In Search of a Newsletter System – Part 2

Just to be clear about what I am looking for in a newsletter system, here are my major requirements: Easy to use; difficult to make mistakes. Once set up, and end client should be able to use it, and it should be very clear what the client needs to do, and what the system is doing for the client. No queues to get stuck. I don’t want to be unlocking files, killing background processes and not knowing how far the sending has

Flash Video Notes

Notes and links concerning the creation, conversion and streaming of video on a web page, in no particular order. Specifications Specs for supported Flash Video formats: HOWTOs Converting uncompressed AVI to high quality FLV using AviSynth This HOWTO refers to Flash 8. Flash Players Most players seem to come in a free version, and a licenced version with additional features. JWPlayer – Open Source. I really like this one. FLV Player – Free, good, but no full-screen mode. FlowPlayer

Choosing a Framework (part 2)

The Final Four Down to last four; CakePHP, CodeIgnitor, Kohana and Zend. The test is to get each framework to print ‘Hello World’ on its own ‘/hello/’ page. For each test I will record the time taken to: Work out how to complete the task, which will indicate how simple it is to use, and how good the documentation is. How long the script takes to execute, to measure the performance. This will be averaged over 5 attempts CodeIgniter Test

In Search of a Newsletter System

This search has gone on for years. I am looking for a newsletter system that is easy to install (to most likely LAMP-based), allows sign-up to multiple newsletters, and is reliable and flexible. The most important thing is that once configired, I need to be able to hand over the keys to a client so that they can manage it from that point on. That is the hardest part, because no matter what I try, there are always highly technical

Choosing a Framework (part 1)

So you’ve decided on a framework over a CMS for your web application? Me too! Here’s fundamentally why: Expandability. A job board is a complex application, and I want to be able to expand it with various modules as my time and resources increase. Flexibility. I want to know where things are going at a low level so I can better understand the system, and control the overall direction of the project. Change/Experience. I’m interested to see how a web

PDF tools for web servers

This article lists some of the PDF tools we have used on our server projects. They all have one thing in common: they can be driven from the command line, and therefore can be run on servers lacking any kind of GUI. Please note that I won’t be publishing every comment that starts “I work for XYZ and we have a PDF product…” (especially if I see the same posts listed on a hundred other sites with ‘PDF’ somewhere in

Is this CMS/Framework right for me?

I’ve figured I need to take a step back and re-analyse exactly what it is I’m looking for. There are now a lot of CMSs and frameworks in the market, all boasting about exactly the same. The most irritating claim of all is: “Framework/CMS XXYY is designed to make life as easy as possible to develop your robust, user-friendly websites” … REALLY? NEVER! The time has come where some investigation is needed to separate the men from the boys. What

Streaming Flash Video Using Open Source Tools

So, I want to stream my own video, from my own server? Why would I want to do that? Control, I guess. It cna be argued that there are enough sites around already that can host videos for you (Youtube, Flickr, et al), and it makes sense to eat into their bandwidth rather than your own, but let’s just see – can it be done using Open Source tools? Enter Red5 Red5 is an Open Source Flash video streaming application.

Open Source Applications: my missing links

In the Open Source landscape, there are applications to suite every need and to fill every niche. And yet, finding the right application can be a hit-or-miss affair. I find that I can search and search to find the application that I need today, and come up with nothing. Months later I can stumble across the perfect solution, almost by accident. I don’t know how that works, but I suspect it is all down to the keywords I use. I’ll

Beginning MODx

Documentating my research of MODx CMF. I will blog some more in my own words when I know more about the system. I’ve highlighed the essential reading in bold. Help Sites Documentation: Wiki: Forums: The Project A very general overview of the goals of the project:,11800.0.html Pros and Cons: General Review: A 3 month review: MODx does a great job as a full featured CMS, but it’s true potential lies in it’s ability