Way back when, in the wilds of 1995, there were a great many people who were disgruntled with the state of Web servers. The commercial ones, like Microsoft’s IIS (Internet Information Server) and Netscape’s family of servers, hadn’t been born yet, and the ones put out by college students – well, they sucked.
But lo! What did the early code jockeys do? They made their own damn Web server. They called it Apache (as in a patchy server, because it had a lot of patches). A patch is just what it sounds like – something to plug holes in your code with. This small group of hackers started a project that would eventually create the most popular Web server software in the world.
Not to give ourselves too much credit, but one of the founders of the Apache project was an engineer at HotWired. Don’t you just love us? If you really want to know more about Apache’s history, there’s a nice narrative on its site.
The brilliance of the Apache group’s scheme lay not just in the fine programming, but in the development model it used. Now it is fashionably called open source.
(A small side note:There are several different flavors of open-source development. Apache’s lets anyone create a commercial product based on its code and doesn’t make them share the results if they don’t want to. If I say this model is “better” than the other schemes, hostile email will no doubt follow this article’s publication. But it may well be.)
Continue Reading “Apache for Beginners” »
If you follow CSS, you’re probably sick of hearing promises of CSS 3 — the next generation style sheet language that should have been here several years ago.
Well, the specification document still isn’t finalized. If you’re impatient, you’re not alone. Browser manufacturers have already started rolling out support for many of the new features even if they aren’t yet set in stone.
Opera and Safari have been leading the way when it comes to CSS 3 features, but Firefox 3 packs in a few and 3.1 promises to bring Firefox alongside the others.
Yeah, we know what you’re thinking: “I can’t do it. I have to support Internet Explorer.”
Well, you’re right. Users of Internet Explorer are out of luck. Although, there’s no reason you can’t use some rounded corner properties solely for your Firefox/Opera/Safari visitors. IE will still render the backgrounds as usual, it just won’t understand the rounded corner bit.
We’re willing to admit that most of these rules are still a year or two from being mainstream, but it doesn’t mean you can’t start learning them now.
Want to bleed from the cutting edge of web design? Put on your daredevil helmet and let’s dive into some cool new design features.
Continue Reading “Get Started With CSS 3″ »
Continue Reading “Sanitize Text with MooTools” »
At Webmonkey, the favorite technologies are, of course, those that inspire the most punning. So Java is way up there (all those “brewing up” and “double tall” opportunities), as is HTML (“HTML is for Children” and “HTML and Back”), while topics like CGI and XSLT aren’t really a whole lot of pun.
Thus I am extremely lucky to be allowed to write about SOAP, one of the punniest technologies to come along since Unix. And it’s true:I feel lucky. So everybody scrub up, and let’s get started.
Continue Reading “Get Your Feet Wet With SOAP” »
Open source has brought a lot more than Linux to the computing world. It has also given us PHP and MySQL.
In the first installment of this three-lesson tutorial, we cover everything you need to know to begin developing database hubs. You’ll get instructions for installation on both Unix and Windows, and then you’ll learn some simple scripts that will insert information into a database and display that data on a web page.
Lesson 2 covers more PHP/MySQL goodies than you could probably imagine:while loops, the ever-useful if-else statement. But this information alone means little if you don’t continue and see how PHP can be used with HTML forms. By the time you’ve polished off this lesson, you’ll be able to add, edit, and remove information from your database.
In Lesson 3, you’ll learn some of the secrets that will turn your simple data-driven site into a useful application. We’ll cover validation and show how to prevent users from leaving key form fields blank and how to make sure numeric files don’t contain letters. You’ll also learn how PHP handles includes and functions. Plus you’ll see how these two features, when deployed together, can make the coder’s life much easier. Everything winds up with some tearful parting words and a bit of advice for the aspiring PHP/MySQL coder.