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July 09, 2009

Welcome to this week's edition of the Developer Shed newsletter. We're back from a three-day weekend and ready to give you the tools you need to get your job done. And if part of your job involves keeping your company's computers secure, you'll definitely want to check out the article we're highlighting this week from eWeek. You'll find plenty of antivirus applications, all free for the asking. AVG is here of course, but so are some others that do a good job of protecting your home or small business computer. If you have greater needs, you'll find that many of the companies producing the free versions also offer a for-fee edition of their software that includes greater capabilities.

If you're trying to increase your own capabilities by upgrading your skills, you'll find lots of help with that on our family of web sites. Dev Shed ran useful articles on MySQL and XML, the latter focusing on Flex. You'll also find an introduction to JavaScript and some news about Dell's digital forensics service. ASP Free, meanwhile, continued its instruction on Windows Forms applications.

If you're a web site designer and developer, you'll want to check out the articles we're running on Dev Articles. We just kicked off a series this week on regular expressions in JavaScript; you may also be interested in building dynamic shadows on your web site or programming for contests. You can read about these subjects and more on Dev Articles this week. If you're a hardware enthusiast, on the other hand, Dev Hardware feeds your craving with items on miniature gadgets, Zune accessories, Intel Nehalom boards, and much more.

Optimizing websites to climb to the top of the search engine results pages may seem like a thankless job sometimes, but we love SEOs - and we show you that love every week on SEO Chat. This week we continued our list of SEO-related tools and discussed the role of domain names in search engine optimization. If you're just starting to build an online presence, Dev Mechanic can help; this week, you'll learn how to craft perfect keyword phrases, write product descriptions, and more.

Of course you want more, and we have it. Thinking about taking the plunge with OpenOffice 3.0? Codewalkers features a review of the wildly popular open source office suite. Do you know you need web hosting, but don't know where to start? Check out this week's Web Hosters article. And if you like to look for treasure, there's gems galore on Scripts and Tutorialized, written by our readers.

As always, thanks for reading. Until next week,
Developer Shed Staff

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IBM eKits Make Development eAsy!
Take advantage of free e-kits from developerWorks. E-kits give you a collection of tutorials, articles, webcasts, podcasts, and demos about a particular product, task, or role. This one-stop shop of resources empowers you to maximize your enterprise investment.
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IBM Rational Project and Portfolio Management certification training e-kit
Get free PMI training in the IBM Rational Project and Portfolio Management certification training e-kit. As a member of the Project Management Institute's (PMI's) corporate council, IBM has more than 12,000 PMI-certified project managers and has been honored for its educational programs. Now, you can learn more about the difference that IBM's project management curriculum makes with six free courses based on IBM's best-practices processes and tools.
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Moblin V2: A Framework for Innovation

By Lisa Morgan
Software, devices, and services are going to get a lot more interesting over the next few months as the true capabilities of the Moblin V2 project release are revealed.
Read the full article >

Compliance Means Never Having To Say You’re Incompatible: Part 1

By Alan Zeichick
That error message above - or worse - is the last thing that customers want to see. The Moblin Compliance Project is focused specifically on ensuring that the libraries included with a Moblin distribution are complete and contain the right versions.
Read the full article >

Open Source World
August 12th-13th, 2009 | Moscone Center, San Jose, CA | WEBSITE >
LinuxWorld Conference & Expo is expanding to become OpenSource World and is co-locating with Next Generation Data Center and CloudWorld to offer an end-to-end view of enterprise technology within the data center.

OSiM World
Sep. 15-16, 2009| Okura Hotel Amsterdam | WEBSITE >
Open Source in Mobile (OSiM) World is the leading community gathering for executives and developers in the open mobile ecosystem.

September 22-24, 2009 | Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA |
Attend the Intel Developer Forum for global access to technology, ideas, and people who will transform the future of technology and how the world is using it. Registration opens June 17th, 2009. WEBSITE >


Elektrobit MID Video

Canonical's Jon Melamut Talks Netbooks
It's edgy! It's irreverent! It's all about technology! It's News You Can't Use,
and you won't want to miss it! View this week's edition to learn the answers to these burning questions:

  • News of the Weird is here to tickle your funny bone. Or break it.
  • Bobby Earnhardt returns wearing a muscle shirt. Muscles apparently declined to be filmed.
  • Is that a giant baby or did Tech News hire the video editor from Land of the Lost?

Watch the video!


Get the latest training on Java Technology from Sun Microsystems and a chance to Win $300 for blogging about it

Accelerate your development at no charge with 2009 JavaOne Online Technical Sessions and by blogging about it you may win $300. Learn more

Introduction to JavaScript
by Joe Eitel, 2009-07-08

JavaScript is an online scripting language that is implemented and works directly with HTML pages. Similar to Flash and ActionScript, JavaScript brings a dynamic nature to web pages that does not require the page to change. Obviously, this functionality is very useful for a wide variety of reasons. JavaScript can make a developer's life a lot easier in a lot of ways. On the other hand, the various down sides of implementing JavaScript are significant - sometimes too much so.
Read the full article
Flex List Controls
by Keith Lee, 2009-07-07

The List Control is a fundamental control for use in Flex. It can be used in many different situations and can display all types of data. Anything from images to plain text and even basic HTML (supported by Flex) can be used. Keep reading for an introduction to this versatile control.
Read the full article
The Three Most Important MySQL Queries
by Codex-M, 2009-07-06

Doing PHP queries to a MySQL database is one of the most important processes in any web application. This is where data is being fetched from or inserted into the database. If you are a beginning PHP web developer, then learning the most important MySQL queries is essential to your success in dealing with dynamic websites.
Read the full article
Using Directory Iterators to Build Loader Apps in PHP
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-07-02

Welcome to the final part of an eight-part series on building loader applications in PHP. In this part, we'll improve on the loader class we developed in the previous part by using certain specific functions from the Standard PHP Library (SPL).
Read the full article
How to Code and Test a Windows Forms Application
by Murach, 2009-07-08

Yesterday we finished an article series that showed you how to design a user interface for a Windows Forms application. Today, we'll kick off a five-part article series that shows you how to bring that application to life. This article is excerpted from chapter three of Murach's Visual Basic 2008, written by Anne Boehm (Murach, 2008; ISBN: 1890774456).
Read the full article.
Adding Features to a Windows Forms Application
by Murach, 2009-07-07

Welcome to the conclusion of a two-part series on designing a Windows Forms application with Visual Studio. In this part we'll learn how to add properties, controls, navigation features, and more. This article is excerpted from chapter two of Murach's Visual Basic 2008, written by Anne Boehm (Murach, 2008; ISBN: 1890774456).
Read the full article
How to Design a Windows Forms Application
by Murach, 2009-07-06

Building Windows applications is not difficult with the help of Visual Studio. In this article, the first part of a two-part series, you'll learn how to plan the interface for a Windows Forms application. This article is excerpted from chapter two of Murach's Visual Basic 2008, written by Anne Boehm (Murach, 2008; ISBN: 1890774456).
Read the full article.
How to Test a Web Application
by Murach, 2009-07-02

Welcome to the conclusion of a five-part article series on building web applications with ASP .NET. Now that we've built our web application, we need to test it. This article is excerpted from chapter two of Murach's ASP .NET 3.5 Web Programming with VB 2008, written by Anne Boehm (Murach, 2008; ISBN: 1890774472).
Read the full article.
Swapping Columns Using the Divine Ratio for Web Page Layout
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-07-09

If you're a web designer who wants to learn how to create appealing and harmonious web page layouts by applying fundamental graphic design concepts like the "Golden Proportion" and "The Rule of Thirds," keep reading. This is the third part in a series of articles that provides you with the right pointers to start implementing these principles for building aesthetically pleasant web sites.
Read the full article
Introduction to Regular Expressions in JavaScript
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-07-08

What exactly is a regular expression, and how is it handled in JavaScript? These are the questions tackled by this five-part series. In this first part, we'll introduce the topic of regular expressions (often abbreviated RegExp), and delve into objects, patterns, and variables.
Read the full article
Easy and Efficient Programming for Contests
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-07-07

Efficient coding ensures that you complete a task in the smallest time interval possible without complicating your life too much. Now, you do not need to work like this for every little bit of code you type. This approach will be priceless, however, whenever time is of the essence, as it is for a programming contest.
Read the full article
Using the DOM to Build Dynamic Shadows with JavaScript and CSS
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-07-06

A proper combination of JavaScript code and CSS styles can be the perfect recipe for incorporating eye-catching effects into a certain number of elements included in a given web document. This three-part series of articles walks you through creating dynamic shadows using unobtrusive client-side scripting, so if you’re interested in learning how to implement this visual effect within your own web pages, then you’ve come to the right place.
Read the full article
Using the Golden Ratio in Liquid Web Page Designs
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-07-02

At first glance, some basic principles of graphic design like the "Golden Proportion" and the "Rule of Thirds" seem to have nothing to do with web design. But the truth is that they can be perfectly applied when creating web page layouts to make them look more pleasant and harmonious to the human eye. If you wish to learn how to implement these two fundamental principles when building your own web sites, then keep reading. In this series of articles you'll find an approachable guide to putting these concepts into practice with both fixed and elastic web page designs.
Read the full article
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Five Great Accessories for Zunes
by Joe Eitel, 2009-07-08

If you're looking for an MP3 player, don't sell the Zune short. If you already have a Zune, you know what I mean. And just as the iPod seems to breed third-party accessories, the Zune has its share. From headphones to skins to stereo systems, you'll find them here.
Read the full article

Miniature Gadgets
by Bruce Coker, 2009-07-07

Miniaturization has always held a fascination for people. There's something about powerful capabilities being delivered in tiny devices that seems to make people want to own them. In this article I'll take a look at two very modern miniature gadgets that in their very different ways threaten to change the mobile imaging landscape.
Read the full article.

Finding the Best Skins for Your Ultra Thin Laptop
by Katie Gatto, 2009-07-06

Does your laptop lack personality? Are you worried about what will happen to it when it falls? Whether you want to add some fun to your machine or protect it from harm, this guide will help you find the right skins and cases to customize your laptop.
Read the full article.
Bookmarking Application TidyFavorites Pro
by Joe Eitel, 2009-07-02

Whether it's mindless web browsing or searching specific sites, most people are "favoriting" or "bookmarking" pages that they want to come back to, need for future reference or simply want to keep around. Bookmarking pages is useful for a number of reasons, especially when online shopping and comparing prices from different sites. This causes certain problems, however, which TidyFavorites claims to solve. Let's take a good look at the issues and this bookmarking software, and see if it fits the bill.
Read the full article
Linking and Statistical SEO Tools
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2009-07-08

This is the third part of our four-part article series on SEO tools. In the last two parts we reviewed keyword research tools, content management systems, image search tools, ranking checkers, analytics tools, social media tools and online copy writing tools. In this third part we list link building tools and statistics tools.
Read the full article
More Useful SEO Tools
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2009-07-07

This is the second part of a four-part series that lists search engine optimization tools. In this article we cover rank checkers, web analytics tools, social media tools and online copy writing tools.
Read the full article
Domains and SEO
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2009-07-06

Domain names play a big role in the search engine optimization game. Many SEOs will not go into a market niche and dish out link investments until they catch a good domain name for the field. In this article I try to answer the question of what is considered a good domain and how domains affect SEO.
Read the full article
Web Hosting 101
by Joe Eitel, 2009-07-08

Microsoft recently released a statement that verified what we've all known to be true: the Web is the future of commerce, education, and communication. The commerce portion of that statement is of the utmost importance for those who are running a business during this difficult financial time. If you're running a small, fledgling business that has - or hopes to have - any kind of online presence, choosing a web hosting service is literally one of the most crucial decisions you will ever make.
Read the full article.
Choosing a Website Host
by Bruce Coker, 2009-07-01

For any business operating online, one of the first steps is finding a company to host the business’s website. Most companies rely on existing services called “website hosts” to provide server space and features to host a website. In general, this is not a big concern. However, if chosen improperly, a web host can cause nightmares for any business.
Read the full article.
Collaborate: An Examination of Tools for Groups Working in the Cloud
by Bruce Coker, 2009-06-24

As the popularity of cloud computing increases, so do the number of common tasks that the cloud’s resources must support. Likewise, so has the number of tools designed to support such tasks. Since the birth of the personal computer, one of the most powerful capabilities of the technology has been to allow people to work collaboratively on tasks such as document creation and editing, project management and database maintenance.
Read the full article.

Check out the amazing tutorials from IBM developerWorks and see what all the buzz is about!

WebSphere Service Registry and Repository
Manage, govern, and share services across your organization by using WebSphere Service Registry and Repository. Follow the hands-on exercises to learn how to navigate the Web interface to publish, find, reuse, and update services.

Building JavaScript applications with JSEclipse
Using JSEclipse, JavaScript programmers now have their own Eclipse plug-in that provides many important features to aid in the development of JavaScript applications. JSEclipse gives JavaScript developers the same ease of use that Eclipse has been providing in the Java language and others for years. Learn to use this tool, while creating a colony of evolving "creatures" on your page.

Learn how to install and use the Rational Asset Manager Eclipse client
In this tutorial, you can learn how to install and configure the IBM Rational Asset Manager Eclipse client, explore the different views in the Asset Management perspective, learn various search techniques, work with existing assets, and submit a new asset.

Improve your build process with IBM Rational Build Forge, Part 1: Create a continuous build and integration environment
Learn how to implement a build management system that uses and extends your existing automation technologies. This tutorial shows, step-by-step, how to install and configure IBM Rational Build Forge to manage builds for Jakarta Tomcat from source code.

Build Web services with transport-level security using Rational Application Developer V7, Part 1: Build Web services and Web services clients
Build secure Web services with transport-level security using IBM Rational Application Developer V7 and IBM WebSphere Application Server V6.1. Follow this three-part series for step-by-step instructions about how to develop Web services and clients, configure HTTP basic authentication, and configure HTTP over SSL (HTTPS). This first part of the series walks you through building a Web service for a simple calculator application. You generate and test two different types of Web services clients: a Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) client and a stand-alone Java client. You also handle user-defined exceptions in Web services.

Test terminal-based applications with Rational Functional Tester
Regression testing -- in which code is thoroughly tested to ensure that changes have not produced unexpected results -- is an important part of any development process. But many testing environments neglect the terminal-based applications that still form the backbone of many industries. In this tutorial, you'll learn how the Rational Functional Tester Extension for Terminal-Based Applications works with other Rational Functional Tester to help test terminal-based applications quickly and easily.

Improve your build process with IBM Rational Build Forge,
Part 2: Automate builds for a real-world Tomcat project

Learn how Rational Build Forge can extend a simple compile and package build process by adding customization and deployment capability. Go from a manual method to automating: checking for code changes; getting the latest source; compiling and packaging; customizing; copying to and restarting a deployment server; and sending e-mail notification that a new version is available.

NEW! Application development for the OLPC laptop
The XO laptop (of the One-Laptop-Per-Child initiative) is an inexpensive laptop project intended to help educate children around the world. The XO laptop includes many innovations, such as a novel, inexpensive, and durable hardware design and the use of GNU/Linux as the underlying operating system. The XO also includes an application environment written in Python with a human interface called Sugar, accessible to everyone (including kids). Explore the Sugar APIs and learn how to develop and debug a graphical activity in Sugar using Python.


Tutorialized is dedicated to programming, designing, and many other
tech related tutorials.

Straighten Crooked Photos
Learn how to easily straighten crooked photos in Photoshop.
Read the tutorial.

Basic Drag and Drop in Flash 8
How to create basic drag and drop with Flash 8.
Read the tutorial.

Blend Techniques With Layer Mask
Learn blending techniques by using this layer mask. Read the tutorial.

Grails Services and Google Maps
A guide to using them. Easy tutorial and simple to read. Read the tutorial.

Flash Zoom In and Zoom Out
A Flash zoom in and zoom out application with Actionscript 2.0.
Read the tutorial.

Google AdSense Split Testing
Guide to maximizing your revenue with a small PHP script.
Read the tutorial.


Want to Earn Cash & Fame Writing
for ASP Free

Developer Shed is actively seeking fresh, new writing talents for our Microsoft Windows technology site. We're looking for Windows programmers, system administrators, and more to provide our readers with the latest, up-to-date techniques and strategies.

Here's your chance to earn some cash, gain some exposure, and beef up your resume! If you would like to join our team, email your name, a description of your qualifications, and the topic areas you would like to cover to


Scripts is dedicated to developer and programming related scripts both commercial and free, and for all OS platforms.

Ananyoo : The Accessible CMS
One of the most user friendly and highly accessible Content Management Systems on the net.
Learn more.

SEO Business Directory
Complete web site based on ASP/XHTML/CSS script with pure table-less liquid theme design and Search Engine Optimized pages. Learn more.

Adbrite Clone
Get an adbrite clone script absolutely free. See and manage all the sites that display your ads.
Learn more.

WinRAR is a 32-bit Windows version of RAR Archiver, the powerful archiver and archive manager. Great program!
Learn more.

Multi Operator ASP Chat Script
Improve customer satisfaction by providing online technical support for their service related queries.
Learn more.

Cool Screen Capture
Customers can capture video or image from DV, TV Tuner and other devices. It can set video compression codecs and set device properties. Learn more.

Writing Product Descriptions
by KC Morgan, 2009-07-08

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but search engines still find things primarily with words rather than pictures. If you write a good product description, though, you'll get more than the search engines; you'll get buyers. Keep reading to find out how to appeal to these two kinds of customers to increase your online sales.
Read the full article
Crafting Perfect Keyword Phrases
by KC Morgan, 2009-07-06

Use the right keywords on your site. Use the popular keywords on your pages. Don't forget about misspelled keywords! Check your keyword density; optimize all your site's content, make sure everything flows together and fits in well. You already spend a great deal of time thinking about words, crafting phrases for your content and double-checking your standings with the search engines. But is there more you could be doing? Is there a way to go about crafting perfect keyword phrases?
Read the full article
Free White Papers

All About OpenOffice 3.0
by Joe Eitel, 2009-07-08

No doubt, OpenOffice 3 is giving Microsoft Office a run for its money. Developers have worked on this suite for three years, and have created newer and more robust functions. While the suite offers some features you will find in Microsoft Office, there are others that you will not find. OpenOffice 3 offers flexibility and compatibility with other programs, such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Flash. OpenOffice also works with multiple operating systems, such as Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Sun Solaris, and GNU/Linux.
Read the full article
Installing and Configuring Squid
by Barzan 'Tony' Antal, 2009-07-01

Recently we published a brief overview of Squid. And right now we’re following up with a sequel to that introductory article. In the previous part we barely touched the tip of the iceberg, even though Squid’s major functions were clearly explained. Now we are going to actually get it up and running!
Read the full article
Clickfree PC Backup Systems Compared
by Barzan 'Tony' Antal, 2009-06-24

When was the last time you backed up your PC? If you're having trouble remembering, you could be in for a traumatic experience if and when your system fails. If you understand the need to do backups, but hate the hassle, keep reading. This article will introduce you to some backup solutions that take care of themselves, leaving you free to handle less tedious, more important tasks.
Read the full article

Google's Latest Attempt to Take Over the World

When the Internet in general, and Google in particular, grew so big that Microsoft finally took notice, the software giant built a search engine to try to get a piece of the pie. Now Google is returning the favor. That's right - the search engine giant is building an operating system, to be based on its Chrome browser.

The new operating system, dubbed Google Chrome OS, is designed for people who spend most of their time on the web. To that end, consumers will start finding it on netbooks in the second half of next year. It will be based on Linux, but its applications will run on the web. In short, this is cloud computing at its most radical.

And it doesn't stop with netbooks. Google says the operating system can be used to power full-size desktop systems, thus putting it in direct competition with Microsoft. Don't want to switch your OS? No problem; Google said that all of its web-based applications will run not only on its OS, but “on any standards-based browser on Windows, Mac, and Linux.” Given Internet Explorer's known quirks, one wonders if Microsoft's browser counts as “standards-based” by Google's definition, thus raising the heat even more. It looks like the operating system space just got a whole lot more competitive.

Read more about this

Nano Tech James Bond Would Love

If you've ever recovered a document after deleting it, you know that ordinary deletion rarely gets rid of data completely. Even documents on paper can often be recovered, depending on how they've been handled. This can be a problem for those handling sensitive information. Now, thanks to nano technology, we may soon see documents that delete themselves after they've been read.

A research team at Northwestern University in Illinois coated gold nanoparticles with a substance that reacts to ultraviolet light. When exposed to the light, the coating changes its shape and charge distribution. With the change in charge distribution, the nanoparticles change their location, which causes the document to change color. To actually use this color-changing ability, the team suspended the nanoparticles in a gel, and spread the gel between two plastic sheets. A UV pen allowed the scientists to write words on the “paper;” they could also use the UV light for printing images.

In the absence of UV light, however, the words and images gradually disappear, leaving no trace of their existence. The scientists found they could control how long the image lasted by varying the concentration of of the coating on the nanoparticles. They could get images to last for hours to days – or, by exposing the paper to intense visible light or mild heat, they could erase the image in seconds. The process has one problem: the film starts out red in color. Paper (or film) that starts out white or colorless would be preferable for use by future spies.

Read more about this

Flying Metal Bats out of NCSU

Ornithopters with flapping wings have been the stuff of science fiction and even early science experiments. They don't seem to scale well – but researchers at North Carolina State University plan to keep their version small. The little flying metal bat they're working on boasts some modern modifications. Specifically, it uses smart materials to fill in for the muscles of a living bat.

The prototypical robobat's skeleton weighs perhaps six grams and fits in the palm of your hand. It will carry small sensors that make it ideal for detection missions, including the discovery of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons - or of humans trapped in a collapsed cave or building. But will it really fly?

Dr. Stefan Seelecke, graduate advisor of the mechanical engineering student working on the project, notes the use of “a shape-memory metal alloy that is super-elastic for the joints” and an alloy that responds to heat by contracting for the muscles. It is hoped that, by using these materials, the flying robot will “respond quickly to changing conditions - such as a gust of wind - as perfectly as a real bat.” Aside from its immediate practical applications, a metal flying bat could expand our understanding of aerodynamics, perhaps even leading to more efficient aircraft.

Read more about this

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