Quick Tip #4: fValidator – Javascript Form Validator

6 06 2007

For the web developers out there who spend a lot of time doing code on form validation, this little piece of “open-source” script might help. It’s called fValidator and it was created by Fabio Zendhi Nagao.Here’s a little quote from Fabio regarding his script:

Nowadays everybody knows that javascript can be used to validate input data in HTML forms before sending off the content to a server. Despite of that, when there are many fields in the form, the JavaScript validation becomes too complex and boring to code. That’s why fValidator exists, with it form validations are many times easier.

I specifically like the fact that it automatically validates your fields as you type your data – well, actually it’s not as you type, but as you move to other input fields. It also makes use of iMask, which is a tool for masking your input text fields or textarea fields. For instance, if you are expecting an input in this format: _ _ / _ _ / _ _ _ _, the input text field will display those characters as you type (see the attached screen shot for understanding). Aside from displaying those characters, it also restricts the input of letters if you only want numbers, and vice-versa.This tool really becomes helpful if you are creating registration forms for sites, or any other types of form for that matter. I personally am not bothered by using other people’s scripts to make my life easier. It’s really practical.Hopefully one of these days I might be able to contribute my share to the open-source community as well.

Quick Tip #3: Send files up to 100MB

5 11 2006

YouSendItEver had the need to send huge files to your friends or clients, but couldn’t because your e-mail provider only allows up to 10MB maximum file size? Well, here’s a quick tip on how to send files for up to 100MB, for free!

Simply point your browsers to http://yousendit.com/ and upload your file there! They will automatically e-mail the link to that file both to you and your recipient, and they will happily save it on their server until it reaches 100 downloads. 🙂 Pretty cool stuff, hehe.

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3 11 2006

Lately, PHP and MySQL have been the main goto applications for most web developers. They blend very well with each other and it’s open source characteristic, also meaning being free, is a big plus to companies who do not have that much investment to spend. It’s also been very attractive to young developers who wish to hone and just test out their skills. For the past few years, these babies have also increased their security to be at par to their commercial counter-parts, making them both reliable and powerful.

Now have you ever tried installing a web server at your personal computers? Pretty complicated, huh? Imagine having to install PHP and MySQL as well, for your web development needs. For the average person, having to install these applications can be a daunting task indeed. Yet even for those experienced ones, it will still take a couple of hours, or maybe a little shorter, to get them up and running without errors. Now what if I told you that you could install all three applications (and more) with running just a single file, without having to configure anything at all?

XAMPPIntroducing: XAMPP – stands for Apache HTTP Server, MySQL Database, PHP, and Perl programming languages. Now I’m not really sure what X stands for, but I think it’s a variable, to be replaced with any of the Operating Systems that it is compatible for: Windows, Linux, MacOS, and Solaris. Made by Apache Friends, this is a compilation of all the tools you need for web development. It’s packed in a single archive, or installation file, which you just need to extract on a directory, or run. It’s as simple as that.

In a Wikipedia article, XAMPP is described as follows:

XAMPP is widely named the “lazy man’s WAMP/LAMP installation,” as it only requires one zip, tar or exe file to be downloaded and run, and very little configuration of the various components that make up the web server is required. XAMPP is regularly updated to incorporate the latest releases of Apache/MySQL/PHP and Perl. It also comes with a number of other modules, including OpenSSL and phpMyAdmin.

No more complicated configurations. No more having to download several files, and making each one talk to one another. No more trouble! Just one download, one click, and you’re good to go. 🙂

Take note though: XAMPP was officially made to be used for development purposes only. It’s configuration files make it easy to access everything it installs (MySQL’s root has no password, etc), meaning it’s security is very open to outsiders. It is not recommended to used for servers which are open to the Internet. However, due to the demand of users for more security, Apache Friends decided to create a script file which you run to make XAMPP more secure, just check out the FAQ section of their website for instructions. 🙂

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Pandora Internet Radio

2 11 2006

This one’s for the music fans out there – Pandora Internet Radio. It was first introduced to me by my good friend Migo while we were doing our project for our web programming class (PHP). At first I thought he was playing MP3s of music from his hard drive, but when I started to hear Beatles medleys, I knew this wasn’t something that you can simply download off the net or rip from CD’s.

Created by the Music Genome Project, this web application plays hundreds of thousands of music based on your taste and mood. It has an archive of over 10,000 different artists! As a guest user, you can play 10 songs from their archive, after which you will be asked to register – for free. All you need is an e-mail address and you’re good to go.

Here’s how it works: first, you are asked to give a song title, or an artist name. The engine will then search for your query and look for songs which are similar to that artist or song. For instance, when I search for Jason Mraz, Pandora will give me a play list with songs “that exemplifies the musical style of Jason Mraz which feature minor key tonality and acoustic rhythm guitars”[1]. It’s smart enough to recognize patterns in the songs and search for music similar to what you inputted, and creates a play list for that particular genre. And all of this is happening right at your Internet browser, so you can just leave that window open to listen to songs.

Of course, due to copyright and such, you may not play a particular song or artist. When you search for song titles or artists, Pandora always creates a play list for that genre. But of course, if you type in “Beatles”, majority of the songs in the generated play list will be Beatles songs, since they are quite unique. And sometimes, when you type in a particular song, it will be included somewhere in the play list.

Pretty cool stuff. Since then, I’ve always tuned in to Pandora. Even when I’m researching/studying at our school’s library.

Pandora Internet Radio

[1] Written on the message box that Pandora displays when you create play lists.

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