Archive | August, 2002

Buggy software still takes a toll

Posted on 31 August 2002 by Demian Turner

Imagine buying an energy-saving dishwasher and seeing your monthly electricity bill double, and you’ll understand how a growing roster of executives feel about their decision to install expensive business software.

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SQL: Help with JOINS

Posted on 31 August 2002 by Demian Turner

from Devshed
Quite often getting to grips with SQL joins can be tricky. Read this helpful article from Devshed to cover the basics.

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Getting Started With MySQL’s Full-Text Search Capabilities

Posted on 31 August 2002 by Demian Turner

Advantages of full-text searches:

  • Full-text searching is ideal for extremely large databases that contain thousands or even millions of rows. Computations are performed faster and rows can be ranked based on search relevance, which is returned as a decimal number by MySQL.
  • Noise words and any words that are 3 characters or less in length such as the, and, etc are removed from the search query. This means that more accurate results are returned. If you searched for "as the people", then the noise words "the" and "as" will automatically be removed from your query.
  • In addition to simple searches, full-text searches can also be performed in Boolean mode. Boolean mode allows searches based on and/or criteria, such as "+person +Mitchell", which would only return all records that contained the words person AND Mitchell. We will look at Boolean searches later in this article.
  • The query is case-insensitive, meaning that "cat" is ranked the same as "Cat", "CAT" and "cAT".

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Increasing programmer productivity

Posted on 31 August 2002 by Demian Turner

from Tony Bowden: Understanding Nothing
Studies of individuals have consistently shown variations of 20:1 or more in schedule, cost, and error performance among professional programmers, so it makes sense that this is the level of variation we see in Pattern 1.

— Jerry Weinberg, Quality Software Management Vol 1, Chapter 2

I’ve been thinking about this concept a lot again recently. This sort of figure crops up again and again in all sorts of places. It’s a reasonably well known concept, and reasonably self-evident to anyone who’s worked around enough programmers. So why is virtually no-one interested in the concept?

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Error Handling In PHP

Posted on 31 August 2002 by Demian Turner

from Devshed
You might not know this, but PHP comes with a full-featured error handling API, which provides you with a number of options when it comes to trapping and resolving errors. Not only does PHP allow you to decide which types of errors get displayed to the user, but it also allows you to bypass its internal error handler in favour of your own custom functions, thereby opening up all sorts of possibilities for the creative developer.

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The Art Of Software Development (part 1)

Posted on 31 August 2002 by Demian Turner

from Devshed
This first part in a 5 part series explores some basic tips and rules developers can follow before, during and after the code implementation phase of a Web project, in the hope that it will streamline workflow and get you up to speed on the processes and practices needed to effectively handle a small- to medium-sized project.

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Usability – the Basics

Posted on 27 August 2002 by Demian Turner

Check out the Web Developers’ Virtual Library for a very good article on web usability – a highly recommended read. This article covers all the essentials in 3 pages, and check out the associated links while you’re at it.

  • 53% of web users browse at 800 X 600

… so I finally shrunk the graph on this page 😉

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IBM bags 10 new Linux customers

Posted on 24 August 2002 by Demian Turner

from the Register
Armonk, New York-based IBM claims to have over 4,600 customers using Linux on its various hardware platforms, including the 10 new customers announced on Thursday. They include Air New Zealand, which has signed a strategic outsourcing agreement with IBM Global Services to replace 150 Compaq servers with a single IBM eServer zSeries mainframe running Linux, as well as IBM’s WebSphere, DB2 database and Tivoli systems management software. The Linux-based mainframe will replace 4,000 Microsoft Corp Exchange email and file and print clients with the Bynari open source email application.

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PHPkitchen Referrers Block Updated

Posted on 24 August 2002 by Demian Turner

The referrers block has been updated, the following improvements are now available:

– fixed bug where empty reflog.txt would break script
– referrers now sorted by hits, from greatest to least
– referrers now have formatted display so long URLs don\’t mess up your page layout
– cron job instructions now included so reflog.txt is wiped at least once every 24 hours

Read \’more\’ for installation instructions.

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Getting feedback from your Apache webserver

Posted on 24 August 2002 by Demian Turner

Simply add the following lines to your httpd.conf file:

<Location /server-status>
SetHandler server-status
Order deny,allow
Deny from all
Allow from # put your IP here so only you can view your server's status

ExtendedStatus On

Then restart your server. With this modification you will be able to type and view a full report of

  • how many connections are currently being processed
  • average CPU time for each connection
  • details on remote hosts currently connected to your server
  • total Kbs downloaded per connection

… to name a few. Apache prints a useful legend at the bottom of the page to help you decipher the voluminous information.

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