Saturday, November 29, 2008

Internet Browsers

As a web developer, I am suppose to test all my internet applications on as many web browsers as I possibly can, which can be a headache, but definitely something that is needed to be done.

What web browser(s) are your favorites, as for myself, I'm a Firefox and Opera guy at heart, even if I'm working on the Mac platform. Hey now, why not Internet Explorer? I'll get to that in just a moment but I would like to point out the reasons why Firefox and Opera are great browsers.

First we'll do Firefox; Reason one, it's really fast and never degrades as you visit thousands of web pages and build up a nice pot of cache. Reason two, the updates are always coming even if they're for an add-on. Reason three, an idiot can install it, use it, update it, and customize it the way they feel is needed. Reason four, you can easily get rid of any wanted junk that any installer puts on Firefox. Reason five, pretty much a given on all browsers but I like the dragging and dropping of tabs. That should be enough to explain why Firefox is my number one choice no matter what platform I'm working on.

Now for Opera; Reason one, frankly I absolutely love the feature called speed dial where you can set up web sites that you are constantly visiting, and with one click on a screen captured image, your at the web site you always end up during your day. Reason two, tab previews, I like that you can hold your cursor over any open tab to get a preview of the contents of that tab. Very handy when you have 20 tabs open. Reason three, is that Opera just has a very clean GUI that makes you feel comfortable. Reason four, is that they are always releasing updates as well. Reason five, all I have to say is that when I first started using Opera I loved it but it was way too buggy on PC, but with a couple update releases, I feel good enough to call Opera my secondary browser.

Now, about Internet Explorer, I keep trying to find a reason of why this browser still even exists. It still has the exact same issues it's had since IE5 and probably earlier versions. It's horribly slow, bogs down every system I use it with and the everyday user has trouble using it. I even dread opening IE when I have to test an application because I already know that what I'm working on is going to have issues with only IE. People cant possibly be using IE because of Microsoft is always updating it. There rarely ever update IE, only push out newer versions with more worthless features than before along with the same annoying issues. Please Microsoft, see the problems and listen to what the consumer has to say for a change.

Finally for a very quick rundown of other web browsers:
Safari - Good not great
Google Chrome - Safari/Opera but pretty cool
Flock - Its Firefox with unnecessary stuff
Avant - Don't waste your time and bandwidth
Maxthon - Another don't do it

- Pete

Friday, November 28, 2008

First look at fusionCal

The most recent project that I have been working on is a calendar based on ColdFusion and Ajax and other stuff of coarse. You may ask yourself, do we really need another calendar application? Ahhhhhhh, why not. I know it's been done many times before especially by the Google crew but that doesn't mean I can't have a go, right?

Well, I'm calling my calendar fusionCal for obvious reasons and I plan on trying to make it as easy to work with as possible. Meaning, no need for unnecessary page refreshing and everything available within a matter of one click, not two, or even three. Researching the possibilities of making this actually being developed really didn't take long at all thanks to the workings of Ajax(God I love that stuff).

I'm going to say that I've been developing fusionCal for about a month when I can find free time. I'm hoping within a short time to have my first beta release of fusionCal for all that may have an interest in it and how development is going.

- Pete

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Aptana Studio

Alright, about 2 months ago I was searching for a killer coding atmosphere that was similar to Dreamweaver without the cost that would kill the bank and was up-to-date with the most recent Web 2.0 Technologies. I ran through tons for instance, Notepad++, which is a coding environment but a very boring one at that although it was open source. Then I kinda fell in love with TextMate, but unfortunately is only available on the Mac Platform and I needed something Multiplatformable (it's a word). I knew about Eclipse and all the coding environments based on the IDE such as PHP Eclipse. Well, after further searching I ran across Aptana Studio which a coding environment based on Eclipse that is absolutely amazing. It does everything I could ask for including the ability to install CFEclipse and take my pick of Ajax Libraries such as Mootools, Jquery and one of my favorites, YUI (The Yahoo Library).

Would I recommend Aptana to all Internet Developers, not really, mainly because Aptana doesn't seem to have a feature many use in Dreamweaver, the Design View. As for myself, when working in Dreamweaver I rarely ever click that Design View button as I don't see a need for it anymore, but there are some developers that rely on Design View to accomplish certain or all tasks.

Well, Aptana, I like it and after working with it for about 2 months I think I am gonna make the switch and call Dreamweaver my backup. Now if I can only find something to replace Photoshop so I can fully say goodbye to MS.

- Pete