• Dev Camp day 4

    Luke Canvin Blog Post

    With all of the app’s basics in place, day four was pretty much just hard slog working on the nitty gritty. Slowly through the day pieces began to fall into place: The Backbone router was added and the application broken up into separate “pages” when the user clicks through the various entities to complete their questionnaire. The first drafts of the drag and drop controls were added, allowing users to place items on a grid corresponding to some sort of[...]

  • HTML5 canvas, drag and drop and two new types of control

    Mariusz Plaskowicki Blog Post

    Before we began the Dev Camp we had a few interesting discussions about what we thought would be interesting interfaces to display to an end user. When we settled on creating a questionnaire app we started to think what kind of controls we could use to ask the questions. It was obvious that we should use some standard controls like text boxes, check boxes or radio buttons but we also wanted to use some advanced controls. Our first choice was[...]

  • Dev Camp day 3

    Luke Canvin Blog Post

    Day three saw out application begin to take shape. The User Interface Now that the Twitter Bootstrap CSS framework had been made responsive, it was ready to slot into the solution. Bootstrap will fit pretty cleanly into most web applications provided there isn’t a fixed markup yet as it does mandate a basic structure to make the best use of its classes. Up until now, the UI had been functional, but not styled, so there was no problem with adapting[...]

  • Follow our developers at Dev Camp

    Laura Walton Blog Post

    Day 1 was spent settling in and setting up in the beautiful cotswolds. After supper and before turning in, they get stuck into business splitting up the application tasks thus: Server-side – RavenDB and ASP.Net MVC – Mariusz and Neil Client-side – Backbone.js and HTML5 – Tomasz (and Andrew, when he arrives) UX – CSS framework(s) and JavaScript – Luke They will do a fair bit of pair programming before moving on to parallel development after getting the basics done.[...]

  • CoffeeScript anyone?

    Tomasz Agurkiewicz Blog Post

    What is CoffeeScript? It’s a little language that compiles into JavaScript. And it’s so much simpler to write and look at than original Javascript. And the best part of it? Underneath it all it is still pure JavaScript! I have to admit I was a bit sceptical at first. After looking at the documentation the syntax looked funky, and I thought that I would have to install a compiler, then run it every time I want to have a working[...]

  • Making Twitter Bootstrap responsive

    Luke Canvin Blog Post

    The previous post on rapid, responsive UI development left us at a point where I had settled on trying out Twitter’s Bootstrap CSS framework for our app’s interface, but wanted to investigate the possibility of making it responsive to various device/browser sizes; something it does not yet do natively. CSS3 Media Queries A quick aside on media queries to illuminate the core mechanic behind responsive web design. Media queries are CSS commands that can be used to define a set[...]

  • Dev Camp day 2

    Luke Canvin Blog Post

    With signs of Andrew being able to join us not looking great, we put on a brave face and got into some serious development. You can read what I got up to with CSS Frameworks, and what Neil & Mariusz achieved with ASP.Net MVC and RavenDB. We found a little time after lunch to take a break from staring at our screens and went for a walk around the lakes in the estate.

  • Creating a REST API with ASP.Net MVC and RavenDB

    Mariusz Plaskowicki Blog Post

    With the second day of our dev camp coming to an end it’s time to summarise our server side work.  I’ve been working with Neil on setting up the server side part of the application while Tomasz was working on the client side. We decided that we are going to use standard MVC controllers to implement a RESTful service and RavenDB for data storage. RavenDB is a nosql database server, which stores information as JSON “documents”. These documents can have[...]

  • CuPiD – Parkinsons rehabilitation and telemedicine

    Laura Walton Blog Post

    Dr John Boyle, MD, and Dr Reynold Greenlaw, Senior Project Manager are attending the CuPiD kick-off meeting in Bologna. OCC is involved in a 3 year EU project to provide personalised rehabilitation exercises for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) at home. The project is called “CuPiD” and is powered by an eight member consortium led by the University of Bologna. Cupid will develop and test a combination of services for at home rehabilitation and training of major motor impairments caused[...]

  • Rapid, responsive UI development

    Luke Canvin Blog Post

    One of the most common time-sinks in starting up a new project is the time spent on forming the basic framework for the UI – the CSS files, class names and fundamental styles for the app. As with the JavaScript frameworks we discussed before, the community has responded with a range of open source CSS frameworks to help. CSS frameworks take many shapes and forms, and almost as many developers would argue against, rather than for, them, saying that they[...]

  • Dev Camp Day 1

    Luke Canvin Blog Post

    Our day started at the OCC office with the five of us making a fantastic mess on one of the meeting-room whiteboards getting down our ideas for the domain model of the questionnaire app we are planning to build. After much discussion, especially around the issue of making the application robust vs. doing more interesting things, we settled on our model. Essentially a very simple pairing of Questionnaires as sets of Questions along with their types, and Responses as sets[...]

  • Choosing a JavaScript framework

    Luke Canvin Blog Post

    One of the most important elements of a modern web application is the JavaScript that powers the client-side interactions. It is what gives us AJAX for subtle server interaction; powerful manipulation of the web page’s structure; and attractive animations and effects that users come to expect from high-quality web sites. All that JavaScript can lead to a mess of script files, functions and variables, which becomes harder to manage as the application advances. To combat this a range of JavaScript[...]

  • Project tools

    Luke Canvin Blog Post

    Choosing the right tools to support a team working on an application is pretty important – they need to be a good fit to the way the devs are used to working, but in this case need to offer the flexibility and be very lightweight; we do not have time to spend filling in fields in feature-heavy project management tools. Development Environment At OCC we specialise in Microsoft languages and frameworks. The majority of our software is produced through Visual[...]

  • Forming the idea for an app

    Luke Canvin Blog Post

    Based on our requirements, we batted a few ideas back and forth before settling on a web application that will allow a user to fill in forms/questionnaires/assessments that will continue to work when the user is offline. The form would be made up of data recording objects ranging from simple sliders and data entry fields to complex canvas-based controls, sketchpads and multi-user interactions. This idea gives us a simple way of scaling the scope of what we create to the time we[...]