Monday, 31 May 2010

New! Quick Add Plantings & Milestones Box

Hi all – everyone will now see the new yellow Quick Add box on their gardener homepages. Supporters have been testing the Quick Add milestone feature out for us for the last couple of weeks, and now we think it’s ready for everyone to use.

This box lets you quickly enter events for your existing plantings, add photos and other bits and pieces. If you havent yet created the planting yet, no problems – you can now switch instantly into Add New Planting mode on the same box! Click on the “Add new planting” link in the yellow headline area to switch views.

As this is a fairly complex feature, we’d love everyone’s help to get it tested – we’ll be testing and hot-fixing all day, so if you notice anything strange, log it in the Bugs & Issues group and we’ll get it fixed asap.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions for improvements, let us know in the Suggestions & Feedback group!

Friday, 14 May 2010

Quick Add Garden Milestones: "What's happening in your garden?"

We released a new feature this morning – you’ll now find a new yellow box on your gardener dashboards called “What’s happening in your garden?”

This box lets you quickly add planting events without creating journal entries – perfect for when you want to quickly log events about your plantings but don’t have much to say about them. You can add notes, harvest quantities and all the usual bits and pieces that you can do from the existing journal page too.

As a bonus, we’ve also added a definition for each event – so you’ll never get your “flowering” mixed up with your “blooming” again! (A big thanks to our fab Folia Helpers for writing these event definitions for us!)

Below the Quick Add is a list of the most recent milestones that you’ve logged in your garden – and if you are feeling the urge to peek over the garden fence, you can also expand out to show latest milestones from gardeners you follow (network) and everyone on folia.

This is currently a Supporter Beta Feature – free account holders will not currently see this feature. If you are a Supporter, it would be fantastic if you can give us a hand to test this feature – if you find a bug, please log it in the Bugs & Issues group and we’ll get it fixed up asap!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Folia API Starts Now!

At the core of the the brand spanking new widgets is the start of our Folia API.

For those who I’ve lost already, an API is a set of rules that allow software to send and receive data from other software (like Folia). The API will allow us (or you) to build iPhone Apps, Android Apps, Flash/AIR Apps, Desktop Apps, gosh just about any type of software that can talk to Folia via the Internet.

The first set of APIs we’re opening up are public ones relating to Gardener Mini-Profile, Latest Plantings and Latest Stash. We’ve built two blog widgets that utilise the Gardener and Latest Planting APIs and we’ve released the source code on googlecode so you can grab it, pull it apart and build other things with it. We’re hoping that we have some cleaver Folians that can make Wordpress plugins or embed these into Facebook in some way – which would be totally cool!

So with the first step done we can test the structure and load ready for the next step – the full blown authenticated API.

We’ll be working on releasing bits and pieces as we go – so the best place to keep up to date with this is by joining the Folia Developers group. Even if you’re just interested in the blog widgets then also feel free to join – we want to add to these as well to make them super useful. I’m sure there are a few other datasets that people would like to be made available and built for them.

So if you’re a HTML/CSS/JS ninja, an ObjectiveC or Java rockstar, or a Flash-meister then join the Folia Developers group, tell us what you know, what you need and what you want to build!

New Folia Gardening Widgets now Available!

Hi all – this weekend, we released some brand new Folia widgets !

There are currently two to choose from:

Folia Badge: Shows your profile pic and your current planting / stash counts.

Folia Latest Plantings: Shows your badge + your 5 most recent plantings.

For anyone using the old Clearspring widgets: the new widgets completely replace the old ones, so if you still have them installed you’ll see a message letting you know about the change and what to do. The reason why we have removed the old ones completely is that Clearspring recently sold up and have shut down support for their widget creation tool, so we cannot support them any longer. It was a good motivation to start looking into developing our own – we think they look much better than the old ones, and we’ll be able to develop them much further in the future.

The installation steps are now a whole lot easier too (so no more weird multi-step help pages for our widgets – yay!):

  1. Go to the widgets page
  2. Copy the code under the “To install this widget” heading (it should already be personalised to your gardener name)
  3. Paste this code into your html editor tool of choice.

The way we have developed these widgets means that if you know a bit of css, you can customise your widget in anyway you want – you can override the styles on your own page, or you could download the js file, host it yourself and switch the stylesheet reference over. We’re cool with whatever you’d like to do with these widgets – and we’d love to see what you come up with!