Set up Firebase to upload user files

If you’ve read my previous post on uploading files to server, you might have noticed that it was not an easy task to achieve.

There is way too much boilerplate code for uploading a single file, and it will be much more complex in case we plan to upload multiple files, which I need to do for my project.

So what’s the solution to this?

ENTER FIREBASE!

Yeah, you read it right, Firebase once again to the rescue!

I came to know that firebase allows user to store and access the files easily to the built in storage.

Enough chatter for now, lets get to code!

Step 1 :

Add your project to Firebase from the console.

newProj.PNG

Click on the Blue button

Step 2 :

Add Firebase to your webapp

Open the project, you’ve just created and click on the bright red button that says, “ Add Firebase to your web app”

addFirebase.PNGCopy the contents from here and paste it after your HTML code.

Step 3 :

Open the “Storage” tab from the navigation drawer and navigate to the rules tab over there.
We need to set up specific rules as to who all can upload and read files to the storage bucket.

storageRules.PNG
For testing purposes, I’ve allowed everyone to read and write to my storage, but that shouldn’t be the case for your production app

Step 4 :

Add code for uploading your files.

First create a document selection widget and an upload button in your website’s index.html.

<tr>
<td valign=”top”>
<label for=”icon”>Zip File</label>
</td>
<td valign=”top”>
<input accept=”.zip” type=”file” id=”uploadZip” name=”icon”>
</td>
</tr>

Next, create a button to initiate the upload

<tr>
<td colspan=”5″ style=”text-align:center”>
<button type=”submit”>Upload Zip</button>
</td>
</tr>

Next up, inside the JavaScript, add a submitlistener for the submit button and call preventDefault inside it to prevent the form from doing the default action.

var form = document.querySelector(“form”);
form.addEventListener(“submit”, function(event) {
event.preventDefault();

Next up, get a reference to the upload location from your firebase storage bucket.

var timestamp = Number(new Date());
var storageRef = firebase.storage().ref(timestamp.toString());

Next, get the upload button from its ID and add its contents to a variable named file_data.

var $ = jQuery;
var file_data = $(‘#uploadZip’).prop(‘files’)[0];

Now upload that file to firebase.

storageRef.put(file_data);

If everything went as expected, you’ll be able to see the uploaded files onto your firebase console.

 storage

So, you can really appreciate the awesomeness of Firebase by now.
It has replaced the work done by over 50+ lines of code (spread around AJAX calls, PHP Scripts and JavaScript methods) by a single method call.

I would urge you to go through the documentation for more clarity on this.
https://firebase.google.com/docs/storage/

Well, that was it for now.
Next time, I’ll tell you how to retrieve the files back from the storage and add user’s details to Firebase Database.(Yeah, no need for Tables and SQL anymore!)

Cheers. 😀

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Uploading a file to a server via PHP

Uploading a file to a server via PHP

If you have been following my posts about my GSoC project, you would be knowing that we are making an app generator which will allow users to easily generate an android app for any event that they plan to host.

So, the next thing that we wanted in our app was to allow the users to upload a zip containing the json files (in case they don’t have an API, from where app can fetch data from) and then upload it to the server where we can use these files during the app compilation.

Steps below will tell you , how we achieved it :

Changes to HTML

First thing that we needed to do was add a file upload element to out HTML page that would allow only .zip files to be uploaded.
It was pretty simple one liner code which goes as follows

<tr>
<td valign=”top”>
<label for=”sessions”>Zip containing .json files</label>
</td>
<td valign=”top”>
<input accept=”.zip” type=”file” id=”uploadZip” name=”sessions”>
</td>
</tr>

PHP script to upload file on to the server

Next, we needed a server sided script (I used PHP) which would upload the zip provided by the user on to the server and store it to a unique location for each user.
The code for that was,

<?php
if ( 0 < $_FILES[‘file’][‘error’] ) {
echo ‘Error: ‘ . $_FILES[‘file’][‘error’] . ‘<br>’;
}
else {
move_uploaded_file($_FILES[‘file’][‘tmp_name’],“/var/www/html/uploads/upload.zip”);
}
?>

So what is happening here is basically the input arg. is first checked whether it is null or not null.
If it is null, and error is thrown back to the user, else the file is renamed and uploaded to the uploads folder in the server’s public directory.

Changes to the JavaScript

This was the part that needed most of the changes to be done, we first had to store the file that is to be uploaded in the form data, and then make and AJAX call to the php file located on the server.

var file_data = $(‘#uploadZip’).prop(‘files’)[0];
var form_data = new FormData();
form_data.append(‘file’, file_data);
$.ajax(
{ url: ‘/upload.php’, // point to server-side PHP script
cache: false,
contentType: false,
processData: false,
data: form_data,
type: ‘post’,
success: function(php_script_response){
ajaxCall1(); } //Chain up another AJAX call for further operations
});

So, that’s almost it!
Some server sided changes were also required like allowing the web user to execute the upload.php script and making the uploads directory writable by the web user.

Well, does it work?

Um, yeah it does.
There are a few issues with concurrent users which we are still debugging, but apart from that it works like a charm!

Here you can see a folder created by each user based on his/her timestamp
And here you can see the file that was uploaded y him/her
screenshot-area-2016-07-04-124957
Lastly our webapp (Looks stunning right?)

So, that was all for this week, hope to see you again next time.
Cheers and all the best 🙂

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Sending e-mail from linux terminal

So while finalizing the apk-generator for my GSoC project, I faced a roadblock in sending the generated App to the organizer.

Normally the build takes around 10–12 minutes, so asking the user to wait for that long on the website and then providing him/her with a download link did not feel like a good option. (amirite?)

So I and Manan Wason thought of a different approach to this problem, which was to email the generated app to the organzier.

For doing this, we used 2 handy tools MSMTP and Mutt.
We can use MSMTP to send email but unfortunately we cannot include attachments, so we used Mutt to help us send email with attachments from the command line.
So hang tight and follow the rest of the guide to start sending emails from your terminal and get yourself some developer #swag

Step 1 : Installation

Use the following commands to install MSMTP and Mutt

sudo apt-get -y install msmtp
sudo apt-get -y install ca-certificates
sudo apt-get -y install mutt

We need to have a file that contains Certificate Authority (CA) certificates so that we can connect using SSL / TLS to the email server.

Step 2 : Configuring MSMTP

Now we’ll MSMTP configuration on /etc/msmtprc with the content below. NOTE : You will have to enter your username and password on this file so make sure to make this file private.

Lets first open this file

nano /etc/msmtprc

Next, add following text to the file,

account default
tls on
tls_starttls off
tls_certcheck off
auth on
host smtp.mail.yahoo.com (change this to smtp.gmail.com for gmail)
user username
password password
from [email protected]
logfile /var/log/msmtp.log

NOTE : Refrain from using gmail as they might terminate your account for sending email via MSMTP.

For configuring mutt, we’ll use a similar command to edit the file located at /root/.muttrc

nano /root/.muttrc

Add following text to it which specifies the MSMTP account to use for sending email

set sendmail=”/usr/bin/msmtp”
set use_from=yes
set realname=”MY Real Name”
set [email protected]
set envelope_from=yes

That’s it!
Now lets get ready for the fun part, SENDING THOSE EMAILS 😀

Step 3 : Sending

Now, there are 2 cases that might arise while sending the email,

1 : Sending without attachment

This is pretty straightforward and can be done with either MSMTP or Mutt.

Using MSMTP

printf “To: [email protected]: [email protected]: Testing MSMTPnnHello there. This is email test from MSMTP.” | msmtp [email protected]

Entering the following code will send the email to the recipient and also display the sent email in the terminal.

Using Mutt

mutt -s “Testing Mutt” — [email protected] < /path/to/body.txt

NOTE : ‘body.txt’ is the file whose contents will be used in the body of the email that will be sent to ‘[email protected]’.

2 : Sending WITH an attachment

Unlike the previous case, this can be done ONLY using Mutt and the code used is

mutt -a /path/to/attachment.txt -s “Testing Mutt — [email protected] < /path/to/body.txt

The syntax is similar to the above case where we sent the email without attachments.

So well, that it then!
If you followed the instructions carefully, you will have a working email client built into your terminal!
Pretty cool right?

So that’s it for this week, hope to catch you next week with some more interesting tips and tutorials.

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Transmitting response from a Web page to a server.

{ Re-post from my Medium Post }

My project has pivoted from a standalone android app to a Web page that will generate a custom app for an event organizer’s use.

Read up here on what my project actually is.

So obviously some changes at the server are to be made to make this possible.

How are you planning to do it?

First of we started by providing a Web page that the organizers can use to submit information about the app they need to be built like the App’s name, the link to the API (for fetching the json files) and their email address (for mailing them the apk once it’s generated).

The HTML file for the same can be found here.

Some changes to the Travis build should also be made so that it can use this data for building.

From there on, the details submitted by them will be converted by a json object (using javascript) and further send to the open event server via a POST request where it will be written to a database.

We will be able to fetch this file from the database by the following link

openevent.com/api/v2/customapps/id.

Simultaneously one Travis build will also be trigger using the API that will auto build the latest commit, taking the modified json file data provided by the orga-server.

This configuration will be provided to Travis while the build time.

Cool, any difficulties yet!

One of the main challenges that we are facing is manually triggering the Travis build.

We can do this via the Travis API but that’s still in beta and also we are getting our head around on how to implement it.

I also had a tough time learning javascript and HTML for making the Web page and then I also have to read up on sending a POST request to the server via Ajax.

It’s a bit tough, but should be fun.

So, that was all for now, see you next week and all the best for your projects.✌

Continue ReadingTransmitting response from a Web page to a server.

Setting up Our Project Organization and Work Flows

Finally the community bonding period has ended and the actual work has started.

So what was the community bonding period all about?

Well this one month long period was provided to us so that we can go through the existing code base of our project, get in touch with our mentors become familiar with the community’s work environment and set a set of milestones that are to be achieved throughout the summer.

Though some of the students already do this work while they are preparing to apply with the Organization i.e. In the month of Feb and March, still going through the milestones once again and discussing them with other selected students and mentors is always a healthy practice.

With my Organization (FOSSASIA) these milestones were made in a separate document by me and Manan Wason in form of a User Story which had a set of features that are required by the User of the App.

Features having higher priority were assigned an earlier deadline whereas the less important ones were assigned a later date.

We also had to provide a daily scrum email to the mentors highlighting the work done by us the earlier day and what we planned to do today.


Sounds good, now what?

Well the main focus now is to create more issues on the github repository according to the points mentioned in thee User Story and send patches to fix them.

As you might have noticed in the User story doc, we are planning to have 2 apps, one for the normal public and another for the event organizers and speakers.

So we are planning to get the public release done by the mid term evaluations (27th June).

Tho there are many features in the app that are yet to be implemented and while I am still learning how to implement most of them, still I’m sure that I will be able to pull it off by this summer.


Ugh, what was your project about?!

Did I not mention that? Dang!

FOSSASIA’s OpenEvent Android app aims to consolidate important information about FOSSASIA’s developer conference, into a single easy-to-use app along with giving the user much-needed important extra features.

Moreover as the app is open source anyone can fork it, replace the existing APIs with his custom ones and create a custom app for any event that they are planning to host.

Well my project this summer is to enhance the FOSSAsisa’s open event android app along with Manan Wason and Arnav Gupta.

Our end goal is to make our app’s code to be used for the Google I/O 2017 and Facebook’s F8 developer conference. (Pretty Rad right?)


So that was all about my project and plans for this summer.

Hope to have a great learning experience and kudos to you for giving your time to go through this ‘not so well’ written doc. 😅

Until next time. 👋 👋

Continue ReadingSetting up Our Project Organization and Work Flows