Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Web Developer Tools

I found some pretty cool tools for web developers.  If you are interested in what your web app is doing, where it is spending its time, areas for improvement, etc., take a look at the following...

  1. Firebug
  2. Page Speed
  3. YSlow
  4. HttpWatch [Update]
Page Speed and YSlow need Firebug (a Firefox plugin) to work.  Firebug is very impressive with all the details it provides and ability to inspect and alter the page.  Both Page Speed and YSlow give a type of rating for a page and offer advice for areas of improvement.

I'm not sure which one I like best, but no doubt Firebug is pretty amazing.  I took a look at msfast which is a tool born out of Myspace.  I couldn't find enough information about it and usage docs were almost non-existent so I decided to give up and pursue the others mentioned above.

I'll post with an update when I find which one provides the best information based on what I'm trying to do at the moment.

Update:  I actually went with all of them, but Firebug and HttpWatch helped the most for what I was doing.  A plus about HttpWatch... it works on IE (even though I don't like IE, but I really needed to use it for this exercise if possible) and it also works on Firefox.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Android Development

I started reading about Android development a while back and never really devoted a lot of time to a project.  The bad part is every time I think of something to write, there's already one or more like it in the market.  The challenge is finding the right project that I'd be willing to throw the time needed into.  It would only be bonus if I could write something others cared about and could get a buck or so per copy to keep me interested.

Why oh why do I lack the creativity to think of something that would be halfway useful?!?

A good resource for others interested in the same thing..  Android Developer site.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

To Root or Not To Root

I've only had my Android phone (Samsung Captivate) for about 4 months or so and am itching to root and mod it.  I'm not 100% convinced I'll get enough out of a rooted phone, but I'm sure if I ever cave in and do it I'll never go back; however, I am a bit worried about getting back to a stock ROM in case I have a hardware issue that requires me to get a warranty replacement.  I've read it will void my warranty and that definitely wouldn't be a good thing if I couldn't get it back to stock.  I've read about Odin and ROM Manager.  It appears that both can get me back to where I need to be if the a problem arose.  Lots more reading on XDA-Developers Forums and some extremely convincing reasons why I should root are still required.

UPDATE:  Z4root in the Android Market is very simple.  Mod'ing on looks really easy with all the other apps out there like ROM Manager, but not to that point yet.

QR Codes

So I find QR codes to be pretty cool and a great addition to a business card, letterhead, etc.  There are many sites online that will generate them, but (currently) I'm partial to the Webmaster Handy Tools QR Code Generator.  You can choose from a lot of different types such as a vCard (which imports nicely as a contact), bookmark, tweet, etc.  I generated the one on this site using this tool.  I know there are lots out there, but this is the one I settled on that seemed to have the most options.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Word on the Hessian Protocol

I've personally done some testing with a few different protocols lately and one of those was Hessian.  I had actually never heard of it until some other tech guys filled me in.  I've done some testing around it with web services and can definitely say it is extremely fast.  It's a binary protocol, but you can actual marshal objects like a standard org.w3c.dom.Document object (in Java) without having to distribute a bunch of custom classes to clients.  It is extremely fast and a very light-weight protocol as best I could tell.  Not difficult at all to deal with in the Spring world or straight Java.  It's not a Java-only thing, but I do not have experience with Hessian in other languages.

Just an interesting bit of information and learning for others that may want to research more.  I have been amazed at what I have seen with Hessian so far.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Masking Blogger URL

I currently use JustHost.com to host my personal domain as well as another domain for a web site I maintain for my son's school.  Of course my personal domain (StephenByers.net) just redirects to my Blogger account.  I'd really like to hide the fact that it forwards to Blogger and Google tells me how to do that, but it requires more DNS control than what JustHost offers (at least as far as I can tell).  I can understand why I shouldn't be allowed to merely modify my .htaccess file and mask a redirect because that seems to be a major security problem.  I'm just not sure I will always host my content on Blogger and it would be nice to just mask the URL so people always see my original domain name.

Since this is one of those techie things I'm trying to figure out, I'm sure others may have the same problem.  A lot of it probably just depends on your DNS servers and how much control you have.  I've submitted a support ticket to JustHost to see if I can have more control or if there is another solution.  Any ideas welcome.

UPDATE:  It appears that my hosting company does not let me control DNS but they will do it for me via support ticket.  I think I can have them setup a CNAME for "www" that goes to ghs.google.com.  I'm afraid to have them mess with the 'A' NAME because I have subdomains that are for other sites and I have a feeling that will send everything to Blogger.  However, I think I could update my .htaccess file with a redirect for anything going to the "naked" domain (stephenbyers.net) and redirect it to "www.stephenbyers.net" which will then be the CNAME that they configured.  It's easy to see I am NOT a networking person (software only for me), but this stuff is pretty interesting.  I'm sure my analysis if flawed, but now I have to decide if having support create the CNAME will get rid of my search friendly URLs that Google and other search engines love.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Let's try this again...

I've tried more than once to create a blog and this is my latest attempt.  I run across a lot of interesting things on the Internet sometimes for fun and other times for work.  It would be nice to have a place to post random thoughts and cool/interesting finds on the Internet for future reference.  They also may be of some interest to others so I thought I'd give it a shot (again).

Just to let you know, I'm a software developer type that enjoys technology.  I love cell phones for some reason and currently own a Samsung Captivate.  I'll try to post cool Android information that I run across, articles or helpful sites I find when trying to solve a software issue, and anything else I find to be of interest.

Hopefully this will be somewhat interesting for others or at least serve as a place that I can reference when I completely forget something cool I once found.