Elephanti the Revolutionary Lifestyle Media Network


Today social media applications plays an important role in our day-to-day activities as a result of the Web 2.0 revolution that took place in the Internet. It has revolutionized the lifestyle of almost all the individuals and business entities, for the majority of them spending at least few minutes with it has become an integral part of the day. The Elephanti, is a retail media ecosystem that aims to provide a platform for both individuals (Shoppers) and business entities (Merchants) to virtually interact with each other to buy and sells items on the go. It composed of a free Web based application for the Merchants and a free smart phone application (iPhone and Android) for Shoppers.

  • The Merchants can sign up for a free account and be able to create a virtual storefront in few minutes and manage its routine activities via the Web based console to update their profile, add products, post discounts, etc…
  • Those who are signing up as Merchants, initially selects their type of business (Single store, Chain store, Mall, Brand, Department store and Freelancer). Each type of business is modeled with an unique, customized set of features to facilitate its main line of business requirements.
  • For Merchant signing up with Elephanti, the system facilitates the merchant to describe the nature of the business and its specialization areas, such as Fashion retail, Cafes, Dinning venue, Cinema, Book stores, Services, Health and Beauty, Consumer electronic, Grocery stores, Automotive, Hotel, Travel and Tourism, Entertainment venue, etc… Each category further goes into a fine level of detailed specializations.
  • Shoppers only needs to download the app into their mobile phones to follow their favorite merchants, search for interesting place, items, create a shopping list, and many more. Using the app, they will be able to look at stores nearby and see what they have, write a review, add items to their shopping lists.
    • Shoppers will be able to look at places nearby and see what they have by check-in to the place, this provides the shopper and the shop owner a customized set of interactive features.
    • Also the Shoppers can discover Friends on the Elephanti network or sending invitations via other social media networks or via an Email and interact with each other through messaging, sharing activity updates, exchange shopping lists, uploading photo(s) to an album and tag their friends or/and places(Merchants), etc…
    • Shoppers can organize list of items planning buy just by creating a shopping lists and select nearby place(Merchant) they plans to buy it.
    • Rate a place and write a review and/or to comment them.

The main idea of Elephanti is to provide a platform for business owners to create a virtual storefront and invite shoppers to get to know about the items they sell and the discounts they offer, in the meantime the Shoppers are benefited by finding places nearby, items they sell and the discounts they offer and getting touch with their friends, plan their activities and many more.

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The value of Education looses when it is given a price tag


All these years every citizen of our country was blessed with free education and thanks to that the literacy rate was well over 90%. As Sri Lanka being a third world country majority of the citizens falls between middle and lower income category, so the free education plays a critical role to help build their lives by opening up the doors to reach out the world.

I’m happy to say that thanks to our country’s free education policy I was able to continue my education up to obtaining my Bachelor’s Degree, which helped me to engaged in a field that gave me the opportunity to give something valuable to my country and to its people. While I was in the university got the opportunity to enrich my knowledge across vast number of areas. Although my degree title says B. Sc. in Information Technology but the content of it didn’t restrict me to a limited knowledge domain. During my eight semesters and four June terms I took around 5o modules but for a student how does a similar degree in a private institute will get the opportunity to take just above half of it. In my three years of industry engagement I got the opportunity to work with just over 50 odd people and to interview nearly 100 candidates, the common factors I notice while working and interviewing people who obtained their bachelors degree from private institutions them are as follows.

  • Majority of them lack the knowledge of fundamentals.
  • Majority of them knew just to shoot out fancy words but failed to deliver results.
  • Majority of them lacked the enthusiasm of learning and advancing themselves to the next level.
  • Majority of them used that knowledge just to earn a salary.

By looking at the current situation of our country’s education I really feels scary about its future because we have come to a critical point which is at the verge loosing the benefit of free education. Our country has three ministers assigned to look after the activities of the education system but unfortunately what has happened can be easily describe by saying “too may cooks spoil the broth”.

  • Every year all the major public exams are full of faulty questions
  • Results of the public exams are faulty.
  • Officials responsible for the above mentioned issues were not properly punished and same issues were repeated every year.
  • Has drastically reduced the government funding over the years to less than 2 % of the GDP.

We should get together and join hands to protect the free education for our future generation, failing to do so will cause a great misery to the development of our country and will made our future generation suffer from it. For example currently the US citizens are facing a huge crisis settling the loans obtain for their education, lets not help to develop such a staggering environment here.

Div based Fixed or Fluid CSS/HTML layout Template


About two year back I worte an article introducing a simple HTML structure to organize the content on the web page as shown below.

Layout structure

header
sidebar left
content
sidebar right
footer

The above illustration just a simple introduction to how the template looks like. This HTML/CSS layout structure consists of examples illustrating the usage of Fixed and Fluid layouts covering following aspects

  • Without any Sidebars
  • With one Sidebar on Left
  • With one Sidebar on Right
  • With two Sidebars on either sides (Left and Right)

Folder sturcture

  • css – consists of all the CSS files
  • js – consists of all the JavaScript files
  • images – consists of all the image files
  • plugins – consists of all the third party components
  • template – consists of examples
  • readme.txt – simple introduction
  • lgpl.txt – lgpl license file

CSS

Inside the css folder you’ll find several files as illustated below, I adapted this structure after studing the Drupal Zen theme. Currely the theme is not Sass aware.

  • Core
    • html-elements.css – style rules to neutralize browser defaults and define baseline formatting to HTML elements
    • form-elements.css – style rules to format form blocks
    • layout.css – style rules to control the overall layout of the template (fixed or fluid)
    • sidebar.css – style rules to ncontrol the formating of sidebar(s)
    • print.css – style rules to format the web page when printing to a paper or PDF/Postscript.
    • website.css – style rules that requires to meets the look and feel of the custome design (main CSS file)
  • Optional
    • website-popup.css – style rules used for popul dialogs
    • handheld.css – style rules required to override website.css to make the site mobile friendly
    • ie_8.css – to keep IE 8 specific style rules
    • ie_7.css – to keep IE 7 specific style rules
    • ie_6.css – to keep IE 6 specific style rules

The above CSS files linked to the HTML markup was done within HTML head element as illustrated in Figure 1. CSS files with IE version specifc style rules were loaded inside a conditional comment block.

Figure 1: Linking of CSS files

JavaScript (breed of ECMAScript)

Inside the js folder you’ll find the javascript files used by the theme. I have used jQuery library as the base for all the client-side scripting requirements.

  • actions.js – to handle client side logic
  • window.orientation.js – to control the orientation of the page when viewing from a handheld device.

The above JavaScript files and the ones mentioned under plugins section was linked to the HTML markup was done just before the HTML closing body element as illustrated in Figure 2. This method was adapted to minimized the loading delay introduce by JavaScript files to the clent browser.

Figure 2: Linking of JavaScript files

Images

Inside the images folder you’ll find all the images used in the theme. Inside this you’ll find a folder called icons, which holds third party icons find from the Web (unfortunately I’m unable to locate the repository, my apologies to the creator/owner of the icon.)

Plugins

Inside the plugin folder you’ll find all the third pary libraries used in the theme.

Templates

Inside the template folder you’ll find examples illustrating following layouts

  • Fixed layout
    • no-sidebars-tableless-fixed
    • sidebar-left-tableless-fixed
    • sidebar-right-tableless-fixed
    • two-sidebars-tableless-fixed
  • Fluid layout
    • no-sidebars-tableless-fluid
    • sidebar-left-tableless-fluid
    • sidebar-right-tableless-fluid
    • two-sidebars-tableless-fluid

Fixed/Fluid switching

The switching between the Fixed and Fluid layout structures and be very easily achieved by toggleing the class attribute found on the HTML body element as follows:

  • Fixed – fixed-layout
  • Fluid – fluid-layout

<body class="fixed-layout">
            or
<body class="fluid-layout">

With and without Side-bars switching

The switching between the With and without Side-bars layout structures and be very easily achieved by toggleing the class attribute found on the first HTML div element next to body element as follows:

<body class="fixed-layout">
<div id="wrapper" class="no-sidebars">
            or
<body class="fixed-layout">
<div id="wrapper" class="sidebar-left">
            or
<body class="fixed-layout">
<div id="wrapper" class="sidebar-right">
            or
<body class="fixed-layout">
<div id="wrapper" class="two-sidebars">

To create an easily customizable div based HTML/CSS template by myself was their in my mind for sometimes and I’ll be sharing it for the benefit of others. The template can be download form Github repository.

66th Bradby Shield Encounter


Yesterday I was there at the Royal College Sports complex to witness the first leg of the 66th Bradby Shield encounter. This is the biggest annual event for all the Trinitians living around the world, that draws most of them to one place to share the glory and the excitement that the game of rugby has created over the years. I got the chance to get in touch with most of my fellow batch(2003) mates, which some of them I was not able to meet since I left the school. I found that some of them have got married and even they have children. 🙂

The match was filled with full of excitement from the start till the end. Boys from both schools displayed a fantastic battle keeping the crowd guessing until the last minute to decide who will win this leg and at the end the scores were at 38-37 Royal College wining the first leg. Although we lost the first legs our lions will fight back (as our school’s moto says “RESPICE FEMEN) at Kandy.

But all that excitement were ruined by the improper judgments given by the referee throughout the match and the crowed was totally disappointed. We felt like that the referee is only penalizing the Trinity lions and almost letting the Royal team to do what they want. At one instance the try was not properly marked it was confirmed as a goal, and in several occasions fouls done by Royal team were almost ignored, etc… Must say that match organizers must look into this seriously and provides a fair, unbiased and experienced referee for the Kandy’s leg on 26th.

Let’s protect our mother Earth


Today is the last day of the month of January 2010, and its the start of a new decade. Although it was just 31 days has passed in 2010, if we looked back very interesting events took place. Unfortunately the outcome of them did not gave the world community a positive results.

Leaders of respective nations, environmentalist, policymakers, etc… got together at Copenhagen to discuss about issues related to global warming, its impact and to formulate new rules and regulations to mitigate the impact on the world community. At the end majority of the participant were not satisfied with the final outcome because it failed to provide solid answers to burning environmental issues that the world community is facing.

It has only five years has passed since the Indian Ocean Tsunami devastation that took away lives of thousands of innocent people. During January once again we experienced another massive disasters that causes the lost of thousands of human lives in Haiti. By today according to most of the international new agencies the total human lost at Haiti has raised up to about 200,000 and many thousands are homeless, starving and injured.

Let’s wish people will show mercy to mother Earth and protect it for future generation.

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