Writing a Markdown Compiler

Have you ever wanted to make your own programming language? Maybe a template engine? A JSON parser? If you have ever built any of those, you might have noticed it’s not exactly easy to get started. There are a lot of concepts to digest before you get going. That’s why lots of devs just give up. We’d like to help with that.

At Beezwax, a few years ago we built a WordPress plugin which allows users to upload their blog posts to the Apple News platform. In order to do this, we had to translate HTML to some particular format. What we wrote is, at its core, a compiler. Compilers are not only for programming languages, they are in many more places than you might think!

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Introducing LOgiCATOR, Part 2: FileMaker 16 Card Windows and Modular Design

In Part 1 of this series, “Introducing LOgiCATOR,” I mentioned that LOgiCATOR grew out of a search interface I developed for a project several years ago. In ways we’ll briefly consider here, it wasn’t extensible, but all that has changed. As that early search interface grew into LOgiCATOR, it made a quantum leap in context independence. The reason we were able to accomplish that can be attributed to a powerful synergy of card windows, JSON, window improvements, new functions, and the Layout Objects window — in short, FileMaker 16!

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Getting Started with REST and cURL using FileMaker 16’s Data API

If you are FileMaker developer, but new to the notion of web APIs and web development in general, then you might take on a kind of deer-in-the-headlights look when confronted with FileMaker Server 16’s new Data API, aka “REST API”. Fear Not! It really is simpler and more straightforward than you might expect. I like to take the attitude that no skill is difficult, only unfamiliar. With study and repetitive exposure and practice, any skill can be mastered.

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Introducing LOgiCATOR: A Modular Search Interface for FileMaker 16

We’re excited to announce the release of LOgiCATOR, a new modular search interface for FileMaker. It’s designed as a module you can drop into a FileMaker application and, with minimal configuration, add a rule-based search interface to any number of layouts in that solution. LOgiCATOR is also a springboard for learning about some great new design and integration features of FileMaker 16, like card-style windows and native JSON.

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FileMaker 16 & Tableau | A Match Made in Data Heaven!

It’s here and I feel like I have to tell the whole world… which is what I am doing! Now that FileMaker 16 is officially announced, there are lots of exciting things to talk about that are now possible. I think one of the most powerful new features that have been introduced in version 16 is the capability to integrate with other applications or services. There is so much to talk about what now becomes possible with FileMaker and other services/applications. Continue reading “FileMaker 16 & Tableau | A Match Made in Data Heaven!”

Maximizing Diversity to Bridge The Tech Gap

Work To Be Done: Bridging The Tech Gap

If you follow tech industry news I am sure you’ve read and heard about the need for greater diversity in the industry. While the discussion began with a focus on women and people of color, diversity in hiring also includes people with disabilities, parents in need of flexible scheduling, gender diversity and people from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.

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Building Native Mobile Apps with FileMaker Data

Ever wonder how you might be able to create a mobile app with data you already have in your FileMaker solution? I have, too! As it turns out, it’s not too outlandish of an idea thanks to the FileMaker Custom Web Publishing with XML API.

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The Human Resource

20 years in, a founding Bee reflects

Julian Nadel is president and founder of Beezwax. He’s celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Beezwax with this, his premier Beezwax Blog post.

Many CEOs of tech consultancies spend their time on the frontlines of code or clients.

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Avoid nil-checks. Code confidently. Be happy.

This post is about pretty code (with examples in Ruby), plus how to get nil out of the way and be more confident.

Does this code look familiar?

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Communicating with a Web Viewer in FileMaker

Beezwax has always been active in the FileMaker community regarding advanced use of Web Viewers. Check out these earlier posts if you’d like to learn more:

  1. Native Web 2.0 Controls in FileMaker 12 Layouts
  2. Go, JavaScript Go!
  3. Enable WebKit debugger in FileMaker Web Viewer

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Enable WebKit debugger in FileMaker Web Viewer

If you are having difficulty getting your HTML, CSS, or JavaScript to render in a FileMaker Web Viewer, you may have a struggle ahead of you trying to find the problem, and no good way to debug it. In comparison, most web browsers have debug facilities that can help developers find problems in their code.

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Removing port 80 and 443 conflict with macOS Server 5

Apple’s Server 5.x has a rather different Apache configuration compared to the core Mac OS setup or those used in previous versions of Server. In particular, an instance of Apache is used as a proxy to any ‘backend’ copies of Apache.

Unfortunately, this setup has the proxy always listening (attached) to ports 80 & 443, even if the sites in Server GUI are disabled and the Web service is off. This is problematic if you want setup something outside of Server (e.g., FileMaker Server) that needs to attach to ports 80 or 443.

One option to avoid this conflict is to modify the proxy configuration to no longer listen on these ports. The configuration file for this can be found at:

/Library/Server/Web/Config/Proxy/apache_serviceproxy.conf

Once you have the file open in an editor, make the following changes.

For each of these directives using port 443 or 80:

  • use 9443 instead of 443
  • use 8080 instead of 80

Directives that need to be changed are:

  • Listen
  • VirtualHost
  • RequestHeader

I’ve done this often enough that I’ve finally come up with a full sed based shell script to make these changes:

A possible problem with this approach is that either later Server upgrades might blow out these changes, or the Server upgrade may stumble due to the non-standard configuration.

Another option may be to disable the proxy from starting in the first place. However, I haven’t yet tracked down what is instantiating this process, as it doesn’t use the more typical methods of doing this on Mac OS.

If you see a lot of messages like the ones below in your system.log, your changes either got overwritten or have errors:

Simon

Why It’s Always Good to Test Things with the Current Version of Software (When Writing a Blog Post)

While working on the third installment of Fun with FileMaker Button Bars, I was served a reminder of why it’s good to test the stuff you write about using the latest software updates (even if they just arrived that very morning).
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FileMaker & Tableau | Building Dashboards with Interactivity

If you’ve been working with FileMaker, then I don’t have to sell you on the fact that it’s a great solution to help you manage your data. Whether you’re an in-house developer, a consultant, or just starting to explore what is possible with this powerful platform, you will at some point come across the need to build in some kind of dashboard. Maybe your group needs to see sales trends for the last year or perhaps you have a system that tracks projects and want to see the daily average of tasks completed. In either case, dashboards are a great way to synthesize large amounts of information and provide you with insight in a simple and informative visual design.

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Fun with FileMaker Button Bars, Part 3: Tips for Designing Great Icons

In Part 1 (“Check Please,”) and Part 2 (“Expert Panel,”) of this series, we had some fun doing things with button bars that showed off some of their unique usefulness within the FileMaker design-layer toolbox. Often as not, your button bars are going to include icon labels, with or without a supporting text label, and you want those icons to look great.

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