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Archive for February 2007

Testing in both Firefox and IE7

Wednesday, 28th February 2007 9:36pm
One of the most annoying but has to be done things in web development is checking to see how a website a looks in different browsers. Almost always I check with Firefox, Opera and IE7 and sometimes also Konquerer and a host of other browsers that happen to be installed on my PC.

For some time now I have been using the Paessler Site Inspector tool and I have found it to do a very good job at least for testing in Firefox and IE7 from one application. With Paessler Site Inspector you can run both IE7 and Firefox engines from a single application saving you from firing the individual browsers themselves. There are other functions which it does as well which are quite useful including markup and CSS validation.

On a similar note I found the IE installer on Tredosoft quite useful because it allows me to run multiple versions of IE on the same computer. Basically the installer installs previous versions of IE of which the most important one is IE6 which most people still use and I also need to check if my CSS works as expected.

The other way to have IE6 would have been to install say XP without IE6 or Windows 2000 in a virtual environment but that will only give you IE6. with the Tredosoft installer you get IE versions from IE3 to IE6 and I find using this method quite convenient at the moment.

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Category: Browsers | Comments : 0

Creating an RSS Feed using Php and MySQL

Saturday, 10th February 2007 12:44am
In this post, I will illustrate Php code that can be used to create an RSS feed containing the required channel elements plus pubDate and guid using a MySQL database. This code assumes Php 5.* .

I have a used a table called post where all the posts are stored. This is a simple table with fields postid, heading, description and timestamp where heading is effectively the title and timestamp is the time of inserting the post in the database.

The class Db is a small class that handles the database side and connects to the MySQL database through the class constructor. The GetFeedData function retrieves feed data and store the data in an array. The FormatDate function formats the date to a format which includes the GMT time difference.

The Feed Class is involved with the creation of the feed.xml file. The CreateFeed function calls three functions which create the head, the body and the footer of the RSS feed. I think putting in three functions makes it easy if you want to add exception handling around the file creation process.

The last file or class not shown will just call the CreateFeed function to start the process. The CreateFeed can be called after inserting data into the post database, say using a form to create the RSS feed.

The code and the table can be expanded upon to include other optional channel elements like copyright, image etc.

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Category: Php | Comments : 38

Vista and the hardware demands

Wednesday, 7th February 2007 5:02pm
Microsoft launched the Vista operating system last week with much fanfare and rightly so because this has been six years in the making. I don't see myself getting this operating system for sometime yet but in the end I will need to and I think by that time it most of the initial problems would have been resolved.

I am one of those who will need to either upgrade their PCs or buy/build another one because of the Vista hardware demands but I think I will opt for the latter - build up one myself.

I think its a good idea to have the PC Vista Premium Ready which calls for a minimum system memory of 1 GB and graphics memory at least 128 MB. The Vista Capable PC would on the other hand need a system memory of 512 MB but my experience tells me that working with minimum requirements for Microsoft operating systems is not necessarily a good idea.

I will need at least a minimum of 2 GB of system memory because I plan to run Vista in a virtual environment launched from Ubuntu using VMWare Server. I think at least 2 GB should be enough for both Ubuntu and Vista.

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Category: Windows | Comments : 2