Best of the Web - August
August was a month filled with excellent articles from around the Net. We can always rely on major companies to provide some interesting fodder for developers; Yahoo! started suggesting Firefox users try IE8 and Google unveiled a faster, sleeker search engine. Oh, and if you've ever released some
imperfect shoddy code to meet a deadline, than you'll appreciate some examples of dirty hacks used in games.
All these and more in August's edition of Best of the Web.
The Definitive Guide to htaccess Techniques: Do’s and Don’ts
Noupe has an excellent guide on how to do various functions with htaccess. Learn how to use htaccess to redirect to a secure https connection, restrict file uploads, disguise your file types, and many more.
The Secret of Success: Suck Less
Max Kanat-Alexander was a developer at Bugzilla when he learned a very valuable lesson on product releases. In fact, it's a simple maxim that all types of developers should embrace:
All you have to do to succeed in software is to consistently suck less with every release."
Read the rest of Max's excellent breakdown of why he believes that solid releases are what keep retain current users and create new users.
Yahoo Recommends Firefox Users To Switch To The “New, Safer IE8″
Yahoo! angered many in the development community by telling Firefox users to switch to the new IE8, because the browser was "safer". TechCrunch writer Michael Arrington believes that it's not because Yahoo! is endorsing the "better" browser, but the browser company that is paying them the most.
Mastering CSS, Part 2: Advanced Techniques and Tools
Smashing Magazine has a roundup on some advanced CSS techniques around. Learn how to create timeles, calendars, iPhone application UIs and more, with CSS.
Funny (creative) programming comments
The Web Dev Bros have stumbled upon some interesting code comments in Google Code projects. Warning, there be dragons here...
Really Useful Tools For PHP Developers
W3 Avenue has a nice roundup of useful PHP tools for web developers.
Grails: The Search Really Is Over (For Now)
It seems that Grails is becoming quite popular in Java programming circles, as it's a Java framework for web development. Read this one programmer's thoughts on why Grails beats out other Java frameworks.
Dirty Coding Tricks
While web developers might not normally dive into game development practices, we sure can appreciate deadlines and pushing some less than perfect code. Here are some of the dirtiest hacks ever put into games in the 11th hour to ship the game on time.
30 Tutorials Combining Both Wordpress and jQuery
An excellent roundup of tutorials that combine Wordpress and jQuery. Sliding content, news tickers, multi-level drop down menus and more.
Google Caffeine: A Detailed Test of the New Google
It appears that Google has been testing some major advancements in their search engine, and they released Google "Caffeine" to the world early in August (test Caffeine here). The new search engine promises to be faster, more comprehensive and more relative.
5 Ways to Make Ajax Calls with jQuery
We released an article on 5 different ways to make Ajax calls with jQuery earlier last month. The article came complete with source code and a nifty working demo of all the calls.
The Longest Poem in the World
Andrei Gheorghe decided to create an interesting web app that pulls tweets that rhyme together, making the "longest poem in the world". At the time of this writing the poem has almost 400,000 verses, growing by about 4,000 daily.
We've labeled this application under the categories "Cool" and "Huh?".
What is OpenID and how can I use it?
Many major sites have embraced OpenID as a user login platform, and the initiative is building steam every day. If you haven't checked out what OpenID could do for your site, this is a great primer on what OpenID does, how it works and tools and resources that could help you get started.
Staying Current: A Software Developer's Responsibility
Jay Fields has an excellent article on why web developers have to constantly learn new technologies, or find lower paying jobs.
Digg moves to Git
Nearly everyone has their own take on the best version tracking, and it's created a bit of controversy on the web among developers. Git has recently gathered lots of attention, and now that Digg has moved over to Git from SVN, the debate will become even more intense. Check out a Digg engineer's take on why Git has the edge over SVN in their work environment.
What is your best programmer joke?
An simple question at Stackoverflow turned into a meme of sorts for programmers, each putting in their favorite programming jokes. At the time of this writing, there are 471 responses with more jokes, and the number has been growing steadily.
For God’s sake! Keep it simple!
The Making Good Software blog has an excellent reminder for those of us writing software: Keep it simple! The article outlines why you should continually strive to keep your code svelte, and only add complexity when making things easier.
40 Years of Unix
The Unix operating system turned 40 last month, and BBC has a fantastic article on the history of the system and its significance in the web world.
20 of the Worst Designed Websites In the World
Manolith took the time to document some of the most hideous web designs in the world. Try not to look directly at them...
Why You NEED APIs to Foster Innovation: A Case Study
An article over why new web technologies have to let users innovate with their product, and the majority of the time this means releasing an API. The article contrasts between services who didn't open up API's with those that did, and compares their successes.
How Popular Website Designs Looked Like In Late 90’s
Smashing Apps compared sites like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo and other giants of the late 90's. It's an interesting look at how design has evolved in the last 10 years.
Programmer Competency Matrix
A comprehensive matrix that shows how competent a programmer is by testing between the types of programming knowledge or skills. Try rating yourself... how competent are you?
If Famous Graphic Artists Were Web Designers…
Ever wonder what creations Andy Warhol or Monet might have designed in our modern world? Smashing Magazine has an excellent article showing the inspiration these designers have on our current design.
If you're looking for a more portable programming IDE, PHPanywhere might just be the ticket. PHPanywhere is a real-time syntax editor that can manage multiple projects and upload files to the server via FTP.
Five Things That Will Kill Your Site
Jonathan Howell had a fantastic piece on the five major things that can bring your site to its knees: Change, unexpected load, slow death, time related issues, hardware failure.
50 Useful New jQuery Techniques and Tutorials
A fantastic collection of all things jQuery. Graphs, sliders, polls, carousels, Retweet buttons and more.
Signs that you're a bad programmer
A clever article that points out some warning signs that you might not be the world's best programmer. This is either a reaffirming pat on the back or a cold splash of water to the face :)
Software Developers Should Never Have Dress Codes
Kirk Wylie has a smart rant on his reasonings why software developers should never have a dress code. Any developer will find himself nodding vigorously and exclaiming "Amen!" to many of Kirk's points. (I'm writing this in my regular programming uniform: T-Shirt and jeans.)
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