Tuesday, October 7, 2008

On Google Developer Day in Munich

Yes, it was half a month ago, and I haven't posted anything about it so far.  Shame on me.

General impression about the event is good. Although you couldn't avoid the feeling that there was a bit too much advertising. But ok, what can you do in one day wit 500 developers, besides talking to them?

Look and Feel

Since Google has this image of being cool, childish and friendly, it really kept this image during the day. As you come into the exhibition hall you get into kind of a huge lounge with fancy music and colorful places to sit and stand. Then you can go and play something, for instance, table tennis, table football, Lego, etc. And in the end you could directly speak to a group of developers from Google, as they were taking up a specific corner and therefore were always available. The organization of the event was really brilliant. Everything on time, food for free, projectors always working, no waist of time.

People from Google were friendly, helpful, and really proud working at Google. The main marketing messages they'd tried to convey were:

  • You can do it!

  • it's not there yet, but you can be the first one to develop (or create) it

  • We want to help people to grow in the Internet because Google can grow only when everyone is growing

  • We like open source, we encourage open source, everyone can be participate in projects where Google is also taking part

Not Only Brain Wash

The agenda was pretty compressed. You could attend at most 4 sessions (read descriptions)...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Google Developer Day in Munich

If time allows I will participate in Google Developer Day in Munich. I am excited to have received the invitation and I hope I will have fun there.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

Comfortable OpenID Login Box for Drupal

I've started a project (http://drupal.org/project/comfortid) which is intended to be a cool open source OpenID login widget for Drupal.

Looking forward to genious ideas on usability. I think it's the only way to make OpenID popular.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Following Drupal

A good way to follow wthat's happening with Drupal worldwide is to subscribe to the Drupal Planet feed.

I am really excited to see this creative way to popularize a project. No need to hang around the Web anymore in order to get an overview about this software. More than 200 feeds aggregated into a single one!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

How to Delegate Your (Open)Identity Authentication to Wordpress

Everyone using Wordpress has an OpenID, e.g. mine is http://taroza.wordpress.com/. Yahoo and Google users also have an OpendID. Many other sites give it to you for free as well.

However, I don't like these imposed ids of mine. Fortunately I own a domain name evaldas-taroza.lt which is quite a friendly way to identify myself on the Web.

Here is how I set up my identity (according to the article on delegation):

  1. Since I link http://evaldas-taroza.lt to this blog, I configured a subdomain id.evaldas-taroza.lt to stand for my OpenID

  2. Then I configured my new subdomain to point to a simple Web page (http://id.evaldas-taroza.lt):
    <link rel="openid.server" href="http://taroza.wordpress.com/?openidserver=1" />
    <link rel="openid.delegate" href="http://taroza.wordpress.com/" />

    <link rel="openid2.provider" href="http://taroza.wordpress.com/?openidserver=1" />
    <link rel="openid2.local_id" href="http://taroza.wordpress.com/" />

The tricky part was to figure out what is the OpenID server at Wordpress (that's in bold).

Now I can login to every OpenID consumer with id.evaldas-taroza.lt which is the id I own. When I get bored using Worpress as an OpenID provider I can switch to Google, Yahoo, etc. and still keep it as id.evaldas-taroza.lt!

UPDATE: Looks that Wordpress openid support with delegation does not always work. So I switched to myopenid.com (I like that green color that they have). For an example how to configure delegation specifically for myopenid.com you can look, for instance, here.

Monday, July 7, 2008

JavaScript in Eclipse

JSDT is a promising JavaScript IDE. As an article from IBM says the features of JSDT include:

  • Syntax highlighting

  • Folding/line numbers

  • Full outlining, showing classes, functions, and fields

  • Highlight and check of matching brackets/parentheses

  • Auto-complete of brackets, parentheses, and indentation

  • Mark occurrence

  • Comment toggle (line and block)

  • Generate element JsDoc

  • Surround with do, for, try/catch, while

  • User-configurable completion templates

  • Extract function/change function signature

  • Indentation correction

  • Open declaration

  • Open-type hierarchy

  • Open-call hierarchy

  • Customizable code formating

  • Full search

  • Refactor/rename/move

  • Breakpoint support

  • Defined browser libraries with JsDoc for Firefox, Internet Explorer, and ECMA-3

  • Support for user defined libraries using JsDoc + JavaScript prototype definitions

  • Library image support

  • Debugging support provided through the ATF Project

Exciting! JSDT is already available. It's part of the Web Tools Platform V3.0, and I guess it's currently the best JavaScript toolkit out there.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

AJAX IM Client: Do It Yourself

Some time ago I was wandering around Internet in search for an open source Ajax IM client. I found a few, but I didn't dare to dig into their code hence ended up choosing none of them. First reason was that I didn't quite understand how IMs work, second, most open source IMs have too many features, and look complicated (scary).

After I bought the Jabber Developer's Handbook things became clearer. I understood that it's not that trivial to speak XMPP language. Fortunately there are libraries for that. E.g. XIFF for ActionScript (Flex). I wanted something like that for JavaScript. Not that easy... So I suspended my research.

Recently I found a nice tutorial on IBM developer works: Create an Ajax-based IM client

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Jenabeans Make RDF Easier

Jenabeans is there to help developers to adopt RDF. If you worked with Java Persistence API (JPA) or Hibernate you can understand the value of defining your data model using Java annotations instead of DDL scripts. Jenabeans works similarly: annotations, (un)marshalling, etc.

Read a nice introduction to Jenabeans in an IBM developerWorks article. It's short but fluently defines the main aspects of the library.

Friday, June 27, 2008

OAuth Support for Google Data APIs

This is quite a big step towards the open Web. Coupled with Google as an OpenID provider (http://openid-provider.appspot.com/<username>) now you can provide Google users another interface to Calendar, Blogger, Picassa, etc. from your site.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Bullets of "Designing for the Social Web" by Joshua Porter

Some time ago I listened to a podcast, where Joshua Porter was talking about the social design. Thanks, John, for the reference! I got interested, and bought his Designing for the Social Web book (even before it was published :)). When it got on John's summer reading list, I was sure that the book is going to be good... and, oh yeah, it was!

Since there are so many good points and examples in the book it's rather impossible to give a short overview of it. Every good point leads to another good point, and I wouldn't want to leave the good points outside the summary :) I don't want to rewrite the book here as well... All in all - I strongly advice to read it and learn the DOs and DONTs in social Web design.

While I can't summarize the book, I decided to make up a reference of points that were inside it (a little bit more than table of contents), just to memorize them better.

Designing for the Social Web

  1. What's in the book

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Open Source Earth

There is an open source alternative to Google Earth - NASA's World Wind project; recently discussed in a YDN Theater post.

Also worth mentioning the project Gaia, initiated to reverse engineer Google Earth in order to set it free.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Google I/O Sessions Published

For those who like learning and (like me) could not attend Google I/O developer gathering, many sessions are now publicly available (Google account needed).

dConstruct 2008

dConstruct 2008 - Designing the Social Web
This should be a valuable conference to attend for the folks that do design for social Web applications.

  • Takes place in Brighton Dome, UK, September 3-5

  • Registration opens at 11am on 24 June

  • Tickets will cost £125 including VAT

  • In 2007 sold out in 6 hours

Thursday, June 5, 2008

jQuery Rulezzz

I was in a small seminar that BostonPHP organized about jQuery. For me, as a js-phobic person, it was a real discovery. To avoid coding JavaScript I normally would prefer frameworks like GWT... I also tried Prototype a while ago, but didn't like it.

Now I have a really nice alternative - jQuery. The inventor of this cool framework, John Resig, was himself giving a crash course in the seminar. I don't want to repeat it here, the documentation is very exhaustive. Just quick facts/notes:

  • Compatible with major browsers

  • Backwards compatibility of the framework is ensured via plug-ins

  • Huge and active community, many nice plug-ins available

  • jQuery UI to show up in a couple of days. Provides many prebuilt widgets

  • Performance is great, memory management is great, the size is minimal (~ 15 KB)

  • Hosted on Google with other AJAX libraries

  • Arround 10 000 000 downloads to date

All in all pretty impressive.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Developing in PHP

Most of my time I spend with JAVA... Unfortunately that's not my girlfriend :) Recently I started playing with PHP. And I must say I like it. Some time ago I kept considering PHP even worse than JSP. Now I see it's advantages.

I found out that an easy start for LAMP (Linux+Apache+MySQL+PHP) is installing WAMP. For those who don't want to waist too much time on installing all the separate parts (especially on Windows) this is really a good choice.

Having all the infrastructure setup I began looking for a nice IDE to develop PHP. As I am use to Eclipse, naturally I started looking for plug-ins. There are two of them worth considering: PHPEclipse and PDT. The latter to my mind is better. It comes with some nice Zend features, like debugger. Although it took me some time to configure everything, I finally adopted it. If anyone knows of a better Open Source alternative, please let me know. I guess there should be plenty of them at least for Linux.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Open Source Web Design

While reading a book on Drupal I stumbled on a recommendation to visit http://www.oswd.org - a site where Web designers are publishing there stuff for everyone. Today there are 2080 free designs available, I guess that's quite an assortment.