HipHop: Transform Your PHP Into C++

This is a VERY interesting post from the Facebook Engineering team. Tonight, they’ll be releasing a project they call HipHop to the open source community. HipHop generates semantically compatible C++ from PHP code and compiles it to machine code using the g++ compiler. This results is significantly faster and more efficient code running on […]

Tracking and Protecting Web-Based Downloads (In PHP)

There’s a consistent need to either protect a file from being downloaded unless a user has been properly authorized/authenticated to access it or to track those files using a JavaScript tracking system like Google Analytics. I ran into this issue a few years ago and came up with what I thought was an elegant […]

American Sign Language and User Interfaces

I’ve recently become intrigued by the concept of “Baby Sign Language” and the idea that my 10-month-old son, who’s not quite yet up to walking, may be able to communicate with me using his hands. To explore this, I sat down with a baby signing book that described pictorially many of the signs that […]

How To Program Like Mahatma Gandhi

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

If you work with software long enough, especially open source software, you’ll find yourself saying the words, “This is great, but it would be INCREDIBLE if it could…” If you work with closed source software – that is, software that you’re not allowed to […]

The Problem With Custom Code

It seems these days that 90% of my work is cleaning up after other programmers. My annoyance with this fact – and the solutions I think you as programmers, designers, etc. should use – will probably become one of the major themes of this blog.

There’s a desire among us to create, and that’s a worthy desire. However, the requirements for so many small business sites are so simple and common that creating new code from scratch to run them is not only inefficient, it’s downright dangerous. There’s no such thing and “clean” code – all code is buggy to one degree or another. Custom code, which has been exposed to a much smaller audience of developers and seen limited public release, has the potential to be among the buggiest, most insecure code of all.

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