Archive for April, 2016

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Dropdown menus and alternative approaches for selecting from a choice of options

In this post designer Luke Wroblewski outlines why dropdowns should be the UI of last resort. The problem with dropdown menus - also known as select boxes in HTML lingo - is that they're something of a general purpose, one-size-fits all solution for dealing with lists of elements. Although dropdown menus accommodate most list-based use cases using them often doesn't take the specifics of the use case at hand into consideration. As pointed out by Luke most of the times other, more ... Read more

Sharing and exploring data models and database patterns

Somewhat in the vein of last week's post, I'd like to share a new service called dbpatterns with you. dbpatterns allows you to create ER models in the browser and share them with other users. If a particular pattern or model suits your needs you can directly export its DDL for PostgreSQL, SQLite, MySQL or Oracle RDBMS. I really appreciate the idea of promoting and sharing best practices for database systems. While object-oriented software design patterns are rather common (though some particular ... Read more

Hands-on SQL Tips: Sentinels And Window Functions

Sometimes when displaying data in an application you want the amount of data (rows, individual data points etc.) to be limited for the app to stay responsive and to allow the user to more easily scan and browse the data set. In SQL this is commonly done using a LIMIT statement: SELECT * FROM table LIMIT 100 Now, what if you want to not only display the data but also inform the user in case the total number of rows in the table ... Read more

Accounting in 2016 – Still a manual and tedious process

The past few weeks I've been struggling with automating my accounting, invoicing and banking processes to the point I don't really have to think about it anymore. Currently, a lot of my accounting-related processes are still way too manual for my liking. Being both a virtuous, lazy programmer and an entrepreneur I'd like to automate every process that can be automated at reasonable cost, especially if that process doesn't generate any revenue. Now, as far as invoicing and small business accounting is ... Read more