Friday, March 30, 2007

Use SQLite not MySQL

When thinking of developing a new web site using PHP, it is a no brainer which database management system you will be using. MySQL has become the standard in developing web applications based on open source technologies even in the case of many enterprise Java projects. Some would prefer to use PostgreSQL due to its more complex features, yet MySQL still remains the king and a common denominator in most PHP web applications.

Although I have looked at SQLite with some interest in the past, yet I had never took it seriously as an option when creating a web application. Under "Situations Where SQLite Works Well" at the official SQLite web site, they mention the following:
SQLite usually will work great as the database engine for low to medium traffic websites ... . The amount of web traffic that SQLite can handle depends, of course, on how heavily the website uses its database. Generally speaking, any site that gets fewer than a 100000 hits/day should work fine with SQLite.
Not bad. Not bad at all.

Although such claims should still be verified, yet I just tend to believe them. Now if you are thinking BIG of your next killer web application which will attract millions of users, perhaps even in this case it would not hurt if you start out small at first with SQLite then switch later on to MySQL when you need to scale. As Getting Real suggest, it is better to start with a simple solution and then scale later.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Yahoo! Announces Infinite Email Storange

Yahoo! announces infinite email storage starting May 2007. I wonder what reaction Google might have to this.

Google and Microsoft Fight for Egypt Students

Egypt's Business Today magazine has an interesting article this months titled Bit-by-Bit in which it sheds light on how Google is following in the footsteps of Microsoft trying to grab a share in Egypt's huge education pie.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Reusability Redefined

Stuck with a piece of code that you want to figure out how to write in order to add that feature to your application? Get unstuck by tapping into the massive number of lines of code that have already been written by other developers all around the world. All you have to do is just use Google Code Search to look for a piece of code similar or identical to the one you want to write. You can even specify in which programming language you want the code to be!

The open source code has always been there, but the idea of instantly having access to any part of it and having Google pinpoint the exact piece of code you are looking for from among this enormous body of code is what makes the whole idea amazing. No need to reinvent the wheel anymore. Now that's what I call real usability of code.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

3D Character Creation Made Easy

iClone enables you to easily create animated 3D characters that can be used for creating 3D movies or for other purposes.

Google AdSense in Arabic

Google supports AdSense for Search in Arabic. I hope the day comes when Google finally starts to support AdSense for content in Arabic as well. I believe it would be a tough thing for them though. First of all there is the linguistic difficulty of making being able to figure out what the content of the Arabic web page is about. Then comes the other even more difficult problem of managing click fraud and similar malicious abuse of the AdSense program.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sending HTML Email with PHP

Here is an example showing how to send HTML email using the PHP mail function.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Data Visualization from Google

With Google's latest acquisition, Google will be bring data visualization to a much "wider audience." Is that why Google Docs & Spreadsheets lacked charts till now? Was it a wait for an incredibly better way of visualizing data? Will Google add a presentation component to it's arsenal of applications similar in a way to Microsoft PowerPoint?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Egypt Business Plan Competition 2007

2 million LE in cash and services are the total prizes of the Business Plan Competition which is being held for its third consecutive year in 2007. The deadline for the online submission of executive summaries is April 1st 2007. So if you have a bright IT idea and the right business plan to back it, hurry up and apply.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Yahoo Releases its AJAX Library into Open Source

YUI or Yahoo! User Interface Library is an open source library provided by Yahoo! that offers a rich set of code elements enabling user interface manipulation with AJAX, JavaScript, DOM, DHTML and CSS. You can download YUI from Sourceforge.

Yahoo's user interface library is an attempt to answer back to Google's GWT or Google Web Tookit. Here is where you can download GWT.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Creating a PHP Login System

PHP Login System with Admin Features shows you how to create a complete login system for your web site using PHP. Any web site that allows users to sign up would need some sort of login system. Not only does the above example give complete code to accomplish this, but it also goes ahead to explain the code so you can modify it to your liking later on according to your need.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Google Calendar Supports SMS Notification in Egypt

I was so excited when the sound of an SMS message arriving at my mobile phone jingled in my ears. The SMS was sent by Google to notify me of an event I had set in my Google Calendar. I have a Vodafone line in Egypt.

The reason behind my excitement was that Google Calendar did offer support for SMS notification before, yet I found they only supported US carriers at the beginning. I had failed to add my mobile number to recieve SMS notification from Google Calendar in the past. Today, as I tried again, it worked. I was amazed. If you are in Egypt, you can use Google Calendar to keep track of your appointments and get free SMS notification for each appointment sent directly to your mobile phone. Here is how to register your mobile phone with Google Calendar.

Borland and PHP

CodeGear, a Borland spinoff, has released Delphy for PHP. That's an interesting concept. Delphy has been known as a visual RAD tool for developing applications based on the Pascal programming language. As PHP's popularity is souring, CodeGear decided to catch part of the action by introducing PHP support in Delphy.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Show Files in Directory using PHP

This example shows how to use PHP to get a list of all files in the current directory. It proved to be handy when I wanted to create a list of links to all files in the directory. I wanted the list of inks to be updated automatically as I ad new files. The readdir PHP commands has the solution.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Google Gives Machine Translation a Boost

I was once highly interested in the field of machine translation and even worked in that field at a software company in Egypt. I had written an introductory article about machine translation myself. I've always looked with interest on Google's attempts to provide automatic translation of web sites and text.

Now Google is taking a qualitatively different and massive step towards machine translation that might spell the difference between success and failure in this difficult field of research that has proved hard for over 50 years. Google is now allowing users to suggest better translation themselves to the systems! Google's system will learn from such suggestions in order to avoid mistakes in future translation. The great wight I am giving to this approach is because of Google's huge user base. Imagine all those people using Google Translate being able to fix and enhance the translation of the system. Google again is harnessing the power of the people as it did when it made use of the Open Directory and the blogging community and fed on links from both. I think with some time Google will be able to achieve what over 50 years of research in machine translation has failed till this very day to achieve, which is high quality automatic translation of unrestricted text. I am highly excited about this move the the possibilities it would open.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

"What's my Name?" Asks PHP

$_SERVER['PHP_SELF'] returns the PHP filename in which the script is running. It turns out to be handy at many occasions when you need to use the name of the PHP file in which the script is running.