Monthly Archives: June 2013

Native Mobile Apps Vs Web Based Apps


Apple’s refusal to allow Adobe Flash on its mobile devices, namely the iPad and iPhone, has seen the company come under a lot of fire since the first iPhone was released in 2007. While Apple insists that Flash is a dying format, many in the industry think it poses a threat to the dominance of Apple’s iTunes store, and would allow anyone to make applications for the phone without Apple’s approval.

Apple already provides support to HTML5 in its web browser, and this new programming language opens up a whole new realm of web-based applications for mobile Internet devices.

Let’s take Google’s web-based email, Gmail, as an example. For owners of an iPhone, Gmail was accessed through a Gmail application downloaded from the iTunes store. That application was designed, and then Apple had to approve it before it could be distributed to customers. Further, to use the application, users had to go through an extended process in registering for iTunes, logging in, downloading the application and installing it.

So how does HTML5 change that? Instead of going through the process of downloading the app, users can go straight to the Gmail website through their web browser and use it as if they were on a PC.

The downside is that web-based apps are never going to be as fast as installed (native) apps, because they have to be accessed through a web browser. They do, however, offer a far greater selection because they are not restricted by the approval process of an app store, such as iTunes.

So what can we expect in the future for mobile apps? HTML5 potentially offers a far greater selection of applications for users, but at the expense of some quality control, which services like iTunes offer.



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Selecting the Best Web Design Language for Your Project


If you’d like to create and publish your own web site on the Internet, your first step should be to decide what type of web site you would like to create and what web design language you would like to use.

Although there are several web design languages to choose from, make sure you take some time to research your options to ensure you’re making the best choice for your project.

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)

The easiest and most popular web design language is Hypertext Markup Language, better known as HTML. This language is so simple you can type the syntax into a text editor, such as Notepad, save it with an .html extension and instantly have a web page.

You can learn more about HTML here:

http://www.w3schools.com/html/

Although HTML will enable you to create simple web sites, if you want something more dynamic, you’ll need to look into using other languages:

PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP)

PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, better known as PHP, is a highly popular, server-side scripting language that can be embedded directly into HTML coding.

PHP can do anything that CGI (Common Gateway Interface) can do, such as process form data and auto generate dynamic content. However, PHP can do much more. It can be used on all major operating systems and supports most web servers.

PHP’s main focus is development for the web, so it has a quick development time and can solve scenarios much quicker than some of the other web design languages.

You can learn more about PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor here:

http://www.php.net/

ColdFusion

ColdFusion, developed by Macromedia, is used to build and serve web pages. It consists of ColdFusion Studio, which is used to create web pages, and ColdFusion Server, which is used to display the web pages.

One of the best features of ColdFusion is the ability to create web pages ‘on the fly’ from content stored within a database.

For example, a variety of content can be placed within a database as ‘pieces of content.’ When a user types in the web address to retrieve the web page, ColdFusion dynamically develops the pages, from the ‘pieces of content,’ as they are served.

Although it is very reliable, ColdFusion may be better suited for larger companies rather than individuals, as it is fairly expensive.

You can learn more about ColdFusion here:

http://macromedia.com/support/coldfusion/tutorial_index.html

Java Server Pages (JSP)

Java Server Pages, also known as JSP, is a web design language developed by Sun Microsystems. It is used to control web page content via servlets, which are little programs that run on a web server. These servlets modify the web page on the server prior to it being displayed within a web browser.

The JSP technology enables you to combine regular, static HTML with dynamically generated HTML.

You can learn more about Java Server Pages here:

http://java.sun.com/products/jsp/docs.html

Active Server Pages (ASP)

Active Server Pages, also known as ASP, is Microsoft’s solution to dynamic, interactive web pages.

Active Server Pages are web pages that contain scripts in addition to the standard HTML tags. These scripts are processed prior to a web page being displayed within a web browser.

Unlike standard HTML pages that have an .html or .htm extension, Active Server Pages have an .asp extension.

An advantage of ASP is that it is language-independent and therefore is easy to use across all platforms and applications. It is very flexible and powerful, yet some people don’t like it merely because it is a Microsoft product.

You can learn more about Active Server Pages here:

[http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnasp/html/asptutorial.asp]

Conclusion

With so many different web design languages to choose from, which is the best language for your project? That will depend on your web site needs and how much time and/or money you’re willing to invest.

If you want a simple web site with text and images, HTML is definitely the way to go. Not only is it easy to learn, but there are also many HTML editors available online that will write the code for you.

Although HTML is usually the right choice for most, if you’d like your web site to be dynamic, you will need to research some of the other languages until you find the best solution for your project.

Take your time and do your homework before you begin. If you don’t feel confident in your ability to create your own web site, hire a professional. It will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run.

Copyright © Shelley Lowery 2005



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Current Web Development Trends


If you are new to the realm of web development, you may be wondering what some of the current trends of the industry are. If you want to get ahead in the web development industry or to keep up with the crowd, it is important that you have some familiarity with these trends and that you utilize them in your work.

CSS3

Cascading style sheets, also known as CSS, is how the look and formatting of a website is defined. CSS3, the newest version of the program, includes many new features that are designed to make web development much easier and much more attractive. The features include: border radius, rounded corners, box shadows, multi-column layout and opacity.

HTML5

Flash’s popularity is all but dead in the eyes of many web developers, especially as they have discovered that HTML5 can do many of the same things that only Flash was able to do before. But why are developers avoiding Flash like the plague? Because it doesn’t work well with many of the newer technologies, such as mobile phones, and it can actually have a negative affect on the usability of a website.

‘Lifestreaming’

These days, people demand to be ‘constantly connected’ to enable them to share their lives with others at all times. Before, web developers made this possible by including links to a Facebook or Twitter page on a website. These days, developers are actually able to use a social network aggregator to combine a number of social networking profiles. This allows for a live feed of sorts to be incorporated into a website or blog, allowing users to stay up to date.

QR Code

Quick response code, also known as QR code, is by no means a new web development concept. It has, however, recently increased in popularity, thanks to the rise in usage of internet-accessible mobile devices (such as smart phones and iPads). Basically, a QR code is a barcode that incorporates certain information, such as a website URL. A user takes a photo of the barcode, usually located on advertising material, with their mobile device and is immediately taken to the corresponding information.

While these are the current web development trends, there is nothing to say that this will not change in the near future – the internet and associated software is always changing and evolving, and it is important for developers to stay on top of the newest trends.



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Native App Vs Web App: Perhaps A Hybrid?


Hybrid mobile applications are functionally somewhere between native apps and web apps. As these two types of mobile software serve completely different purposes, standing poles apart, hybrid apps fill the space between them, and incorporate features of both sides. What makes them close to native apps, is their ability to utilize native features of a mobile platform. Hybrid apps are distributed through application stores, and may utilize such native feature as, for example, geolocation. On the other hand, it shares many useful features with web apps. It might be so that if you want to build an application, a hybrid one would be the best solution for you.

Features of hybrid apps, shared with web apps:

– Created upon web technologies (JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3). That’s the main distinction from native apps, which presuppose all the further features. The most popular tools for creating hybrid mobile software are PhoneGap and Appcelerator Titanium.

– Easier and faster to build than native apps. This results in lower development cost.

– Cross-platform capabilities. A great advantage, provided by web technologies – you may create the app once for various mobile platforms. But keep in mind, that an app may not run the same on various devices, that is why quality cross-platform software requires comprehensive testing on a list of devices chosen by you. That’s how the possible problems are eliminated before deployment.

– Lower performance than in native apps. That is why more sophisticated apps will be affected by slightly lower speed and graphics. Consider the balance of features and speed carefully – users are quite likely to switch to another app, if they face delays. That’s why hybrid applications are not good for creating complex apps like games.

Features of hybrid apps, shared with native apps:

– Distribution through application stores (such as Apple App Store, Google Play, BlackBerry World and Windows Phone Store).

– Use of native device capabilities. That is an inaccessible option for mobile web apps. In case your software is going to depend on geolocation, camera, accelerometer etc. – a hybrid application will provide you with that.

– Offline capabilities. That’s a feature of the foremost importance for many apps. And that matters much to users – having what they need and what they like anytime, anywhere.

You may consult with your software developers to find out whether a hybrid app is really ‘the golden mean’ that will perfectly fit your project. That must be discussed and firmly decided before the development. The decision depends on the user experience you need to provide, the features of the project, and the market/user audience you chose to encompass and engage into using the app. Business apps that require native access or apps with moderate graphics – these are examples of a good choice for hybrid development.



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Website Development for Beginners


So now, you’ve decided that you want something that you can look back to and say to others, “hey! that’s my work, that’s what I did “n” number of years ago and now I am reaping the profits” You want something that you can feel proud of! Yes. And that’s what everyone wants. As stated in the title, this is an article for beginners but feel free to read it. If there is one thing at the end of the article that you can take away, then I’ve succeeded.

So now, Let’s start for beginners who wants to know more about website designing and building your own business online.

1) Always know what you want. What kind of websites are you looking to create?

Are you looking to create..

  • A web store? Do you have suppliers? what kind of products are you intending on selling?
  • A Marketplace? A nice platform whereby you do not need to keep any inventory or sell anything, You collect commissions from people who sell at your website
  • A classified advertising platform? Allowing people to promote their products, goods and services to your website?
  • Or are you just out to create a blog to share your passion, interest and ideas?

Different objectives allows you to make decisions when you are down to looking for the best CMS(content management systems) which i will further explain later.

2) Always look around for a good web host that can serve your website needs. There are plenty of web hosts out there but which are the best? There are always places to look for answers.

  • Search engines (eg: Google and yahoo). type best web host, web hosting service, try out different combinations and check out the results
  • Read forums. there are often honest good reviews on different web host and how to look for a good ones, what to look out for (eg: features these web host offer) and more
  • Read reviews on people’s blog(check out what others are saying bout the web host that you are choosing.

3) Take some time choosing your domain name as this will be the name that you will want to stick with for the rest the time your website remains alive. It is important because your website is known to search engines like Google and yahoo through your domain name. Changing it can affect your website rankings in search engines and you can lose a lot of potential traffic.

4) Learn some basic coding like basic html and CSS as you will be using them often. CMS systems provide you with almost everything but the little tiny little preferences like the look of your website is something you will want to be able customize yourself because these are different based on individuals and CMS systems can’t possibly accommodate to every single person. You will need these.

Finally, website designing is not something that can be learned in a day or two. The best advice is to actually go hands on and try it. It takes trial and error over months and months of learning your own best way of designing a website. So start today and get your website up for everyone to see!



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Smart Website Design Advanced Tips


The age of greater innovations in the IT industry now gives lots of options and features for webmasters, designers and even for the online users to interact with the web administrators and staff for quick actions and solutions to anything they might need at any given time. Aiming for an ideal web design for your online presence does not only include simple fonts, colors and plugins but it means that you provide the necessary tools and applications that every buyer can use to reach your site for any information or even purchase your products and services instantly.

Here are the advanced website design tips that you should master for smarter business in full gear.

CSS3 and HTML 5

CSS3 gives designers the comfort of designing and imaging in one creative tool. It helps designers with such great creative features as the shadow creation, image transparency and border radius creation for smarter effects.

The HTML 5, on the other hand, allows you to create smart designs without the Adobe Flash. HTML 5’s new video tag feature allows you to view videos without using the Adobe Flash. Since some newer platforms and operating systems may not be compatible with Adobe Flash, this video tag feature of the HTML 5 has become a great help for everyone.

Mobile Internet

Internet access not only covers desktops, laptops or notebooks but even with the mobile and smart phones as well. If you want to get endless traffic each day, you have to take note that mobile internet is such a great fad and necessity these days. You have to design your website to make it visible on almost all types of mobile phones. This means higher resolution and must be entirely compatible to every mobile phone’s operating system and features.

The Touch Screen Feature

Touch screens are now widely available with pocket PCs, smart phones even mobile phones, iPad and PC tablets. This new breakthrough in technology allows the users to execute tasks without dragging and pointing the mouse with its popular clicking function. It even eliminates the use of the keyboard in some instances. The touch technology uses a special pen to carry out tasks on your system by just touching the screen of your device. The touch screen technology must not be ignored in web design. Remember to equip your website design with the touch technology in order to make it available on almost all types of platforms and operating systems for all types of users.

Thumbnail Option

The thumbnail feature lets the users browse the web through the selection of websites on thumbnails. If you want to search for a certain site or some other related sites, your choices will appear on thumbnails that you can choose from. This option becomes so popular these days due to its creative visual effects. However, websites that are Flash-based do not have the capability for this stylish thumbnail feature.

If you want your website to function at its best performance with the latest technology it can ever offer to anyone on the web, then make sure to update it with the newest designs and functions that you need to keep it running in full gear. Get an updated service with great technological expertise from highly reputable web design companies.



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WordPress Help – How to Add a YouTube Video to Your Blog


Have you tried adding YouTube videos to your blog?

If you haven’t, try it. YouTube videos add value to your content. They make your website more interactive, and they anticipate the needs of your audience. Even if you do not know for a fact that your website has visitors with very short attention spans, you may find it rewarding in the end to add videos to your website anyway. A video can reinforce the points you made in your entry. Or, it can add humor to an otherwise boring post. Or, it could be the preferred media of some visitors, who do not have the time or the interest to read long paragraphs.

But do you know how to post YouTube videos to your blog?

That is where WordPress help in the form of guides enter the picture. If you’re new to the platform and need WordPress help to bring a YouTube media to your blog, know that there are many ways to get the job done. You can download plugins that will automate the posting or edit your profile settings. What I’m about to share with you, however, is the simplest way to do it. Shall we start?

  1. Go to the video you want to add and look for the Embed code.
  2. Copy the code.
  3. Log in to your WordPress account. Go to the area where you normally make new posts.
  4. Look for the word HTML (found slightly above the area for your post) and click on it so that whatever you write will appear to you in HTML view.
  5. Paste the Embed code you copied and publish your entry. Don’t forget to add a title, some tags, and a keyword to optimize the posting for the spiders.

There! Wasn’t that the easiest thing you’ve done?

The next time you need WordPress help, you can look for tutorials that show you the simplest way to get things done, like this one.



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The Best Approach to Web Development


Don’t go it alone!

This is the number-one most important good web hosting rule in the web development world. From the beginning, your website needs to be fully equipped to engage your customers visually and functionally. For your customers, there should be no guessing what that button or field on your site does.

I have noticed a trend with shopping cart templates lately. A large number of them are offering style at the expense of real function out of the box. Developers just don’t have the time to create anything substantial that they could give a way. If you find a pre-made template that really works great for you, great but most do-it-yourselfers will find that unless you have some in-depth knowledge of php html5 css3 and a little java at least, you just wont get what you envision in your mind.

It takes a professional with experience and often with a masters degree in computer science to make your development ideas a reality. When planning your web site design it is best to consult with an SEO professional and determine your market conditions, your niche, your competition, and your expectations for the look and feel of the web site. This critically important activity is best managed by you and best executed by a team of skilled people that are prepared to focus on the project.

It is best to formulate a plan with your team regarding the operations and goals of your business. Set up a game plan months in advance with strategic time-specific goals that need to be reached.

As they say, measure twice, cut once. Be completely prepared with a proper webpage URL, keywords, SEO that should be researched using a tool like Market Samurai. The most important aspect of internet profitability is to understand the market you are approaching. Is there room in your space? Do profitable keywords exist? Can you place these keywords profitably in your website? Make sure to understand all of these necessary tools for profitable web development.

Without these, you may find yourself struggling to gain traction in a market that you have been working on 8 hours a day, 7 days a week for months and months. I cannot stress this enough. Assemble a team of knowledgeable net-savvy individuals, research heavily the market you are looking to enter, understand the necessary techniques to overcome your competition in the space.

Please see this article as a platform for your future plans of web development and profitable marketing throughout the world.



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The Future of Website Design – HTML 5 and CSS 3


The internet has really taken the world with a storm since its inception and the early days when it was merely an instrument for academic research and limited military usage. From the humble and relatively anonymous beginnings, the tide has really changed and these days the cyber space invades our lives almost equally as the physical space.

Having a presence on web or cyberspace means that continuous improvements in the design of websites and the tools used for such design. HTML and CSS are undoubtedly one of the most widely used tools, simple yet versatile, capable of handling most situations. There have been continuous improvements and versions of HTML and CSS since their inception and the HTML-5 and CSS-3 are the latest kids on the block.

HTML has been in existence since 1990 and it was long time back in the year 1997 when the version number 4.0 was released. It was only recently about a couple of years ago that the web scientists started to think about the latest version which can take care of the current limitations and flaws of HTML-4 though it also means that the version was so stable that it lasted for over 15 years in a space where technology changes drastically literally every year.

There are lots of features which are there in HTML-5 which are syntactical in nature such as video, audio and canvas elements. Scalable vector graphics are also integrated in this latest version.

Experts are expecting this to be completed somewhere around 2014, so in about a couple of years time.

Similarly CSS or cascading style sheets are used to provide aesthetic appeal to a page and serves to separate the content from the layout and design. The standards of this are being taken care of by the W3C.

The latest version CSS-3 provides a lot of features which help web designers to break the previous boundaries and express their creativity in a much better manner. It won’t be possible to elaborate on the features in this elementary article, still to describe in brief these enhanced features include those related to animation, borders, masks, text columns and so forth.

On the whole it can be said that apart from the rise of the internet, the websites which form a part and parcel of that cyberspace are also improving technologically as the tools used for creating those sites keep improvising. Once the HTML-5 and CSS-3 standards are fully functional in the near future, the web designers would certainly have a much better arsenal of tools.

Hence it can be seen that in the future of website design, HTML-5 & CSS-3 will play a very important role by providing a better platform for website development. This will certainly be a boon for the coders who feel themselves limited within the previous versions of HTML and CSS as well as the clients who can now get their dream websites converted into actual portals in a much more efficient manner.



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The Mobile Application Development Sector and the Competing Mobile Platforms


Choosing the right mobile platform is important in the future years as most enterprises have completed experimenting with platforms and apps. Enterprises are now getting more serious with integrating with third party systems. So they are looking for smarter, connected apps which can get their mobile strategy in line. Some questions facing the mobile world today are:

Can one use native code with the web code and make it a Hybrid app?

When it comes to Mobile App Development, no single approach is always relevant as enterprises are looking at a number of apps with different characteristics, and differing budgets. A MADP should be able to support different approaches including Hybrid, Web and Native, thus rendering optimum flexibility for all developers involved.

MADPs support different Hybrid apps including-

Form-based templates: This approach is like building blocks where form templates are piled on top of one another.

  • There are some limitations involved in this approach:
  • One is forced to use template UI controls sans much creativity
  • Complex customizations involved
  • Generic user experience
  • Does not allow mix of native and web code
  • Any change in a single part impacts the rest of the code

Code-generation: Another approach to Hybrid apps is code-generation where code is automatically generated for each specific platform with a translation layer in between.

  • The Limitations of code-generation approach include:
  • The result is a low-end, basic app which is of limited use Hard to ‘untangle’ once native code is generated
  • Machine-generated process with excess code most of the time leading to unmanaged code structure
  • Performance issues associated with the apps
  • Unable to add extra components like HTML5, 3rd party UI libraries

The main value of the hybrid app resides in its ability to break the trade-off between cross-platform development and the important element of user experience, which cannot be achieved by the two above-mentioned approaches.

Mobile ecosystem is changing fast with newly designed devices and platforms. There are many factors and capabilities that can be enhanced with time. It is best advised to invest in open, standards-based platform so that it is adaptable to the volatile needs.

Lack of control and flexibility is a hindrance to enterprises which are open to customization for their specific needs. Key considerations for a MADP right from the developer’s perspective are:

  • Short learning curve for all types of application developers
  • Very easy to install, deploy, and use
  • Agile development to reduce time-to-market
  • Leveraging the existing skill-sets for better productivity



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