Category Archives: Web Design

Doc5 Beta Now in Testing

After many years I have got a version of Doc5 up and available to use. It’s a vastly different wiki app than the previous version and most of the changes have been made in the last 9 months. The last version released for download was a different name and appeared before my son was born. He starts school in two weeks.

My 9-5 job takes up enough time that for a couple of years I left this project¬†alone and considered dropping any¬†thoughts of pushing it out. But writing web apps is my hobby, so it’s been good to dig through all the old code and clean it up.

So a list of the major changes:

  • WYSIWYG editing has arrived and the previous wiki engine is gone
  • Permissions have been simplified but also extended to categories
  • Full UI make over, although I have gone with a pretty basic Bootstrap view of things.
  • Better file uploads and management.
  • Templates for email notifications

I think a full release should be available for download in the next two months. Testing on the web will help tune spam catching and there’s some bug fixing to roll out as well as plenty of test cases to run.

All the Web2.0 You Can Handle

Read/Write Web has a list of . . . lists. All containing information about Web2.0 sites springing up like daisies around the internet.

What’s a Web2.0 site you ask? It’s one of those good-looking, fancy acting websites you’ve probably seen around. The developer of these sites use more acronyms than before, like AJAX, JSON, etc that allow users to interact in ways they couldn’t a couple of years ago. Some of these sites are so cool they drop vowels from their names – Flickr and HappyCodr are a couple of examples.

Overall they still need content and community but some of them are just beautiful to look at and fun to play with.

Why Aren’t You Using FireBug?

I’ve been using the Firefox browser addon called FireBug for a while now and am amazed at how helpful it is. If you’re a web developer, and especially if you use JavaScript and AJAX methods, you should be using it.

For example, while developing I like to add in timers to PHP based pages to show how long things are taking. This way if a SQL statement needs some fine-tuning or a change slows things down I can see it happen. FireBug extends this to the entire page and the HTTP traffic. Here’s what happens when I load a page that has a few JavaScript calls, small images and a single CSS link in it,

Straight away it’s obvious what’s taking up the bulk of the time – those two library calls. Once I take those out of the equation the load time drops to under a second. And through all this the PHP timer function only shows me how long the server-side work is taking.

With FireBug I know who (in a geeky code way) is doing what and with who and I can act on it. Now that’s helpful.