Monthly Archives: May 2009

Charlotte NC VMware Event – Carolina VMware Users Summit 2009

Charlotte NC VMware Event – Carolina VMware Users Summit 2009

Tomorrow, Scott and I will be attending the VMware Users Summit 2009 at the Renaissance Charlotte Suites Hotel in Charlotte, NC. This is a free event, so if you’re out and about with nothing else to do, come by and join the rest of the VMware nerds. Here is some information on the VMware Summit in Charlotte: Carolina VMware User Summit (CVUS) 2009 will be even more exciting this year! The summit will feature some of the industry’s very best virtualization experts from across the globe. If you enjoyed last year’s Carolina VMware Users Summit, you will not want to miss out on Carolina VMware Users Summit 2009. These speakers and many more will be on-hand to guide us through our everyday challenges and give us a peek into what may be to come.

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Joomla 1.5 Bulk User Import CSV using PHP Script

Joomla 1.5 Bulk User Import CSV using PHP Script

While doing some work tonight, I came across a handy little script that is useful for importing users in bulk into Joomla using CSV files. This is very useful if your are moving user information from another content management system (CMS) into Joomla 1.5.

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PHP Framework Comparison

PHP Framework Comparison

What is a PHP Framework?

A PHP framework is a set of functions and classes written in PHP that provides a starting point for developing web applications. Frameworks vary in directory structure, feature set, and documentation/support.

Why Use a PHP Framework?

As a PHP developer, it is frustrating to have to code projects over and over again from scratch. Many projects share common features such as mail functions, file handling, database connection, converting and translating text, and on, and on. By alleviating these common coding tasks, a good PHP framework allows a developer to focus more on custom business logic.

I am going to compare a few common PHP frameworks that I have used, feel free to add your own opinions and any frameworks I will inevitably miss.

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FireFox 3.5 – what 3.0 SHOULD have been…

FireFox 3.5 – what 3.0 SHOULD have been…
FireFox 3.5

FireFox 3.5

I have to say, open source is great, and one of the most known open source projects is FireFox.  FireFox is IE’s biggest competition, and I have to say even with IE8 finally pushing IE in the CSS/XHTML standards direction, FireFox is pushing beyond with its implementation of technologies like SVG and CSS3.  In FireFox 3.5 a lot of great new features are pushing in, including but not limited to a <video> tag, that’s right a native tag to allow adding video’s to the page in a clean method.  FireFox 3.5 is also pushing in a few more CSS3 attributes like border shadows and border images to name a few, I for one think CSS3 needs to be pushed MORE by modern browsers and the W3C, because it’s going to improve web markup 10-fold.  As far as the SVG side goes, FireFox is currently the browser pushing it the most (cough IE pick up where your lagging behind!), and for those of you who are not familiar with SVG I’ll explain.  SVG or Scalable Vector Graphic is basically what the name implies, a Vector Graphic which mean’s based on computer calculations rather then pixels like a bitmap image (jpg/png/gif), which makes it great for web design because you can have a TINY svg that grows substantially and NEVER loses quality.  What this mean’s for us Designers/Developers is that we can cut the file size of such things like logo’s and use them in many places with just 1 file, because we can set the size in the code, and not have to worry about distortion.  Now, don’t think for one second that’s all I have to say about FireFox 3.5, in fact one KEY thing about FireFox 3.5 is its faster page rendering, yes they are a tad behind Google Chrome and Webkit based browsers (Safari for windows), BUT finally FireFox is addressing the need for faster Javascript rendering, which intern also mean’s pages load hella quick compared to previous versions.  This ladies and gentlemen, is the main thing that SHOULD have been in 3.0, no offense but for once FireFox had to sit down with its pen and paper and take notes from another browser (Chrome), which isn’t a bad thing considering that was Google’s doing.  That being said, FireFox 3.5 (Currently in its final Beta stages) will definitely be a MUST upgrade for anyone, and for those of you still using IE, please… Get to using FireFox, its by far a better browser and its FREE?!

Zend puts PHP on a cloud (Amazon’s).

Zend puts PHP on a cloud (Amazon’s).

Version 1.8 of the Zend Framework now allows direct access to Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) . This allows for PHP developers to easily tap into the scalability advantages of distributed computing. Through Zend_Service_Amazon_S3 PHP applications built with the new Zend Framework can easily tap into scalable web resources whenever traffic spikes or if the application demands more resources than the host server can provide.

Concrete5, Content Management in the Web 3.0 World?

Concrete5, Content Management in the Web 3.0 World?

My first impression of Concrete5 is that it is a much more user-friendly and user-centered content management system than I have seen in a while. I remember having dreams of developing something like this, something more functional, something more logically integrated with the front-end GUI than the more recent systems to hit the web.

Years ago, before the days of the huge Joomla and WordPress boom, I recall looking into an enterprise grade content management system for Zestra Laboratories (before the purchase by Semprae Laboratories). The system I was interested in was built on JSP (JavaServer Pages) and had an extremely advanced GUI for the day and age, allowing you to manage the content directly from the front-end, much like Concrete5 now gives you the ability to do now free with open source PHP.

On a side note, Magnolia is also a very robust CMS with features such as Concrete5, Magnolia strives itself on being extremely simple though may lack certain features and a large community supporting it, though it is a very clean content creation and enterprise style publishing tool, the problem with Magnolia is that it just can’t keep up with what these PHP systems are capable of pulling off. But this blog post is not about the Magnolia CMS anyway, we are focusing on Concrete5, check out this video for a quickie on what Concrete5 is all about:

It seems that they have really brought together the ability for a basic blog user to be able to start beginning to create more advanced web applications directly without any developer expertise. The most impressive part of Concrete5 is the ability for you to logically understand what element it is that you are adding to the page visually, this is going to be a key part of the trend that I see web publishing following in the course of the coming years.

The only thing that I would like to see extended onto Concrete5 is the ability to create your own types of data models, data grids or other types of media and form controls. Since I haven’t spent much time in the back-end programming of Concrete5 yet, I can only assume that they have built it cleanly on an objected oriented architecture and have some form of API (Application Programming Interface) built into the application framework.

Being able to integrate something like Concrete5 with QCubed/QCodo would give the average user the ability to edit and create more advanced web applications as well as advanced database manipulation without the intervention of experienced programmers. Currently the only CMS that has been integrated into QCubed/QCodo is a module that integrates the QCubed PHP5 Framework with Drupal called QDrupal.

With the ability to extend Concrete5 with more AJAX based, user-centric tools, users will growingly have direct access to the way data is created and stored, and ultimately how web applications are born.