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Development Error-Free Python, Except Everywhere


Error-Free Python, Except Everywhere

I’ve worked with many software developers who would rate themselves high on the scale of conscientiousness. And that’s a good thing, as codifying best practices and gaining order from chaos is what keeps us from driving ourselves or our co-workers mad. Some developers even consider themselves ‘engineers', minus the certifications or legal liability. I’d guess that is because it implies a sense of professionalism and discipline.

This mindset extends beyond writing organized, error-free code. We often seek predictability in our development environments and automated deployments. We know how to clean a dataset or properly encoded media files. But as orderly as we might be, our software is used in the real-world by people who may not be as analytical or thorough.

Community iBeacon Use Cases


iBeacon Use Cases

Apple’s iBeacon micro-location technology is brimming with potential, but most people have yet to realize its value. I’ve enjoyed talking with our clients about how they can put iBeacon technology to work. I thought sharing a few use cases would help make more clear the potential power and benefit of iBeacons.

Development Client Admin for Django


Client Admin for Django

Concentric Sky recently open sourced version 1.0 of Client Admin, the Django admin interface we use as a basis for most of the Django projects we're involved in. I'm going to review a bit of background on the built-in Django admin interface, then talk about what we've done with Client Admin and where we'd like to take it in the future.

Design Smile Global V2 @ UNESCO MLW


Smile Global V2 @ UNESCO MLW

In January of 2014, we completed work for SMILE Consortium. SMILE, dedicated to bringing the best in pedagogical theory and implementation to classrooms around the world, was referred to Concentric Sky by Gooru Learning, another partner of Concentric Sky. SMILE focuses on improving education in developing countries through the synthesis of hardware and software. The SMILE Plug, a last-mile hardware solution, allows remote classrooms to project a local WiFi network. This network connects devices in a classroom to the knowledge archive stored on the Plug, opening up troves of information learners can use to craft and tinker with home-spun curriculums. Furthermore, the network serves as the transport vehicle for Smile Global.



A Custom Django Widget

Writing a custom admin widget can be a little tricky, due to the way that form data is handled. In order to minimize your trouble, I would highly recommend extending an existing widget if at all possible. It may save you a lot of trouble, since Django has a lot of custom labeling and logic to create, populate, validate, and submit admin forms. Once you have a functional baseline, any custom behavior can overwrite the defaults.



Libations Goes to Brew Fest

Local, and not so local, brewers are coming together tonight and through the weekend at the Lane Events Center for the 2014 KLCC Microbrew Festival. The annual festival, a fundraiser for KLCC, is a great local event and a once-a-year opportunity to sample a massive assortment of beers.

Community Introducing Libations


Introducing Libations

Until recently, I often found myself at The Bier Stein sampling craft beers, liking some, disliking others, and hoping that I can remember which beers I liked and which beers I disliked. I also found myself in a similar situation with wine; do I like this varietal, do I like this winery, do I prefer the 2008 Pinot Noir or do I prefer the 2002?



Epic Level Data Migrations with South and Django

The workflow for a data migration in Django with South migrations is relatively simple, and fairly well-documented. The workflow is simple enough to understand, but if you want to do anything more complicated than break your names into first_name and last_name, you'll need some more tools. Recently, I ran into a situation where I needed to condense two entire models into a single super-model that contained all fields from both of the originals.

Community XOXO 2013


XOXO 2013

XOXO is an arts and technology festival held in Portland, Oregon. Many of the excellent conference talks could be of interest to people in any industry. XOXO has generously posted videos of each of the talks, and I've listed them here with XOXO's summary and a brief review of each for someone looking to watch a few.

Community Pensive Reader for Android


Pensive Reader for Android

We at Concentric Sky mourned the loss of Google Reader when, in July, Google permanently retired the product. Google Reader was the RSS reader of choice for many on the Concentric Sky team and a race to find alternative solutions commenced. Many of us migrated our subscriptions to Feedly, a popular and often recommend service, but one of our developers was looking for something with a little less flash - a reader that delivered the simple in Really Simple Syndication (RSS).

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