WordPress Review

My latest Free Software Magazine newsletter article is on WordPress – a package I use quite a lot for my own blogging.The article is part of the newsletter series on Hosting Service open source software. Read on for my thoughts on what makes WordPress so appealing to hosting services.

Cheffy goes live!

Over the years many of you will have heard me mention things like Foodware, Cheffy and Foodies. All names for essentially the same thing, a recipe site that does more than just provide you with a simple way of finding recipes. Today, 18th December, we went live and we (Suna and myself) would like you to be among the first to visit and try out the site. The basics of the site are simple; you can search by ingredients, diet, nutrition, a whole range of keywords and you can combine all of this to pick out exactly the recipes you want. When you find the recipe you want, the recipe is fully scalable, up and down, and you can view in any of the available measurements to suit your preferences. All recipes include full nutritional information, calories, and even the glycemic load and index for each and every recipe. At the moment we also provide customized viewing preferences (sort order, measurements and quantities), your own cookbook and shopping list functionality. The site is still officially in beta, but consider the bulk of the site and functionality (as advertised) to be complete and working. We do, of course, appreciate feedback and bug reports on anything that you find that doesn’t look right. Waiting in the wings, there’s a meal planner, recipe ratings, comments and the ability to add your own recipes – all with full nutrition and searching capabilities from the moment you add it to the database. Please visit the site: http://cheffy.comWe also have a blog where we are asking for comments in input at http://blog.cheffy.com. Please feel free to contact me or use the contact form on the sites to convey your views. And meanwhile, spread the word!

Develop SQL databases with Eclipse, SQLExplorer, and Clay

Robi Sen, friend and fellow IBM developerWorks author, has written a great piece on using SQL databases from within Eclipse. He’s done a great job on what was originally my idea and outline but which I just didn’t have the time to carry forward when the proposal was approved by IBM. The tutorial covers the use of SQLExplorer (my favourite interface) and Clay (which I admit I’ve probably never extracted the best from because I don’t have time to devote to it at the moment). From Robi’s own intro:

Learn how to use Eclipse and the SQLExplorer plug-in to connect to any database that supports a JDBC driver. These tools allow you to view database schemas, view table data, add and edit table data, and write, edit, and execute SQL. You will also learn how to use Azzurri Clay to create Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERDs), reverse-engineer databases, add tables, edit tables, delete tables, edit relationships, add indexes, and change your underlying data model into different SQL dialects.

If you do any sort of database development using Eclipse you should at least check out the article and better still, add the plug-ins to your environment.

Apache 2.2.0: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Apache 2.2.0 is out and ServerWatch asked me to do a quick write up of the main features and some thoughts on whether you should upgrade to the latest version. I’ll leave my recommendations for the article, but if you use Apache 2.2.0 for serving websites, and even more importantly if you develop Apache modules and components, then you should check out the article to find out the realy differences between the previous stable release and the new one.

Understanding LAMP

I spend a lot of time working with LAMP technology and telling people how to make the best of the LAMP stack. But you’d be surprised about how many people don’t really understand what the LAMP stack actually is. The reality of course is that it is many things to many people – some consider the LAMP stack to be a development environment, others a deployment environment. Some also confuse the technologies in use. Some take LAMP to mean PHP, others Perl, others Python. The truth of course is that all of these are technically correct. I’ve gone into more detail through this article at ServerWatch. LAMP is just one of a number of similar acronyms for development deployment environments based on some of these technologies, and I cover some of those acronyms in the article as well.