Archive | 13 October 2012

Workshop No 1

Sunday’s agenda is a page – child of “schedule.”

GeekSpeak: Cascading Style Sheets

What’s in a name? Though you’ve most likely heard of Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, if you’re reading this, you may not have ever stopped to think about each of the terms that comprise the acronym. Style refers to all of the components of a document (Web page) related to its presentation or appearance–typography, colors, borders, margins and padding, and other layout-related items. And cascading refers to an crucial aspect of the Web language: the priority scheme, or hierarchy, that is integral to its functionality.

In the early days of the Web, content and presentation alike were dictated by HTML–an inefficient model that meant that every time we wanted to make a link purple, or make a font a certain size, we had to define it as such; one that begged for a more robust solution. But the concept of style sheets has actually been around since the 1980s. In the mid-’90s, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) chose two proposals as a foundation for the CSS that we know today, and published its CSS Level 1 Recommendation in late 1996.

Today, CSS has as dominant a role as ever on the Web alongside HTML. Its advantages are numerous: it reduces clutter by consolidating style- or appearance-related markup, it encourages consistency across different browsers, it helps optimize a Web document for crawling by search engines, and it enhances flexibility and accessibility when we are spending an increasing amount of time viewing the Web on our mobile devices.

Though CSS code looks markedly different from that of HTML or XHTML, and some of its facets remain somewhat daunting for first-time users (the float and overflow properties, for example, or child and descendant selectors), its syntax is actually relatively simple. CSS can also be incorporated in different ways: inline, meaning nested inside an HTML tag; embedded, meaning within the <head> of a document, or in an external document.

As competition in the Web browser industry becomes increasingly heated and Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and others take divergent paths in their implementation of standards, consistency and compatibility across browsers remains the biggest challenge CSS faces today.

GeekSpeak: FTP Explained

Posted by Annette Frahm

FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol. As the name suggests, FTP is used to transfer files from one computer to another.

You can transfer text files or image files. FTP is commonly used to download or upload large files, such as web site pages, photos, presentations, videos and music.

One computer is typically acting as an FTP server. In most cases, both computers must have an FTP client or utility installed, and there must be a network connection. This is not a secure or encrypted connection.

Typical FTP clients or utilities are Filezilla and Cute FTP. This is very basic software. You will need to set up an FTP account. This commonly includes a server address, user name, password, and port number.

Once you are connected to the FTP server with your FTP Client, the process to transfer files is simple. You can just drag and drop, or copy and paste files from your local computer to the remote server or FTP server.

In some cases you can upload files to an FTP site using a web browser without having your own FTP utility. This method may be more familiar, but it often slower and more cumbersome.

Geekspeak: Ranjan: APACHE

In mid 1994 Robert McCool left National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois, and Urbana – Champaign where he had started developing the public Domain HTTP daemon, which would become the most popular server software on the Web in early 1995. Meanwhile, many webmasters had developed their own extensions and bug fixes that were in need of a common distribution. A small group of these webmasters, contacted via private e-mail, gathered for the purpose of coordination of their changes (in the form of “patches”). Brain Behlendorf and Cliff Skolnick put together a mailing list, shared information space, and logins for the core developers on a machine in the California Bay Area, with bandwidth donated by Hotwired. By the end of February 1995, eight core contributors formed the foundation of the original Apache Group. First Apache HTTP server project was started in April 1995. Further, in December 1995 Apache 1 was released which ran on Novell’s Netware, Microsoft’s Windows platform and also on Linux with more features.

Thus, Apache is an open source project. It is basically a web server software started in 1995 and by 1996 it gained a majority hold on the web server market even today it has 50% of market share although there are competitors like Lighttpd and IIS. Apache 2 was released to public on 6th April 2002 with more enhanced features, which worked perfect on cross platforms with security and more option for the user. This version had fixed all the bugs present in previous versions of Apache. Therefore, It played a key role in development of the World Wide Web and by 2009 it became the first web server software to surpass 100 million websites milestone. Currently, It serves to Internet giants like Google and Wikipedia and deployed more than 50% of the Internet content in early 21st century.

Apache is a public domain software, which means it is free and it can be used without restrictions allowing the administrator to manipulate and sculpt the program to best fit his/her need. Apache can be appropriate solution for practically any situation involving the HTTP protocol as it suits sites of all sizes and types. It can be used to serve static files over the Web or as front-end applications that generate customized responses for visitors. Also, one can run from single personal page on it to a large site serving millions of regular visitors.

Apache gets its name from the Native American tribe Apache because of the resourcefulness and adaptability of the American tribe also from the fact that it consist of some existing codes plus some patches.

Geekspeak: James Taylor: MySQL: Dominant and/or Dormant?

MySQL: How it came to Dominate & Popularize Open Source Database Management, and Why it Might Die:

As every dev knows and Oracle is apt to mention, MySQL is the world’s most popular database tool for developers. If you have ever pulled data from a server it’s likely you were using Structured Query Language or SQL to do it and MySQL is the defacto conveyor of this data. Created in C and C++ and named after one of the co-founders daughters, My, MySQL was first released in 1995 and acts as the database component of the popular LAMP stack that developers use to create the relational databases that power software and websites.

It is cross-platform or agnostic meaning that MySQL will run on most operating systems. Institutions that are dependent on data integrity and massive data scale such as banks or governments don’t use MySQL because of its limitations, but the vast majority of websites and apps do in some capacity. In fact, all 10 of the most visited websites in the world use it for something. According to Twitter, MySQL acts as the “persistent storage technology behind most Twitter data: the interest graph, timelines, user data and the Tweets themselves.”

It is considered fast, free, and reliable but not without faults. Most notably, it’s acquisition by Oracle (via Sun Microsystems), which at the time raised red flags amongst developers and even had a wikileaks scandal released regarding possible collusion between the EU and Oracle, has led to more recent complaints from developers throughout the world that MySQL is being slowly killed off or unsupported in the interest of selling higher priced proprietary database tools offered by the parent company.