Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My personal website

Last couple of days, I have been working on my website(http://nwillems.dk). As a little Christmas project, I decided to fix my website. So here is the steps I took to make it.

For a while, I have been running my "old" computer as a server. Its running Ubuntu Server Edition, and doing good. I have had a DynDNS hooked up to my router so I could access my home from anywhere.

In this post I will just describe what I have done, not any code. That I will show off in the next couple of posts.

But then I found out that my DNS provider(GratisDNS) is offering a service similar. Eager to try it, I worked it out with a little cron job and all, very nice. All it took was the cron job to run half hourly and then pointing to a script with a simple curl command.

Next up, making something useful. At work I have been playing around with jQuery and Blueprint, so these tools was the obvious choice. The former site on the server just displayed a dumb map of my latitude, and for a long time I have wanted to do something cooler. Also I would like to incorporate this blog into the site.

So the requirements suddenly grew, to this:

  1. Show a little personal information
  2. Show latitude - in some cool way
  3. Make blog available
  4. Show off - probably just links to projects i work on/in.
Layout was done quick and easy with blueprint, three columns with some fancy headings. Adding the content is a bit harder, since I'm no writer, its still on the todo.

I had been struggling with the latitude public location badge JSON, so I started of with my blog. I found a nifty little article[1] about making a feed widget with jQuery, and found something I have to write more about, YQL(Yahoo! Query Language). This smart feature provided by Yahoo! is so nice, and I almost instantly had my blog feed on the site.


Almost blown away by awesomeness, I immediately attacked on the latitude public location badge. Thinking, since jQuery tells me that JSON has no problem with cross-site security, i can just fetch it as I do with my browser through jQuery. But NO!, and I still don't know why, after ½ a days work on the irritating latitude thingy. I decided to use my new best friend YQL, and boom shagalang, it was there. Then I extracted the latitude and longitude from the response and added to the map.

And voila - I now have a decent website.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.

[1] = http://tutorialzine.com/2010/02/feed-widget-jquery-css-yql/
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