Posts that cover general aspects of programming.

User Group Meetups Are More Than The Talks

28th May 2012

The good thing about working in a city like Manchester is that there is an active digital community. This means that there are quite a few digital events as well as a number of communities and user groups. I have been going to (and even organising) local user groups for a while now and I always learn something or help someone out, but the groups are more than that.

MoSCoW Requirements Gathering And Estimates

30th October 2011

Understanding what it is that the client needs is an integral part of software development. The client will usually help you out by telling you what they need the system to do. What you will generally have is a big list of the things that the system should do. Rather than explain the difference between the terms "function requirements" and "non-functional requirements" to the client, you can save time by using MoSCoW.

Ideas Of March

17th March 2011

This week I was pointed, somewhat ironically through Twitter, to a blog post from Chris Shiflett about how we need a blogging revival. Which is something I quite agree with as although Twitter is great for a sense of community, it is impossible to impart good technical knowledge and/or experience through 120 characters.

Does An IP Address Provide Useful Tracking Information?

An IP address is an address for a computer on the Internet. The usual example used is of a web server that can be accessed via a URL that is translated behind the scenes into an IP address, but IP addresses can be used to find any computer on the Internet.

philipnorton42 Tue, 01/18/2011 - 22:37

PHPNW09 A Review

18th October 2009

Last weekend saw the second annual PHPNW conference, and it was an excelent conference. There were some 200 people attending the event and we got to see some interesting and informative talks. When I arrived at the talk I received a bag with some brochures in it as well as a KitKat (which I ate for breakfast) and a years subscription to PHP|Architect. Everyone at the conference was also fed very well for lunch and dinner and Sun sponsored a free bar at the end of the first day, which was nice.

What I thought I'd do is go through each of the talks that I attended and copy in my responses from the reviews that I have been posting during the week, but also embellish them with further thoughts and comments. Also, seem to have deleted one or two of my reviews so I will have to write them from scratch anyway.

Using Netbeans PHP Code Templates

11th September 2009

Netbeans is a great IDE and with every version lots more features are introduced that make it even better. One thing that I like to use is the code templates, which have been available from version 6.5. Code templates allows you to type a simple command and get a section of code. What commands you can use depend on what version of Netbeans you are using and which programming language you focused on. As a PHP developer I usually download the PHP version, which comes with a set of PHP code templates.

A Look At robots.txt Files

18th May 2009

A robots.txt file is a simple, static, file that you can add to your site in order to stop search engines from crawling the content of certain pages or directories. You can even prevent certain user agents from crawling certain areas of you site.

Virtualization With VirtualBox

25th March 2009

Virtualization is basically a term used to describe the creation of a computer in software. The main benefits of which are that if you want to try out an operating system or test client server communications you don't have to get multiple computers. You can simply create a few computers virtually, which will act just like the real thing.

7 Tips On Writing Your CV

16th February 2009

Working for a number of years in the web industry means that I get to see quite a few CVs, and after a while you get a feel for what makes a good one. Your CV (or resumé) is quite often the very first thing anyone ever hears about you, so it is important to get it right. To that end I thought I would impart some of the things I have learned after years of writing my own and reading other people's CVs.

1. Take Your Time

7 Tips To Improve Website Usability

26th January 2009

Website usability should be an essential part of your online strategy, but it is so easily overlooked or overshadowed by pretty design. Here is a quick list of 7 things that can cause your users to get frustrated and go elsewhere.

1. Search
Search is a very important part of any site, and if it doesn't work then your users will just get frustrated and go to another company. Website search usability comes in two parts, the search box itself and the results.