Posts filed under ‘Technical’

Web 2.0 – relevance in recession era ?

With growing popularity of Web 2.0, companies and individuals have started taking about its pros and cons. I looked at many websites / blogs which present their views as how it would change the coming generation of net crawlers. Most of them have given several examples as how biggies of WWW industry are already changing their business function or making it compatible with web 2.0 tools. IBM is talking about how Web 2.0 will change next generation BPM while Microsoft is busy in promoting Mix 06. Google and Yahoo are on run to acquire new innovative concepts / web solutions so that they have an edge for final frontier.

In the midst of all this, I tried to find out, “how the spree of Web 2.0 can help people in fighting recession?” To answer this question, I started looking into the current and potential usage of these tools. People have started using most of the features but they can further leverage these techniques more into their applications, communications and even in infrastructure. These are some known initiatives. The next step is to actively use them, to understand the concept, to leverage them and to get benefited by them.

With Web 2.0, information can be pulled from a number of different places, and it can be personalized to meet the needs of a single user. Applications can be built on the existing applications that comprise the Web 2.0 interface. It could be said that Web 2.0 will allow the mass population to communicate with each other and spread ideas rather than receiving their information from a single authority.

Internal communication has always been a challenge for big organizations but this can be simplified by promoting Web 2.0 culture. Services like wiki, blog, forums, etc can help in better communication as well as to manage the knowledge. Initially organizations may need to do some extra effort to make people use them extensively. Later, it would become a part of their life style. Internal recruitment and other internal services will also get a boost by this initiative.

Very recently I was looking at a website called BlogTalkRadio.com. It’s a social radio network. If you want to communicate with entire world through radio, this website will provide you that feature. You can create your own live talk show which can be heard around the world without the need for fancy equipment or downloads. Great concept, isn’t it? Apart from just socializing through radio network, it also opens new dimensions for developing a revenue model. You can work with this website or even independently to draft your plans.

You may like to take a look at Podtech.net to get more inputs on Web 2.0 and some other revenue models associated with it.

There are multiple such innovative concepts coming up and with the emergence of Web 2.0 there’s surely a chance of getting into new businesses. We need to identify the correct approach and a smart and diligent effort to exploit that approach.

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December 9, 2008 at 9:30 am 1 comment

CMS in Web 2.0 Era

Web 2.0 and new dimensions of web world are changing the traditional approach of CMS / WCMS / ECM implementation. New breeds of attributes are getting more attention, more popularity. Few prominent features are getting eloped while some mediocre looking attributes are receiving recognition. Earlier, workflows were considered as the heart of any CMS system but now there’s less attention on complex workflows. Instead, the focus has been shifted to search engine friendliness. The presence of data in the form suited for SEO is the key thing. Comfortable authoring and ease at integration are other prompt factors.

Commercializing Open Source Products is redefining CMS market. With Acquia releasing commercial Drupal, this concept is gaining momentum. It puts up some more add-ons and the new tool has become Acquia Drupal, which acts just like any commercial product. This initiation is just a pattern and many players are moving towards the same direction. Magnolia too provides commercial solution to its Open Source CMS with the same name.

WCMS in the form of SaaS could be the next revolution in this arena. Some players are already looking into this space. They are working with other companies who deal in this business. The idea is to sell CMS as a web solution and this is getting some serious notice.

Single point solution to several technical hurdles is another emerging concept. Customers are looking for a single point solution to problems like web analytics, search, portal, etc. It is little complex to maintain different tools for different requirements. Also, organizations want to cut down the resource / tool cost.

Changes in the web environment will surely affect the CMS implementation. It is likely to bend towards the new concepts / demand.

October 21, 2008 at 10:29 am Leave a comment

Seach Engine Optimization – I

With the growing popularity of Internet we can see the spread of websites across boundaries. Search Engines are chocked up with the never ending flow of upcoming websites. People are using different methodologies to make sure that they put up their information ahead of others. Tremendous growth and huge amount of data is becoming a challenge for new age Search Engines. They are trying some smart ways to show relevant websites on TOP of search results. One of their smart ways to decide the ranking of websites is Link Popularity Management. This is one of the major deciding factors in the ranking algorithms of many popular search engines.

To achieve high ranking in Link Popularity Management, websites need to execute a robust Link Building Campaign. There are many things which empower link building campaign. Some of them could be, open source releases, guest blogging, text link ads, publication on social networking sites, etc. Relevance of links is another factor for consideration.

Before going for strategic planning for link building, let’s understand some basics of link. There are two parts of a link.

– URL (Uniform Resource Locator) – Web address of the page.
– Anchor Text – Visible Text which points to the web address.

For example Google Mail (Anchor Text) can point to an address like http://mail.google.com (URL).

Here, “Google Mail” is the anchor text and it is one of the key elements of link building and getting a high page rank.

After formulation of link, let’s understand how many types of link can occur on Internet. There are two broad categories of links, inbound and outbound. Inbound links are links which are posted on some other website and gives a pointer to your website while the outbound links are the links which are posted on your website and gives a pointer to another website. Webmasters generally have an understanding to put links on their websites. Like, webmaster of “website A” will put link for “website B” while webmaster of “website B” will put link for “website A”. It means they are exchanging links for getting higher page rank. This agreement is called reciprocal. New age search engines are smart enough to understand this and they don’t give much relevance to links which are reciprocal in nature. So, at the time of link building we need to consider this as we don’t go for reciprocal links. It won’t suffice any objective. Though, in some of the cases they can still be useful if the page comes under the category of an important web page.

The next aspect of link building campaign is to build more natural links and avoid putting artificial links. This is applicable when we go for submission of our website address to different web directories. There are many differences which act as a deciding factor to search engines. Like, natural links will have different anchor names at different locations but artificial links will have same anchor text. Natural links will grow gradually while artificial links will suddenly grow in a great extent. So, be careful while going to web directories.

Few other aspects are also important to consider before submitting your website to web directories. Relevant Titles, Keywords, and Descriptions are very important. Title becomes anchor texts which are crucial because search engines utilize anchors to decide the relevance of the link. You should also avoid using advertising words like “the best”, “leading”, “leader”, “world’s leading”, etc. You should also avoid writing them in CAPS letter. These sound very small while developing a website but they become very crucial when we plan for SEO.

I’ll keep on updating this blog with my research.

October 3, 2008 at 6:36 am Leave a comment

Maven : Accumulator of Knowledge – To Build a Project

Maven, a Yiddish word meaning accumulator of knowledge, was originally started as an attempt to simplify the build processes in the Jakarta Turbine project. There were several projects each with their own Ant build files that were all slightly different and JARs were checked into CVS. There’s came a need for a standard way to build the projects, a clear definition of what the project consisted of, an easy way to publish project information and a way to share JARs across several projects.

The result was a tool that can now be used for building and managing any Java-based project. It can create something that will make the day-to-day work of Java developers easier and generally help with the comprehension of any Java-based project.

Maven’s Objectives

Maven’s primary goal is to allow a developer to comprehend the complete state of a development effort in the shortest period of time. In order to attain this goal there are several areas of concern that Maven attempts to deal with:

• Making the build process easy
• Providing a uniform build system
• Providing quality project information
• Providing guidelines for best practices development
• Allowing transparent migration to new features

Feature Summary

The following are the key features of Maven in a nutshell:

• Simple project setup that follows best practices – get a new project or module started in seconds
• Consistent usage across all projects means no ramp up time for new developers coming onto a project
• Superior dependency management including automatic updating, dependency closures (also known as transitive dependencies)
• Able to easily work with multiple projects at the same time
• A large and growing repository of libraries and metadata to use out of the box, and arrangements in place with the largest Open Source projects for real-time availability of their latest releases
• Extensible, with the ability to easily write plugins in Java or scripting languages
• Instant access to new features with little or no extra configuration
• Ant tasks for dependency management and deployment outside of Maven
• Model based builds: Maven is able to build any number of projects into predefined output types such as a JAR, WAR, or distribution based on metadata about the project, without the need to do any scripting in most cases.
• Coherent site of project information: Using the same metadata as for the build process, Maven is able to generate a web site or PDF including any documentation you care to add, and adds to that standard reports about the state of development of the project. Examples of this information can be seen at the bottom of the left-hand navigation of this site under the “Project Information” and “Project Reports” submenus.
• Release management and distribution publication: Without much additional configuration, Maven will integrate with your source control system such as CVS and manage the release of a project based on a certain tag. It can also publish this to a distribution location for use by other projects. Maven is able to publish individual outputs such as a JAR, an archive including other dependencies and documentation, or as a source distribution.
• Dependency management: Maven encourages the use of a central repository of JARs and other dependencies. Maven comes with a mechanism that your project’s clients can use to download any JARs required for building your project from a central JAR repository much like Perl’s CPAN. This allows users of Maven to reuse JARs across projects and encourages communication between projects to ensure that backward compatibility issues are dealt with. We are collaborating with the folks at Ibiblio who have graciously allowed the central repository to live on their servers.

Working with Maven

Maven is a Java tool, so you must have Java installed in order to proceed.

First, download Maven and follow the installation instructions. After that, type the following in a terminal or in a command prompt:

mvn –version

It should print out your installed version of Maven, for example:

Maven version: 2.0.8
Java version: 1.5.0_12
OS name: “windows 2003” version: “5.2” arch: “x86” Family: “windows”

Depending upon your network setup, you may require extra configuration. Check out the Guide to Configuring Maven if necessary.

Download Maven: http://maven.apache.org/download.html
Installation Instructions: http://maven.apache.org/download.html#Installation
Guide to Configure Maven: http://maven.apache.org/guides/mini/guide-configuring-maven.html

Creating a Project

On your command line, execute the following Maven goal:

mvn archetype:create -DgroupId=com.mycompany.app -DartifactId=my-app

If you have just installed Maven, it may take a while on the first run. This is because Maven is downloading the most recent artifacts (plugin jars and other files) into your local repository. You may also need to execute the command a couple of times before it succeeds. This is because the remote server may time out before your downloads are complete. Don’t worry; there are ways to fix that.

You will notice that the create goal created a directory with the same name given as the artifactId. Change into that directory.

cd my-app

Under this directory you will notice the following standard project structure.

my-app
|– pom.xml
`– src
|– main
| `– java
| `– com
| `– mycompany
| `– app
| `– App.java
`– test
`– java
`– com
`– mycompany
`– app
`– AppTest.java

The src/main/java directory contains the project source code, the src/test/java directory contains the test source, and the pom.xml is the project’s Project Object Model, or POM.

The POM

The pom.xml file is the core of a project’s configuration in Maven. It is a single configuration file that contains the majority of information required to build a project in just the way you want. The POM is huge and can be daunting in its complexity, but it is not necessary to understand all of the intricacies just yet to use it effectively. This project’s POM is:

<project xmlns="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
  xsi:schemaLocation="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0 http://maven.apache.org/xsd/maven-4.0.0.xsd">
  <modelVersion>4.0.0</modelVersion>
  <groupId>com.mycompany.app</groupId>
  <artifactId>my-app</artifactId>
  <packaging>jar</packaging>
  <version>1.0-SNAPSHOT</version>
  <name>Maven Quick Start Archetype</name>
  <url>http://maven.apache.org</url>
  <dependencies>
    <dependency>
      <groupId>junit</groupId>
      <artifactId>junit</artifactId>
      <version>3.8.1</version>
      <scope>test</scope>
    </dependency>
  </dependencies>
</project>

August 4, 2008 at 11:16 am 3 comments

ANDROID : Unveil it on Mobile

What is Android?

Android is a software platform and operating system for mobile devices based on the Linux operating system. It is developed by “The Open Handset Alliance”, a group of more than 30 technology and mobile companies. It is the first complete, open, and free mobile platform which is supported by Google. In fact Google is working with the Open Handset Alliance in this project.

Android Logo

Android Logo

It allows developers to write managed code in a Java-like language that utilizes Google-developed Java libraries, but does not support programs developed in native code.

History

In July 2005, Google acquired Android Inc., a small startup company based in Palo Alto, CA. Android’s co-founders who went to work at Google included Andy Rubin (co-founder of Danger), Rich Miner (co-founder of Wildfire Communications, Inc), Nick Sears (once VP at T-Mobile), and Chris White (one of the first engineers at WebTV). At the time, little was known about the functions of Android Inc. other than they made software for mobile phones.

At Google, the team, led by Rubin, developed a Linux-based mobile device OS which they marketed to handset makers and carriers on the premise of providing a flexible, upgradeable system. It was reported that Google had already lined up a series of hardware component and software partners and signaled to carriers that it was open to various degrees of cooperation on their part.

The unveiling of the Android platform on 5 November 2007 was announced with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 34 hardware, software and telecom companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices. Google has pledged to make most of the Android platform available under the Apache free-software and open-source license, once it is released in 2008.

Android Architecture

Important URLs

Open Handset Alliance: http://www.openhandsetalliance.com/

Documentation: http://code.google.com/android/documentation.html

Download the SDK: http://code.google.com/android/download.html

Details on Architecture: http://code.google.com/android/what-is-android.html .

Developer’s Place: http://www.openhandsetalliance.com/developers.html

July 29, 2008 at 11:44 am 1 comment


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