Friday, December 26, 2008

7 Essential Tips to Avoid Your Mails Reach Customers’/ Subscribers’ Spam Folders

1. A Meaningful Sender name
There is a saying that, There is never a second chance to first impression. People after opening an unknown email wants to see the sender's name first before going through the content. If it is as greek as then he will mark it as spam without even thinking for a second. Use a sender name that’s simple, easily recognized, and expected by the subscribers. Make sure that your From email address is recognized as well because some email applications such as AOL display only the sender email address, not the name.

2. Constructive and Informative Subject Name
Don't present yourself stupid even before delivering about your product or information. A message with a vague Subject line like "super offer for you!!!" will absolutely be reported as spam. You can make your email recognizable by including your company or newsletter name in brackets at the beginning of your subject lines, for example "[Taragana]: The best software and technology service provider".

3. Whitelist your domain through the Recipients
This will prevent a user-based filter from flagging your message as spam and either moving it to the spam folder or inserting “[SPAM]” to the message Subject. You can include the instructions on whitelisting your domain or email address in the Email Admin Centre area.

4. Don't Make Your Content Look Like a Typical Spam
Try not to use garish, bold fonts; large, red letters, and the like. A message with a clean, readable design is not likely to be taken for spam. Remember, simplicity is a virtue that never goes unattended.

5. Don’t send mails too often
If the recipients used to receive your newsletter once a week or month, don’t suddenly start emailing every other day.

6. Strictly Maintain Subscriber's Preference
Respect the subscriber’s preferences. If the subscriber opted in to receive your “Tips & News” newsletter, don’t send them e-commerce and promotion messages, unless they clearly requested them. This will by no way be a healthy promotion for your company but you will lose the penny you had.

7. Remind the recipient about subscription
Many subscribers receive dozens of commercial email messages every day and they may forget they signed up for your newsletter. It’s reasonable to add to your Email Admin Center the information about the user’s subscription: subscriber’s email address, opt-in date, and newsletter he/she subscribed to.


All in One Video Plugin For Wordpress

Kaltura has recently released version 2.1 of its Wordpress plugin, the All in one Video Pack. This plugin for Wordpress 2.5 or higher allows you to do a great deal of things with Wordpress and rich media including the ability to upload or import a video into your post. You can even record it straight from your webcam to the post if you so wish.

Aside from the standard posting of content to the web, the Kaltura All in One Video Pack plugin lets you edit and remix video thanks to their online video editor. The plugin allows video in various formats including audio, photos and videos in over 150 formats and codecs. You can also import content from a variety of media sharing sites including:

- YouTube
- MySpace
- Flickr
- CCMixter
- Jamendo
- New York Public Library
- Any URL on the web

The plugin isn’t just about watching video and other media, it’s also about interacting. It gives your viewers the ability to reply in video or audio form and participate in collaborative videos.

The plugin gives you tracking abilities as well, thanks to the management console. The plugin is Widget ready and offers a sidebar that shows thumbnails of the latest videos and comments.

In regards to the look and feel, the plugin gives you three options for the appearance of the player and you can customize the size of the player to fit your site.

Future Expansion

Kaltura is also continuing development on the plugin to include the ability to create, manage and display playlists, podcast playing and recording, video galleries and more advanced features for the player like subtitles, downloads, credits and more.

Why it’s important to you?

Wordpress is used in over three million blogs and websites online. It’s one of the easiest content management systems to install, administer and customize. With its vast array of plugins to extend the basic functionality of the package it is able to do a large amount of things many people want. This plugin gives Wordpress a massive boost in the multimedia category. However, it appears that there’s no way to monetize the videos you show yet aside from standard banner advertising. It doesn’t say anything about being able to include video ads but hopefully they’ll look into ways to include this in the future. When the video playlist features are in place you might be able to create a playlist that shows ads mid-roll so to speak by placing them in between chapters or other videos.

Read More..

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Three Important Tips to Write PHP Code Defensively

The phenomenal growth of PHP applications has also led to a mushrooming of increased quantum of malicious activity. It thus becomes imperative that you write secure PHP code to protect your website. Here are some tips for the same.

The three most vulnerable aspects of PHP that can become easily accessible to anyone are XSS (Cross Site Scripting), Global Variables and SQL code.


The growth of XSS has followed a steady growth in the use of AJAX. Cross Site Scripting, for instance is used when you create a Comment section in your website. If the commentator has to log in to comment, his login information gets stored in a cookie. As the JavaScript code is generally run whenever a person writes the comment, there is a pretty good chance of the contents of the cookie being accessible to a remote server handled by a malicious user.

To counter this, make a habit of including filters whenever you request for random information. Use the die() function to exit from the task whenever the filters detect an unqualified input. The details that are typed are first filtered and then sent to the website’s database. Again the information is filtered before it is output.
//A good filter program that validates data, prevents XSS attack and
//preempts white lists would look like this
echo 'this is what you input';
echo htmlentities($_POST['myInfo']);

Global Variables

The PHP feature “Register Globals” leads to a palpable lacuna in programming safety. Once this feature is activated in PHP configuration file, even a single variable that is to uninitialized, can lead to a great security flaw. For instance
if (is_admin()) ( $authorized=true; )
if ($authorized) ( include "/very/sensitive/data.php"; )

When you run the file, because of non-initialization the user may not be verified, resulting in anyone accessing the administrative control! To counter this, you should disable Register Globals, initialize variables use localized variables and as far as possible within the programs.

SQL Code

The SQL code is vulnerable to malicious users just like XSS feature. To write a secure SQL code you need to remember a couple of things. First avoid using dynamic code and second, if dynamic code in inevitable then do not have direct input into the tables.

For instance, a code like this will take care of the sql security
if ($_POST['submit'] == 'Save') {
if (isset($_POST['acct_num']) &&
isValidAccountNumber($_POST['acc_num'])) {
$link = mysql_connect ('hostname', 'user', 'password')
or die('Could not connect to DB');

Preferably have a database to select user name so that any other entry (like “bingo” or ‘blah blah’) can be swiftly detected. A simple way of preventing SQL security lapse is by typecasting the data so that input is effectively monitored. You can also make use of the versatile “mysql_real_escape_string”. This function can successfully filter symbols and contain SQL security flaws.

These three are the most significant to create a secure PHP code. Apart from this, you should also ensure that
- The system is well protected
- Files and database are protected.
- Posts are verified
- Input is always validated

Input validation is the key to secure programming. Make a habit of allowing only the right input into your system. A systematic approach to PHP, keeping in mind the pitfalls, can guard the program against most flaws and malicious attacks.

Read More..

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Will Google and Microsoft Own the Web?

It's something of an open secret that Mozilla, the organization behind the open source Firefox Web browser, gets most of its funding from Google -- 91 percent, to be exact. The deal gives Google top placement in Firefox's search engine bar. But now that Google is also shipping Chrome, its own branded browser, some critics are asking whether the search engine giant's deep pockets have allowed it to gain too much influence over the Web browser market.

This week, Mozilla CEO John Lilly admitted that his organization's relationship with Google is "more complicated than it used to be" in light of the current funding arrangement. But Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz goes even further, claiming that because the market is controlled by just a few giant companies -- namely Google and Microsoft -- the Web browser has become "hostile territory" for application developers. Could the days of an open Web be coming to an end?

The technologies used to build Web pages -- including HTML, JavaScript, and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) -- are all open standards, maintained by industry consortia. No one company owns them. But experimental features often appear in new browser releases first, then are integrated into the official standards later. One example is Google's Gears technology, which is built into Chrome and is available as a plug-in for Firefox and Internet Explorer. Gears is widely expected to influence the upcoming HTML 5 standard.

That's all well and good, except that arguably only Microsoft can compete with Google's share of the browser market. For example, Opera is a longstanding alternative browser that is often praised for its compliance with Web standards, but its market share is but a fraction of that of Firefox or IE. Because of Opera's narrower reach, a new feature introduced in Opera might be seen as less significant, and therefore be less likely to become part of the public standards.

Read MOre..

Open source development - the recent trend in IT

An Open source software is the one whose codes are available free and is open to all. Anyone can get those codes, modify them and use for coding similar kinds of application.

In an IT industry the same thing happens. Once a developer gains knowledge in programming, he doesn't sit and right 1000 lines of codes but searches for similar kind of codes and modify them to his requirement.

Open source development has attained its peak as more number of codes on various applications are available online. This has come to break the copyright issues. many online communities are there to guide the young developers so that they get in touch with experts and analysts in that field.

Google has come out with an establishment for open source development known as the Google Summer of Code that offers stipends to those willing to do projects to their mentor companies with the open source codes available.This is a good way to earn money and alo make learning process to be more practical.

Read More..

How To Use the New Dashboard in Wordpress 2.7 Admin

The biggest difference you will see after Upgrading to Wordpress 2.7 is the new Dashboard in the administrators area. Just login to your new or upgraded Wordpress 2.7 website and you will see what I mean!

The whole Dashboard has been radically designed by the developers at Wordpress and a very good job they have done on it. It may take you a while to get used to, but you will soon be wondering how you ever got by without it.
Introduction To The Wordpress 2.7 Dashboard

When you log in as the Wordpress administrator at your website ( you will see a very different layout than that in previous versions.

The major benefits from a user perspective are that the newly designed Dashboard has much more funtionality then before and can be totally customised by you to suit your style and method of work.

Movable, Collapsible and Hideable Screen Component Modules

Just like the way that more recnt version of Wordpress have allowed you to move the positions of widgets in sidebars, you can now rearrange the modules within the central area of the dashboard screen.

Just grab the heading of any module with your mouse and drag the module to it’s new location in the dashboard (click on the heading and hold down the click while moving the cursor with your mouse).


Monday, December 22, 2008

5 reasons to open a twitter account for your online business

1. Share with anyone in doubt of what you’re doing.

If you’re like me, and you tell those around you that you’ve decided to take the path of a big web idea, chances are they will laugh at you and think you’ve gone crazy. I’ve had countless co-workers, family members and such tell me I was a ‘dreamer’. As Lance Armstrong said after one win, “I feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t dream”.

A lot of people in this world assume. I believe life hard is because of misinformation. I mean, imagine a perfect world, if all things were accurate and truthful, finding solutions to problems would be as easy as grabbing your left and right sock, or chopsticks. But assumptions people make are not facts, and thus, add to our misinformed world. So to reduce this, you’re now the source, the truth, the authority to what you’re doing. If there are those that want to spite you, it’ll be harder for them to do when they see your app’s twitter.

2. Building your SEO

I’m assuming you will be busy posting your updates, getting the word out like putting your twitter link in your email signatures, making announcements in your social networks about following you, etc. But with all those keywords that are important to you, Twitter’ll be another external link with all of this content all indexed in mighty Google. Your twitter account will have a great pagerank when you start getting active too! Doing it for the SEO alone would be worthwhile!

3. Updated news

When building your web app, it’ll be one less functionality you’ll have to implement: the update section. Just use twitter! and use a plugin like Twitter Tool embedded in your wordpress blog for your main content. 140 characters should be enough to say ‘selection menu on blah page is now fixed, thanks steve‘

4. What are you doing?

These are the words that face you when you login to your twitter. It’s one thing if you’ve logged into your general account and you see this question. It’s another when you’ve logged in to your business’s twitter account and facing you is this question. In that sense, Twitter is like a virtual overbearing Steve Jobs boss! (without the following mental abuse!)

5. Motivate yourself

You’ve got followers now who probably won’t be customers. They’re following you for a different reason. Perhaps they want to see your tenacity and drive and lead by example. Energy flows back and forth and any source for pushing yourself is well worth it.

Read More..

Google reveals upcoming Android features

Android is in the process of being turned by Google from its own development project into open source. This week, some of the changes made to the mobile operating system by a private group of developers came to light in Cupcake--the Android code the group shares with the outside world. Now, according to the Android road map, the Cupcake enhancements have started to be merged into the wider, open-source Android project.

The private development branch will continue to operate, and the current merging of the new features into the master Android branch will be completed in early January.

Some of the changes coming to Android are bug fixes, affecting elements such as e-mail, conversation-list scrolling, and the alarm clock. Several new features are, however, also being added--for example, the ability to save MMS attachments. The Linux kernel upon which Android runs has been upgraded to version 2.6.27, and "basic x86 support" has been added.

The WebKit browser core has been updated, and support for the new SquirrelFish JavaScript engine has been added. The browser will now support cutting and pasting, and will also include a find function.

Android's camera functionality has received a major boost, with the addition of video capture. Download functionality has also been enhanced; applications can pause their downloads, and interrupted downloads can now be resumed instead of failing.

Virtual keyboards will also become possible, and third-party developers will be given the application programming interfaces to create their own input methods. A new API for speech recognition is also included, as is A2DP stereo Bluetooth support.

Read MOre..

Yahoo competes to be less-evil

Is it time for fans of open source to switch their affections from Google to Yahoo?

It’s a question worth asking, and one Yahoo wants asked, as it unveils its Open Strategy and starts taking some bows for what it has already done.

In particular we want to note the Yahoo User Interface library, hailed this week as one of the 25 most secure open source projects by Palamida.

While most reporters have been obsessed with talking about Yahoo’s on-off relationships with Google and Microsoft, the company has been quietly earning its open source stripes in many ways.

Yes, Yahoo hopes to earn money through closer relationships with social networks and projects like Wordpress, but if you want sackcloth you’re into FOSS, not open source.

It’s also true that Yahoo’s moves can be compared to those of Sun a few years ago. It may not work. On the other hand it may help Yahoo survive.

What is important is that there is now competition for open source attention, and loyalty, in the search engine sphere. That should, over time, benefit everyone.

Read More..

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What do you most dislike about PHP?

The title of this post is probably a little bit flamebait-ish, but I’m actually genuinely interested to get the Internet’s opinion on the following:

Pick any three aspects of PHP that makes you feel dirty as a developer, and post them as a comment here.

For me it’s:
- The standard library is a huge, monolithic mess. This has been covered before, so I won’t beat a dead horse. I’d love to see the standard library reorganized and some sanity introduced around the naming of certain aspects.

- Superglobals because they behave weirdly in certain scenarios and make unit testing a pain in the ass.

- omg\namespace\separator\is\Backslash, which has effectively killed this long-awaited feature for me.

Again, I don’t intend for this to be about hating on PHP or its developers (read: comments that don’t contribute anything meaningful to the discussion won’t see the light of day). Instead, I want to formalize what causes people pain when working with PHP today. Who knows — maybe somebody, somewhere will listen?

Read More..

Linux Vs Bsd

Differences between BSD and Linux

1) BSD license allows users/companies to modify a program’s source code and not to release changes to the public. In other words, BSD licenses allow commercial use and incorporation of a code into proprietary commercial products. This is how Microsoft incorporated BSD networking into their products and how Mac OS X earns money through muscles of FreeBSD.

Linux uses GPL license for most of the time (applications in Linux can also have a BSD license - or any license; it is up to developers how they decide). With a GPL-licensed program anybody can change the source code, but he or she MUST share it with the Open Source community to make sure that everybody will benefit from such a change.

2) BSD has the so-called “core system” (without packages). The core system consists of basic utilities (like ssh, fdisk, various commands like chmod or sysctl, manual pages, etc.) and anything beyond this is strictly seen as an add-on. Linux (not only the kernel, of course) is usually packaged as the whole system where this difference is not seen.

3) On BSD systems, all add-on packages are strictly installed into the /usr/local directory: documents to user/local/share/docs/application_name; themes and other things to /usr/local/share/application_name; binaries to /usr/local/bin/application_name. By application_name we mean a program’s name, so if you install IceWM, for example, its binary will be here: /usr/local/bin/icewm. With Linux, on the other hand, all applications get mostly installed into the /usr/bin directory.

4) BSD systems use the system of “ports”, which are fingerprints of applications in the /usr/ports directory, where a user may “cd” and execute a make command, which will download, via a directive contained in such a fingerprint’s code, the application’s source and the system will compile it as well. “Ports” are actually add-on packages for BSD systems and they are also packaged in packages repository of a concrete BSD system. They can be installed as binaries, too, with use of the “pkg_add” either directly from the Internet or locally. But “ports” have that advantage that if an author of any package makes a new version, a user can immediately get its newest/updated version. Packages released for a particular BSD version (like OpenBSD 4.1) are not updated and users have to wait for a new BSD release (like OpenBSD 4.2).

5) BSD systems have also their stable version. With FreeBSD, for example, you have a FreeBSD-Release (a version that can be used normally), FreeBSD-Stable (system more profoundly audited for bugs and security holes), and a development version - Current, which is not stable and not recommended for a regular use. Some Linux distributions started to imitate this philosophy, but with BSD systems this way of making distributions has become a rule.

6) Of course, the kernel is absolutely different.

7) BSD has FFS file system; it is the only file system on BSD’s contrary to Linux, where you can use dozens of file systems like ext2, ext3, ReiserFS, XFS, etc.

ReaD More..

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

WordPress Plugin Releases for 12/16

This plugin takes the pain out of adding another field to your comment form for users to enter their twitter username to be displayed as a link to follow them via their twitter page.

Media Tags
With this plugin you can now add tags to your media attachments. You can tag Word document, PDF documents basically anything you upload via the standard WordPress Media upload tool.

Automatically, cross-posting to associated site/blog to enabling the post-via-email option with PIN code e.g.,, blogspot.

Hackadelic Sliding Notes
Ajax sliders for content fragments. Fancy replacement for foot- and other notes.

This plugin allows a WordPress Site Admin to enter locations of stores etc into the db. The user can then search for the closest location.

Facebook Posted Items
This plugin fetches posted items from Facebook and displays them in an unordered list with proper links and comments.

Updated Plugins

Sensitive Tag Cloud
This WordPress plugin provides a configurable tag cloud that shows tags depending of the current context only.

This WordPress plugin provides multiple options to show the via tags related posts of a post. It contains a sidebar widget that is only visible when viewing a single post and displays a list of posts that are related with the current post via the tags.

The wpSEO plugin helps you to optimize your blog for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) purposes by eliminating issues with duplicate content and specifying meta tags and page titles for the different pages of your blog. You can also specify your meta tags and page titles manually.

GD Star Rating
GD Star Rating is post, page and comment rating plugin for WordPress. Plugin supports different image sets, rating moderation, vote rules, time restricted voting, templates, trend calculations, has a widgets build in and shortcode support.

Smooth Scrolling Links
This plug in uses the JavaScript provided by Stuart Langridge called Smooth scroll, which effectively adds a special effect to your “self” links. Self links means the links which are targeting to the same page with various locations like top, bottom or specific in page links.

Moodlight allows your visitors to add their mood on posts via comments.

Simple Google Sitemap
Creates an XML Sitemap, containing Homepage, Articles and Pages.


Twitter for Blog Promotion

Twittering, or using the social networking site, isn’t just for fun (although it is terribly addictive). It’s also a great way to promote your blog. You can do that in a few simple and short steps:

Find like-minded people and follow them. Look in particular for people with terms related to your blog in their bio or name. You’ll have to be pretty general here since people don’t get much space on Twitter. Once you follow enough people like you, you should start getting people interested in your topic following you.

Encourage people who visit your blog to follow you on Twitter. This isn’t the only way to get return visitation (RSS feeds and use of sites like Feedburner are great!). But if you have a blog visitor who’s a Twitter junkie and likes your blog, they probably will click your Twitter badge and follow you.

When you have a new blog post, Twitter it. You won’t have room for much, but you can simply post your post header and the link.

Keep an eye on your referrals and see how effective Twittering is. If you find you’re getting even a few visits a day, it’s probably worth the effort. If you’ve actively sought out people who might be interested in your niche or topic, those are probably high-quality visitors who will visit your site again and might even comment.

Read More..

Yahoo Lets Developers Help Deliver The Mail

Yahoo made good on its promise to embrace an open-source strategy by rolling out enhancements to Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Toolbar this week, both of which are part of its Yahoo Open Source Strategy. The goal behind the Yahoo Open Source Strategy is to welcome independent developers into the fold while simultaneously positioning Yahoo as something of a social network.

The new and improved Yahoo Mail—which initially is being rolled out to a limited number of users in the U.S. and Australia—embraces social media. It's being billed by the company as a "smarter" mailbox that streamlines information and highlights other friendly Yahoo users' activities.

The company promises that the new version of its e-mail application will "surface messages, information and activity updates from people users care about most, as well as an updated inbox and folder view that filters messages from those personal connections."

The nuts and bolts of the Yahoo Mail include connections where—much like Facebook, MySpace or Twitter— users can connect with friends who use the service and designate their activity as important. The upshot, it seems, is that their activity, messages and updates will be flagged and given priority on the Yahoo Mail homescreen. The types of "activity" that Yahoo will highlight for users include interactions with Yahoo profile updates, Yahoo Buzz and TV, and music and travel selections friends are reading or talking about.

The open-source angle of the Yahoo Open Source Strategy will also come into play on the e-mail homescreen, with the search engine company allowing a limited number of third-party developers to create applications that will live in the Yahoo mail screen. Think Google Labs for Gmail or the App Store for Apple's iPhone. Yahoo hopes that by making its start page less static that users will choose to talk, share and interact with friends on their pages instead of surfing over to an established network like Facebook.

Another prong of Yahoo's Open Source Strategy is the Yahoo Toolbar, which also launched this week. The idea behind the toolbar is to give users immediate access and notifications to things like e-mail alerts, favorite Web sites and instant Web search.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Check out Broken Backlinks using Google Webmaster Tool

Google rocks the web world, do you guys have any doubt? No! right!, Google has introduced a new feature which lets us to view Broken Backlinks which are present in our sites, this awesome new feature has been introduced in Google Webmaster Tools.

If you want to know more about this and would like to check your sites for any Broken Backlinks, then please do click on this URL - obviously one should have Google account to login to the webmasters site. And if you would like to try your luck with zero broken backlinks on your site, then follow these steps.

- Once you login to the site, the above URL will take you to the dashboard, where in you can find your list of sites which you have added earlier (or even you can add the same).

- Click on Diagnostics, then Web crawl, once you are in Web crawl page you can see a table which depicts the Errors for URL’s in Sitemaps and respective options.

By this you can check the respective errors and just rectify those Broken Backlinks and make your website 100% error free.


Top 10 Websites of 2008

2008 has seen the rise of yet more interactive applications and websites online as the web creeps closer and closer to having sites as interactive as desktop applications. Here’s my top 10 websites that I have been visiting and using over the past 12 months.

The redesign of the BBC’s website was probably the most talked about redesign of the year and with good reason. The BBC had not redesigned their wesite homepage for the previous 5 years and what a difference it has made. Now a fully interactive and customisable homepage, along with the iPlayer’s website it has become one of my most visited sites of the year and my number one source for news.

For me the best resource for online tutorials on the web. There are a huge number of tutorials taking you from the basics of the web up to more advanced techniques and tutorials. The diverse range of quality material on this site combined with updated which are nearly daily makes it my number one choice for tutorials on the web.

CSS Tricks and CSS for Lunch (a close second) are my two favourite CSS sites of the year for 2008. CSS Tricks wins this one because of the quantity of content. Run by Chris Coyier, a web designer from Madison, Wisconsin who works for Chatman Design.

smashing magazine:

Smashing magazine is a great resource for inspiration. Subscribe to their feed and you’ll find a one stop shop for the best resources, designs, lists of tutorials and inspiration online. has been one of my top sites for a few years now. With a new design and ever growing community and content the site has now developed into something special. For me the main use of the site is not actually for finding new music. Instead I use it to find out events that are on in my area from recommendations that makes based on the music both myself and my neighbours have listened to.

I’m not the biggest user of Facebook but the redesign put the site back on track. For a time it was looking like going down the road of such sites as MySpace and Bebo with content and design all over the place. Fortunately, for now, Facebook has managed to keep this in check.

The longest running webdesign podcast and the first web design podcast I started listening to, Boagworld has become an inspirational resource for many web designers. Run by Paul Boag, the site has recently won an award for the best Podcast from .Net Magazine. A quick look at the forums on the site will show how strong the community in the site has become.

Now not only a leader in open source blogging software but also contending as a content management application Wordpress has just released version 2.7 which is a fully polished blogging platform now with, in my opinion, the most usable content management interface open source platform.

A new site online this year is Themeforest. Run by the Envato network (the same network as nettuts), Theme Forest has an array of templates for websites, blogs and content management systems.

Another money making site for designers is Someone will post a design brief online as a competition for designers to submit their work. After the contest is over the winning designer will be paid the prize money.

Read More..

Use of dynamic languages will rise in 2009

What used to be a programming tool for small jobs is mainstream in Asia as over 88 percent of developers say they use some dynamic language some of the time and over 40 percent use one more than half of the time.

Javascript is by far the most widely used dynamic language, although 45 percent of developers in Asia who use dynamic languages now use PHP in some of their projects.

"Software developers are always looking for ways to shed unneeded complexity and outdated methodologies and move to approaches that make programming simpler and faster especially as more and more development is web-centric," said John Andrews, president and CEO of Evans Data. "The high use of dynamic languages in Asia Pacific is consistent with the high concentration of web application development being conducted in that region."

Other highlights of this survey of over 400 software developers in the Asia-Pacific region include:

* Cloud computing is on the rise, with over one in five Asian developers planning to launch cloud projects within the next 6 months.

* Sixty percent of developers in the Asia region expect their development for mobile devices to increase

* Intel dominates the development market with more than twice as many developers targeting the Intel processors as AMD processors.

Developers predict their use of dynamic languages will remain the same next year as this year, except that Perl is expected to decline and Actionscript, the basis for Flash development, will increase.

Read More..

Wordpress + Joomla = ?

Wordpress is without any doubt the biggest (open source) blogging platform. Well known for it's ease of installation, ease of use and of course the incredible amount of extensions that are available. Joomla! on the other hand is a very powerfull system made out of a fully object oriented (and pattern based) application framework, and on top of that the well known CMS. Joomla! is extremely extensible, thousands of templates and extensions are available. And while it is perfectly possible to create a blogging site (JFoobar is just an example of that), Wordpress is without any discussion easier to set up and use as blogging solution. It holds way more features by default for blogging then Joomla! In short, it is more difficult to create a blogging solution in Joomla! (although far from impossible).

Past week I joined twitter...not really certain how it works, but I must admit I have found some interesting information there so for now it seems worth while the effort. Today a post about combining Joomla! and Wordpress was posted on the corephp website.

Shortly after the creation of the Joomla! project the first core team used a Wordpress bridge for blogging, so the concept is certainly not new. In the mean while the core team blogs have moved to the leadership area on the community site using a very basic Joomla! installation and a professional commenting solution. The question is why you would use the Wordpress platform and an extension to bridge between the two?

Read More..

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Checklist For Choosing Open Source Software

As a small business owner funds are tight, so the last thing you want to do is invest in lots of new software. Fortunately, you may not have to.

A growing movement in the online world is the Open Source Movement. Open Source developers write programs, plugins, and internet scripts and distribute them, and the source code used to create them, for free. Chances are you’ve already heard of some of them. For example, Wordpress is open source, as is Open Office (an open source clone of Microsoft Office).

As a small business owner open source software can be a tremendous asset. Because it is free it gives you a chance to spend your limited resources elsewhere, instead of investing in expensive software. However, open source software isn’t without it’s drawbacks. Here are 5 things you should always check when investigating a promising piece of open source software:

1. Does it have the features you need? Because open source software is developed by individuals or small organizations, it often does not have all the same features as similar commercial applications. If you don’t need those features, then this isn’t an issue. But don’t take the time to download, install, and learn a new software if it isn’t going to meet your business needs.

2. Does it have good documentation? Another result of the part-time nature of open source development is that even some of the best open source softwares do not have complete documentation. When looking at a new open source project, take a good look at the documentation offered and try to get a feel for whether it will answer your questions about using the software. Other things to look for are project forums, wikis, and FAQ’s. All these places can provide answers to questions you may have, or allow you to ask your own. If you can’t find enough documentation for an open source project, it may be worth looking elsewhere. No matter how good a program is, it’s worth your time if you can’t figure out how to use it.

3. How easy is the program to edit? What do programmers have to say about the code? One of the greatest strengths of open source programs is that the source code comes with them. This means that if you find a piece of software that you really like, but need just one more feature, chances are good you can hire a programmer to add that feature for you. Be aware, however, that some programs are written better than others. If the source code you get is messy, inefficient, or just hard to understand it may not be worth your money to hire a programmer to make even small modifications.

4. How does it communicate with other programs or formats your business uses? Even if a program does exactly what you need it to do, it may not communicate with other programs your business has to use every day. For example, a word processor would not be much use if it could not read and save Microsoft Word Documents. If there are programs or certain formats that everybody in your business or industry uses, be sure the open source program you are looking at supports them.

5. Finally, What do other users think of the program? Take some time to browse the web and look for reviews, critiques, or discussions about the software you’re looking at using. Sometimes open source programs may look good, but be filled with bugs. Others may work, but have poor user interfaces that make it hard to work with them. The best way to get an idea of whether an open source program is worth using in your business is to find out what others are saying about it. If you find lots of positive reviews, especially from people in a similar industry to yours, than you’re likely on the right track. If all you find are complaints, steer clear.


The End of Twitter?

If you work in an internet related field (programming, designing, administrating, etc) you’ve probably heard of the “micro-blogging” service Twitter. For those who don’t know what it is, Twitter is a social networking site where users share “Tweets” (140 character messages) with each other and the world at large. As is the case with many new internet technologies however, Twitter has it’s shortfalls, and it might not be long before newer micro-blogging services take over.

One such new micro-blogging service is Even though doesn’t have as many users or features as Twitter (yet!), it does some things Twitter does not.

1) REALLY easy setup. supports OpenID*. Since I already have an OpenID set up, I used it to register my new account. All I had to do was enter my OpenID, approve, and choose a nickname. That’s IT! No adding mundane details like my name or e-mail address… all that was pulled from my OpenID automatically.

Of course, if you don’t have OpenID you can still register at normally, and the process looks simple and easy.

2) IM and Text Message support.

When I first started using twitter, I could “tweet” using an instant messaging program. Unfortunately, this functionality soon disappeared, with little explanation as to where it had gone or when it was coming back. Likewise, one of the strongest features of Twitter is the ability to receive tweets from people you’re following on your cell phone as text messages. In the USA this works fine, but here in Canada Twitter has had to disable the service due to excessive costs from the cell phone companies. seems to have neatly avoided both problems. As of right now at least they have an IM service that works and they’re using e-mail to SMS for their text messaging. e-Mail to SMS doesn’t cost them anything - the fees are passed on to the user. I looked into it and for me it would be a $5 a month upgrade, or 15 cents per message received. This is a bit of a pain, but at least the option is there.

3) Interfaces with Twitter. interfaces well with twitter, so if you’re switching over you don’t need to worry about people missing your Tweets. Just add your twitter username and password to, and anything you post to is copied to Twitter. Win / Win!

4) is Open Source.

Rather than being a closed platform like Twitter, is built on open source software and works with an open source license. This, combined with support for FOAF files*, Microformats*, and OAuth* means that other webmasters can set up their own micro-blogging systems, and fully integrate back to

In short, takes sharing what you’re doing right now to a whole new level, and its smart business plan and open licensing agreements mean that it will continue to expand long after Twitter has died. If you’re just thinking about getting into the micro-blogging world, take for a spin. As with Facebook / Myspace, sometimes in the internet world “the second mouse gets the cheese”.


Christmas Joomla Theme

Rise of Technology is a Christmas joomla theme which will meet most sophisticated requirements as far as the look and feel of a website. The template’s lovely 3D color schemes and thought-out layout structure are just the reasons why this template is a top choice for all Joomla fans.

Supported features:
Joomla 1.5 Compatibility
3-columns Support
Various promo/logo area options
Various color schemes – blue/orange, green/orange, etc.
Two pre-defined sections (USER 1 and USER 2) for posting Latest News, Archive, Polls, etc.
Many other useful options

To make use of our new Rise of Technology Joomla 1.5 template you should follow a few easy steps:
1. Download the template and unpack it;
2. Upload it into your your-joomla1.5.x-installation/templates/ directory via FTP or by browsing the template’s zip archive from Extensions » Install/Uninstall and pushing the Upload File & Install button;
3. Set the template as default from Extensions » Template Manager, by selecting it and pushing the Default button.

Download Christmas Theme

10 Advanced PHP Tips To Improve Your Programming

PHP programming has climbed rapidly since its humble beginnings in 1995. Since then, PHP has become the most popular programming language for Web applications. Many popular websites are powered by PHP, and an overwhelming majority of scripts and Web projects are built with the popular language.

Because of PHP’s huge popularity, it has become almost impossible for Web developers not to have at least a working knowledge of PHP. This tutorial is aimed at people who are just past the beginning stages of learning PHP and are ready to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty with the language. Listed below are 10 excellent techniques that PHP developers should learn and use every time they program. These tips will speed up proficiency and make the code much more responsive, cleaner and more optimized for performance.

1. Use an SQL Injection Cheat Sheet
2. Know the Difference Between Comparison Operators
3. Shortcut the else
4. Drop those Brackets
5. Favour str_replace() over ereg_replace() and preg_replace()
6. Use Ternary Operators
7. Memcached
8. Use a Framework
9. Use the Suppression Operator Correctly
10. Use isset instead of strlen


Wordpress Plugins - A Look At Whats Available

Wordpress first appeared in 2003 as is now used on thousands of websites. It is a simple open source blogging tool which is offered in two ways, either the hosted option or the free software download option.

Wordpress offers many additional features which are otherwise know as wordpress plugins. These wordpress plugins allow you to customise your blog to suit both the audience and the genre of your website.

There are so many wordpress plugins to choose from, if you are new to blogging you may not know which ones will work best for you. Here is a list and explanation on just some of the most popular wordpress plugins available.

Top Wordpress Plugins:

All in one SEO pack - this wordpress plug in helps optomize your titles for search engines as well as generating automatic META tags.

It gives you the opportunity to override titles and set any META keywords and description you want. Depending on the version of wordpress you are currently using ie 2.3 you can simply install this wordpress plugin and it will work straight away.

Akismet - this is a fantastic tool which helps sort out the clutter of spam. Once installed, this wordpress plugin will check all of your comments against the Akismet web service to analyze if they look like spam or something genuine, it then allows you to review what has been found in the comments secion of your wordpress blog so that you can decide if you want to delete it or not.

Wordpress Stats - although there are many ways to capture data and stats regarding your website, most offer too much information especially if you are new to blogging. The wordpress stats system has been specially designed to focus on the most popular information a blogger needs.

Twitter Tools - this plugin intergrates your Twitter account with your wordpress blog. Twitter is a free micro-blogging and social networking service.

Get Recent Comments - This plugin gives you full control over the aperance of excerpts of comments that are shown in your sidebar. You can determine the order, the number of excerpts and the length.

- This guestbook can be easily customized allowing you to change not only the color but allows you to set mandatory fields where a user must fill out certain information. You can fully manage the user entries and edit/remove posts before they are shown.

All In One Video Pack
- This wordpress plugin offers every functionality you need for video and rich-media. It allows you to record/upload and import videos straight to your chosen post.

Each wordpress plugin has its own unique advantages and can really help to turn your blog into something user friendly. With so many plugins to choose from it is worth spending a bit of time searching through what is on offer and selecting the plugins that will benefit both you, your site and your readers.

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WordPress Is Tops for 2009

WordPress 2.5 won .net magazine’s Open source application of the year for 2009 (issue 184). WordPress is an awesome blogging platform and CMS. It deserves all the accolades it receives.

Version 2.7 is better yet (I upgraded three blogs in the past day). Thanks a bunch, Matt. And congratulations.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Open-Source Uru is Coming

As for the announcement itself, I’m elated but not necessarily surprised. Given the pre-announcement, it seemed impossible for it to be truly bad news (i.e. “Uru’s dead, we’re keeping the body. Shoo”). It seemed equally impossible for it to be radically good news (i.e.”Valve has hired us to produce the next few Portal games as well as the rest of the Half Life series, Cyan’s set for life and Uru will return with all the ponies you can imagine”). Given the push for and interest in open-source, it’s good to see Cyan taking the initiative (relatively. Only a few months since it was first talked about often on the forums compared to the years it took for UCC to take hold).

It will not be easy. People will and do have wildly different expectations. Some see it as the paradise they’ve wanted. A place where no one needs to feel sidelined because there will be a place for everyone. Some see it as a failure of their dreams. A place which will likely have no Cyan content, at least for now. Still others see it as just a place to gather and have fun. I think those people will be the ones who see the greatest benefit from this new Uru. It won’t be those who are elated but likely over-estimating Cyan’s open-ness. It won’t be those fearing a shattered community. Those two sides, as well as many others, will likely fight. Particularly if we try to make the Uru we like THE Uru. No, the ones who will have the most fun will be the people who just gather, no matter where they are.


New Launchpad plugins for Drupal

Free software development is an essentially social activity and we’ve built Launchpad to help those interactions — both between people and projects — along the way.

By working on free software through Launchpad you build a picture not only of what you’ve done — reporting bugs, creating branches of code, etc. — but your team memberships can also show what roles you have in different free software communities.

Part of what we’ve been doing recently is to open Launchpad to make it far easier to use that information elsewhere; in particular, the web services API, the bug tracker plugin API and Launchpad becoming an OpenID provider.

Today we’re releasing two modules for Drupal 5.x under the AGPL:
openid-launchpad: delegate your Drupal site’s user authentication to Launchpad
openid-teams: assign Drupal roles to logged-in users based on their membership of specific Launchpad teams.

Using these modules, you can create a Drupal site that makes use of each person’s participation in your community, as reflected in Launchpad. For example, if you want to allow only members of a core development team to post release announcements to your project website all you need do is create a Drupal role with those permissions and then assign it to the Launchpad team of your project’s developers.

The Ubuntu Fridge news site is one of the first sites to use the modules. It passes user authentication to Launchpad and also grants an editor role to members of the Ubuntu Fridge Editors team in Launchpad.

To use the modules you’ll need to be running Drupal 5.x and also be using our modified version of the Drupal OpenID module (GPL). Full setup details are available in our help guide.


Google Chrome: A Point of Departure

Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Chrome officially got ratcheted up to a 1.0 release earlier today. The feature set may be meager compared to Firefox (e.g.: no plugins, yet), but it's only a starting point. And not just for something to be decked out with plugins, either.

This all started with some thought about the whole concept of "small is beautiful" or "less is more" -- however you want to put it -- in programming. It's a good place to start, but you can't always stay there. Users badger the programmers for this or that pet feature, and before long what started as a lean-and-mean piece of work has become top-heavy and potentially unstable. And soon a competitor comes along, someone who's stuck with the original plan of Keep It Simple, Silly, and you're back to where you started.

Here's where I think open source can be a big help, and I'll start with an open source project that's been constantly accused of succumbing to unneeded bloat: Firefox. It's not hard to expand on the core functionality of Firefox by writing extensions, but throw in too many and problems can arise. The folks at Flock took the Firefox source code and added a whole slew of social-networking extensions that would nominally be accomplished through plugins, but integrated them into the core as cleanly and efficiently as possible. If you want all that stuff, pick Flock; if you want to go with the original, go with Firefox. And any fixes that benefit one can in theory (and, typically, in practice) benefit both.

I'm seeing a similar future for Chrome, too. Rather than have a one-size-fits-all version, the Chrome we're getting now is going to be a point of departure for other projects that see the browser as a malleable vehicle, not a fixed destination. The same could be said of any number of other programs that serve as a major focal point for open source activity: OpenOffice, for instance, already has some of this going on with Symphony.

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New WordPress 2.7 Paves the Way for WordPress Social Networks

The popular open source blogging software WordPress has officially released version 2.7, a significant upgrade that makes huge improvements to the user interface, and, more importantly, according to founder Matt Mullenweg, the new code lays the groundwork for WordPress to expand further into the social networking realm.

Automattic, WordPress' parent company, has been working for to expand and integrate the social network features of the BuddyPress plugin ever since BuddyPress creator Andy Peatling joined Automattic earlier this year. While WordPress remains vague about its goals for BuddyPress, clearly, with competitor Movable Type already well on its way to creating an out-of-the-box social network tool, WordPress would like to offer something similar.

Mullenweg writes in the announcement of WordPress 2.7 that the new framework has stripped out the cruft of earlier releases and leaves a "foundation to build tomorrow's WordPress on, to express ideas we haven't been able to before."

Will tomorrow's WordPress include the ability to build your own Facebook? BuddyPress is already available as a development release, but it doesn't look like there will be any major changes or new features to coincide with today's WordPress update.

But for now at least WordPress fans can take advantage of the redesigned WordPress 2.7 interface which makes managing your blog quite a bit easier.

Of course the last time WordPress tinkered with the publishing interface (in version 2.5), the always vocal blogging community reacted negatively, calling it a step backwards. This time though, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who thinks the new interface is anything but stunning.

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WordPress 2.7: If You Don't Like It, Change It

The last time WordPress - the popular open source blogging platform - changed their user interface, they got a reaction. And it wasn't positive. Even diehard fans were questioning the reasoning behind the changes, trying to figure out ways to work within the new construct, or simply throwing their hands up in despair. So, it comes as little surprise that the latest release, WordPress 2.7 - codenamed "Coltrane" - has had a great deal of time and energy focused on improving that interface. But could the WordPress development team win back the adoration of those angry users with yet another interface change?

If the initial reactions are any indication, the answer would be yes. Now, those same users who were hating WordPress 2.5 are gushing that WordPress 2.7 interface "reeks of pure awesome."

Personally, I experienced a similar reaction when I saw Coltrane demoed in front of the WordCamp Portland crowd in September. Jaws were dropping. I swear there were "Oohs," "Ahs," and spontaneous applause. (Which I guess is appropriate for a release named after a jazz legend.) Everyone - from new user to WordPress developer - was downright giddy.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tips to Improve Joomla Performance

When you are using the Joomla content management system, the overall site performance could be affected by various factors. Moreover, if you have many site users, the page loading speed could be influenced by the simultaneous number of MySQL database queries.

In order to obtain the best results for the page loading speed (which is a key factor for the search engines rankings) and to maintain the best performance of your Joomla website, there are a few tips that could help you.

Enabling the Cache for Joomla

When you are using the Joomla content management system, the overall site performance could be affected by various factors. Moreover, if you have many site users, the page loading speed could be influenced by the simultaneous number of MySQL database queries. In order to obtain the best results for the page loading speed (which is a key factor for the search engines rankings) and to maintain the best performance of your Joomla website, there are a few tips that could help you.

recent studies show that Joomla is twice as fast when used with PHP 5.2.3 in comparison with PHP 4.4, as a consequence the use of the last PHP version (which is definitely improved) will always offer you the optimal Joomla performance.

If you turn on caching on the Cache tab from Joomla Global Configuration in Administration Panel, then static files or a cache of your website will be created. The file caching allows the system to find a certain page directly from hard disk and removes the delay induced by a MySQL query to retrieve the same page in the database. The speed of page loading will also be increased by enabling caching.

On the Cache tab, when enabling caching, you must not modify the default cache folder, but you can set a lower value for the cache time if you update the site contents often and a higher value if the content is changed rarely. There are also many modules from Joomla structure that support caching. It is recommended to enable caching for those modules. There are also components that improve the page caching process, such as Ircmaxell’s Page Cache.This component will have visible effects on page load speed in case of website with high traffic.

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Tips for Google CSE plugin for Drupal

Drupal, there are a few things you can do to make life easier for your visitors:
Add some rewrite rules (to the .htaccess file) to redirect requests for the old search engine to the new one. This can help visitors who know how Drupal works and were typing their search manually, etc.

RewriteRule ^search$ /search/google [R=301,NC,L]
RewriteRule ^search/node$ /search/google [R=301,NC,L]
RewriteRule ^search/node/(.*)$ /search/google?query=$1 [R=301,NC,L]
RewriteRule ^search/taxonomy_search$ /search/google [R=301,NC,L]
RewriteRule ^search/taxonomy_search/(.*)$ /search/google?query=$1 [R=301,NC,L]
Disable the built-in search engine module to reduce memory overhead and speed up page requests.

Use some CSS to hide the background image added to the search boxes:
input.form-text {
background-image: none !important;
If you have custom search boxes replace them with code that calls the Google CSE engine, i.e.:

Put together this can make the GoogleCSE almost(*) completely transparent to your visitors.

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Wordpress could face serious competition - from Microsoft

Now before you begin laughing your asses off at me take a deep breath and get your Wordpress love back where it belongs. Calmed down? Good, now let’s get on with the info shall we.

According to Ed Bott Microsoft has entered the field of blogging platform software with it’s first generation release of Oxite. Of course folks will be quick to point out the fallacies of going with any first generation Microsoft anything. However this release of Oxite must be fairly stable since they are using it to power the MIX Online site.

From what I read on the Learn More About Oxite page the platform appears to be covering all the bases when it comes to a feature list. From being able to have seperate pages as well as your blog entries right up to supporting multi-author setups right out of the box.


Upgrading to Wordpress 2.7

Wordpress 2.7 has just been released. James is doing some testing on the upgrade and will apply it to all OM4 sites soon as the testing is finished.

There are a lot of new features that you will notice when using your dashboard that will make it faster and easier to update your website:
overall you can complete tasks faster (less clicks)
the Page Editor is customisable so you can put the buttons you use most frequently where you want them
your dashboard can be arranged with drag and drop
comments are now threaded and you can reply to comments from your dashboard

I’ve included a link to the Wordpress video at the end of this post if you want to see a demonstration.

When we first started working with Wordpress it was relatively new. Some people looked at me a bit strangely when they asked what we were building our web platform on and I said Wordpress. Even if they had heard of it, it was open source, and not everyone gets the idea of open source.

Wordpress has proven to be an exceptional platform for business websites.

One reason is that it is used by so many people. Over 3 million people downloaded version 2.6 (to install on their own server), and almost 5 million blogs run on Wordpress via With such a large user community, bugs get ironed out quickly. One of the more popular Wordpress plugins has been downloaded almost a million times.

According to Wordpress, for release 2.7 “over 150 people contributed code directly to the release, our highest ever, with many tens of thousands more participating in the polls, surveys, tests, mailing lists, and other feedback mechanisms the WordPress dev team used in putting this release together.”

So in hindsight, choosing to build our business website platform on Wordpress looks like a pretty good decision. By running on Wordpress, you will continue to benefit from the R&D and testing that goes into the platform, and we can focus on configuring it to work as a platform to run a small business online.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 available and Google Chrome out of Beta

Mozilla has announced Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 for testing. Firefox 3.1 beta 3 is scheduled for release in February 2009. The final version will follow shortly after.

Like Google Chrome this version will have a private browsing mode and the javascript engine has been tuned for speed.

CNet tested Firefox's JavaScript benchmarks and according to them the new TraceMonkey engine was comparable to Chrome's new V8 JavaScript engine while PC Magazine ran the same tests and found Firefox's engine faster than Chrome but says the speed difference between the engines is quite minimal. It does seem, that Firefox 3.1 will be a speedier browsing experience than older FF versions which is great news for all of us using this browser of course.

News on the Google Chrome front appeared on Techcrunch, the browser will be taken out of Beta so Google must be pretty confident it is ready and there must be a serious amount of Chrome users.

Read MOre..

Microsoft squeezes out Oxite 'open source' blogger platform

Microsoft has released alpha code for an "open source" blogging platform dubbed Oxite.

Redmond will be hoping the platform – which sounds like a spotty teen's best friend to us – will compete with the likes of market big boys Wordpress and Google’s Blogger.

But many will argue that now is an odd time for the firm to be developing its own blogging platform. However, Microsoft is on its somewhat kamikaze mission to become a force in the Web 2.0 world – whatever the cost.

The company’s developer evangelist Jeff Sandquist claimed that “Oxite, is an open source, standards compliant, and highly extensible content management platform that can run anything from blogs to big web sites.”

But, as we’ve previously reported, Microsoft’s CodePlex site, where the code was published, hasn’t exactly fared well when scrutinised about its open source claims.

Just last month Microsoft said its CodePlex site would be revised before the year's out to signpost genuinely open source projects, after the company got itself in hot water.

Sandquist said the code, which was built using ASP.NET Model View Controller, currently on offer is merely a “lightweight sample” for developers to play with.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Google's 'Native Client' is a Go on Mac OS X

Google has released an alternative to Microsoft's ActiveX, the component object model (COM) used by developers to create software components with particular functions or sets of functions. The tool will run on Mac OS X, web experts say, allowing developers to write more powerful applications that can work directly with the operating system, rather than through a browser.

Reports say that Native Client looks similar to Microsoft's ActiveX technology, but it also resembles an Adobe technology, called Alchemy. Alchemy is a research project that allows users to compile C and C++ code that is targeted to run on the open-source ActionScript Virtual Machine (AVM2).

Native Client was released by Google engineers under an open-source software license. While still in the early stages of development, Google says it can help web developers create faster and more responsive web apps. For example, Native Client could be used to speed up a photo-sharing website. Memeo Share, an app we covered in one of our weekly Mac picks, is akin to the concept.

Google spokesman Brad Chen wrote on a company blog that "Modern PCs can execute billions of instructions per second, but today's web applications can access only a small fraction of this computational power," suggesting the imminent adoption of the Native Client sometime in the future.

Still, Google doesn't expect the software to be widely used just yet. "Native Client is a research technology, so the goal of this release is to expose it to the research, security and open source communities for their feedback and contributions," a Google spokeswoman said.

Robert Hansen, CEO of security consultancy SecTheory, chimed in adding that "Google is clearly reaching for ways to take more control over the desktop, the web browser and user content. Native Client appears to be another way to reach into people's computers and use as many resources as possible. It's not a matter of whether it can be done. It's a question of if it should be done. We haven't even solved yesterday's problems yet, let alone another ActiveX clone."

Apple has more ambitious plans in tapping unused processing power. Those include a certain "OpenCL" standard, that has been recently ratified and fully disclosed. The open, royalty-free standard for cross-platform, parallel programming of modern processors should enable developers to take better advantage of existing hardware (GPUs, CPUs) to deliver faster software performance for the end-user.


Zend Delivers New PHP Engine for IBM Servers

IBM and Zend last week announced the availability of a new PHP package, called Zend Core for IBM, which brings iSeries shops an inexpensive and easy-to-use tool for building dynamic, database-driven Web applications. While it’s not the first version of the open-source, server-side scripting language for the iSeries, the new PHP implementation brings advantages, such as technical support through the newly announced Zend Network, and the choice of using either DB2/400 or the embedded Cloudscape database.

PHP is one of the most popular languages (possibly the most popular) for creating and maintaining Web sites. According to a PHP usage survey for July, more than 21 million Internet domains are currently running PHP. This is out of a total of 68 million current Internet domains in the known universe, according to the Web site watchers at Netcraft. PHP, which is closely integrated with the Apache Web server and can run as an Apache module, is most commonly deployed with Apache, which powers 70 percent of the world’s Web sites, or about 48 million domains.


haXe, an open source programming language

haXe (pronounced as hex) is an open source programming language.

While most of the other languages are bound to their own platform (Java to the JVM, C# to .Net, ActionScript to the Flash Player), haXe is a multiplatform language.

It means that you can use haXe to target the following platforms :

Javascript : You can compile a haXe program to a single .js file. You can access the typed browser DOM APIs with autocompletion support, and all the dependencies are resolved at compilation time.

Flash : You can compile a haXe program to a .swf file. haXe can compile for Flash Players 6 to 10, with either “old” Flash<8 API or newest AS3/Flash9+ API. haXe offers very good performance and language features to develop Flash content.

PHP : You can compile a haXe program to .php files. This enable you to use a high level strictly-typed language such as haXe while keeping full compatibility with your existing server platform and libraries.

NekoVM : You can compile a haXe program to NekoVM bytecode. This can be used for server-side programming such as dynamic webpages (using mod_neko for Apache) and also for commandline or desktop applications, since the NekoVM can be embedded and extended with some other DLL.

C++ : Currently in testing, with the right build of haXe from Hugh Sanderson, you can now output your haXe applications to pure C++ source code, complete with makefiles.

The idea behind haXe is to let the developer choose the best platform to do a given job. In general, this is not easy to do because every new platform comes with its own programming language.

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Creating the Student Blog in Drupal using Cloning

Blogging in Drupal encompasses a range of learning activities. When incorporated into a course as a regular part of the coursework, blogs provide an incredibly powerful means of tracking student growth. For students who are disorganized (that is, students whose backpacks resemble tumbleweed), the blog can also be an organizational tool. Most importantly, though, blogs create a record of student work that can be accessed at any time. As such, blogs provide a convenient window into both process (how students work) and product (the end results of student work). In this article Bill Fitzgerald, we will see how to create a student blog.

For the purpose of this article we will clone the already existing Teacher Blog and create the Student Blog.

Setting Up the Student Blog

To create the student blog, we need to do two things:

- Give users in the student role permissions over the blog post content type.
- Clone the teacher_blog view, and edit it to display student blog posts.

Assigning Permissions

To allow students to blog in the site, we need to allow users in the student role the ability to create blog posts. Click the Administer | User management | Roles link, or navigate to admin/user/roles. Click the link to edit permissions for the student role.


Drupal: Making Life Easier with Installation Profiles

This is the first in a series of blog posts we'll be writing about Drupal, the open-source Web content management platform that I have come to know and love over the past year or so. If you have used Drupal, if you are evaluating different CMS solutions out there, or if you don't know what I'm talking about, read on and keep checking back for more posts about this popular and powerful community-driven software.

For this first post, I will skip over the question "What is Drupal?" and let you visit to get some basic information for yourself. Once you have that, come on back...

OK. You're back. Let's get started.

So, what's the first thing you do with software? You install it. Right! This process for Drupal has a few requirements, which I will gloss over in this post, but if you've run any LAMP-based software, you should be good to go (see "Helpful Links" below). Now, whether you're new to Drupal or you've gone thru the installation process many (MANY) times, you should know that Drupal has a very helpful aspect built right into its core: Installation Profiles.

An installation profile "turns on" functionality and pre-configures a Drupal installation so that, instead of starting with a blank slate after install, you have a customized installation tailored to your needs and closer to being production-ready. For a developer, this is an ideal scenario - installation profiles help us eliminate redundancy in our work. Because, really, who wants to do the same ten or twenty tasks every time you start a new project? I sure as heck don't. Also, for a Drupal newcomer (welcome!), finding an installation profile can be helpful to jump-start your site.

Drupal has a directory of contributed installation profiles here. You may find a helpful profile in this list that fits the kind of site you want to build. However, if you don't find the perfect profile, or if you find one that's good but outdated, don't despair! Look for a similar profile, or go ahead and download the outdated one. Install Drupal using that profile, play around with it, and look at the list of modules used. From that pre-configured site, even if you don't end up keeping the installation, you will have an idea of the settings and modules you will want to use on your actual site.


Microsoft to relaunch as a Facebook style social networking site

Microsoft will relaunch its search site as a search + social networking site in something that looks like Facebook.

The new will be focused on social interactions around Windows Live Messenger (previously MSN Messenger) complete with user profiles. Tightly integrated into the new site will be Hotmail/ email as well.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft will make it easier for users to maintain a single list of online friends, from which they can address emails, send instant messages and view activity updates through the new Facebook-like “feed” feature that shows, for example, new photos that friends have posted online and short messages they’ve broadcast through Twitter.

Facebook or FriendFeed style, users will be able to import content from external sources such as Flickr, or any service that has an RSS feed.

Microsoft is claiming that the changes are in response to “the proliferation of online communications services…frustrating many users by forcing them to create and manage instant messaging buddy lists, email address books and social network friend lists in information silos.”

It’s a nice line, but this screams social networking wannabe, not that that’s a bad thing given Microsoft has been sitting on a massive untapped user base in instant messaging which it has so far failed to really offer much extra to. Whether this is a serious challenge to Facebook is yet to be seen, but finally Microsoft may be getting serious about social networking, and while we may be naturally skeptical about their changes, Windows Live IM users are over 100 million, and even if they convert a small percentage, they’re the sort of numbers you can confidently apply the label FTW to.


Microsoft launches open-source blogging platform

On Monday, Microsoft launched Oxite, an open-source blogging platform.

However, the software maker was quick to underline that the product is aimed at developers and not intended to directly compete with popular blogging software such as WordPress or Movable Type.

Microsoft posted the Oxite code on its CodePlex Web site on Friday and made an official announcement on Monday. The software, described as an alpha release, is available under the Microsoft Public License, one of Microsoft’s OSI-certified open-source licenses.

Oxite is a standards-compliant, extensible content-management system designed to support either blogs or larger Web sites, Microsoft said. The platform includes support for features such as pingbacks, trackbacks, anonymous or authenticated commenting, gravatars (globally recognized avatars), and RSS feeds at any page level, the company said.

Users can create and edit a set of pages on a site, add customized HTML into pages, and support multiple blogs on a single site.

Oxite is also able to integrate with Microsoft developer software such as ASP.Net MVC, Visual Studio Team Suite, and Background Services Architecture. The project began as a way of demonstrating the capabilities of ASP.Net MVC to developers, Microsoft said.

The Web site for Mix Online was built using Oxite, and Microsoft is providing the Mix Online Web site code for developers to learn from. Mix Online is the online community centered on Microsoft’s Mix Web developer conference.

Oxite is not a direct competitor to existing, established blogging systems, nor is it intended to challenge Microsoft’s own SharePoint, which includes content-management-system capabilities, according to Oxite project coordinator Erik Porter.


Monday, December 8, 2008 Goes Gravatar Crazy

The old avatar tool in your profiles has been replaced with your current Gravatar (left.) If you click on that icon you’ll be taken to (and automatically logged into your account) where you can easily change your image (right). You can upload an image from your computer, paste in a link to an image on the internet, or even take a picture of yourself using your computers webcam. Cropping and rating your images are as easy as ever. After you finish your new image will automatically attach to your email address (assuming you only have one email address on your account,) or you will be presented with a simple-as-pie list of your email addresses, and you can attach the new image to any or all of them! Just close the Gravatar window when you’re done.

Of course all of the standard Gravatar features are available to you. Upload as many images as you wish, switch them as often as you like, add as many email addresses as you want to your account, and more features still in the works.

If you find that you have an “old” image for your Gravatar, simply click on the link to change it and then click on the “Use your last Avatar” link to get the new one back. There are bound to be some small hiccups here and there. Just let Support know when something doesn’t work quite right, and we’ll get everything ironed out in no time.

Read More... gets WordPress 2.7 features

Automattic has now implemented the WP 2.7 edition on their blogging portal.

The final version of WP 2.7 is not yet released though users can get their hands on a near release RC edition.

This hints at the possibility of near future release of version 2.7 for the self hosted version users.

WordPress 2.7 is a major update to this popular open source blogging platform. Some users might admit that it could have been the version 3 of WordPress.

The back end has been massively updated to make it more user friendly. They have totally revamped the editing screen compared to previous version.

We have been using the RC version of WP 2.7 since quite sometime and we like what we see.

Read More..

Why Joomla Web Designing is a Better Option?

Joomla CMS is the latest rage in website designing. It is getting popularity due to its easy accessibility and dynamic features.

Hurray! I just completed creating a new website and that too ALL By my Own. Well thats the kind of freedom Joomla web designing has provided you. Your website will look and feel exactly the way you like it. You need not worry about designers fussing over your ideas, or the exuberant cost that you have to pay for good website designing.

Joomla Web Designing is a the easiest way so for being introduced for CMS (Content Mangement system of a website). For those who are still unaware of what Joomla exactly is, let me tell you, that Joomla is an open source content management system, that is used to build a website and used henceforth, for any editing that the website might require.

Small and Medium sized businesses that develop a medium sized website, are really really fond of this easy to use web designing technique. It is most suitable for those websites, that have a lot of content in their site, which needs regular changing and editing. Corporate websites, institutions, portals, and several others have used Joomla we designing successfully and have also declared it as the best web designing tool so far.

The reason why Joomla has been recognized with the best tool award is that it has an active community working for it and supporting it continuously. There are many plug-ins and extensions that come along with the Joomla package, to expand the functionalities of this CMS system. With Joomla you can make a simple 3-4 page website (the way I did for an experiment) or you can also create a forum or a blog from it. Manage client contacts, online library of documents, podcasts, calendars, gallery, booking system or videos.


The Pros and Cons of Using Joomla!

For those of you who have not heard of Joomla!, it is a content management system that allows one to build a complex web portal without the need of advanced web programming knowledge. You download it, install it, add a template then enrich the CMS with extensions. This way you can transform your site into a webshop, link directory, photo gallery and pretty much anything you set your mind to. But like any other CMS, Joomla! is not perfect.


Content Search SEO Plugin for Joomla

A very useful joomla search SEO Plugin, it is based on the official search content plugin, and add some seo features. It will generate page title, meta description and meta keywords dynamicly according to the search keywords and search results.

Download plugin..

Some Interesting Joomla Facts

Joomla is an award winning open source content management system (CMS) that allows users to rapidly build websites even without any skill in web designing. Joomla acts as an easy interface that separates the complexities of updating web content from the novice user. It can help in adding features to an existing site like Blog, Forum, Gallery, Shopping Cart, guestbook etc. Joomla organizes website content as Sections, Categories, and Content Items and this data is stored in a mySQL database.

The Joomla Template

Joomla is an award winning open source content management system (CMS) that allows users to rapidly build websites even without any skill in web designing. Though it is open source it nevertheless comes built-in with a lot of free and commercial extensions. With Joomla you don’t need specialists to maintain web pages, as in the case of HTML. In this way, Joomla has created a revolution in the world of web designing. Let us see more about this software in the following article.

Joomla acts as an easy interface that separates the complexities of updating web content from the novice user. It can help in adding features to an existing site like Blog, Forum, Gallery, Shopping Cart, guestbook etc. Joomla organizes website content as Sections, Categories, and Content Items and this data is stored in a mySQL database. What joomla does is it acts as a graphic user interface for this database. Joomla template uses HTML with PHP hooks that contains information on where particular parts of the content should be placed. Joomla’s core engine uses this information from the database and uses it in the template file to produce a webpage.

A Joomla template is divided into a number of zones. Each zone has a position name called module positions E.g. left, right, top, bottom, user1, user2, etc. The template designer can assign the modules to a certain position by adjusting the module parameters. In this way the we can define to which zone the module will belong to. The user can then assign some content to one of these positions. So all you need to know is how to install Joomla to create a free template and build your own website. You will never need HTML knowledge or help from a web designer.

Joomla has something called Components which are actually add-on programs that add additional functionality whose administrative features are integrated in the Joomla Administrator. Another Joomla term is Mambot, a script that is run just before rendering the content for doing any final changes before outputting your website.


Open docx Files in Firefox Without Office 2007

OpenXML viewer plug-in (download link) allows you to read docx files inside the Firefox browser just like any other HTML web page while retaining all the text formatting and layout.
Moreover, there’s a command-line version of OpenXML viewer (download link) available for converting docx documents into HTML files that you may then open in any other web browser.

The OpenXML Document Viewer project is an outcome of the feedback from participants of a series of Document Interoperability Initiative workshops. The main goal of the OpenXML Document Viewer project is to create software tools, plus guidance, showing how documents created using Open XML Format can be translated to HTML. As a result, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), Solutions Integrators & Mobile Solution providers can use these tools to enable their customers view Open XML documents on heterogeneous platforms and browser applications. The OpenXML Viewer is available under the open source Microsoft Public License (MS-PL), which allows anyone to use the tools, submit bugs and feedback, or contribute to the project.

Read more..

Data Services Made Easy for Adobe Flex Applications

The approach discussed here provides a more intuitive solution to generate ActionScript classes on the Flex side that are direct counterparts of the enterprise object classes in the back-end server. This way the Flex environment just becomes an extension of the back-end server and the Flex UI gets access to back-end objects. The infrastructure to make remote calls to the back-end server is taken care of by the framework that marshals objects to the back-end to make service calls and un-marshals the results to ActionScript objects transparently so the developer can concentrate just on the UI logic.

Adobe provides Flex Data Services (FDS) that also provides a robust data services solution but costs a huge license fee and ties to proprietary Adobe technology. The new approach discussed here provides a clean, efficient way for back-end integration based on open source technologies like e4x and XML. This approach is suitable for any project implementing Flex for UI with J2EE/Web Services at the back-end. Moreover, this approach doesn't need to be deployed on the server side, which makes it a better solution than FDS while programming the UI for already-deployed production applications.


Sun's JavaFX Scripting Tools Counter Ajax, Flex

Sun Microsystems (NSDQ: JAVA) is launching its JavaFX scripting language for building rich Internet applications to rival those built with Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE)'s Flex, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT)'s Silverlight, and open source Ajax. It will also answer a need for flexible, adaptable user interfaces for smartphones and other mobile devices.

JavaFX won't replace other ways of building Java user interfaces, such as the Java programmer's Swing component set. Instead, it will sit on top of Swing and other Java components to make it easier for designers, content creators, and scripting language users -- a less programming literate group than Java Enterprise Edition developers -- to build interactive Web applications. With JavaFX, a Web site visitor can click on a particular subject on a Web page, watch it fade, and get the next desired information presentation filling his screen through a background reloading process.

"This is the biggest innovation to come to the Java platform in years. It's really allowing the Web design community, the Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator users, to come into the fold," said Eric Klein, VP of Java marketing, in an interview.

"It brings us into the same space as Adobe Flex and (open source) Ajax," he added.

As a scripting language, JavaFX will have simplified syntax and logic to build the common menus, buttons, and interactive elements of a Web application interface. Beneath the surface, JavaFX will be invoking Swing and Java application logic to deliver what the end user wants. In part, the Sun move is an acknowledgement of the usefulness of Perl, Python, and PHP, all open source Web scripting languages that are often used by those who have adapted to the loosely coupled techniques of Web development and fall short full Java programming skills.

Scripting languages are both easier to learn and less stringent in what types of data may be used with them. Java is strongly typed; when Java logic calls for a variable, a compiler checks to see that only a strictly defined type of data is used with the statement, such as a five-digit number for a ZIP code. While the characteristic provides safeguards, it can make it more difficult to get dissimilar parts of a Web site to work together.

Read More... gets WordPress 2.7 features

Automattic has now implemented the WP 2.7 edition on their blogging portal.

The final version of WP 2.7 is not yet released though users can get their hands on a near release RC edition.

This hints at the possibility of near future release of version 2.7 for the self hosted version users.

WordPress 2.7 is a major update to this popular open source blogging platform. Some users might admit that it could have been the version 3 of WordPress.

The back end has been massively updated to make it more user friendly. They have totally revamped the editing screen compared to previous version.

We have been using the RC version of WP 2.7 since quite sometime and we like what we see.


How To: Integrating Amazon CDN in 4 Simple Steps

4 Steps to Integrate Amazon CloudFront

We aren't going to focus on the exact coding required to integrate with CloudFront -- Amazon does a fine job of this themselves. What we want is to explain the steps you would take and point out things that you need to be aware of before taking the next step of actually getting started.

Here are the steps at a glance:
Get and set up Amazon S3 and CloudFront accounts
Create your Amazon S3 bucket
Create your distribution and get domain name
Decide what you want to use CloudFront for and create the appropriate links

Step 1: Setting Up your Amazon S3 and CloudFront Accounts

To access any web service AWS offers, you must first create an AWS account. This account is required to use any of the AWS products. Signing up provides you with a couple of access key identifiers (Access Key ID and Secret Access Key) which are required to sign up for S3 and CloudFront.

The Access Key ID is used to identify yourself as the true sender of requests and the Secret Access Key is a secure key that only you see. Because the Access Key is not a secure key, you create a digital signature using your secret key that helps confirm you are the true requester.

You will need to place these keys somewhere in code files to be used when coding to talk to the web services for either S3 or CloudFront.

Once you have the AWS account, you can then sign up for both Amazon S3 and CloudFront.

You need to sign up for Amazon S3 because this is where you will store your objects for CloudFront to access (your Origin Server).

Step 2: Creating your Amazon S3 Bucket

Now you are getting into the coding aspect of setting up this service. You can develop your applications in any number of programming languages and access the Amazon Web Services. Amazon provides a number of language specific toolkits to help you work with their web services -- so you aren't starting from scratch. Toolkits for PHP, Java, C# and Perl are available for helping you integrate S3 web service requests.

Read More..