Market

2010/05/22

Google secure search with Firefox

Google has announced recently the option to search the web via an encrypted, secure channel. For Firefox, this can be accomplished by making some changes, like the following:
  • in a new tab, open "about:config" and search for "http://www.google" (search box is located at the top of the tab area). You 'll find "keyword.URL" setting and you can change its value by double-clicking on it. Just add "s" after "http".


  • open bookmarks by pressing Ctrl+Shift+B and search for "google.com/search? q=" (search box is located at the upper right corner of the window). At first, you can eliminate all duplicates (as I did), then change all "http" occurrences to "https"



For Google Toolbar users, I believe there will be an update very soon.

2010/05/21

How many jquery.js files do YOU have in your disk?

It seems that jquery is the most popular javascript framework among web developers out there. This is not a bad thing, of course. The bad thing, or should I've said "practice", is that almost all developers [need to] use their 'own' version of the library and they include it into their plugin/theme/application directories!

Don't get me wrong; I'm not (currently) using it to code anything, but yesterday I thought it could be a good start to find the library and check its contents in order to start learning & using it. To my surprise, when I checked into my hard disk, I found 50 jquery.js files (not to mention the 364 jquery.*\.js ones)! It looks like a waste of space and a source of possible incompatibilities to me, don't you think so?

Just try this command in a terminal:
locate -i jquery | grep "jquery.js"  | wc -l
or the 'full' version:
locate -i jquery | egrep "jquery.*\.js"  | wc -l
and see how many files it 'll report for your hard disk. If there are more than 10 (as in my case), I'd be worried.

I believe that all of that mess could be avoided if the developers used the Google-hosted versions of the library and avoided its inclusion into their directories.

On the other hand, if you are a developer and want to test your source files with a local version of the library, while providing the Google-API one to your visitors, you can use the is_me() [PHP function] to incorporate the appropriate jquery files.

2010/05/17

Google Wave as a chat web application

The Complete Guide to Google WaveI admit that I'm not using Google Wave as much as I can and the main reason for this is the lack of coworkers/colleagues/friends who are actively using it. The tool must have a purpose, right?

So, yesterday, I've come with an idea to create a purpose for me and the members of one of my sites. Since Google allows me to make a wave public and embed it in a web page, I can't see no reason not to create a public wave and use it as a web application for chat!

The benefits for this decision are more than the disadvantages. Actually, I can see only two of the latter: the small number of people who are using it and the fact that it is still in beta version and one can become a member only by invitation by another member [19 May 2010 update: Google announced today that access to Google Wave is free to everyone, given that she has a Google account]. On the other hand, the usage of a public wave as a chat application has the following advantages (at least, for me):
  • Easy setup: Just copy-paste the code from the Google Web Elements page and start using it. Also, there is no need for local storage or a dedicated database.
  • Instant notifications: The members can see the replies of the other members, as they are writing them or even replay the discussion step by step. There are also email notifications for new replies, so (a) there is no need to continuously check the web page and (b) you can react immediately if you detect any abuse.
  • Indented replies: The members can choose to reply to a discussion or start their own.
  • Identified members: There are no anonymous replies (possible spam), albeit the public nature of the wave.
There may be more, we 're still evaluating this solution and maybe there is something I didn't reckon when I decided to follow this route. I know that there are other alternatives, but you can't beat the simpleness of this one.