Posts Categorized: Web Development

Bootstrap Sass with rem instead of px for Vertical Typographical Rhythm

A huge number of sites use Bootstrap as a css framework these days. Using Bootstrap is even easier with the bootstrap-sass package, which uses SASS to allow developers to customize nearly every aspect of the framework. Unfortunately, the current version doesn’t support units other than pixels (px), so using percent, ems, or rems isn’t easy. It also is rather hard to establish a vertical grid for typography rhythm aside from the default, since so many values are hardcoded.

To solve this, I’ve created a boilerplate that overrides the problematic aspects of bootstrap-sass to allow the easy use of rems as well as setting up a solid vertical rhythm. We’re using this right now on our redesigned Madison project! (more…)


This post originally appeared on OpenGov Foundation Blog.

A Brief Summary

After a hackathon a few months back, we were joking about creating an easy way to take the data we’d painstakingly parsed from PDFs, word documents, and XML files, and “translate” it back into a format that government agencies are used to. Many of us have been shell-shocked in dealing with PDFs from government agencies, which are often scanned documents, off kilter and photocopied many times over. Fundamentally, they’re very difficult to pry information out of. For the OpenGov Foundation’s April Fools’ prank, we created, a tool to convert plain text into truly ugly PDFs.


The State Decoded 0.8 Release

Waldo just posted The State Decoded 0.8 Release. This is a *huge* update that we’ve spent the last few months working on. 577 changed files, 127,076 additions, 5,123 deletions. That’s a lot of code.

There are a few pieces I would have liked to squeeze into this update, like abstracting the XML import to make JSON importing more user-friendly, and cleaning up the admin system – but those will come for the 1.0 release. Which is pretty close on the horizon.

In the meantime, check out the 0.8 release of State Decoded on Github!

A brief history of the web

A few months back, there was a rather interesting discussion on Reddit about different internet technologies. I put the following comment together as a bit of historical perspective.  In retrospect, it’s probably not 100% accurate, and a bit or a rant, but I figured other people might find it interesting.


Apache JMeter: Part 1 – The Basics

Recently, I’ve been doing a bit of load testing on Amazon AWS after reading cloud storage reviews to determine how much abuse our web application can take without killing the server. I’ve been attempting to use Apache JMeter to do the hard part, but came up against a slew of problems. The documentation provided seems targetted at dyed-in-the-wool Java developers (that “J” at the beginning is clearly a warning shot), and makes pretty big assumptions about the knowledge of the audience. Here are the basic concepts of how to get started using it, targeted for us LAMP developers.