As long as I have been compiling these event lists, I have had a problem. I usually post events for just a few days ahead; but for popular, ticketed events like beer dinner pairings, or, in this case, New Year's Eve parties with decent beer, posting the week before means I'm listing a bunch of sold out events.
Technical Geekbabble follows!
So last year, as a project for my Internet Technology course at IIT, I got into the basic of writing web pages that can query databases and keep serving fresh content, unlike the way I learned to write HTML way back in 200–something. So I worked out the PHP and API jiggery-pokery to serve a nice events calendar from my own Google Calendar of craft beer events, which I can just paste into an article like this. The "Beer Calendar" button above is the result.
But I still had events coming in after I'd published my articles. I could still add them to the calendar and mention them on my Beeronaut Facebook page. But how many times can I open this article and update it while not working on the next article?
So here's a test of my "next step:" an events list that updates itself from my original source without extra effort on my part (half the great computer shortcuts are inspired by laziness, you know). It uses the venerable inline frame (<iframe>) as a window to my calendar query for that special day. I can pretty it up as I go along by adding links and new event in Google Calendar, and the article updates. Luckily, ChicagoNow's WordPress platform allows <iframe>'s, but needs a "height" in pixels, thus the scrollbar on the side. But I've tested it in Firefox, Chrome and Safari on my Mac, and it's looking halfway there. It will take a lot more time to make this a regular feature, and I need a smartphone to see how it looks there, but this will be one of several new projects for 2014. Meantime, I still need to get that full-time job…
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