Filed under Web Designing

Vista to Ubuntu (100%)

I had enough with eating crap with Vista. My last line of patience warned off when I happened to wait about 5 seconds when changing from one MS Doc file to another and also happened that I was running with time to finish a project report. No, I’m not running on 256 ram, it’s 1 GB and this kind of a time wastage is totally unacceptable. You may ask why I put up with Vista in the first place. That’s thanks to HP’s decision to embrace Vista so my laptop was pre-built with Vista and no chance to downgrade because there are no drivers. So where to go now ? Easy….Gutsy.

So I’m now another guy who left windows permanently because of their own defects. I was playing dumb with Vista for this long had nothing to do with Vista being better, it’s because of substitutions not being available for some applications that I was used to in Windows environment – mainly Macromedia(now Adobe) Dreamweaver and Fireworks. Now before biting my head off, yes – there are good web developer editors in Linux such as NVu or KompoZer but they will need another few developing years to get into the same line as Dreamweaver (which had a long time to develop into the state now in) and I have to have some thing until then.

But my worries were groundless as Wine now supports Macromedia 8 series like a babe. Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Flash all works perfectly with Wine – installation to Execution. Another great thing with Gutsy is that my Broadcom network card support is inbuilt and with some additional applications I can search networks and connect to them like a charm. Also I’m using AWN manager to manage desktop (here is a great article on desktop styling – thanks to Lakshan) and now it looks like a hybrid between Leopard and Vista. So what else I can ask for ?

Here is my application list in Ubuntu.

Web developments = Wine + DreamWeaver 8

Web images = Wine + Fireworks 8

Photo Editing = Gimp

Java editor = NetBeans for Linux

Python = Eclipse with PyDev plugin

IM client = Pidgin

Wifi manager = gtkwifi and wifi radar

Skype = Skype for Linux

Btw, My machine is AMD 64 X2, therefore had some issues and had to do some tweaks when installing some applications but nothing I can’t handle with some effort. The catch is that I can work with all comforts like in Windows with half the memory usage as in Windows.

Vista-Leopard Look

DreamWeaver in Ubuntu

GTKwifi

Favour returned to Drupal

As I mentioned in an earlier post we, people at Vesess now use Drupal heavily for our developments. We built our new job protal Plex using Drupal as the base and through heavy use of modules provided by Drupal community. Therefore we felt we need to make a return contribution to the Drupal community.

While we were building the Plex site we had to make considerable amount of module customizations and also created some new modules. The best way to pay back the favour was contributing our home made modules to Drupal community. So here is my first Drupal module release ( and hope it will be only one in many to come).

Name : RequestInvitation

Dependencies : Invite

Licence : GPL

Backend and front of requestinvitation module

Tagged

Drupal-The best open source CMS of the year

First let me say a big sorry for being absent for more than two months of time. I was having sort of a writers block and didn’t have a mind to write anything. But that doesn’t mean I was idle for the whole lot of time.

In fact, it has been good in regards to my work at Vesess. After last year exams were over, I put all my effort into finishing some works that have been elongating. And I also got the chance to help build our new job portal Plex.lk which opened to public recently and seems promising.

The specialty of Plex is that it is totally based on Drupal, which is the best Open Source CMS in Open Source CMS awards, 2007. The experience is totally exhilarating, when compared to some other CMS such as Expression Engine (I will write about that experience later)

The work I did mostly involved around module customization. Actually I had to create a new module for the site and I’m on my way publishing it to Drupal community. One of the best things about Drupal is that its huge array of modules, which covers almost everything. But when we were going to launch the site we were presented with a requirement to moderate invitations (since the site is still in beta) and we were unable to find a suitable module for that. So I created a new module which use one existing module – Invite and I named the new module ‘Invite Request’. (The new module is in use, you can see it in right hand side bar of Plex.lk)

I guess I will be seeing more of Drupal in future as Plex.lk is still on its way and there’s lot more work to be done. And it’s a good news because I’m enjoying my work with Drupal.

New PHP trends

As a web language PHP is without a doubt is the most popular server language that is in the use. As PHP.net statistics shows by April, 2007 there have been 20,016,421 domains using PHP for their web sites. So you can get a brief idea how popular the language has become.

History

PHP was founded in 1995 by Rasmus Lerdorf, because he needed to build a tool that would track the access to his web page. He used C to create his tools and then he released his tools to open source community under the name PHP/FI (PHP Form Interpreter).

In the first release it had many syntax similarities with Perl and in 1997 PHP 2 was released with some new features. In 1998 PHP 3 was released with many flexible features in it. And even in that stage it’s said to have occupied 10% of web servers.

PHP 4 came in year 2000 and it brought a new look to PHP language. A new object oriented look which I think resulted in initiating many new web trends such as CMS and Frameworks. It also had many new features such as new session features which helped coding with PHP. In 2004, PHP 5 was released with enhanced OOP abilities which gave PHP the strength to compete with any other web language. Unfortunately it seems that most of the web products already had a good based in PHP 4 when PHP 5 came and even now most of the products and web services are using PHP 4 as standard without using the enhanced features in PHP 5.

Some of the new OOP features in PHP 5 are listed here.

  • Abstract classes
  • Final Keyword
  • Constant Keyword
  • try, catch…throw syntax in error handling
  • HTTP_*_VARS are depricated

So if you are a Java or C++ programmer no doubt you will see this is lot familiar. And with that it goes without saying that PHP is a lot tougher language than it sounds.

Evolving world of PHP

I am really glad about the moment I chose to use PHP as my primary web language when I think back. It’s not only because of advanced features of PHP 4 or 5. It’s because of the rapidly evolving community around PHP. Apache the most popular server, and PHP goes hand in hand giving all the functionality a programmer would need in web world without any waste of money. And there’re more than enough tools for a PHP programmer to use, from basic PHP modules to advanced CMS or frameworks. I’ve used ASP.net also for some time, but I can safely say I didn’t get that homely feeling around ASP.net as I had in PHP.

Lately I have started to work with PHP frameworks, mainly cakePHP and CodeIgniter. These frameworks seem to have taken after the steps of Ruby on Rails and still have the space to develop. But it’s very enjoyable to work with them, especially with cakePHP as I have been using it now for some time.

As an example, to access a database and get all data in a table with cakePHP you only need this sentence.
$this->Module->findAll() ;
So you can understand how cool it is to work with cake.

I’m hoping to post my experiences with cakePHP in another post and some tips I found when working with cakePHP.

Egreetings site

I have done a Egreeting site lately and handed it over to the customer.
Palkey – Egreetings