June hits for kintespace.com

The image above has this big green arrow that points to the precipitous drop in hits for the month of June 2008. This big drop came from me forgetting to save log files during my switch over from “shared hosting” to my own virtual machine. Hey I am a developer—not a production operations person.

Now, speaking of production operations, the lines below show why I am very pleased with A2 Hosting:

~$ uptime
22:59:33 up 112 days, 23:34,  1 user,  load average: 0.28, 0.07, 0.02

I am struggling not to let the jinx get me but I just have to show off the uptime! You reading these words right now means the server is still up. A2 Hosting kicks much ass!

Tiffany BrownFrom my A2 Host Post—September 2008 email: “A2 Hosting has removed MailScanner and ASSP spam plugins and reverted back to the SpamAssassin system used by cPanel. This update occurred from August 18th through August 21st for all of our Shared, Reseller and Semi-Dedicated servers. A2 Hosting originally had decided to use the 3rd party mail spam solutions ASSP and Mailscanner because of several problems experienced when using the default cPanel mail configuration prior to cPanel version 11. Unfortunately this caused more problems than solutions. cPanel 11 contains vastly improved spam protection features making those 3rd party solutions unnecessary. The current ASSP and MailScanner configuration icons have been removed from cPanel and replaced by the new SpamAssassin icon. If you have experienced any problems since this update, please file a ticket with the support system so that we can track and respond to your request. Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter.”

A2 Hosting admitting they have problems with email is precisely aligned with my criticism of the service. This means that A2 Hosting and Bryan Wilhite share the same reality which is quite rare for me in the customer service world. Today I am a satisfied A2 Hosting customer (that does not use its email—I use Google Apps hooked into my domains).

“Firefox to get massive JavaScript performance boost”

arstechnica.com: “The theories behind tracing optimization were pioneered by Dr. Michael Franz and Dr. Andreas Gal, research scientists at the University of California, Irvine. The tracing mechanism records the path of execution at runtime and generates compiled code that can be used next time that a particular path is reached. This makes it possible to flatten out loops and nested method calls into a linear stream of instructions that is more conducive to conventional optimization techniques.” Much respect to Tiffany B. Brown for getting me the news.

“YUI 3: The goals are lighter, faster, consistent, power, secure”

Ajaxian.com: “Chaining: We’ve paid attention throughout the new architecture to the return values of methods and constructors, allowing for a more compressed chaining syntax in implementation code.” The next YUI has a lot of JQuery-like syntax. This could be Microsoft-style nightmare of backwards-compatibility bloat or a lean, mean, radical rewrite threatening regression-test failure. My guess is that “new architecture” means a radical rewrite.

“Firebug to get a boost”

Ajaxian.com: “Great news for all Web developers out there (that be you!). Firebug is going to get a shot in the arm. Joe Hewitt has had to slow down his work on the tool, and thus the Firebug Working Group was created, to try to make the tool continue to thrive.” Joe Hewitt has to pay his gas bill just like everyone else. But when his RSS feed dropped on me that was truly shocking.

“Captcha is broken—now what?”

Tim Anderson, The Gaurdian: “That is all very well, but the failings of Captcha impact every internet user. It is not only a matter of more spam choking inboxes. Breaking Captcha enables networks of computers to post malicious content to legitimate sites.”

“Web Development as Tag Soup”

Jeff Atwood: “The tag soup problem seems to be endemic to all modern web development stacks. … But I have to wonder: is there a better way? Is there something beyond RHTML, Views, and Templates? What examples would you point to of web development stacks that avoided degenerating into yet more hazardous, difficult to maintain tag soup? Is there anything truly better on the horizon?” In the mean time I have embraced the platform-agnostic XSLT. There is an XSLT stack for PHP, Microsoft .NET, Java and Python. That’s one flavor of tag soup for four different platforms. The numbers work for me.

“HTML 5 data- elements to store private values”

Ajaxian.com: “Using data- is a very practical solution, but people…would much prefer a more ‘pure’ solution.” This changes the “tag soup” tagline to “attribute soup”—this also violates the principle of separating data from markup. In my squalid little world, I use hidden input elements in a conventional form to store data.

Buy this book at Amazon.com!Sparkline

Sparkline is a name proposed by Edward Tufte for ‘small, high resolution graphics embedded in a context of words, numbers, images’…”

WordPress iframe injection problem?

I did notice this one a while back… perhaps mentioning this on a WordPress Blog may not be the smartest thing to do…

A2 Hosting, the first 100 days…

So far it’s cool! Expensive but cool. My major gripe here is the way email is treated. SPAM runs rampant on A2 Hosting accounts—but this may be the artificial nature of the cyber beast.

Silverlight vs. Flash: The Developer Story

Jesse Ezell: “A few people didn’t like my [proclamation] that Flash is dead. This is understandable. It is a bit premature to make such claims, but the Silverlight model is pretty amazing. As someone who works with Flash on an ongoing basis, I thought I’d chime in with a more in depth look at the issues.”

FlashDevelop 3.0.0 Beta5 released

I’ve installed it on one of my Windows XP virtual machines. Even though it’s Java-based it only runs on Windows…

Streaming applet for Ogg formats…

The folks at wikipedia.org use this: “In order to make your streams as widely available as possible, we provide the Cortado Java applet as free software under the GPL. By embedding this applet in your website, you can give viewers access to streams from either the Flumotion streaming server or play a local file from your server without the need for a locally installed media player supporting the correct formats on the visitor’s computer.”

“being open about being closed”

This is quite the brazen comment. ‘The community’ here are people who reverse-engineered the behaviour of Flash so that they could write tools to make the Flash Player’s platform more valuable, while Adobe’s license terms tried to stop them! They have put themselves in legal jeopardy in some jurisdictions (and Adobe has in the past had people arrested for producing tools that manipulate their license-protected technology) and James has the nerve to call them ‘the community’…”

“Lowering Your YUI Footprint”

“The minimized size of the YUI libraries is relatively small compared to similar AJAX frameworks, but maybe not small enough for the most demanding applications.”