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Jul
24

Fixing a php.ini configuration file problem

» posted 3376 days ago @ 07:41 PM by George Merlocco in web

Though not too many people run PHP on top of IIS, (it's usually Apache, or LAMP) I am one of the few who does. I recently underwent setting up a proper development environment. This of course included installing PHP 5 and MySQL 5 onto IIS7 (within Windows Web Server 2008). I followed this guide which resulted in a successful integration of PHP within IIS7. Also note that if you are installing PHP onto Windows Server 2008 or IIS7, do NOT use the "Windows Installer" to set it up. Instead, grab the .zip file of all PHP files, and run through the manual installation procedures.

Anyways, on to the actual issue that I was experiencing, which caused me to reinstall Windows and waste about 5 hours of my precious life ;) I had PHP working, but the MySQL extension was not being loaded, specifically "php_mysql.dll". I thought everything was fine and dandy because when I ran a simple PHP_info test page that contained:

< ?php phpInfo();? >

I was greeted with the PHP configuration settings, however what I had failed to notice the first time was that some variables were not set correctly:

Aug
05

Multi-Browser testing, this is the way!

» posted 3730 days ago @ 01:36 PM by George Merlocco in web

Developing professional websites can be a daunting task, especially when your client wants all the bells and whistles. After adding more and more of these fancy effects and complex layouts, the chances that your website might not display 100% correctly in other browsers rises. I have been plagued with this sort of thing since IE5 and Firefox v1/Netscape, and it's come to the point that I needed a better solution. Microsoft now believes in web-standards (finally!!) and this could definitely make our lives as web devs/designers easier. Their new product line, Expression, aims to compete with Adobe Flash in the rich media internet experience, and they are claiming that Expression will build standards-based websites out of the box. I can only hope...

There will never be an escape from tweaking small things to look perfect in every browser, but there are some tips that can help you develop a better, more browser-friendly website. What I've done recently is obtain a copy of VMWare Server which is completely free. After that, I installed an old copy of Windows XP on the VM, and loaded it with all of the different browsers I could find. Thanks to the help of a few dedicated people, it is now possible to install multiple versions of Internet Explorer, and have them run synchronous in standalone mode. Here's what I currently have on my VM (IE7 is tested through my Windows Vista, more notes below):

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer v3/v4/v5.01/v5.5/v6
  • Mozilla Firefox v1.5/v2.0.0.6
  • Opera v9.22
  • Safari v3.0 beta
Jul
27

Microsoft's next-generation of web development tools

» posted 3739 days ago @ 03:11 PM by George Merlocco in technology

Microsoft has definitely been at it lately, preparing a new suite of technologies to hopefully coax more designers and developers to use their tools while creating websites. Basically, everything is built on the ASP.net 3.0 Framework, and even v3.5 is out in beta (v3.0 just came out!). Although I am more of a web designer and I don't use VS.net/etc., my co-founder Justin, is definitely right on top of the developer world, and plans to dev with all of this new stuff. I'll have to get him to post more info about it, but basically Microsoft has released updated versions to a whole slew of it's products, including Visual Studio 2008, Expression Studio, .net 3.0, Silverlight, and LinQ, just to name a few ;)

Designers will most likely be interested in the Expression Studio, as it couples with Silverlight to allow you to create rich, multimedia presentations on the web that can talk to back-end services for retrieving/manipulating data. XAML is used as the bridge for passing data between the back-end/database and the front-end. Developers will be focused more on Visual Studio 2008, LinQ, and ASP.net 3.0/3.5, as well as AJAX.net v1.0. Each of these two distinctive categories of website development are broken down by Microsoft into two formats, WCF and WPF.