Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dreamhost Hosting Special

I work with a client who uses Dreamhost as the hosting provider for a new web application. My client works with several other contractors besides myself. Some have been only temporary contracts while others have been more long-term. For the initial phase of development, all development was done on local servers, and there was only one hostname for the website.

One of the newest consultants spent just a small portion of his time in setting up some tools that would not only make development more efficient; but also, these tools will help prevent catastrophic mistakes that oftentimes can occur. Manual, repeated tasks are prone to error, and it's not a matter of if a failure occurs, but when will the failure occur.

The consultant set up several domain names for us to use in the deployment process. Previously, the site was deployed to the server under the www subdomain. While this is fine for code that has been tested on the hosting platform, it's not fine when deploying live. We now have a "testing" subdomain and a "stage" subdomain where "testing" is where untested code can be tested using a separate build of the website. "Stage", of course, mirrors whatever is deployed live and acts as a staging ground for final tests of changes to ensure that they are indeed production ready.

The consultant also set up Trac, which is an open-source wiki, bug tracking package, and project management platform all rolled into one web application. It integrates with the Subversion repository, which the consultant also setup and configured using Dreamhost's web panel.

Dreamhost offers these features as part of the standard hosting package, all for the low cost of $5.95 per month, depending on the length of your committment. Of all of the hosting providers that I've looked at, Dreamhost is the best for new startups looking to establish a web presence using PHP, Perl, Ruby, and some other popular programming languages. You'll never have to worry about running out of databases, as Dreamhost will supply you with an endless supply of MySql databases!

Some of the things that really stood out to me were things like the Jabber Chat server, a full Unix shell, the Debian Linux operating system, and IMAP access so you can download your email to a mail client. There is a one-click install feature for installing many popular packages, such as Wordpress, Moodle, and Joomla. In addition, through the shell you can install other applications, such as Trac!

To make this deal even sweeter, you can get unlimited disk space and unlimited bandwidth if you sign up now by clicking on the link in the left section on my website! This leaves lots of room for growth, and this perhaps may be the last hosting package you'll ever need!

The only catch, there are only 1111 slots left open for unlimited disk space and bandwidth, so sign up today!

Click here to learn more

Monday, September 1, 2008

Google Chrome Browser

While most of us spent our Labor Day weekend camping, barbecuing, or in my case, moving into a new home, the marketing team at Google was laboring away releasing marketing materials on what seems to be the next evolution of the web!

Google Chrome, a fully open source multi-process web browser, addresses many of the woes that most web surfers encounter on a daily basis. Instead of being concerned with browser lock ups and ensuring that we don't go over 35 to 40 tabs in Firefox for fear of the dreaded browser crash, we can rest assured knowing that the most we will ever have to worry about is a "tab crash".

What is a tab crash? According to the Google Chrome Comic book, each tab is launched as a separate process. What this means is that if there are N tabs open, there will be N JavaScript threads running, N copies of the global data structures, and a significantly reduced chance that a rogue JavaScript function will bring a user's web experience to a grinding halt.

Both Firefox and IE run as a single process. While IE does tout the advantage of running each tab in a different thread, the memory is still shared; and all tabs are still susceptible to crashes. In either case, the result is the same.

However, I am very interested to see this new browser in action. How impervious to crashes is it going to be? What is this going to mean for web development? Will we need more CSS and HTML magicians to step forward and deal with yet another browser hack? Or will Google Chrome follow web standards and allow the same ease of web application development as Firefox and Safari do?

One question that I have is in regards to add-ons. Will this new browser be as extensible as Firefox? Is there or will there eventually be a market for Google Chrome add-ons?

More importantly, is this the first step towards the Google Operating System?

I guess tomorrow we will find out.