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Web Development News & Analysis

Content First? A Relationship Between Words and Design

A recent post on Content Management Connection's blog made a lot of sense. In it, the online community for technology practitioners, software companies and end users, discussed the need to be content first, design second.

Their point is that you wouldn't buy a suit for a stranger without first having her trying it on, so why design websites around content that doesn't exist yet. It's an interesting concept, but not as simple as it sounds.

While it's true that when projects are started and designers are tasked with putting together comps of possible designs, the actual content for a site is usually just a gleam in the project manager's eye. Rarely do design projects start with the final copy. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Mixing Design and Content in an Online Web Development Model

Mixing Design and Content in an Online Web Development ModelWith the advent of Software as a Service (Saas), it's surprising that more browser-based options for web development don't exist. Which is what makes Platformic (news, site) so unique. Not only does it offer a browser-based web development strategy, its platform combines web design with content management.

Recently we spoke with Mark Underhill, Chief Technology Officer at Platformic about their many innovative features. The essence of Platformic 3.0 is that it lets designers, developers and laypeople use the same tools to make exciting designs, offer new media and dynamic content to users who demand it.

IBM Offers Free Tool for Developing Web 2.0 Style Rich Internet Applications

ibm adds social software to it's ecmIBM (news, site) claims that EGL (Enterprise Generation Language) is the new COBOL, an easy to code business tool. But, we don't recall people giving COBOL compilers away for free back in the sixties.

CloudBerry Updates Amazon S3 Explorer, Offers Online BackUp Service

cloudberry_logo.jpg CloudBerry's (news, site) freeware browser for Amazon S3 has been a big hit since its launch back in March. Now the company is bringing new features and offering extra peace of mind.

New Linux Kernel to Bolster Open Source Momentum

New Linux Kernel to Bolster Open Source Momentum New versions of the Linux kernel typically come and go without a lot of fanfare except in the communities most affected by the latest bug fixes and other changes. However, with the release of Linux kernel 2.6.30, the broader open source community has reason to smile.

Most of these reasons involve consumer-friendly features.

ASP.NET MVC Installer Now Ready for Visual Studio 2010

ASP.NET MVC Installer Now Available for Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1When the beta for Visual Studio 2010 (news, site) first came out, it lacked the ability to create ASP.NET MVC applications. This was because Visual Studio was in lock down before MVC 1.0 was released.

There was a workaround, but it didn't give you the ability to create MVC apps, just look at them. But you likely wanted to do a heck of a lot more than just look at your code in Visual Studio 2010.

Now, says Phil Haack, you can.

IDE Plug-Ins Extend Web Content To Nokia Phones

Nokia Plug-Ins Extend Content To Its Phones If anyone was in any doubt that competition in the mobile web market is really beginning to heat-up, then yesterday’s release of three new widgets by Nokia (news, site) that will convert web code and scripts created on PCs into mobile applications will fix that.

Possibly concerned that it might be losing out in the battle to win the hearts -- and pockets -- of a market that is increasingly looking to the mobile web, Nokia is hoping these widgets will attract web developers to extend content to the Nokia platform.

Learn to Develop Cloud-Based Apps with the Google App Engine

Learn to Develop Cloud-Based Apps with the Google App Engine If you are just getting into the web development business and you want to build cloud-based applications, there's no better place to start than with Google. The Google App Engine (news, site) is Google's infrastructure for building and running cloud-based applications.

While there's a lot of documentation on developing using the Google App Engine on Google's website itself, there's another way to learn how to develop these applications - where you are a beginner or an expert.

O'Reilly has released the book Using Google App Engine - Start Building and Running Web Apps on Google's Infrastructure. The book is written by Charles Severance, Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan, and someone who has extensive experience with the development languages used to write Google Apps.

What will you learn? You will learn:

  • Web programming and the move to develop cloud-based applications
  • The basic technologies used to develop Google Apps including Python, HTML and CSS
  • How to Use the Google App Engine Datastore
  • How to Implement Caching and Use Cookies and Session
  • Installing and Running the App Engine on XP, Vista, Mac and Linux
  • and much more

The book is designed for beginners, but offers information that will benefit even the more experienced Google App developer.

Pick up your copy of Using Google App Engine on O'Reilly for US$ 29.99.


5 Techniques for Getting Buy In for Usability Testing

For more than seven years, I’ve been teaching and coaching design teams on how to conduct usability tests and gather user feedback early on in the development process. One of the questions that comes up time and time again from clients is, "How can we get buy-in for usability tests from management and other team members?"

Visual Studio 2010 Extensions: Windows Azure Tools for Cloud Services

Visual Studio 2010 Includes Windows Azure SDKWith Beta 1 of Visual Studio 2010 (news, site) out for review, Microsoft is also releasing some extensions to keep us all excited about developing .NET applications. One of these extensions is the The Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio and the latest version is out as a technology preview.

Yooba Flash CMS Goes Production

Yooba Flash CMS Goes Production  It's official. Yooba Studio, a Flash-based content management system from Yooba (news, site), is officially available for commercial use. If you want to have flash-enabled websites without the cost of a creative agency, then this CMS is definitely worth a first and second look.

Microsoft to JavaOne Attendees: We Come in Peace

Microsoft made its first ever keynote at the JavaOne Conference last week reports eWeek, touting their desire for increased interoperability between .NET and Java.

In an interview with eWEEK, Steven Martin, senior director of development platform products at Microsoft said interoperability is important to him, "[Seventy-three] percent of professional developers rely on .NET or a combination of .NET and Java.  In that sense, both Java and .NET have won in the enterprise and it is incumbent on both Microsoft and Sun to ensure that interoperability for the platforms is real, available and as easy to implement as possible."

We've seen and heard many times that many organizations, particularly the larger ones, don't have a single technology stack in-house and there's often a mix of .NET and Java solutions to support. Microsoft knows that and have for the last five years been working closely with Sun on interoperability projects like Web Single Sign On, the Interop Vendor Alliance and virtualization.

Although they have been involved in the JavaOne conferences for a few years, this is the first time they have keynoted. It would have been interesting to see how the Java audience responded to their keynote.

The keynote, conducted by Martin and Dan'l Lewin, Corporate Vice President, Strategic and Emerging Business Development, discussed what is happening today in regards to interoperability between .NET and Java and where it is headed in the future.

Interested in hearing exactly what they said? Watch the keynote.

Book: Web 2.0 Architectures from O'Reilly

Web 2.0 Architectures: Understanding the Core Patterns of Web 2.0 O'Reilly Media has released a new book on Web 2.0. Called Web 2.0 Architectures, this book should help you understand better the inner workings of Web 2.0 from a technology perspective and how some online services today have been successful with this model.

The book was written by James Governor (founder of RedMonk), Dion Hinchcliffe (Hinchcliffe and Company) and Duane Nickull (tech evangelist for Adobe Systems), all three strongly versed in the workings of enterprise architecture.

If you want to understand how Web 2.0 applications are built and how you can take advantage of this type of architecture, then this book should provide you with a lot of information to build on:

  • A Web 2.0 model: The evolution of the Web 2.0 model.
  • Web 2.0 reference architecture: Understand the breakdown, or components, of basic Web 2.0 patterns.
  • Specific Web 2.0 patterns: Understand how your business can take advantage of Web 2.0 patterns such as SOA, mashups, RIAs, SaaS, Semantic Web, Folksonomies and more.

The book includes reviews of some of the most successful Web 2.0 ventures today including Flickr, Akamai and Napster. It also looks at more generic technologies like blogs and wikis, content management systems and directories and tagging.

If you are looking to understand Web 2.0 from a marketing perspective, this may not be the book for you. But if you are a web architect, business analyst or someone who wants to build your own Web 2.0 website or solution, there is bound to be some information in this book to get you started.

The hard cover version of Web 2.0 Architectures costs US$ 34.99, but you can also get a e-version for a little less and maybe save a tree. Get more information here.

TypeRoom - A Simple Web CMS for the Non Technical

Simple Web CMS for Visual, Non-Technical EditorsInternet Simplicity (site), a Silicon Valley-based company who launched a visual web editor last year has just moved into the world of web content management systems with the launch of a suite offering, you guessed it, simplicity of use and ways to solve common content management problems.

The company describes the entire solution -- web editor and CMS -- as a user-friendly platform requiring no technical skills and comes in two versions: TypeRoom Lite and TypeRoom Professional.

Develop Mobile Applications for SharePoint with Mobile Entree

Develop Mobile Applications for SharePoint with Mobile EntreeSeeing as how SharePoint (news, site) is so widely used within the enterprise today, it's not a stretch to think that employees would want to access their SharePoint sites and content from their mobile devices. But out of the box, mobile functionality isn't all the great.

To the rescue comes Mobile Entrée, a server side plug-in for SharePoint that will let you access your SharePoint data from your iPhone, Blackberry or Windows Mobile.

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