Creative Survey 2008 results

Saturday, January 24, 2009

It was about a year ago that a collaboration between VCDC and Joblet commenced in order to create the first online survey related to graphics and web industry. There were 1050 people in total that took part in the survey raging from graphic art students to experienced professionals giving the opportunity to everyone related to form his own image of what is actually going on with the "creative" professions in Greece. The results can be found here in pdf format or you can always buy the hardcopy version by visiting the website.

PHP Frameworks: Tools and Fundamentals (Part 2)

Monday, January 19, 2009

While creating the first article that will contain actual code for these articles series I looked over some things again in order to be sure to provide the correct information. Show what I'm going to do is to give you some interesting resources that are going to help you with during the development process.

Database Architecture

A correct database architecture might be the crucial point of an database driven application . Wrong decisions made during the planning process might lead to future pitfalls and turnarounds and even may cause the project to collapse, especially when building large projects.

There are some Databases and SQL basics and patterns that should be followed for everyone's sake. Searching the web I ran across the following presentations: SQL Antipatterns & Practical Database Design.

Object Maping

In order to save time during the development process most of the modern frameworks map their objects to database schemes. Doing this, processes such as data validation, CRUD actions, code generation and most of the job that some developers ses as "chores".
Some of the terms that you should check before getting started might be the following: Agile Development, Portability and Interface Usability.

The above terms used to keep concerned the developers of desktop applications but as the web evolves into a really powerful tool, many of these technics/terms/tools have been ported to web applications too.

Development Tools

During the last 1-2 years I've been trying to find the environment that suits my needs during development. I've tried many different approaches but the last couple of months I've came down with a solution that fits MY needs and I'm going to the "my" word because everyone has different needs/targets which tries to achieve with various approaches.

I have used simple text editors, WYGIWYS editors, desktop and web IDEs, some of which worked out well and some didn't. The tools that I'm currently using include the following software:

  • Eclipse with the PHP plugin: IDEs such as Eclipse are really handy when dealing with huge amount of code (libs, frameworks etc) and team collaboration (SVN, GIT etc), especially with code auto-completion, automatic code indentation, debug-as-you-type features etc.
  • MySQL Administration Tools: I'm not gonna bother about the power of the command line (especially during the learning process) but when it comes to large database schemes GUI tools can save you a lot of time and headaches!
  • Toad Data Modeler: This is a really powerful tool for SQL development. It supports all features of MySQL and speeds up debugging, monitoring, migration and testing processing.
  • Adobe Dreamweaver: For me Dreamweaver is the absolute tool for HTML and CSS coding as long as you stay in the "code view"!

Some alternatives might be Zend Studio, SQL Navicat, PHPmyAdmin, PHP Designer, PhpED, MyDB Studio and the list could go on.

PHP Frameworks: Which one is the best for me? (Part 1)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Before I get started I'd like to tell you that this is going to be a YAPFP but the purpose of it is to enlighten all those that are still in the beginning with some interesting tips, opinions and links.

So what could be a good reason to make someone use a framework? I'm sure that that everyone that enjoys coding (and development in general) wishes to become more productive by the time. He (or she) wants his code to look solid, to be easy to extend and refactor (in other words maintainable), to keep sure that he plays by the rules of KISS and DRY, spent time on something creative (and fun) rather than wasting time on common tasks (validation, form creation etc), have a good documentation with real life scenarios, and the list goes on. Many of these goals lets say is easy to accomplish when you follow the guidelines that others who have-been-there-done-them have set.

Lets say that you decided to get started with a framework. Great! But which one would be the one that covers your needs? Which one has the smaller learning curve compared to the features it offers? It's hard to have one straight answer for questions like these... I would suggest to try a couple of them on the same scenario, something small but basic and useful... lets say a CMS with some basic CRUD actions.

At first site this might not look challenging but lets consider what a project like this could include:

  • User Authorization
  • Hierarchical stored data
  • Access Control List
  • Content types
  • RSS Feeds
  • I18n and I10n
As you can see the list includes all the features that come with every open source CMS that works out of the box. The list could go on but lets keep it "short" for the time being.

So far I have worked with the Zend Framework, CakePHP and qCodo, and these three are going to be our tools during the whole thing. Please keep in mind that the purpose of these post series is to show you by example a possible use of each framework (nothing should be taken for granted) and not to make a final verdict such us "The XXX framework is the BEST! Everything should be eliminated!"

Zend Frameworks links:

CakePHP links:

qCodo links:

Google Chrome: Googles's web browser

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Great news from Google!

All of us at Google spend much of our time working inside a browser. We search, chat, email and collaborate in a browser. And in our spare time, we shop, bank, read news and keep in touch with friends -- all using a browser. Because we spend so much time online, we began seriously thinking about what kind of browser could exist if we started from scratch and built on the best elements out there. We realized that the web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser. What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that's what we set out to build.

More info

Eric Tabuchi: Alphabet Truck

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The French photo artist Eric Tabuchi followed trucks on the road for about 4 years in order to get a shot of their back. So what's so special about these trucks' back? Simply enough, they form the alphabet!

Telescopic Text

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Some people might say that splash screens in websites are dead (and personally I agree) but this guy here really made something good out of it.