Trifork Blog

City-wide crowd management in Amsterdam

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As most residents and visitors of Amsterdam know, every year more people are visiting Amsterdam, city wide events like GayPride, Koningsdag and MuseumNacht are getting bigger and more frequent, putting more strain on the city’s infrastructure and all people living in the city center.

That’s why this November 7th, Amsterdam Marketing organized the Museumn8 hackathon to allow developers to come up with creative and innovative solutions for improving improving mobility, navigation and crowd management in the city. Twenty teams eventually participated.

Trifork (Rienk Prinsen, Marleine van Kampen, Marijn van Zelst) and weCity (David Kat, Luc Deliance) teamed up and joined the hackathon to give their take on solving this problem. Their solution:

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By transforming the advertisement billboards of JCDecaux into large information screens displaying real-time information, visitors can get informed about activities and interesting places in the vicinity of the billboard. They receive live crowd information, travel times to and queue lengths at museums and even recommendations where to go next. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: From The Trenches | Java | MongoDB | Spring

Recognizing commercials using the Alphonso API

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Liberty Global organized the Hack & Play Appathon in Ziggo dome on September 15th and 16th. More than 20 teams of hackers, designers and programmers were invited to create an app or a game for the Liberty Global product Horizon set-top box. Team Trifork joined with Dennis de Goede (Design & Frontend), Tony Abidi (Devops) and myself (Front & Backend).

Alphonso added another challenge to the appathon: Create the best integration with the Alphonso platform. Integration challenge? Sounds like a Trifork challenge to me.

FirstPrice

 

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Posted in: Agile | Android | Frontend | Java | Knowledge

Large organizations are just not set up to be agile

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There is something going wrong in the organization I am currently part of an onsite project, yet I can’t get my head around the specifics.

This very large governmental organization is growing agile initiatives all over the IT department. Development teams are having fun talking to their customers and are trying to create the best solutions to the needs of their stakeholders, yet everything agile about Agile halts when a shippable increment is ready to begin its journey through the rest of the organization.

A few weeks back I received an email from the team that is tasked with the becoming agile of our organization, asking me to fill out a form so I could show how SCRUM we were. I know it was meant to let us see for ourselves how agile we were, but to me it felt as if we were proving our agility through a checklist.

I know I checked every box there was, so according to the person sending it we were 100% Scrum. I just knew we weren’t agile, so there must be a flaw in checking of the Scrum checklist to see if you are agile.

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Posted in: Agile | Business | From The Trenches

Setting up PWM as a password recovery tool for OpenLDAP

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A running LDAP implementation without a password recovery service for users can be a real hassle for system administrators, in our case every time when a user forgets his/her password the only way to reset/change it was to go to the system administrator let him fix it.

As a solution for this problem we stumbled upon PWM as a password recovery service and in this blogpost will describe the steps you have to take to implement this yourself.

The reasons why we chose PWM as our service of choice are the following:

  • Open-source and still being actively developed.
  • It works with multiple LDAP implementations, including OpenLDAP.
  • Pretty intuitive design for the end-user.
  • A vast amount of configuration options, of which configuring our own password policy is one option.
  • Able to recover password by sending and Email/SMS token or PIN.
  • Captcha Integration with Google re-Captcha.
  • Event logs and statistics that are available to administrators.

The rest of this post will focus on walking through the installation and initial configuration of PWM with an OpenLDAP system. Most of the things we describe can also be found in the PWM administration guide or from other sources. However, some things (eg. configuration of certain modules in PWM) we didn’t immediately understand and we will describe some tips/solutions here.

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Posted in: General | Knowledge

A wrinkle in time

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Leap second

I clearly remember the morning of Sunday July 1, 2012, almost three years ago. I was at church, actually, when I got a call from one of our clients: “The website doesn’t seem to be working.” All I could check at that point was that, indeed, the website was not responding. So I called our sysadmin, who found that even SSH-ing into the machine running the site was taking much longer than usual. Finally, restarting everything solved the problem, but we were still unsure about what had happened.

As we found out later, it was related to the leap second, a phenomenon I had not even heard of until then. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: From The Trenches | Java

WWDC 2015: Auto Layout improvements

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mysteries-of-auto-layout
Last weekend I arrived home safe and sound, already missing San Francisco. I had a wonderful time there and I have lots to talk about, but there was one topic in particular I think was not highlighted enough. That’s why I want to discuss it here. It was discussed in the following talks during WWDC:

Mysteries of Auto Layout – part 1
Mysteries of Auto Layout – part 2

I am a big fan of auto layout since it was introduced in iOS 6 and especially by using it directly in code, not by using Storyboard. But when using it in code it can get really verbose. I wrote some classes around that to make the resulting code much more compact. I wasn’t happy with my solution. So I was planning to go to a Lab during WWDC, to ask an actual Apple auto-layout engineer for his opinion about this matter. But it turned out I didn’t have to! Apple solved most of the problems I was having with Auto Layout with new API’s in iOS 9! In this blog I want to highlight those new API’s which make it easier to work with Auto Layout both in code and in Storyboard!
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Posted in: Conference | iPad | iPhone | Swift

GOTO Amsterdam: last minute updates

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One of the cool things of organizing a conference is dealing with the unexpected. The workshops are busy and tomorrow the conference kicks of with an awesome program. In the last days before the conference we had a few unfortunate cancellations for which we needed to find replacements.  We worked really hard but with great pride can announce our latest speakers for GOTO Amsterdam!

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Posted in: Conference

Introducing GOTO London 2015

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adrian-cockcroft-new-big1

You Should GOTO This Conference: Software Development That is Agile, Lean and Rugged

Competitive pressures have pushed speed of software development to become one of the highest priorities for businesses today. Improved tools and techniques have moved the state-of-the-art in agile development from pushing monolithic updates every few weeks to a continuous delivery of “micro-services” several times a day. But this move to “run what you wrote” and developer-driven infrastructure means developers are not only delivering products faster today, but are also responsible for the efficiency and safety of those products once they move into production.

This is a major shift in software development, and it forms a narrative that will underlie programming at the upcoming GOTO London technology conference, which I am helping organize and will be held Sept. 14-18.

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Posted in: Conference

WWDC Day 1 continued

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Hello again from San Francisco! I just came back from the conference after attending it for the third day in a row! I have seen many interesting talks so far ranging from Swift to WatchKit and UI design. There is so much to talk about, but in my previous blog entry I could only cover the keynote of the first day. Otherwise it would have been way longer! So let’s continue where I left off …
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Posted in: Apple Watch | Conference | iPad | iPhone

GOTO Amsterdam 2015: about puzzles and love

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In one week GOTO Amsterdam 2015 is busy (workshops) or you might be wondering what session to attend. When I started this journey 8 months ago, I wanted to create the best conference I could think of. For me quality has always been the main focus point. When we came to the final stages of shaping the program for GOTO Amsterdam I became aware that if I would attend the conference, I would have a hard time in deciding which session to attend to. I asked multiple attendees of this years edition what they thought of the conference and I heard the same thing over and over again: it is really difficult to choose because there are so many great sessions! This post is about how the talks, the topics and the tracks are woven into the GOTO Amsterdam 2015 conference. (I hope it helps you)

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Posted in: Conference