Training Uncategorized

Learn how to build an iPhone app for Drupal at SandCamp 2014!

Come to sunny San Diego for the DrupalCamp by the beach – SandCamp – January 23-25, 2014.

I’ll be teaching a training class for Drupal developers to learn how to build iOS apps (using Objective-C) that talk to Drupal. This is a class for web developers who don’t necessarily know anything about Objective-C, XCode, or mobile app development – I’ll be talking about all of these, along with the Drupal Services module.

The training class is on Thursday, before the camp starts, so show up for the training, and then spend the next two days at the camp, and then maybe spend that Sunday exploring San Diego!


Creating PDFs easily with RobotBridge

On several projects, I’ve run into problems creating PDF files – it’s never quite as easy as it could be. I’ve worked with PDF generation since Apache FOP and XSL-FO were the state of the art, and moved on since to wkhtmltopdf and PhantomJS. Deploying those binaries in a cloud situation can be tricky, and from a mobile app, impossible.

I’ve created my first API, RobotBridge PDF Conversion, to simplify the process of PDF creation. There are several other APIs and web services that create PDF files on demand, but the pricing for many of them is quite high, or others require a proprietary markup language that ties you into that solution.

Instead, I’m supporting standard HTML/CSS for PDF conversion. Nothing proprietary, and no lockin. Instead, for $0.01 per PDF, you can simply sign up for my API through Mashape, and have PDFs running in no time. I’ve started with the absolute simplest API possible for a PDF conversion service, but I plan to support other scenarios in the future – if you have ideas about what you’d like to see in a PDF conversion API, email me at jlinwood at

I’m in the process of writing more documentation, and some getting started guides for various platforms, but you can currently use the API quite easily using Mashape’s Unirest libraries for different languages.

Check out more on the RobotBridge home page.


Ushahidi Module for Node.js

If you’re using the Ushahidi platform for information collection and visualization, you may want to build external applications that integrate with Ushahidi using their REST API. Their API is pretty straightforward to use, but it’s nice to have various wrappers set up to use the API from different languages. Because the project I was helping out with ( used Node.js, there was a need to build out an integration/API wrapper for Node.

I wrote a Node.js module (ushahidi), which you can find the source code for on GitHub: ( ¬†Npm is probably the easiest dependency management system to publish a component with – it’s built into the tool, and there are no hoops to jump through other than creating an account.

I’m looking for new use cases for the module, and/or ways to improve it, so if you are using it, let me know what I can do to make it better!