Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Copy and Paste, Band to Band and SVG to SVG

As of yesterday morning, it is possible for any Vectoriole user to copy an object and paste the object into a different Band or an entirely different SVG (.VECT).  This is an important step for the SVG Editor.

In the example below, a tan icon of Documents was copied from an Infographics SVG (.VECT), pasted into the Title of a different SVG, then pasted again into the Detail Band.  At this point, we are about to change the color of the 'final' pasted icon.

This capability is useful as more than an exercise in 'look what we can do':

  1. Without the ability to Copy & paste between bands and svgs, it would be necessary to dig directly into the SVG xml source.  At best, a time consuming effort.
  2. Alignment and 'exactness' from band to band or SVG to subreport will be much simpler and consistent.
  3. It now makes sense to begin making a Library of drawn objects, that can be selected and placed as desired.
  4. It provides the basis for a Variable data SVG datatype that can be included within Reports as a variable drawn object.  Probably adapt the Rectangle tool as a Container tool.  Said differently, personalized SVG will soon be possible.
 More coming, soon!

Friday, February 12, 2016

A Summary Band needs a Trombone

Summary Bands received an improved instrument last night and our current phase in SVG and Variable Data Editor Alpha will soon be drawing to a close.  We will be introducing a couple of improvements next week that we hope will gather some serious interest in what we've been working toward; the Personalized SVG.  We aren't there yet, but next week will be a big step in that direction.

Anyway, back to Summary Bands; now all you need to do is enable the Summary Band, size it as desired and drag the data field you'd like to have auto-calculated onto the Band.  Go down to Variables, click the Gear and choose from:
  1. no calc
  2. Sum
  3. Average
  4. Lowest
  5. Highest
  6. Standard deviation
  7. Variance
  8. System
  9. First
  10. Distinct Count
with others on the way.

 The values can also be setup to be reset by the next incidence of Report, Page, Column or Master.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

XLSX now available as Datasource

XLSX is now available as a datasource. This is a big addition to Vectoriole's capabilities.

Without drowning you in too many details, we used Apache POI which is the Java API for Microsoft Documents. As of last week, we were able to use the 1st sheet in an xlsx but as of this morning, can access all sheets within a given xlsx and also assign the 1st row as the header.

Few HR Departments have direct access to their own HRIS and even the HRIS Manager can usually only create Views or run queries on existing Tables. Being able to use xlsx allows much greater freedom in HR report design without needing to get at the underlying DB tables. Of course, Vectoriole is not limited to HR. It could be extremely useful for any department. It's just that my background leans to employee benefits/HR.

In addition, the Grouping band has been enhanced with more control over the output. I'll be putting up examples of the ouput for both of these two new features over the next week.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Extreme Personalization

Around thirty years ago, I had a brief moment of inspiration and blurted out the word Personalization. I then did a bit of chest-puffing, thinking that it was an original word.  I checked this morning at Dictionary.com and found that the word dates to the 1730's.

Last night I decided to change the Title  The Vectoriole Project: An SVG Data Editor to 'Personalization Starts Here: The Vectoriole Project.'

SVG is a tool and like many tools, if you are not a web or print carpenter, it has little meaning.

Then, about 2 hours ago I received the daily recommended list from Medium.com, with the featured post being: "2016 will be the year of conversational commerce, by Chris Messina".  Regardless of this article, Chris Messina is worth following.

In it, Chris mentions the idea of 'extreme personalization' and how new technology may apply to a very old concept.  If you have 10 minutes, give it a read.

So I think we are on the right track and I sure wish I hadn't strayed so many times in the past.
I think I am part dog, because "Squirrel!" continues to send me running in the direction of the latest tool.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Busy Webmaster? Embed Google Slides in your Website and they auto Update

If you are a busy webmaster or not so good with thick geeky code or hey, maybe your webmaster actually goes on vacation every once in awhile, then here's an idea for updating your content as often as you'd like:

  1. Get an account with Google (GMail takes about 30 seconds)
  2. Once you have an account, you'll be able to start a presentation in Google Slides.  Start a new presentation of one slide, then name it and in the GUI,  Next step ->  File -> Publish to the Web -> Embed.   Now, copy the embed code, send it to your webmaser and ask your webmaster to make a new page, using the embed code.
  3. Go back to your presentation and make your content, be it links, text, images.  Google Slides is pretty flexible and without spending much time poking the bear, seems to have SVG in its editor.  Very easy to use Editor.
  4. Now, set your permissions in Google Slides as Public and View Only.
Now, if you have a new link or other stuff you'd like to get up quickly, you can do so without hunting down your Webmaster.

Someone in my office is working on this right now for a page in the SVG Editor and since it is set up, I don't need to lift a finger


Monday, January 11, 2016

SVG of the Day, My SVG Bride & Pleasantville

My bride of 15 years has begun to use the SVG Editor & set up SVG Templates available for anyone to use.
She's quick and has a better eye for style than myself, so I'm sure they'll be good. The first one is below and useful for food, recipes, etc.

Honey, I'm home. Where's my dinner?

Created with VectOriole Layer 1 text vbvbvb cbcbc cbcbc Text Text text text text text text text text vbvbvb cbcbc cbcbc text vbvbvb cbcbc cbcbc text vbvbvb cbcbc cbcbc text vbvbvb cbcbc cbcbc text vbvbvb cbcbc cbcbc text vbvbvb cbcbc cbcbc

garage_sale_signage.svg 17" x 11", landscape (too big for the blog)

SVG Editor Update, SVG Demo

1) We have changed the method for logging into the two demos.  Now, just one click gets you into the applicable svg demo.

2) Created a short 3 minute video demo and put it up on YouTube.  It is also embedded on the site: SVG Demo and Video.

3) Decided to create a couple of short presentations in Google Slides, as it is easier to manage privileges.  Should have the one for Employee Benefit Consultants done tomorrow.

4) Someone in our office is creating Templates that are attractive, as opposed to my artistic efforts, which are often cringe-worthy.  She should have at least 10 set up by the end of the week.

5) Big upload tomorrow to the SVG Editor, with many additional features (including subdatasets) and a few fixes.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Discovering and having late day fun at FIVERR

Someone (that someone is my wife), pointed out the website fiverr.com, which is a spot where buyers can hook up with sellers, specifically for marketing support.  I haven't looked in every nook and cranny, but if you are in or own a small business, you should take a look.

I believe it is possible to have a professionally created one minute video, including script, acting and post production edit for less than $100.

Then, there is this link and if you want to have a good laugh at the end of a Friday, give it a click on go listen to this voice over specialist.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

An artsy, craftsy uncut video of Vectoriole

The last video I made was 4 years ago and early this morning, I was given 15 minutes to get one out.  I did it in 10 minutes and yes, it shows.

Anyway, you should be able to see that the tools work, though the designer (moi) was caught in pre-coffee mode.  Additional videos that should be more watchable will be up over the next month.

This one may be the tiniest bit better if you click for the full screen version.   Or not.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Danger, Danger Will Robinson. Dangerous Bird overhead!

SVG of the Day

This is a redo of an earlier Blog post. My first effort looked horrible and I discovered the reason why: SVG 1.1 does not have Z Order. That is one of the items that will be addressed in SVG 2.0. As a result, the rectangle with the transparent fill I drew around the body, was breaking everything that wasn't already broken.

Created with VectOriole SVG Editor, Data Integrator, Pdf Creatore, Infographics Name: Vectoriole Habitat: The Web Date of Birth: 01/16/2015 Height: Not sure. Won't hold still. Weight: Barely a mouthful Eyes: Black Feathers: Orange, crimson, black Identifying marks: Usually seen carrying a Vector tool. - Infographics and data visualization - Variable data, online Reports, variable data printing - Employee Benefit Statements, Total Compensation Statements - Employee Communications, HR Communications, Retirement Communications - Personalization Diabolically capable of creating and editing SVGs, variable data PDFs, variable data charts, data integration, html publishing, sharing. Talks JSON, MySql, PostgreSql, CSV, XML. Known to be Preparing for the Future recommendation of SVG2. Competitors should avoid any connection to the Web and always carry an umbrella. Last seen chirping & flying high over the heads of expensive competitors. Known affiliations & associates include: Badges? We don't need no stinking badges WANTED By forward thinking Individuals & Companies


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Quick feet and squishy sounds (SVG)

I recently read a Blog that said that 80% of getting people to read a blog is in the Title. Don't ask me what the Title of that Blog was, as I have already forgotten.

Part of creating a viable, online application is in identifying and removing bugs. Step on 'em.
- Yesterday, a JS bug was fixed that caused a mouseover to be a cursor instead of a pointer.
- Yesterday, a JS bug was fixed that disallowed a chart parameter to be removed.
- Yesterday, an XML parsing bug was fixed that incorrectly saved SVG width.

Today, I believe I will see the SVG Editor receive an implementation of stacked bar charts, both horizontal and vertical. Although other types of charts could be used, a simple progress chart is the correct choice for simplified retirement planning.

Today's bonus SVG, the Buffalo Bills logo. Next year, it happens. Go Bills!

Buffalo Bills love their SVG

Monday, January 4, 2016

SVG Text Wrapping + Fonts, font tables and baselines

I was certain that the Bills would reach the playoffs, so my predictive powers are automatically suspect. Nevertheless, I predict that SVG2 will shake up quite a few vendors, both large and small.

Even if your interest in SVG is nominal, give this a read over the next few months: http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG2/text.html#TextLayoutAuto

Included are a few items that I feel will be important across the board:

- We will mandate WOFF support in SVG 2. (Web Open Font Format)
EM box description. y x (0,0) Ascent Descent

- A content area is defined by specifying in a ‘text’ element a ‘inline-size’ property, or a ‘shape-inside’ property that defines or references an SVG shape. If no content area is provided, the content area defaults to a rectangle of infinite width and height (see the pre-formatted text section). If both an ‘inline-size’ property and a ‘shape-inside’ property with value other than 'none' are given, the ‘shape-inside’ property is used.

This is starting to sound an awful lot like some of the capabilities in a text editor.
Chuck in variable data + the ability to query & I think we are on the way to 'a killer app'.

Here Google, a Sample Invoice.svg (Google images doesn't have one)

(body> Created with VectOriole Layer 1 Name Company Name Address City, State, Zip Company Name Here INVOICE Date Invoice # Customer # Customer Details Ship To: Sales Person Sample Text Shipping Method Shipping Terms Payment Terms Due Date Delivery Date Item # Quantity Description Unit Price Total Price DD/MM/YYYY Sample Text Sample Text Sample Text DD/MM/YYYY To: Slogan Phone # Address, City, State, ZIP Name Company Name Address City, State, Zip Sub Total Discount Sales Tax Rate Sales Tax Shipping Total Special Info: If you have concerns or questions about your invoice, please contact test@test.com
Original invoice.svg

Friday, January 1, 2016

Out of the pool. We have a floater. (Do you SVG?)

Most of the time we expect and even demand WYSIWYG but when working with variable data in a Report, WYSIWYG can be an eyesore.

The image below shows a new feature that was added yesterday to the SVG Editor; giving objects the ability to maintain a fixed position relative to the top or bottom of a page, or to float depending on the data. The data (a text field) is labeled '$F{left}' and is located above both the red text and the blue text. The Red text is set to 'Float', whereas the blue text is set 'Fixed relative to top'.

Now look at the 2nd image, which is a reduced screenshot of spooled PDF and you'll see that the Red text floated to the bottom, whereas the Blue remained fixed. This level of control can extend to any object (drawing, image, chart, etc).

All clear. It's OK to get back in the pool.