Dekonom?

While hiking in the “Kemptener Wald” (Cambodunum Forest) in May 2015, we came upon a strange riddle. There was a tombstone with engravings on all four sides, written in gothic letters. There was a word looking like “Dekonomensgattin” and another one that seemed to say “Dekonomsgattin”. As you later see, this can’t be translated, but I’ll try it nevertheless: “wife of deconomist”. Strange word, we thought. Neither my wife nor I had heard of this word, so at home we started searching for it in the world wide web. We had some hits on the search machines. All of them led us to old books and to chronicles of died persons. But we did not find, what the heck this meant. Finally the enlightenment came over us: While we examined the fotos and some of the links more closely, we identified the upper case D to be an upper case O instead. The strongly decorated upper case letters of the gothic font had deluded us. They even had deluded the OCR (optical character recognition) software of the search engines.

oekonom-nicht-dekonomNow look at your own: Would you have identified this without any references? In one of the scanned books we found with the search engine, we had managed to find words with upper case Ds and Os, so we were able to compare and differentiate them.

 

So, finally our word “Dekonom” became the word “Oekonom” (economist) – and that’s a word we all know…

Lessons learnt? Only because you get some hits when searching the web for something doesn’t mean the information is not faulty.

More lessons learnt? Typography can be difficult. As a designer you should always be aware that using wrong typefaces or fonts can result in generating text that can hardly be read – not only for human beings.

IpfmessApp in stores

IpfMESSAppOne of my first projects in my new job was building an app for the iPhone. The app has been done for Bopfingen city, for their folk festival called Ipfmess’.

First idea was a simple counter app where people can easily observe the remaining time until the big event and browse the program of the folk festival on the phone.

But soon there were other ideas like including an instagram stream (hashtag #ipfmess) or adding an info tab with information on up-to-date news about the “Ipfmess” and events related to Bopfingen and the festival.

The project grew, the layout was updated several times and so it took longer than expected until the iPhone app reached the AppStore. An online survey revealed that people wanted the Android-App to be released before the iPhone version. The last one was then unfortunately released about one week later than planned because we waited for the app to be approved by AppleStore. So the app’s release for iPhone was nearly two weeks after the Android version. But finally the app now can be installed!

And of course it is free of charge, it was a fun project for Veroo Consulting (and for me), a project we didn’t do for profit but for the fun to do it – and that’s what it was! I hope you will also enjoy it. And who knows, maybe we’ll meet at the Ipfmess. 🙂

There will probably be some updates, soon, as we have even more ideas – so check out the news on the official homepage.

Here are some links related to the app:

XML Tools Plugin for Notepad++

For a class lecture on XML I searched for a free text editing tool supporting syntax highlighting for XML, check if XML is well-formed an perform validation (e.g. with DTD). After some research I found out that a plugin for Notepad++ called XMLTools. I was very lucky because I already use Notepad++ for years. The installation of the plugin was no problem and had all the functions I needed for the class. In the first lecture everything worked fine. We checked for well-formed XML, developed some CSS for viewing in the browser and finally started writing a first DTD for a XML file.
Suddenly the students had files which couldn’t be found by the plugin, when they tried to validate their XML. A popup appeared telling us that it was “Unable to load the DTD xyz.dtd”. I examined the files but couln’t find any errors. I searched the net, but although I found some (elder) questions on that error, I didn’t find an answer.
So I took the files home and did some further research (trial and error). First thought was that the coding of the files was wrong, but that didn’t make any change – same error message.
Finally, it was more than one source of error. This told me once again, that error messages often don’t describe what really was the error (and that there should be different error messages for different errors!).

  1. Every syntax error in the DTD causes the “Unable to load” error. This means, if only one bracket is missing, a wrong character or similar small errors is contained in the DTD, the popup is displayed and no validation is possible.
  2. The second source of error actually was the coding: UTF-8 coded DTD-files can’t be loaded by the plugin. We were only able to validate XML files with ANSI coded DTDs (without error!)

Project Management System

From April 2009 on I was working at Inneo Solituons as software developer. We develop a project management system for small businesses, which is embedded into Microsoft Sharepoint. Prios Foundation is a webbased dotNet Solution. With Version 2.8 it is quite substantial in its’ functionality. By now it also can be hosted in the Cloud. Interested businesses can get to know the system with a test-account in a Cloud-system hosted in Ellwangen.