This article will get you started with CGI scripting, the force that makes
forms work, your counters count, and all kinds of other things happen.
CGI scripts can be written in a variety of computer languages, but my favorite is Perl, which also just happens to be one of the most used languages for CGI scripting. So before we tackle CGI, today we’ll max out your gray matter on this damn-near-holy language.
Dozens of video sharing sites may offer streaming video that plays back in higher quality than YouTube, but if you want eyeballs (and millions of them), then Google’s monstrously popular YouTube is the place to be.
For a long time, all you could do with YouTube as a web publisher was embed its hosted videos on your site. But thanks to a recent overhaul to the YouTube API, you can now do much more.
YouTube recently unveiled a new and improved Player API that allows developers to do things like re-skin the video player or create their own custom controls. In fact, if your scripting chops are up for it, you could build your own uploading interface for YouTube and then simultaneously post videos to YouTube and your site with one click of the mouse.
There are actually two different YouTube APIs — there’s the aforementioned Player API for skinning your embedded players and adding custom controls, plus the Data API for grabbing information about movies. Each API has a number of different functions.
We’re going to take a look at both the Data API and Player API on Webmonkey in this tutorial, but we’ll start with the Player API since it’s a little bit simpler to interact with.
Have you ever noticed those inviting orange buttons on some web pages, or spotted the odd link pitching an “RSS feed”? If you’ve ever clicked one out of curiosity, and then scratched your head at the unformatted gobbledygook in your web browser, you’ve seen an RSS file.
What is it really for, anyway?
Two things: RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and Atom are two specialized formats that create what’s commonly called a news feed, or just feed. A feed is an easy way for sites to share headlines and stories so that you can read them without having to visit two dozen different web pages everyday.
In other words, web builders use feeds to dish out fresh news and content from their websites and web surfers can use feed applications to collect custom-tailored selections of their favorite websites to be read at their leisure.
Continue Reading “RSS for Beginnners” »
Everyone and their grandmother are shooting digital images. A lot of professional film photographers are leading the pack by taking the leap to the camera raw format. Even some mid-range, consumer-level digital cameras offer a raw format setting these days.
So what’s all the hype about? In terms of dimensions, digital photos shot in the camera raw format aren’t any larger than the highest JPEG setting on a camera, but the files themselves are over twice the size. What’s taking up all that space? The easiest way to explain it is to examine the differences between JPEG and raw.
When you take a picture that is saved in JPEG format, your camera is automatically making adjustments to your image and compressing the data down on the fly. Ever wonder what all those fancy settings on your camera really do? When you spin the little dial on your camera to access portrait, action shot, night scene or macro settings, you are unwittingly changing your ISO setting, picking a white point and applying certain exposure settings. Your camera then squishes all this information down into a compressed JPEG file. The original image that was captured by your camera’s sensors has been manipulated and adjusted; the original data ends up being lost forever in a jumble of settings and compression algorithms. The sad thing about this is that you have probably lost information within your image, especially in the highlight and shadow areas, and you’ll never get it back.