Changes to the WDECE app since last update

Sheridan Programmers Guild has partnered with Gannett Peak Technical Services of Cheyenne to enable a team of interns based in Sheridan to participate in the Coders of the West internship program.

Hello! Caden here again, with another update on the app we’ve been creating, the WDECE explorer. Since our last post, many additions have been created, coded and pushed to the app. These have expanded on its functionality greatly. One of the more notable of these changes is the ability to edit the display color scheme of the app, from a wide variety of possible options. Some of these include a “Business” color scheme, and several others. Here are some examples: the Default, the Violy, and the WyoPride one.
Continue Reading →

COTW: GeoJSON vs FusionTables with Google Maps API

A Coders of the West Internship Program Update

My name is Tyler DeFeyter and I am a freshman at Sheridan Community College in the Computer Science program as well as a member of the Coders of the West program.

The main project we are working on is the WDECE Career Explorer, which is a program designed to help high school students map out potential careers that they are interested in.

A few weeks ago while working on the WDECE project, we looked into different ways to display county lines onto a Google map. The two main ways we found to do this was either loading GeoJson or importing a Google FusionTable. Continue Reading →

Coders of the West: Introductory Post

Sheridan Programmers Guild has partnered with Gannett Peak Technical Services of Cheyenne to enable a team of interns based in Sheridan to participate in the Coders of the West internship program.

An Introduction to Coders of the West
a State of Wyoming technology internship program

by Caden Masters, Sheridan High School

Hello! My name is Caden Masters, and I am a programming intern for Gannett Peak Technical Services, as part of the Coders of the West initiative in the state of Wyoming! Our project is about fostering coding, programming and technical skills among up and coming Wyoming students who want to succeed in the 21st century coding world. I was brought into this program through a two-week coding “bootcamp” program promoted and advertised at my school, and I was later recruited into an internship as part of this. I, myself, have been assigned primarily to collecting data for projects we’ve done, such as the bus routes on a route app we created. As well, in the later days of the project, I worked a lot on some code created to help parse data on companies I located while looking for places with employment possibility in Wyoming, using python to search documents with our information in it.

As of late, I’ve been creating tools to sample information for a project based on education and employment in Wyoming, and this tool has been a unique project and experience for our team to work on to create content for. The project is focused on employment and corporations in this state, showing information about possible careers in it, from Kennon Aircraft Covers to Steady Stream Hydrology. The aim of this project is to help individuals in Wyoming obtain career guidance on any kind of employment they wish to. We are currently using a unique API designed by the state of Wyoming that stored previously-gathered information on the corporations in Wyoming.

Coders of the West Internship - Fall Semester 2017 Participants

Coders of the West Internship Fall Semester 2016 Participants, L-to-R: Tyler Osborn, Tylor York, Anne Gunn (Mentor, in Halloween attire), Caden Masters, Rylee Smith

How to Code Math in HTML / CSS

A Labor of Love

Seeing HTML was developed by some nerds at CERN, it’s kinda weird that there’s no obvious and simple way to make pretty math with it, right? In developing math learning games for our project Study Putty (“Where the Cool Kids Go to Scrape by on Tests”), I found myself face-to-face with this issue: just how does one code complex math in html?

Math in HTML--Test shot at Study Putty

First, a little background. For those who don’t know, HTML stands for “hat and taco markup language,” because of all the ‘<‘ and ‘>’ you need to use, being that they look like pointy hats or taco shells getting folded. Hence the technical name for this language.

While many fine publishers of Internet content opt to use images to represent expressions, it was my belief that with a little creative HTMLing/CSSing, I could do it in less time than if I had produced static images of the math formulas I needed. Plus, this way the formulas would be guaranteed to match the font and general styling of the page in which they would be displayed, even if that styling should subsequently change. But what about LaTeX, you say? MathJax? Man, ain’t nobody got time to learn that. I’m a web designer, not some nerd or something. Oh, wait. Wait. Yes, I am being informed being a web designer qualifies me.

And also that it is highly suspicious that I know to pronounce LaTeX like LAY-TECH. Continue Reading →

Clean HTML from Word: a Hack

We’ve been exploring ebook production here at Sherprog, and it seems like the best way to produce a high-quality EPUB or MOBI ebook using consumer tools involves starting from HTML. I’ve written about the inadequacies of InDesign’s export to HTML and EPUB, which is a problem many small publishers undoubtedly face. But individuals who publish or self publish ebooks are probably working from Microsoft Word or another common word processor. Unfortunately, Word also tends to produce messy HTML via its native save-as HTML function. So how do you get clean HTML from Word? I would like to present a life hack.

The Problem

Not very clean HTML from Word

Classes and spans and styles oh MY

When you export HTML from Microsoft Word, what you tend to get is a class and a span with styling info for every paragraph. This is highly unnecessary, and frustrating if you are trying to control your text’s formatting for web or ebook publication. In order to clean up this HTML to any web developer’s reasonable standards, you would have to remove all these tiresome span tags and CSS declarations just so you could do the same work with a handful of human-designed CSS declarations for paragraph style. I have done this before, and manually. It took several hours to work through a novel-sized manuscript using search and replace to knock out these span tags one related group at a time in a text/code editor.

Necessity is the mother of hack.

That is when I noticed that I routinely pasted Microsoft Word content into WordPress and could hit publish and magically get a reasonable webpage every time. I went to a blog post and used my browser’s “view source” option to take a look at exactly what was happening and, bingo-automattico, there was beautiful, simple HTML with every paragraph in a nice <p> tag and not a lot else going on! Continue Reading →