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Category: Tutorial Page 1 of 2

Setup Django on OS X

Installing Django on OS X is just as easy as any other Python library or framework. It is just a one line command as it is described in the Django documentation. But if you have an all-new OS X system, you don’t have all the tools installed. Pip is not part of the standard system, but installing also straightforward and you just have to follow the documentation. This post is a reminder for all the steps.

To download the pip-installer, the preferred way on OS X is by using curl:

curl -O https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py

You can install pip using this installer. Be aware that you’ll need the administrator privileges.

sudo python get-pip.py

Now you can install Django as it is described in the documentation which was version 1.7.1 at the time of writing this post.

sudo pip install Django==1.7.1

You can finally check if the installation is successful in a Python console

>>> import django
>>> print(django.get_version())
1.7.1

As you see, no tricks here. All the documentations are correct so everything should be ready in less than 5 minutes. Hope that if you find this post, it will have saved you the extra minute to search trough the different docs.

Using the Dropbox SDK with Android Studio and Gradle

Dropbox DeveloperDropbox provides a set of interesting online services. Last year, they released a nice feature, the Datastore API. The documentation is good, but meant for using with Eclipse. If like me, you are using Android Studio, you will have to look for some more steps to make this working.

I gathered all of them into this single post.

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Be efficient in your shell command trough outputs

I just read a tutorial about configuring Apache where you had to create a conf file based on your username. The tutorial reminded that you can get your username trough the whoami command. So this is the two commands you should issue.

whoami
touch username.conf

Two commands and a copy & past. Not cool as there is a far easier way. Remember that you can get the result of a command while using Bash. Historically, it was trough the backticks, but today, $(…) is preferred. So, rather than two lines and a copy & past, prefer this single line

touch $(whoami).conf

This way, you don’t have to worry about the username. Even better, ou can use this in a shell script.

Android, how to programmatically get a ressource

BIG T3 view

On BIG T3, the flags are resources loaded dynamically.

This was my problem: in the application Brothers In Games T3, I needed to display some images depending on a parameter. Those images are country flags and are the one of the country where the event is located. Those flags images are resources stored in the app. Their name is standardized with the country ISO code.

Now, how to load a resource when you have to compose its name ? I mean something more elegant than a brute if country then load resource elsif other country…

Fortunately, Android offers an elegant and easy way to do so, but maybe not that obvious, so lets see how it works.

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Easily delete jpg files when shooting RAW+jpg

As a photographer, I always shoot in RAW files. But unfortunately, my Canon G11 cannot be set for only RAW files. If I want a RAW file, it will be a RAW+jpg. So, I always have to get ride of the jpgs once unloaded on my computer. In the easiest scenario, I could just delete all the jpgs files once exported.

But the G11 is the family camera. My wife sometimes shoot in the green square mode. When set to the green square, there is no RAW file, only jpg. So if I unload the pictures, I cannot just delete the jpgs as I will delete those pictures which exists only as jpgs.

I could check every file and delete it by hand, but we use computers, they should do the job. Actually, the job can be done by a 10 lines shell script.

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Referencing a local aar file in Android Studio

If you have created a library in Android Studio, you certainly want to use it in another project. The easiest way should be to create the aar file and then reference it from your new project. Prior to Android Studio 0.4.4, referencing local aar files was not supported as you can see from Xavier Ducrohet or in this issue report.

But there is an easy workaround for this. Lets see what we have to do, lets say, after you’ve created a stand alone library.

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Date manipulation curse from Java in Android

Java does certainly have the reputation of the worst date manipulation features. This all comes with the bad designed Calendar API. Hopefully, there are better third-party APIs and if you have to manipulate dates, moment, times… You certainly prefer JodaTime. From my point of view, it’s a no brainer.

I was working on a date picker for an Android project and found that the SDK provided a set of convenient methods and interfaces. But this lead to a little bug in the interface, a little shift in the displayed date. Of course, this comes from the old Java Calendar API curse and from a lack of precision in the documentation.

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Parsing RSS feed from an Android device

When it comes to RSS feed parsing, any Java developer will use the org.xml.sax library. But Android provides a nice wrapper that simplifies the code without sacrificing the performances. This wrapper is present since API level 1 and is the easiest way to write a simple parser for any XML.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to parse a RSS feed using the android.sax package. I’ll use Geek Garage’s feed. As any XML parsing, using the android.sax package, you can ignore the elements you don’t need, so, I’ll only collect some of the items.

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Create a standalone library with Android Studio

As a software developer, you know that reusable ressources should be in libraries. Android is a Java-based technology, so, your library can be a jar file. But if you want to store some Android specific resources, you need to create a Android Library Project.

Google released Android Studio as the main development platform for Android. Android Studio is a packages IntelliJ Idea environment and relies on Gradle for the build management. At the time being, it is a little unclear how to manage a library so this is a first tutorial.

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How to respectfully get your user contact details ?

My app KipinTooch is a kind of contact management app. I created it with the following intentions:

  • Have a better view among the common informations from different contacts.
  • Highlight the relations between contacts.
  • Allow a batch modification for those informations.
  • Help filling informations in a contact card based on similar contacts.

I also wanted the starting point to be the user. So, the app need to gather some informations about the user. But I also wanted the app to be self-sufficient. The app should process data from the phone and everything is done on the phone. No third party social network, no sending to a unknown distant server which would do its magic. This is what I call to be respectful: the user private data remains private and on its device.

This mean that if you want to provide the user some similar informations, you can only rely on what’s on the device. In this post, I will show you how you can gather those informations.

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