Web Development

Free website analysis and profiling

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I got an email today to say that Quest Software was renewing support for their two free website analsysis products. Funnel Web Analyzer will scan your website logs to generate traffic reports while Funnel Web Profiler scans your site itself to generate lists of content statistics - word usage, code errors, etc, etc - very useful stuff indeed. The profiler is written in Java so it might run on OSX or Linux, but the analyzer is available in separate downloads for Windows, Linux, OSX and Solaris.

Easy round corners in CSS

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There have been many attempts to create boxes with round corners over the years, some using tables, some using Javascript, others with images. This is the first, and possibly only, that uses only CSS and HTML to do so, and it seems to work rather well. While not as awe-inspiringly flexible as some options, its simplicity and code-length (or lack there of) make it stand out.

Dramatically improve test-driven development

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Test-driven development is one of the best benefits that Ruby on Rails brings to modern web development, but it can be a bit tricky, and laborious, constantly tweaking test code, running the tests, then making required changes. Enter autotest, part of a suite called ZenTest, which makes life dramatically easier for you. Instead of having to manually run your tests, autotest runs all of the tests in the background so you immediately see the results of your changes and whether you need to fix something. Good stuff!

Keep track of Ruby on Rails changes

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Here's an easy way to keep track of the on-going changes to Ruby on Rails. The Rails team use the system Trac to manage their development and it includes a page to list all of the recent changes. While nice in theory, the fact that by default it shows changes to the development website too makes it a little confusing at first glance, so instead you can use/bookmark this link to see what is going on in the code itself:

Ruby on Rails 1.1 is out

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Just a quick mention that Ruby on Rails version 1.1 has just been released, adding some really awesome new features that will continue to make life even easier for web developers everywhere, yes, including even you. Some of the niceties include Javascript templates, to make your AJAX more swishy, JOINs and other fancy things have been added to ActiveRecord, and integration testing to help make your sites more solid - solid as a rock, you might say. Go forth and update, young padawan.

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