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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Web Development

Web 2.x: The Scratchpad

by Ken Newquist / April 15, 2008

I'm giving a brownbag presentation on what's new on the Web at work tomorrow, looking at the best of what's come out since this time last year. What follows are the rough draft of my notes. I've persnally used about half of these sites; the rest were suggested by the Tribe on Twitter. I'm still looking for suggestions, so if you have any, please feel free to post a comment.

DrupalCon Boston: My Session List

by Ken Newquist / March 1, 2008

 DrupalCon Boston I'll be at DrupalCon Boston from March 3 through March 6, which I'm attending for the day job. While I'm keeping an eye out for stuff related to higher education, most of the sessions deal with developing Drupal for any environment, be it a campus blogging platform or a science fiction webzine.

Snoopy's RSS Hell

by Ken Newquist / November 1, 2007

I've been fighting the good fight against RSS bugs in Moodle 1.8.2. The problem isn't actually with Moodle, but with Snoopy, the PHP class that emulates as a web browser and which Magpie RSS library uses to fetch the feeds.

It seems that the current version of Snoopy has some issues with redirected URLs. It has trouble following 302 Page Moved messages and has an annoying habit of putting the port number into redirected URLs. While it's not technically wrong to do this, not every web server thinks that the urls foo.com and foo.com:80 are the same (strange but true).

Case in point: The Wall Street Journal. The following feeds involve redirects (apparently served through FeedBurner, so I'm betting any feed using FeedBurner would have the same issue):

http://online.wsj.com/xml/rss/3_7011.xml
http://online.wsj.com/xml/rss/3_7014.xml

Essential Free Software for a new Mac

by Ken Newquist / October 1, 2007

My new MacBook Pro arrived Friday, and the first thing I did (after basking in the beauty that is a new Mac) was to start loading my “must have” applications on it it. Of these, the Quicksilver fast app launcher is probably the single most important tool I have -- using it has become as instinctive as breathing, and it’s disconcerting for me to work on a Mac that doesn’t have it installed.

CNET: The ironic rise of the Mac among open source developers

by Ken Newquist / July 31, 2007

Matt Asay discusses the seemingly incongruous rise of the proprietary Mac in open source community. He makes a lot of good points, including the ability to quickly evoke terminal and run Unix apps while at the same time maintaining an attractive desktop interface, but I think this statement sums up why many have switched:

At a certain point, I just want something that works well.

Crafty Drupal

by Ken Newquist / June 19, 2007

Crafty Games, the folks who publish Spycraft and its kin, have unveiled a brand new web site, and wouldn't you know it's powered by Drupal? For those of you who are keeping score at home, Drupal is also the CMS that drives this ol'thermonuclear burg.

The new Crafty Games site includes a wiki, three blogs, a discussion forum, and extensive downloads for both the 1st and 2nd editions of Spycraft.

Searching for Web 2.1

by Ken Newquist / April 8, 2007

Later this month I'm going to be giving a lunchtime-presentation on Web 2.0, updating everyone on the latest web sites and apps that have been released since my last talk on the topic a year ago. I'm looking for suggestions and recommendations about sites to talk about this year. The audience is college faculty, staff and students.

Last time around, I talked about:

Get Connected with AIM Presence

by Ken Newquist / November 1, 2006

I recently had a request from one of the librarian's at work to come up with a way to display a librarian's current AOL status (online, offline, away) via a Web page. I spent some time digging around online, but didn't find anything particularly useful. Then I mentioned it to a co-worker, who said he had a snippet of code on his site that did exactly that.

A little digging turned up AOL's AIM Presence, a quick-and-easy utility that allows you to display an icon on your web site indicating your current status. This did the trick nicely, and worked even when logged in via iChat or Trillian (though in both cases, we were using AOL available accounts).

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