempting to extend SharePoint with client-side scripting. It will primarily serve as a reference point for future articles where I would otherwise risk repeating myself.


ARS Explores Hated Design Trends

After Windows Phone 7 design (but not commercial) success, everybody has gone flat. It may have taken Apple longer than most, but they’re getting there, and the next iteration of Android will be the flattest yet. Ars Technica explores some of the downsides of this movement in “The software design trends that we love to hate“.

I agree with the completely on most points, even if I feel that the complaints about all the all caps menu in Microsoft Ribbon-based applications is a little… excessive. Still, it’s a good reminder that nothing is perfect and tastes do change. Every advance is accompanied by it’s own issues and problems.

DP_DateExtensions Update

I recently received a tweet from @denndk with a very reasonable question about my JavaScript date extensions, DP_DateExtensions:

@kiwidust Just used your DateExtension lib. I see that quarterhours and businessdays in the add method is not implemented. why in the docs?

To be fair I did implement the methods. I just implemented them terribly.

First off, the “quarterhours” (and “halfhours” as well) were mistakenly calculating quarter and half minutes, not hours. Simple fix for a really dumbass mistake. Unfortunately the second issue was even dumbassier.

You see I originally released the component – and kept releasing updates for it for over six years – with no actual code in the “businessdays” calculation for the add() method. It was just plain empty. Last February I got an email mentioning this and so I fixed it. Then, a scant two months later I published an older version of the component to GitHub that didn’t have it. A year later I get a tweet.

You should be able to recognize two things: 1) nobody uses this, and 2) I’m an idiot.

In any case the component has been corrected (again) and uploaded to GitHub.

“Mother of All Demos” by Douglas Engelbart

On December 9th, 1968 Douglas Engelbart finally gave an extended public demonstration of the personal computing system that he and his team had been working on for over five years and planning about for over a decade. The demo, later and rightfully remembered as the “Mother of All Demos“, would present, albeit primitively, nearly every important aspect of modern computing decades before they entered the consciousness of the general public.

The “oN-Line System”, or “NLS”, was a comprehensive hardware/software platform that was designed from the ground-up to provide real-world solutions to common problems. Although known primary as the debut of the computer mouse as a tool to modify on-screen information the demo also incorporated a massive number of other long-lasting innovations. On-screen editing, multi-tasking and window management, hypermedia and object linking, live (and wireless) video teleconferencing and remote presence collaboration were all presented, not as theory, but as full-fledged, working solutions.

Amazingly, considering the massive amount of hardware and custom tools being used, the demonstration went off without technical incident. Granted this was before the invention of the blue-screen. There’s more at MouseSite, dedicated to remembering the history of this amazing work.


Accessing SharePoint Lists with Visual Basic for Applications

SharePoint LogoSharePoint has many useful integration points with Microsoft Office out-of-the-box, but for truly deep integration you have to roll-up your sleeves and dig into some code. While there are multiple methods to do this, one of the most versatile is leveraging SharePoint’s many web services directly via Visual Basic for Applications. For those, like me, that lack SharePoint Designer access, this is often the only method available.

This method can be used in any application that supports VBA. This includes all the standard MS Office applications – Word, Excel and PowerPoint – but also other applications such as my favorite drawing suite, CorelDraw, or Autodesk AutoCAD. These examples were developed against SharePoint 2010 and MS Office 2010, but should also work in the 2007 and 2013 versions.


Lotus Notes Tribunal, Exhibit 001-N: “Notes Does the Opposite of what Sanity Would Dictate”

A Depressed Press SeriesPart 14 of 15 of The Lotus Notes Tribunal

Lotus Notes is a crime against humanity. In exhibit 001-N we see that Notes knows more than it’s telling.

Every once in a while you’ll open an email. Like you do. Most of the time Notes does this as it normally does: it takes too long, mangles the formatting and destroys attachments; all absolutely normal for Notes. But sometimes you’ll be interrupted with a message like this:

One or more of the source documents attachments are missing. Run Fixup to delete the document in the source database.


Announcing DP_SharePoint

SharePoint LogoI’ve published the initial version of my JavaScript library, DP_SharePoint, designed to make working with client-side SharePoint development easier.  Still in development, the library provides:

  • Methods to acquire JavaScript handlers to SharePoint form controls and fields. This make it much simpler to interrogate or add event handlers to SharePoint forms.
  • Simple methods to add or remove events from SharePoint form elements.
  • Simple methods to hide and show elements of SharePoint forms.
  • Methods to simplify the calling and use of SharePoint web services and ready the data returned from them for use.

The library should be considered (very) beta but I am using it in a heavily trafficked production development.  I’ve got lots of plans for this, as I’m in a position to do a lot of SharePoint development over the next few months or years (all without access to SharePoint Designer or any back-end support).

Comments, criticisms or suggestions are always welcome!