All posts tagged ‘tutorial’

File Under: Databases, Programming

Cake and Trax for Beginners

In my last article, Building With Ajax and Rails I made a faintly disparaging joke about some new web frameworks that have been created in fond imitation of Rails. I got a lot of feedback about that joke. I’m not allowed to comment here about the pending lawsuits, but I would ask that the drive-by eggings of my house and threats to my family please cease. (They’ve been relocated to a secret Webmonkey farm anyway.)

Today we’re going to take a look at a couple of those frameworks for PHP:Trax and Cake. Both attempt to bring the quick, easy, helpful tools and easily understood, easily maintained structure of Rails to PHP — a boon to web developers who know PHP and perhaps have some keeper code in that language, but can’t resist the Rails buzz. Both Trax and Cake use the same model-view-controller pattern and Active Record ways of addressing data that Rails does. Makes one curious, no? I don’t have time to get deeply into them today, but both stress “rapid development,” so let’s see if I, your average not-too-bright web developer, can get a little app off the ground before the end of this article.

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File Under: APIs

Using the Flickr API

One the first and most comprehensive application interfaces of the Web 2.0 era, the Flickr API was in no small part responsible for the site’s success.

There were dozens of photo sharing sites clamoring for attention when Flickr first launched, but thanks its flexible API, developers began building and extending the site far beyond the capabilities of others.

The Flickr API exposes almost every piece of data stored on the site, and it offers near limitless possibilities for mashups, data scraping, tracking friends — just about anything you can think of.

For examples of some of the more popular applications using Flickr’s API, check out the various desktop uploaders available on all platforms. Also have a look at some of the tag-based Flickr mashups people have created, like Earthalbum and Flickrmania. Perhaps the most prolific of Flickr API users is John Watson (Flickr user fd) who has an extensive collection of tools and mashups available.

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File Under: HTML5

Add Semantic Value to Your Pages With HTML 5

In the part one of our HTML 5 tutorial, we looked at some of the language’s new structural markup tags that are designed to reduce the “<div>-soup” of HTML 4 and add semantic meaning to your page’s layout.

But not every new tag in HTML is strictly structural. There are other tags that also add valuable semantic meaning to your pages in non-structural ways. Today, in part two, we’ll take a look at how to use them and what they can do for your content.

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File Under: HTML

Validate Your HTML

If you’re anything like us, you’re always jumping on your cross-platform soapbox at the office. On mailing lists, over lunch, at parties, and on the bus home from the party (just in case the bus driver has been duped into supporting proprietary tags in his home page) you insist that everyone should follow W3C standards for HTML, CSS, and HTTP.

“Standards, standards, standards!”, you insist, as you pound on your podium. But do you actually test your own Web site for rigid W3C compliance? Be honest: Of course you don’t. You look at it with a couple of browsers, maybe a second computer, and just fix anything that looks wrong to your naked eye.

But if you really want to create cross-platform HTML and remove proprietary browser tricks from your site, you should be validating your HTML with the W3C’s HTML validator at The W3C validator is free to use and always up to date. And a more official source for standards specifications doesn’t exist.

Even better, you can augment the W3C specifications to include your own rules, such as forbidding nested tables. A “house rules” validator is an easy way to keep a team of developers from messing up each others’ work.

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File Under: Multimedia

Flash Tutorial for Beginners – Lesson 1

Getting Started

Let me guess – you want to add snappy interactivity and animations to your Web pages but you don’t want to create huge “click here and go get a sandwich” files? Then Adobe’s Flash may be for you. It doesn’t require the scripting savvy of DHTML and Ajax which makes it easier for beginners.

The process of making a Flash movie is easy to learn, but mastering it takes time and sweat. Here, and in Lesson 2, I’ll show you the basics of making one, and then I’ll show you what you need to learn to become a Flash grandmaster.
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