Archive for April, 2009

Security basics

SecuritySecurity is an issue on every level of communication. If you order a bread at the bakery you pay and receive your bread. This face to face approach doesn’t really need any security. What does it matter if your neighbor, in line next to you, overhears you ordering a bread and sees you pay as long as you get your bread? But what if this would be done online and it involves not a bread but a loan or a transfer from your savings account? You wouldn’t want a John Doe messing with the data you need to communicate with your bank, would you? Read the rest of this entry »

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Find the differences

Spot differences city pictureComparing files is something developers do every once in a while. For example, comparing configuration files to see what is different in the other environment or compare programming files to see what has changed in the source code. Implementations of text comparison algorithms are therefore widespread and used in several fields. For instance, in blogs and content managements systems, one might need to know what was altered in an update of a text (in cms like systems) or a programmer in a team would like to see what changed in the source code (svn). Also a lot of (combined) search, spell checking, speech recognition and plagiarism detection software compare texts (strings) in a certain way. This article covers the Levenshtein distance algorithm and how to use it to indicate alterations to texts. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ratings, Ranks and Scores

Rater 2.0Recovered from the ancient spelunks of about two years ago, the somewhat popular Rater is back. When this rating widget was first released, it soon got attention from all over the world. Now, after the eDesign server crash, this JavaScript rating control is reinstated.

Rater 2.0 can be used to have your website visitors assign scores to subjects in nice intuitive way. You then will be able to rank subjects by popularity, quality or anything you make the rater about. You probably have seen more of these rating widgets. When watching a video on Youtube for instance you can assign “stars” to it to rate the video. You can check out the example page of Rater 2.0 to see the diversity in its appearance and functional possibilities. Custom configurations can be made using the Rater 2.0 API page.

Currently Rater 2.0 is a Prototype based control, optionally with Scriptaculous. As the web is evolving, so should eDesign. Therefor MooTools and jQuery versions of Rater are expected by the end of May 2009.

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