The Real Alternative

March 31, 2006

If Internet Explorer is mainstream, what is considered alternative?

Some would say Mozilla Firefox or Opera. While both browsers account for approximately 15% of the browser share, there is a product out there that trumps them both– Amaya.

A niche browser in the truest sense, Amaya is maintained by W3c to be a web browser and editor to "provide a framework that can integrate as many W3C technologies as possible." according the the W3C website. The open source project is very active (the last release was February) and is available for the Windows, Linux and Mac environments.

I tried the browser and it actually made my learning of the Opera browser a walk in the park. The interface takes a lot of getting used to, and its rendering of some websites would look weird to the IE/Firefox user. As for the editing capabilites, I would rate it several notches below NVU, another open source HTML editor.

Here are some screenshots (from the Amaya website):

Life-saving WinXP tip

March 31, 2006

This is a bit off-topic, but I felt I had to share this.

I recently reformatted my hard drive and I made sure all my files are backed-up. The way my system is configured is that I have a separate partition for the "My Documents" folder. Now the trouble arose when after finishing reformatting and installing a fresh Windows XP, the "My Documents" folder from my previous installation could not be accessed! I was worried that 33GB of data was going down the drain. (Ugh!)

I scrambled for resources on the web on accessing the old "My Documents" folder from a different system or installation. Fortunately, I came upon this tip from Microsoft on taking ownership of files. Life saver indeed.

Grappling with IE

March 20, 2006

I hope that a year from now or so, I won't have the same trouble I have in dealing with the infamous Internet Explorer– flawed box model, hacks, etc. I'm really frustrated that whatever I do that works in Firefox and Opera just gets mangled by IE. Sometimes I hope that the 80% of all web users out there would just one day click the blue 'e' and then see the IE uninstall dialog.

Opera 9.0 is the latest browser to pass the Web Standards Project Acid2 Test. This makes Opera the fourth browser to claim (after Safari, Konqueror and iCab) and the first Windows-based browser to pass the test. (Almost two weeks ago, I reported that Opera's latest build was nearing success.)

On a side note, here's how Opera's previous versions render the Acid2.

No Nonsense XML Web Development With PHP

The book stays true to its title with a very direct approach to learning XML integration with PHP. XML beginners will appreciate the introduction of concepts such as DTD, XSLT among others.

Building a Content Management System (CMS) with XML and PHP is the main project of the book. It has a brief introduction of what a CMS is and goes directly in to code. Some of the topics that are touched are RSS, Web Services and Javascript (Although AJAX is not discussed entirely).

Newbies may be frustrated with seeng a lot of code in a book– Almost every other page has code blocks , but like any other Sitepoint title, all code is available online.

PHP Developers will definitely have a field day with Thomas Myer's No Nonsense XML Web Development With PHP; it almost instantly gives the reader/developer to try out the concepts and code and avoids the 'nonsense.'

The preview version of Opera 9 is nearing accomplment of being the first Windows-based browser to pass Acid2. The stumbling block? A little red block.

This is just not right. (In case you don't click on the link, it says Yahoo and AOL plan to charge their email boxes to ensure delivery of email.)

But you gotta give it to Yahoo and AOL for taking advantage of those who "can't tell if items in their e-mail inboxes are authentic or the work of con artists."