Monday 22 December 2014

Grayshott e-Guide updates

The new improved iOS version 1.1 of the e-Guide has now been submitted to the iTunes web store for approval.  If all is well, it should be released for downloading some time early in the New Year.  It includes several improvements and fixes for known problems, including:
  • Improved layout on Detail view
  • Left/right swipe, where appropriate, to navigate between views
  • Improved search function includes post code and telephone numbers
  • Missing e-mail addresses have been added to the Detail view
  • The privacy policy can now be viewed on the information pages that start with 'About this app'
In parallel with this work, the web app (load to your smart phone at is also being redesigned to give a more mobile-friendly user interface.  It should work better in those 'not quite offline' situations where there's apparently a connection through GPRS or Wifi, but neither brings you any information.  The usual reasons are that GPRS is slow and flaky, or the best Wifi connection wants you to go through a sign-in page before you can reach any information. 

This is work in progress, and an announcement will be made when the new version is ready. 

Thursday 30 October 2014

Grayshott eGuide web app - saving to home page

The web app looks at its best if it has the full screen available, rather than sharing it with all of the furniture of the device's browser.

On iPhone or iPad , the procedure is very simple.  Find the action button (arrow out of the top of the box on iOS 7 and later) and then Add to Home Screen.

This will now make an icon on the next available spot on your home screen(s).  But if you're doing this on an iPhone or iPad, why not download the native app? 

The following series of pictures shows an Android emulator and at least gets the bookmark onto the home screen.  It doesn't clear all the browser furniture when the icon is clicked, so I'd welcome feedback on how to achieve that.  Please e-mail here with subject: Android.

From the initial browser page, use the menu (top right) to find Save To Bookmarks.  Then to save to the home page, in the Bookmarks menu, hold down the Grayshott iconand select Add shortcut to home page

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Grayshott app

[Current status: 2014-10-21] The iPhone version of the app has been approved and is ready for release.  We will do this as soon as the data is readied and agreed, and the approach to its maintenance is  settled.

[Current status: 2014-10-08] The first iPhone version of the Grayshott e-Guide app has now been submitted to the iTunes App Store for approval before its official release.  The web app is being updated to take into account design decisions taken during the iPhone development.  

All the data is test data; some was picked up from old directories and may be out of date, and we will be working in the next few weeks to improve this.

For more details of the app, please refer to its overview page.

Known issues:

1.  Slow response when used initially off-Wifi (i.e. on GPRS)

Explanation  - all entries in the directory tables have their own graphic, icon or logo, and the app will go online to find these and save them.  When the app is used before it's loaded all of these and when connected to GPRS (well, we don't seem to have 3G in the village), it can appear to freeze or hang while scrolling through the listings.   It will appear faster in Airline mode but won't be as visually appealing. 

2. Business names starting with a lower case character confuse the A-Z display 

We found while cleaning up the data ready for publication that the A-Z display stopped appearing.  This was quickly found to be due to the addition of two businesses whose names start with lower case characters.  When these were changed to upper case, the problem disappeared.  This will be addressed in a later release but for now, all organisation names must start with an upper case character or a number. 

Monday 1 September 2014

FA support

Please post incident reports for FirkinApp (iOS and Web) as comments to this thread.

More details of the various versions of the app can be found on its overview page

Monday 5 May 2014

Firkin App - using GIMP to make logos fit

The free GIMP image manipulation program does exactly what it says, but for a beginner like me with a single task that I only need to do occasionally, it can be confusing.  You can download the application from and there are versions for Mac and Windows PC (maybe others too).

The following instructions give a quick guide to making logos fit the Firkin App ideal specification:
  1. Open GIMP and make a new image 256 x 256
  2. Add a new layer: Layer/New Layer command and make its fill Transparent. 
  3. Now File/Open As Layers and open the target image
  4. You may need to scale it up or down: Layer/Scale Layer so that its largest dimension is 256 px.  You may also need to select a relevant part of the image and crop it and then scale
  5. Make sure that the layer has an Alpha channel: Layer/Transparency/Add Alpha Channel
  6. Select any coloured background outside the outline of the logo using the Fuzzy Select tool
  7. Delete the selected coloured background
  8. Repeat the above two steps (6 and 7) until white/black/coloured background outside the logo's outline is cleaned up
  9. Export the file as a png file: File/Export As and then confirm Export - make sure there are no spaces in the file name!
  10. Now you can delete this layer using Layer/Delete Layer and move on to the next target image in step 3
  11. Repeat until all of your logos are in the ideal format

Thursday 1 May 2014


FirkinAppDinnerDividerDinner Divider (Ad-Free)
iOS 6.0 or lateriOS 5.1 or lateriOS 5.1 or later
FirkinApp support Dinner Divider support Dinner Divider support
Use Firkin App for your own Beer Festival
Firkin App data

Firkin App data

If you want to include your beer festival on the FirkinApp, we'll need the following information and files:

Beer List (Excel): template available

Contains all of the information that can be presented about beers, ciders, etc., together with brief information about any entertainers and their timings. Also has information about sponsors for individual barrels, and links to their web sites or telephone contacts

Festival information file (Excel): template available

This identifies the key information about the festival including dates, web site, social media accounts, social media message templates

Festival logo: 

ideally .png, 480x480

Logo files:

 for all beers, ciders, food, entertainers, etc.: ideally 256x256 with clear background

Optional files :

Further image files for information pages such as welcome, more information, venue, map, food logo, ticket site logo - banners ideal size 400x132 .png

Next step: contact us by commenting on this blog (your details will remain confidential) so that we can contact you and arrange to send the template files.