Practical design!

Practical design does not anticipate what will happen to your application, it merely accepts that something will and that, in the present, you cannot know what. It doesn’t guess the future; it preserves your options for accommodating the future. It doesn’t choose; it leaves you room to move. Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby, Sandi Metz

#bonington – the journey is only beginning.

Today was the concluding session for the #bonington leadership programme at Lancaster University. For those of you who don’t know much about this particular programme, it is aimed at future and aspiring leaders of the University, building our own capacity to lead from within but also to build the workforce that can instigate change, provide challenge, and encourage diversity of thinking. At the end of the session, Lois, our wonderful convener of the programme, asked how we felt in our individual journeys throughout the programme. I will be honest. When we started six months ago, we were a group of skeptical (ok may be partly skeptical) individuals who wanted to know more about leadership and progression. We have now become a group of forward looking, emotionally intelligent and empowered individuals who want to work together in many directions. We have not yet transitioned into effective teams, although there have been glimpses of that throughout as well and we are not far off from reaching that stage. Most importantly, we have formed a network of colleagues that we can call upon, that we can share with, that we can rely upon. I did not realise how emotionally invested I have been

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Leadership – how it all started for me!

Some of you may know that I am currently involved in a leadership program at Lancaster University called the Bonington Programme. The programme intends to enhance performance and develop potential, establishing future leaders for the University and only a handful of people are selected on the programme every year. Being part of this programme made me realise that I have never truly captured my own leadership journey and this is what I will attempt to do in several blog posts. In my opinion, moving up the leadership ladder is a very personal journey. Thinking about it, if I jump back 8 years in this journey, I used to question myself whether leadership is ever right for me? My thinking at the time was leadership comes naturally, you are born with it, I am not sure I am ready for it and importantly, I really enjoy what I do currently. I would have classified myself as a self proclaimed geek, developing library systems, enjoying my job. Development of systems and services can be a challenging role. For me, it was enjoyable yet frustrating. The frustrations often came from not being able to make a difference or change at a strategic level.

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Sencha touch 2 apps and scrolling issue in Chrome/Android

I was revisiting a conference app I developed in Sencha Touch 2.3 (ST from this point onwards), and realised that the scroll for a couple of lists have suddenly stopped working. This was really weird as the scroll used to work fine and nothing has changed on the code side. This made me think whether the issue persists in how Chrome is rendering the list. I checked the same thing in Safari and it was working fine, which made me realise that the issue has to do with Chrome and the way the WebView renders the app on Android. A bit more digging made me realise that Chrome 43+ has caused this issue. There are two solutions to the problem. 1. Upgrade to ST 2.4.2 which resolves the problem. 2. Use a couple of overrides which are available here: http://www.joshmorony.com/the-chrome-43-update-broke-sencha-touch-apps-heres-how-to-fix-it/ I have personally taken option 2, as I want to retain my app on ST 2.3.1. The solution has worked simply out of the box and a big thanks go to Josh Morony.

Repository Fringe 2015

At #rfringe15 – Repository Fringe 2015. Fantastic conference. Also had a chance to speak to DMPOnline team for API development as well as other members of DCC team. Hardy also presented the DMAOnline poster successfully getting the runner up prize.

Hydra as a Digital Asset Management System

We are currently looking for a solution to store the different forms of digital objects/assets that are generated by various researchers/academics/departments/faculties at Lancaster University. The traditional repository model does not feel like it is best suited to accommodate the ever expanding range of digital assets. We are talking about Research Data, Digitised objects, Open Educational Resources, Video and Audio files, Software packages, etc. So we started looking into other appropriate solutions. From my previous experience, I remember Fedora was designed for this very purpose. The hint is in the name, Flexible Extensible Digital Object Repository Architecture. We are really keen on the flexible and extensible aspects. However, experience has also taught me that Fedora can become very complex to manage very quickly. Something, we at Lancaster, can’t afford at this time with our limited resources. At the same time, we are also looking into two wrappers/solutions on top of Fedora, aptly named as Hydra and Islandora. Hydra is based on Rails (Ruby) whereas Islandora is based on Drupal (Php). Considering we have expertise in neither (we are primarily a Django/Python shop), we are open to both solutions, or something else completely. Between Hydra and Islandora, however, it seems like Hydra

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Sencha Touch 2.3, hasMany association, and duplication of store entries

If you are working with Sencha Touch 2.3 (ST from this point onwards), then you may have developed a love/hate relationship with the platform like myself. Some aspects of the framework are great, whereas some others are sadly atrocious. The lack of coherent document, and the wide variety of conflicting information also does not help. In a recent incident, I am using a hasMany association in the model and found a peculiar issue happening. To give you background of the issue, I have a model called Session which has a hasMany relationship with another model called Participant. Both models below: The Session model: Ext.define('MyApp.model.Session', { extend: 'Ext.data.Model', requires: ['MyApp.model.Participant'], config: { idProperty: 'id', fields: [ { name: 'id', type: 'int' }, { name: 'number', type: 'string' }, { name: 'time', type: 'string' }, { name: 'date', type: 'string' }, { name: 'day', type: 'string' }, { name: 'title', type: 'string' }, { name: 'abstract', type: 'string' }, { name: 'track', type: 'string' }, { name: 'room', type: 'string' }, { name: 'building', type: 'string' } ], hasMany: { model: 'MyApp.model.Participant', name: 'participants', primaryKey: 'id', foreignKey: 'session_id', associationKey: 'participants' } } }); The Participant model: Ext.define('MyApp.model.Participant', { extend: 'Ext.data.Model', config: {

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