Archive for the ‘apps’ Category


October 6, 2019 Leave a comment

I use as my general diagram drawing tool for capturing ideas, overview diagrams, etc.

Both the online version and offline app (electron based) are free.

The company behind it successfully makes money via Confluence plugin licenses.

I like the feature set and ease of use.

Adoption (vs former market leader Gliffy) is trending.

And it’s Open Source! :)

Categories: apps Tags: ,

Testing HTML5 / CSS3 editor BlueGriffon

July 21, 2017 Leave a comment

I used to use the now-outdated Mozilla based editor Kompozer, which was a bug-fix fork of Nvu.

Today I realized that in the meantime (since 2015) the Nvu author Daniel Glazman has developed BlueGriffon, an Open Source next-generation Web Editor based on the current rendering engine of Firefox.

I just installed it on Windows at work and my Debian laptop at home and plan to give it a try.

If it is easy to use and generates clean standards-compliant code, I might use it for Web UI mock-ups and other prototyping. :)

Categories: apps, coding, css, firefox, gui, html Tags: ,

Copenhagen Wheel – awesome hybrid bicycle motor with mobile app support

January 30, 2014 1 comment

This was done by City of Kopenhagen and MIT in Boston. It looks really cool and Boston is not that far from Halifax. Maybe it’s time for a visit:

Categories: apps, coding, hardware

Using libgdx for cross-platform app development

January 28, 2014 7 comments

I am looking for a framework that allows me to develop modern apps (mobile, web, desktop) all from one Java codebase. I prefer Java because I know it very well, it is already cross-platform and a statically typed language that allows IntelliJ, Eclipse and Netbeans to be better than any dynamically typed scripting language editor could ever be.

Currently my favorite is libgdx. I am planning to use it with IntelliJ Community Edition and with Maven.

By using RoboVM, libgdx even supports iOS.

For user input (forms) libgdx provides the scene2d.ui widgets. I hope that will be sufficient for most of my UIs. Now I just have to get OpenGL to work on my Linux box …

Categories: apps, games, intellij, java, maven Tags: ,

Make apps4halifax – Hackathon

August 7, 2013 Leave a comment

I just registered for the free apps4halifax hackathon, hosted by Volta, the “Halifax Startup House” on Spring Garden Road.

Categories: apps, coding, odoepner Tags:

Make apps4halifax – Intro

August 2, 2013 Leave a comment

Halifax Regional Municipality is introducing ‘apps4halifax‘, its first-ever Open Data App Contest. Similar initiatives have been successful in Ottawa, Edmonton and many other cities worldwide.

Residents can submit ideas or code apps using the HRM Open Data catalog. The best submissions may win cash prizes and awards.

The Open Data catalog is implemented using the Socrata Open Data Portal. The SODA 2.0 restful web service API allows developers to query and consume live data from the public data-sets.

The Socrata developer documentation explains how to use queries to endpoints, supported datatypes and response formats.

The currently available data-sets include Crime occurrences, Building types, Buildings, Bus Routes, Bus Stops, Bylaw Areas, Civic Addresses, Community Boundaries, Park Recreation Features, Parks, Polling Districts, Streets, Trails, Transit Times, Waste collections and Zoning Boundaries.

You can construct web service query URLs like this:

You can determine the RESOURCE-ID for a dataset like this:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on a dataset name
  3. Click the “Export” button
  4. Under “Download As”, copy one of the links, e.g. JSON
  5. The resource id is the part of the URL between “views/” and “/rows.json”

As an extremely useful example, you could query fun things like all HRM garbage collections occurring on Wednesdays:’WEDNESDAY’

As a simple and quick way to create web pages that interact with these web services you could use JQuery and its getJSON() function.

I will probably follow up with more posts on this topic soon.

Categories: apps, odoepner Tags: