FW: VBA and JSON – is it worth it? XML vs JSON

It seems we have to turn on a reference to a Library of some sort. XML is a standard that works and is established. I am obsessed with Dictionaries so I always have to reference c:WindowsSystem32scrrun.dll (Microsoft Scripting Library). Over the years, updates etc are different from computer to computer – so the question is – Angular etc. use JSON services which are SOOOO easy to generate – but is VBA keeping up? It might. Lets take a look at some research ·

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Reducing bandwidth on your website

So recently I have been getting bandwidth warnings on two of my top reaching websites. Why? Well, it is because of WordPress plug ins. Not all are optimized and not all features are enabled on the websites that could make them optimal. So lets find out what can help. Continue reading

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Integrating ASP app – Users and more users, more permissions and 401s

When you integrate a site onto its final server – things with windows get hairy. Here are some notes to get out of trouble

  • seeing a 401 for anonymous user? Are your permissions for IUSR set to read, write, execute (ref)? This is for anonymous user. For a dynamic user, then you have to add permissions for NetworkService (see small note in this reference) (6.1 – or see this article for 7.5). For this, I had an account called (built in account: ApplicationPoolIdentity – this not correct – I will keep digging)
    • you might also require the group IIS_IUSRS to have read, write, execute. It depends on your version of IIS (see this link – this is succinct)
    • ensure BOTH the user accessing the page and the AppPoolIdentity user BOTH have NTFS permissions set to the directory and subsequent web pages (reference) Continue reading
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Relocate WordPress website or folder – straightforward text edits will not do it – tools are required

I found a great article and tool to get started, but it took many attempts to finally move or relocate WordPress website or folder from http://elbsolutions.com/chadtest to the almost final position of http://smartcar.websitewelcome.com/~wccogca . Since it was quite frustrating, I thought I would blog about it for other people who can benefit. Steps were:

  1. get temp website running moved over to final home (from http://www.elbsolutions.com/chadtest to http://smartcar.websitewelcome.com/~wccogca its temporary home before DNS change over)
  2. switch website completely to another (DNS change) and
  3. finalize the website at it’s new home in proper place (proper www address).  but the address will be http://www.wccog.ca – but the files in 2. are in the correct spot already.

With these ideas, I hope you can move your site over as well. Read the comments in the article by Rachel below – I think there are some even easier tools, but this one has some plugins and a theme that made this a bit of a pain.

If there is a typo, please comment so others can benefit from the corrections. It takes a second 🙂 Good luck.

So, first Continue reading

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Adding jQuery to Report Services – (Make parameter field bigger is the reason for doing this in this article)

There are really 2 concepts here which is the reason for the long title. First, adding jQuery to Report Services means hacking 2 install files (.aspx files) of Report Services. If you don’t have someone who has access to the server that is hosting the web pages, it might be hard to get this done. Your IT department might say ‘no way’ but this problem is well known for RS 2008 up to the current – so it is really not a risk – if it breaks, simply fix it – most likely it will never need fixing especially if you are using an older version of RS which is by this point mature. Next to address the width – this article helped. Here is how I did it and who helped me (urls in the code and the links above)… Continue reading

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How to publish a Paypal button in WordPress and not have it change with a re-publish

Publishing Paypal buttons or other HTML code into your wordpress blog works great the first time, but upon subsequent saves, it can be downright frustrating because the HTML you pasted into the HTML view gets changed. With a simple abstraction using a snippet tool/plugin like HTML Snippet (XYZ Html), the code you intended can stay right in the article each time.

Watch this Youtube Video – it was written for one of my customers. But the basics are:

  1. In Paypal, make a paypal button & copy the button’s HTML code
  2. In you wordpress blog’s HTML Snippet (aka XYZ Html), copy the code and give the snippet a unique name
  3. Paste into your blog or article, the snippet tag/line/code (copy and paste it from the list of snippets)
  4. Publish your blog or article
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Installing IIS and ASP.NET – installing things so you can get your website up and running

I have gotten a lot of issues of tinkering with IIS solved before – but never have I written anything down and I have never installed it from scratch. Now, I have to do these steps again so this time I will write them down for myself and others. I will not be using the default website.  I am doing so on Windows 7. Note that this is on the Intranet – so security is NOT my main focus although it is on my mind while setting it up but I am not going to be crazy on that in this discussion – just mention a few thing here or there that you might want to think about. This is where I started from a tutorial standpoint – but I am going back to this once I am done. There is a great MS tutorial in the 1st link in the install section below.

UPDATE: This little step of registering IIS (aspnet_regiis.exe -I) after install has gotten me SOOO many times. ALWAYS do this – see this link.

Install MS Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web

  • download from Microsoft and follow the instructions
  • http://www.asp.net/web-forms – great tutorial site too
  • register it, MS says its free but you have to register – ok – no issues
  • you will require a reboot

Install IIS

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Using Smart Youtube Plugin

Adding to the sidebar? See the first set of instructions. Adding to a post (article) or a page? See the 2nd set of instructions.

Common info

For you – simply insert a normal weblink for a youtube video. For example, an seminar promo video for a seminar called “IMPRESSION” has a youtube link of :

Where it says below to change http to httpv – there are MORE options and they are listed at the following link – scroll down about 1/2 way cause the stuff at the top is promo fluff.


First – what NOT to click on or change – I warned you

One of my customers clicked on the obvious link – Smart Youtube Settings  on the left of the wordpress admin section. Don’t do it – you will be sorry (you have been warned 😉 )! This is for geeks only … but then why do they make it so tempting to click on? I don’t know – one of life’s ironies. Simply do follow the instructions below and you will be better off – get a geek to fiddle with the Smart Youtube Settings area. 🙂

Sidebar additions:

To add a Smart Youtube link to your sidebar or long vertical area on the right of all your pages (“Primary Sidebar”) you would do the steps below. Remember – you might have a few sidebars (like a blog sidebar) you want to add the video to – do these steps for all sidebars.

  1. log into your site’s admin or back end http://www.yoursite.com/wp-admin
  2. on the far left, click the menu Appearance->Widgets
  3. using find, or your eyes, look for “Smart Youtube”. You have scroll down a bit
  4. click “Add”
  5. it now brings you to a place that you have to paste the link like in the email bel
    1. add a title that appears ABOVE the video in the sidebar
    2. THE TRICKY BIT & MAGIC BIT – CHANGE THE http to httpv – so your link will be httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5jIMphTm9w (you have to edit/force it to be this)
    3. Choose the radio button (round check mark like thing) beside “Leadershift Blog, Category”
    4. on the right of this text, use the pulldown marked –Select– and choose the order in which you want it to appear – I think you want #1 (top) so your visitors will see it.
  6. click “Save Widget” at the bottom
  7. If you want finer control over things – go to the webpage below, scroll down to “Installation and Usage” and look at the options that this plugin has. You can control the size, the quality etc. of what is shown. Click this link (same link as given above) to see more options (scroll 1/2 way down first)

ALWAYS preview your work – check it out on all pages that have that sidebar (remeber not all links/menus etc. have the same sidebar).

NOTE – TEACHING MOMENT: – you can have different sidebars for different parts of your site. So when you get into teaching mode, and have blogs/categories for them, you could provide special links for your students – which you would NOT include for your main visitors whom you are trying to get hooked.

Adding to an article (post or page)

  1. log into your back end of your website http://www.yoursite.com/wp-admin
  2. go to the article where you want to insert it
  3. add a link to the video
    1. so first, type some text like “IMPRESSION Video” (You won’t see this text anyways)
    2. next highlight the above phrase
    3. click the chain links button to make a link
  4. paste your youtube link above into the box labelled “URL”
  5. THE TRICKY BIT & MAGIC BIT – CHANGE THE http to httpv – so your link will be httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5jIMphTm9w
  6. click Link button at the bottom
  7. If you want finer control over things – go to the webpage below, scroll down to “Installation and Usage” and look at the options that this plugin has. You can control the size, the quality etc. of what is shown. Click this link (same link as given above) to see more options (scroll 1/2 way down first)
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Never include your email in an article – or anyone else’s email either if you can

We often write email addresses into our email articles online whether it is our blog, comments or website pages we build. Web-bots (Robots) scour web pages and those that link to them 24/7 looking for email addresses and use them to spam us and others. That is the main reason.

Other reasons are if you put a link to your email and people click on it – what if they are hotmail or yahoo or gmail users? On a PC, it will by default start up Outlook Express (older computers) or Outlook which usually isn’t set up for these types of users. Mac will start up “Mail” which again might not be set up for our all-online friends. Will these customers figure it is not worth contacting you because it is too much hassle or they don’t have time right ow to log in to their online service? Having a link to a page/link called “Contact Us” instead of your email address allows seamless integration and natural navigation to people contacting you.

For the same reasons – do not include other people’s email addresses either (the ‘golden rule’ applies for you and your friends). Their spam count will go up as well.

So what do we do instead?

a) make a Contact Me or Contact Us page with an online form (continued below)

b) if you HAVE TO (like you should on your linked in summary) use me.at.mycompany.com or me – at – mycompany.com form of your email address. Yes, it can be simply scraped but using ~ or # or * as the symbols, it is less likely to get picked up

Make a contact me page on your website (all webpage makers, Joomla or WordPress have this pre-installed), and link to that. Always put a link with “Contact Us” which is the standard for almost all websites. For example, all my customers who fill their own content in online, all have been set up with a contact-us page. That is a form in which you can enter your information / email / request with all the reasons for your customers to contact you. If you have your local web-geek doing this for you or you are doing it yourself, please ensure (s)he puts a CAPTCHA on the page as well so the computer knows it is a human and not a computer. I have one on my site with random simple math the person has to do, others have a word phrase that has to be entered etc.

How do get the link to this Contact Us page to copy/paste in? The easy way is to open a new internet tab or window, click on the contact us link on that page and copy the link all the way from http to the end. Then paste it into your article using the link button. It is that simple. If you have WordPress or Joomla there is a search box – just type in “contact” (assuming your link/article has the word ‘contact’ in it) and wait … up it comes in the list. Click on it and you are linked.

Always test any pages that have links so you stay looking professional.

I am always looking out for your best interest – keep these things in mind and avoid a little less spam and a few more contacts from customers or friends.

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my Offline Web App – applicationCaching and manifest files in html5. IT WORKS TOO!

My Need: I tried to make my own iOS app that would take html, scrape the links, get and store the data, change the links and cache a new html file.

OK – as usual – someone already solved that problem (it always happens).

Here are some AWESOME links to help me build my solution – I am SURE you will find them beyond helpful like I did..

Why this app: Something so I can not have to count on my wifi or 3G when reading parent/kid teaching material because we might be camping, or most of the time- JUST out of reach of the wifi and we are lying in bed. 3 year old don’t have patience for you to get in range, start up facebook … again type your group name in only to find that the links on the wall are outdated. I have 3 kids in 3 different age groups. I need something that is JUST GOING TO WORK when I need it to work. And it does – nice.

Design thoughts, steps and resources that you can use too: I want an app that is offline – well html5 has a solution already AND IT WORKS and there are some really smart guys with a lot of good material. Let me bookmark the ones that got me going

  1. installed a wordpress site
  2. got a blank or simple html5 template that I could hack (or build into is what I actually did). I read this book a while back.
  3. in my plugin in I added some code to call my new template and I requested a manifest file with the &manifest=1 GET parameter
    1. this then calls the single.php page which, when it sees the &manifest=1 goes and
    2. calls a new header called header-manifest.php and I=
    3. make the template also redirect to single-manifest.php which together
    4. spits out the manifest headers with
      Content-type: text/cache-manifest
    5. Read more about what to spit out with these links
      1. Offline Web Applications – Dive Into HTML5
      2. How to create offline webapps on the iPhone | The CSS Ninja – All things CSS, JavaScript & HTML
      3. This is start to my app which uses what these guys do with javascript so you can SEE or understand what is going on. THESE GUYS ROCK – the client javaScript side needs to be working to monitor progress for your users. Read the comments below and you can see you only need to do an ajax query to the local cached version of your html manifest file (that is cool too) so you don’t have to fetch 3 times from the server
        1. fetch 1 – the page
        2. fetch 2 – the same page but ransacked for all the pdf links and other resources to cache
        3. fetch 3 – not required any longer due to buddy’s comment in the above link – but a pull of the manifest file to do some regex’s and get the # of manifest items so you can see your progress.
      4. To include jQuery – use this link from google
      5. Some stuff from Apple Safari Web Content Guide: Storing Data on the Client
        1. apple  / iOS has some issues with putting the UIWebView and getting the app cache to cache all files. I think I need to increase the cache. For now, I have it opening up Safari and it works great. Here is what might work: Link1, Link2, Link3. These guys seem to have got it to work – I need to get my app out and working.
    6. It works and works great. Click on this link and see the top data (my stuff) loading and the app cache stuff loading live. At the time of writing this, the bottom of the page is quite texty. I need to jQuery it to get it snazzy and graphical.
    7. Turn off the wireless (enter the airplane mode) and keep browsing the links. AMAZING!

      This is the file that gets scraped for the links into a manifest file which is a list of the resources that get cached - offline. Pics too.

      This is the file that gets scraped for the links into a manifest file which is a list of the resources that get cached – offline. Pics too.

The geekery that makes it work - the text version. jQuery to come

The geekery that makes it work – the text version. jQuery to come

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