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Software Development

Hey, Free Book Samples!

As I've mentioned here a few times, I have a book coming out, "Professional Ruby on Rails", available later this month. If you'd like a sneak peek, Wrox has put some samples online as PDF files. You can also just...
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Ideal team size for your next Facebook project

I recently worked on a Facebook application for one of our clients. This turned out to be our first collective experience building for Facebook, and it involved a mixture of re-using existing web services and building new ones for use...
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SMash – Something Useful from the OpenAjax Alliance?

In the announcement that the OpenAjax Alliance had released OpenAjax Hub 1.0, and would start to work toward 1.1, there was one thing that caught my interest: the news that 1.1 would support secure mashups. Given that proxies and JSONP...
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Yet Another 17 GWT Tutorials

Half a year has passed since I published 36 GWT Tutorials. As expected, several new tutorials have come along that demonstrate deeper, more sophisticated aspects of the framework, as well as addressing specific IDE's and libraries. Ryan Heaton is doing...
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Top 15 music APIs to power your next mashup

Music and the web have a long history, from Napster through the iTunes Store to the MP3 blogs of today. For Web 2.0 hackers, however, the availability of public APIs proves pretty hit or miss. Cool mash-ups do exist -...
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dsHistory: A novel approach to Ajax history and bookmarking

Besides providing a useful tool to other developers, my chief interest in taking over Brad Neuberg's Really Simple History was to test the limits of my own JavaScript and browser-hacking skills. Version 0.6 was basically a maintenance release designed to...
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Web standards won't get you into heaven

The endless hand-wringing over browser version targeting in IE8 illustrates what's wrong with the web standards community. For every sane, rational discussion about the practicalities of future-proofing the web, we get a couple knee-jerk anti-Microsoft screeds and at least one...
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But Where are All the Architect Positions?

ARCHITECT, n. One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money. Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary I'm a faculty brat and have a certain idea of what it means to be a professor. Both...
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Q&A with Trace Johnson of Chicago-based mobile-payment start-up Mpayy

Chicago isn't Silicon Valley, so it's always interesting to see tech start-ups putting down roots in Midwestern soil. Last night I hit the launch party for Mpayy, a mobile payment start-up that launched just last week. Over a hundred prospective...
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101 Ideas for JSONP – Idea #4: Scraping XML with XPath, Part 1

It's been a while since the last installment of JSONP. Lots of good stuff has happened in the meantime to make our lives easier, but some things are still brutish, ugly and complex. One of the nice things in the...
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