All in one wifi router vs separate parts?


If you had:

  • 100mbit Ethernet
  • 11g wireless
  • router/firewall
  • all in one device

and wanted to upgrade to:

  • 1gbit Ethernet
  • 11n wireless
  • router/firewall

would you go with one device or separate them into multiple components? And, what requirements would you have for the component(s)? Lastly, any model recommendations?

Thanks interweb, you're the best! :-)

"Should I learn HTML or XHTML?"


I've actually been asked this question several times lately, where someone wants to either brush up on their little used and mostly forgotten skills, or is looking to learn from scratch. The answer to the question is simple: XHTML all the way, and here are my reasons:

  • With XHTML you have to close every tag, rather than e.g. leaving paragraph tags hanging around on their own. This will lead to much more organized and clean code as all tags will be correctly nested.
  • Cleaner code will lead to fewer bugs as it will be easier to keep track of the code.
  • Having all attribute values in quotes means you longer have to wonder why your <img src=/images/oh so important.png> image doesn't work right.
  • The syntax rules force others providing content for the site also have to keep their work in check, which can avoid conflicts.
  • XHTML means no font tags, so you have to do your design in CSS. This starts pushing sites towards separating the content from the presentation, which is a very good thing.
  • XHTML doesn't allow the BLINK or MARQUEE tags, which should be the number one reason to use XHTML - they're evil and as developers it is our job, neigh our duty, to save managers from themselves.

Drupal discovers the world of public-access wiki editing


200811192054.jpgThose wonderful people in the Drupal community have been awesome citizens and have stepped up to the plate after the Drupal documentation team opened the doors for anyone to contribute to the official online "handbook" documentation.

The previous situation only allowed certain individuals to edit pages, so if while strolling along through the pages you happened to notice an inaccuracy or something you thought you could explain better you had to either write a comment or email the person in charge of it.

Now, after a month-long experiment has worked out nicely, the powers that be have decided to leave the open-editing on so everyone can benefit from the continued goodwill.

Yay! :-D

Learn Drupal by practice, itterations


I've found that web development as a whole works best by iterative development, using many concepts from Getting Real and other agile theories. This is definitely true of Drupal. When you start off with Drupal you'll start building content types, views and panels galore, and there's nothing wrong with this, it's the best way of getting your ideas out so you can see how they work. You'll also then start dipping your toes into other modules and then writing your own, using books and documentation along the way. Good times.

The thing to remember is to revisit your previous work and improve upon your work: export views to files to speed them up and add an element of revision control; rewrite some clunky SQL queries with improved architecture and views; merge two modules you wrote before and make one that's better; add extra text to node titles for improved search engine accuracy; clean up the CSS and views to work faster and produce more sane output. And on and on..

There's lots to do, lots to learn, don't stop!

Drupal modules: release early, release often (please)


Something I see quite a good amount of with Drupal modules is a tendency to hold onto fixes committed to CVS for some time. I believe this is counter productive. While yes, it is good to hold onto new, big features until they have simmered for a while and proven to be stable, smaller updates and especially bug fixes, should be rolled out regularly.

A case in point is my recent discovery that certain letters can break customized Views if you use the APIs to change the query from an equality statement to an approximation / SQL "LIKE" statement. The wizard that he is, Earl Miles, who is the lead developer on some of Drupal's most powerful modules including Views itself, took time out of his busy day and replied to my post with a link to a discussion on which even included a patch to fix the issue. This was totally wonderful, expected, and I truly appreciate Earl's efforts for doing this.

The frustrating part for me, though, is that Earl himself provided the first patch for this issue back on September 5th, 2007. A whole fourteen months ago! And it still hasn't been rolled into an official release. A known bug, with a patch available from the main author itself, sits unreleased for a year? That's just a little bit crazy.

I believe that the Drupal development community needs to get real and become more agile with their code releases. An active project should not sit for over a year with no releases, there should have been several releases, if only bug fix point releases (Views 5.x-1.6.1 anyone?). And if the project teams can't handle the added workload, perhaps they could ask for some help? I honestly believe this would greatly help the community.


Subscribe to Computery