Web Development

Trends, tools and development tips and tricks.

Should You Build Your Product on a Proprietary Platform?

Oil Drilling Platform
A potential client of mine had a great idea: They were going to build the next great product (let’s call it WidgetFoo), and it was going to be social for enterprise. So, we sat down to have a high level architecture discussion. How were we going to build this thing? Before I go further, let me say for the record: No, the product’s not a widget, but since they’re in the middle of building it right now, I can’t actually… continue…

Implementing Video and Audio in HTML5

HTML5
Since Tim Berners-Lee first published it in 1991, HTML has been the one and only way that clients and servers on the Web could communicate. Initially just handling text was sufficient, but over time Web pages became more complex and required new functions. Among the changes implemented were the tags that allow scripting languages to create dynamic pages, reduce interactions between clients and servers, and provide the kind of media-heavy websites that have become all-but ubiquitous. As the Web’s functionality… continue…

The Security Implications of Fake Twitter Followers

Twitter Logo
A recent New York Times story about the fake Twitter follower community got me thinking. The newspaper claims that this is a $1 million industry, with followers being purchased in bulk for about a penny a head. Why does Twitter tolerate this? Certainly, the company could easily fix this problem with some clever software engineering. Instead, they’re turning a blind eye. But on further reflection, it’s not something that’s easy to fix. I have a Twitter account that I set… continue…

What I Learned at the Developers Conference

HTML5 Dev Con
Being in IT for so many years has made me wear a lot of hats: Web dev on some days, a designer on others and a guy who has friends ask him how to do “simple” things that aren’t all that simple. So it behooved me to grab a ticket and go to the HTML5 Developer’s conference in San Francisco earlier this month. Summary The conference was packed — literally in some cases, as people were bumping shoulders taking notes… continue…

StageXL Moves You Easily From ActionScript 3 to HTML5

Dartflash Game
So you’re an ActionScript 3 developer creating Flash games, but you can see the writing on the wall. Taking a long view, is it time to move to HTML5? If so, what’s the best approach? Here’s a way you may not have heard of, and it’s open source. Although ActionScript and JavaScript are sort of distant cousins, there is an alternative to having to learn JavaScript: You can learn to program in Dart. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able… continue…

Working With CodeIgniter’s Controller

Getting Started with CodeIgniter
Let’s face it, the app we’ve been building isn’t much good without the ability to dynamically add tasks instead of having to pull up a database editor so we can insert them ourselves. Today, we’ll discuss how to create this. But before we do, we have to add a categories drop-down list that pulls its data from the database. That’s extremely easy to do in CodeIgniter. First, let’s add some tasks. Open up your database editor of PHPMyAdmin (or whatever… continue…

Finding and Fixing Ajax’s Elusive Bugs

Ajax Thumbnail
Let’s start with some background. Google was an early pioneer of the Web development technique called “Ajax.” Ironically, when you Google the phrase “What is Ajax?” the search engine comes back with A Greek hero of the Trojan war, son of Telamon, king of Salamis. He was proverbial for his size and strength.  In Web development, however, AJAX is an acronym for Asynchronous JavaScript And XML. It’s a technique for refreshing only part of a Web page — rather than… continue…

Why Social Networks Make Life Complicated

Maze Game
The social Web is becoming fractured by social-networking corporations (SoNetCorps). In a search for increased per capita revenue from a plateauing user base, companies are now dividing the social Web into fiefdoms of “FaceyVille,” “Googlandaivia,” “Twitstonia,” “Linkindia,” and so on. Initially SoNetCorps allowed interaction between competing services and built that into their systems. It was in their best interest when they were small and growing because people would follow the links back to the originating site. A link from a… continue…

A Brute Force Defense Against Injection Attacks

Injection
Injection attacks are a common security problem for Web developers. The interpreted nature of most development languages makes them especially vulnerable to these attacks. This article explains what an injection attack is and provides some simple steps that you can take to defend your site against them. What is an Injection Attack? An injection attack takes place when a malevolent programmer puts code in the query string or other parts of the HTTP request. The interpreter executes the malicious code,… continue…

Understanding Variable Types in Dart

Dart Language
In my first tutorial about working with Dart, we looked at how to use its editor, definitely the best way to learn your way around. Now, we’ll get ready to do some real work. First, A Tip In Tools, Preferences you’ll find an Update tab. This lets you specify whether you want to manually run the Editor, or have it updated automatically. Once you download the editor, go to Help, About and click Apply, Update. The editor’s updated about once… continue…