HTML5 Application Caching

April 6th, 2011 Leave a comment
HTML5 Application Caching

HTML5 has a number of great things about it that HTML4 did not; in this article, we’re going to talk about one specifically, principally how much better it is at dealing with offline caching than its predecessor. In HTML4, you had no alternative to offline caching except for manually downloading whatever it is you wanted off the website you were browsing; this was clumsy and inefficient, especially since the website can change daily or even hourly, rendering your offline copy useless until you manually downloaded it all over again. Furthermore, the page would render oddly if you didn’t download all… View full post »

Best PHP Books: My Top 5 Choices

March 28th, 2011 Leave a comment
Best PHP Books: My Top 5 Choices

Continuing with our best-five-book series, today we are introducing our pick of the top 5 PHP books. Obviously, PHP has been around much longer than our other review subjects such as Android or HTML5, and there is a greater general variety of books to choose from. PHP is, in many ways, unique in the land of programming languages and web-based application infrastructure. It’s a language that is changing rapidly (the most notable shift being from procedural to OOP in PHP5) but there are surprisingly few books and helpful manuals to help programmers adapt to these changes (as evident by the… View full post »

Embedding Video In An HTML5 Webpage

March 24th, 2011 Leave a comment
Embedding Video In An HTML5 Webpage

No Internet user is a stranger to embedded video; from ads to YouTube music videos, embedded video has become as much a part of most webpages as text or images. Up to now, however, the HTML standard did not have any way to natively include video; these videos are embedded by using other plugins and non-standardized ways to make them show seamlessly on the page. In the new HTML5 standard, however, there is a way to embed video natively in a webpage, avoiding all of the headaches of plugins and third-party solutions for embedded video. The problem is solved with a… View full post »

jQuery Lightbox Plugins: Top 5

March 21st, 2011 Leave a comment
jQuery Lightbox Plugins: Top 5

Everybody loves the good ol’ Lightbox image plugin. It has great utilities that spruce up a boring photo gallery with some awesome effects, and they’re generally very easy to install and customize. The only catch is Lightbox is based on the Prototype Framework and Scriptaculous Effects, a duo that hasn’t been as popular as the jQuery library. Most sites today do use jQuery, and adding two additional Javascript frameworks to the mix is both risky (there is a potential for construct conflict) and expensive (requires additional bandwidth on the page), especially if their sole purpose is to serve the… View full post »

Top Ten Drupal Modules for Admins

March 11th, 2011 (Guest Blogger)Leave a comment
Top Ten Drupal Modules for Admins

Contributed modules make up a big part of the Drupal experience. There are modules available for just about any feature you could want in Drupal, but the first question is – what modules do you need to make administration easier to navigate and control? It is important to do some due diligence when choosing modules and do some research in advance. Also of great importance is determining whether to use a module, create a module or modify the theme… these questions should be answered during the due diligence phase, and will be covered in a future blog. The Drupal.org site was recently… View full post »

PHP & MySQL Best Practices for Rock-Solid Applications

March 11th, 2011 Leave a comment
PHP & MySQL Best Practices for Rock-Solid Applications

PHP and MySQL are often the preferred technologies for building web applications because they allow you to build robust web applications very rapidly. This rapid development, however, sometimes leads to code that is hard to maintain, doesn’t scale well or performs poorly. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do early in your application development cycle that will keep your application from developing problems. Follow these PHP/MySQL best practices to build rock-solid applications. Also, keep in mind in general that a bit of extra time invested upfront in keeping your code easily maintainable will save… View full post »

Best HTML5 Books: My Top 5 Choices

March 7th, 2011 Leave a comment
Best HTML5 Books: My Top 5 Choices

HTML5 is, in many ways, a sort of a “Wild West” in the HTML realm; no one is quite sure how to use it, its standards haven’t been truly finalized, and everyone is rushing to cash in on its freshness. Part of that cashing in craze means that the market has been glutted with all sorts of HTML5 books; some good, some great, others not worth the paper they were printed on. In this article, we’ll sort through the muck and pick out the top 5 HTML5 books to add to your library! Introducing HTML5 By Bruce Lawson & Remy Sharp Introducing HTML5… View full post »

Why I Use Drupal as a CMS

March 1st, 2011 (Guest Blogger)Leave a comment
Why I Use Drupal as a CMS

People often ask me why I choose Drupal as a publishing platform for my clients. The first and most important reason I can think of is the flexibility and ease of adding complex features to the site without programming. Just a few years ago it would have taken weeks of programming to add a feature like “User Relationships” or “Workflow” to a Website. Creating the specifications for such a feature would take hours, possibly days of time and energy, and in many cases a client may not know exactly what functions they want before the site is built. Drupal… View full post »

Optimize Drupal: 5 Simple Steps

March 1st, 2011 Leave a comment
Optimize Drupal: 5 Simple Steps

Drupal, along with Joomla, is one of the heavyweights in the CMS realm today. It is feature-filled, robust, and customizable with tons of user-created modules that enhance and add functionality to it. It is also, however, subject to that CMS problem that plagues every sysadmin: Speed. CMSs like Drupal suffer from being complex pieces of software; the number of functions and queries the system uses is far greater, naturally, than a straight HTML page or a simple PHP site. As a result, the performance may suffer, especially when running on a VPS or shared hosting and responding to many hits per… View full post »

Top 10 Security Threats

February 26th, 2011 Leave a comment
Top 10 Security Threats

The Internet is not a safe place. It is a war-torn wasteland; a landscape of viruses, script kiddies, hackers, and corporate spies out to gain access to the little oasis known only as your network. What’s a sysadmin to do? They say the first step to nullifying a threat is knowing it; let’s take a look at the top ten security threats facing sysadmins today! 1. Outdated Software By far one of the most dangerous threats to your network is outdated software. No matter how good your security policies are, or how well-informed your users are (though well-informed users will update their… View full post »

CakePHP Relationships Explained

February 20th, 2011 Leave a comment
CakePHP Relationships Explained

If you’ve developed with SQL databases in the past, you’ve probably had experience with the various SQL relationship types: one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many. In CakePHP, each database table is typically associated with a model. The relationships between the items in these tables are referred to as associations in CakePHP. CakePHP has an association for each type of relationship. We’re going to look at the four CakePHP associations, how they relate to the traditional SQL relationship and how to work with them in a CakePHP application. To describe these associations, we’ll be using a real… View full post »

Python/Django Web Development: Why I Love It

February 17th, 2011 (Guest Blogger)Leave a comment
Python/Django Web Development: Why I Love It

I’ve been developing web sites for 15 years. In that time, I’ve used a lot of technologies and a lot of frameworks. Some of them I’ve loved and well, some of them I’ve loved to hate. While I enjoy PHP and am particularly fond of the CakePHP framework, my favorite platform for web development is the Python based Django framework. One of the reasons I love Django so much is that it is a Python framework. Python is one of those languages that people seem to be either passionate about or indifferent. Personally, I discovered Python… View full post »

PHP and LDAP: How to Manipualte Active Directory

February 13th, 2011 Leave a comment
PHP and LDAP: How to Manipualte Active Directory

There is one major question that may be asked to this tutorial’s subject: “Why would I want PHP to access Active Directory? I can use Users and Groups to manage it already.” The answer to this is (though I am sure there are others): Quite often, management wants to delegate some Active Directory (AD) functions to users who don’t or shouldn’t have access to LDAP Users and Groups. As a real-life example, I once worked at a company that wanted their secretary to be able to add users, delete users, and update user passwords and contact info from a… View full post »

Hello Android Book Review

February 11th, 2011 Leave a comment
Hello Android Book Review

In opening this book review, I must first humbly admit that I am no mobile development guru. While I am a student of the programming arts, mobile development is a recent beast that I have just now been forced to grapple with on more than a hobbyist basis. That said, Hello, Android: Introducing Google’s Mobile Development Platform (Pragmatic Programmers) by Ed Burnette is a fantastic book for beginning Android development; it is a practical, no-nonsense guide that can be powered through in a few days to have a great base for Android development. First off, the book assumes knowledge of Java,… View full post »

PHP Form Data Validation Tips

February 7th, 2011 Leave a comment
PHP Form Data Validation Tips

A common web task in web application development is to validate data input by a user. This is usually done to ensure that the type of data entered matches the expected data types for an underlying database. It is also a good security practice to limit the data that a web based form will accept. While it is common in web 2.0 applications to use client side code such as Javascript to validate form fields, this should not be relied on for a number of reasons. Some users disable Javascript so you want to provide a working… View full post »