John Woltman's
Cyberspace Jungle

Dev Diary: Introduction and some screenshots

Posted Aug. 19, 2010 by John Woltman

Update December 2013: Drupal is terrible.  We never moved to it, and instead used Django because it is sane and not written in a bad language.

The time has come to move TPI forward.  After trying Eclipse, .NET, Excel, and Access as user interfaces for a data entry system, I have decided to use Drupal.  Why?

  1. No software to install
    The interface is web-based, any computer with a web browser can access it.  Since nothing is installed on the users' computers, nothing ever needs to be updated either.
  2. Drupal works with PostgreSQL
    I chose PostgreSQL about 4 years ago to hold battery information.  I do not want to migrate from it to another database, as it has been reliable and easy to adminster.
  3. Drupal includes JQuery and JQueryUI
    The features available to a web application are catching up to those of regular desktop applications.  JQuery and JQueryUI provide user interface enhancements like drag-and-drop, and spreadsheets to websites.
  4. I use Drupal for other projects outside of work
    I am maintaining two Drupal-based websites, so this will expand my abilities and benefit all three sites.  JohnWoltman.com runs on Drupal.
  5. It is free, as in beer
    I don't have to worry about a time-limited demo or paying licensing fees.
  6. It is free, as in speech
    I have access to the source code and can see how things work.

Look at the screenshots below for an example of what's going to be possible.  The first is a page listing all the battery models, with the model as a clickable link to more detailed information.  The second is the battery detail page.  I'm looking at including an interactive rate table on this page as well.