Archive | September, 2003

Are You a Sharecropper?

Posted on 30 September 2003 by Demian Turner

Tim Braye has a very interesting piece on OS software development, basically asking developers to respond to the simple question, “Are you a sharecropper?”.

What is a sharecropper?  Tim provides the following definition:

A farmer who works a farm owned by someone else. The owner provides the land, seed, and tools exchange for part of the crops and goods produced on the farm.

It’s a lousy position to be in, because you’re never going to make much, and if the land’s owner finds something better to do with the land, you’re history.

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Spot the Difference

Posted on 29 September 2003 by Demian Turner

Bumped into FastFrame this afternoon and was immediately struck by the similarity in name to Phrame.  Then after downloading the source a quick look at the file structure and Horde came to mind.  Granted the developers credit the Horde team in the comments, but looking at the code in the main file, FastFrame.php seems to be remarkabley similar to Horde.php.

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The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing

Posted on 29 September 2003 by Demian Turner

In my last contract I was asked to interview a number of candidates for positions on the developer team, it was an enjoyable exercise 😉

As I’m in the middle of doing a bunch of interviews this week, this time on the receiving end, thought Joel‘s article on guerilla interview tactics was quite interesting.

His experience has taught led him to look for two main characteristics in a candidate:

  1. are they smart ?
  2. will they get the job done ?

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Form Security with Random Token Image Generator

Posted on 29 September 2003 by Demian Turner

A great package was released recently at that gives you the possibility of adding additional security to your registration process. The code generates an image with random text to verify that a form was submitted by a real human being.

Anyone who has registered with a major site has seen this trick before, read on for the code in PHP.

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Linux Developer Gets Laid

Posted on 25 September 2003 by Demian Turner

PHPkitchen, keeping you uptodate with all the industry’s ground-breaking news.

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Stress Testing an Apache Application Server in a Real World Environment

Posted on 25 September 2003 by Demian Turner

If you interested in a rigourous approach to testing your app in readiness for a production environment, this is quite a nice article on the topic picked up by Coding the web:

A traditional dynamic application has five main components: the application server, the database server, the application, the database and the network. In the open-source world, the application server usually is Apache. And, often, Apache is running on Linux.

To begin the testing, we need to create an environment that facilitates micro-management of the five components. Being as most enterprise class applications are based on large proprietary hardware configurations, setting up a testing configuration often is prohibitive in cost. But, one of the advantages of the open-source model is a lot of the configurations are based on commodity hardware. The commodity hardware configuration, therefore, is the basic assumption used throughout the testing setup. This is not to say that a setup based on large proprietary hardware is not as valid or that the methods outlined are not compatible; it simply is more expensive.

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10 Big Myths about copyright explained

Posted on 24 September 2003 by Demian Turner

If you’ve read previous stories here regarding Open Source licensing options and found them interesting, you’ll likely want to give this article a read on the subject of copyright.

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php-con West Early Bird Deadline ends Friday, September 26th

Posted on 24 September 2003 by Demian Turner

Don’t wait to secure your space at php-con! Early Bird Registration
discounts end on September 26, 2003. Register online today at Reduced registration rates are available for
Students, Employees of Yahoo!, Univerisities, and Non-Profit organizations.

Why is php-con the destination of choice for PHP and web developers? Because
php-con is about three things: Community. Code. Solutions. php-con West
continues its tradition of great speakers, cogent topics, and community
enrichment. Whether you’re new to PHP or dig your hands into it everyday,
this is where you want to be. Log onto our website for full program details.

php-con West 2003: Community. Code. Solutions.
October 21- 24, 2003
Biltmore Hotel
Santa Clara, California

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The best chefs clean up the kitchen while they prepare the meal

Posted on 24 September 2003 by Demian Turner

I couldn’t resist this piece Tony Bowden picked up for two reasons:

  1. there’s a great kitchen analogy 😉
  2. you can never say enough about the merits of producing quality code

You may think that following these practices would take longer than just writing the code, as I did at first. But think of how much time you’ve spent wading through some “badly written” module – perhaps one that you wrote a few months back. That is the time we’re trying to save. By investing in the quality of the code now, we make it possible for that code to be maintained later.

Think of it this way. The fastest way to be done with dinner is to leave a mess in the kitchen. Every day, no matter how messy the kitchen is, you’ll always be done with dinner sooner if you don’t clean up the mess. On the other hand, dinner will take longer and longer to make, as you find yourself chiseling the dried crusty spaghetti from last week’s plates.

Over a month, the way to spend the least amount of time preparing dinner is to keep the kitchen clean. Indeed, the best chefs clean up the kitchen while they prepare the meal.

Professionalism in software development is not simply about getting done quickly. It’s about maintaining a level of quality that allows us to spend the least total time developing. To do that requires that we clean up the code while we’re writing it.

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Seagull 0.3.1-beta Released

Posted on 23 September 2003 by Demian Turner

This release of the Seagull app framework offers the following improvements:

  • cleaner organisation of modules and admin options
  • new block manager (Gilles Laborderie)
  • a navigation manager, ie a wizard to create dynamic site navigation
  • overhauled error handling with a new session debug feature
  • easier configuration
  • improved database abstraction bringing PostgreSQL and SQL Server compatibility a step closer

Get the latest version here.

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