Tutorials

Learn How to Program in Dart

Dart Language
This is the first tutorial in a series on learning to program in Dart, Google’s alternative to JavaScript. Although no other browser manufacturer has shown any interest in implementing Dart, JavaScript has certain flaws, particularly in maintaining large applications that effectively limit it. Big JavaScript applications are hard to debug and maintain. Google developed its Web Toolkit, or GWT, for developing applications in Java, then translating them to JavaScript. Dart takes a similar approach. You write and test your code in Dart,… continue…

Getting Started With CodeIgniter

Getting Started with CodeIgniter
CodeIgniter is a popular PHP MVC framework that’s developed a following for a variety of reasons: First, it’s very well documented. Second, there’s a lot of support for it in forums — people are familiar with it and generally happy to help. Third, there are many, many tutorials out there on how to use it. Fourth, it’s free. And fifth, it’s MVC. This is the first in a series where we’ll delve in CodeIgniter. We’ll start with an introduction to… continue…

5 Steps to Mastering Design Patterns

jigsaw_puzzle thumbnail
Design patterns are an important part of software engineering today, but what many folks don’t realize is how ubiquitous they are becoming within the full spectrum of IT activities. This is partly due to the flexible nature of patterns. Mastering design patterns is a critical part now of most IT architects’ roles, and from a larger perspective is also becoming increasingly important for most enterprises. Design patterns are meant to accomplish three critical things: Increase the speed of the design… continue…

How to Use a Linux Virtual Private Server

Linux VPS
For my development of Web games, I’ve hit a point where I need a Virtual Private Server. (For more on this see My Search for Game Hosting Begins.) I initially chose a Windows VPS because I know Windows best. A VPS is just an Internet-connected computer. “Virtual” means it may not be an actual physical computer, but a virtualized host, one of many, each running as if it were a real computer. Recently, though, I’ve run into a dead end,… continue…

Developing Effective Enterprise Roadmaps

Roadmap
One of the most important and challenging tasks that IT architects participate in, or even lead, is the development of enterprise roadmaps. These differ from schedules or integrated master schedules in that they’re meant to represent the realization of capability goals instead of simply tracking project tasks, milestones or intended delivery dates. However, these roadmaps often provide the starting point or reference framework for all schedules related to the goals it covers. The Basics Enterprise roadmaps follow no standard format… continue…

How to Produce Dynamic Mulitplayer Games With PHP

world-of-phaos
It’s relatively easy to set up a Web-based massively multiplayer game (MMO), though realistically you probably won’t have more than a few hundred players. I’ve chosen World of Phaos (WoP), which you can access from the SourceForge.net, an excellent site for open source projects. WoP is a PHP, MySQL game and can run on a shared server, VPS or dedicated server. Shared servers are cheaper and are just fine for most games, but will generally limit you to running PHP/MySQL… continue…

How to Upgrade Headache-Free to Xubuntu 12.04

Posted In Linux, Working in Tech
Asprin
I’ve been on Xubuntu 10.04 for quite a while and finally took the plunge into version 12.04 over the weekend. 12.10 version 2, whatever that means, is out now. Maybe I’ll take a look at that one in a few weeks. The 12.04, 64-bit ISO file was downloaded from the Xubuntu page and burned onto an 8-GB USB stick using the Startup Disk Creator. I then booted off the USB stick. I always set up several partitions on my notebooks.… continue…

The Basics of Google’s Dart Milestone 1

Dart Language
A year on from its initial release, Google Dart’s Milestone 1 has a whole raft of improvements and new features, though the removal of the string concatenation for performance and consistency reasons has left a few scratching their heads. It’s OK, though. You can also use StringBuffer, string interpolation (see below) to concatenate string literals. What isn’t in doubt is that Dart is starting to gain traction, having recently entered the Tiobe Index Top 50 and is currently at the… continue…

How to Use Match-Three Mechanics for Great Games

Puzzle Quest
Web games and smartphone apps have been using the match-three mechanic for a few years, but recent games have carried it beyond the obvious Bejeweled-style titles. The mechanism — where a player matches up three or more tiles to make them disappear — is quite extensible, with varying starting positions and possible outcomes. Most games use an 8 x 8 grid, but other sizes work. The beauty of the match-three mechanic is that a skillful and quick-thinking player can win against a more… continue…

Bluefish is a Great Tool for Writing Clean HTML

Bluefish
If you write articles, create Web pages or write Kindle ebooks, chances are that you’ll need a fast, no-frills HTML editor. I’ve been doing all these jobs for a number of years and I think the Bluefish editor is the best, most productive product out there. Unlike LibreOffice, MS Word and even Kompozer, Bluefish doesn’t add any extra HTML tags to your text. One of my pet peeves with regular word processors and HTML editors is that they want to… continue…