Nokia Offers Free User Experience Evaluation for Mobile Apps

I received the email below from the Nokia Developer Launchpad team. If you are building an app for either the Series 40, Symbian or MeeGo platforms, Nokia is offering to review your mobile app to help increase the user experience. It looks like there are only 40 reviews available, so you better contact Nokia asap if you want your app reviewed.

Here are the important pieces of the Nokia offer:

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Upcoming Panel on The Future of PHP

On November 17, Engine Yard will host a discussion around the future of PHP. Engine Yard describes the event, “If you are a PHP developer using PEAR and Pyrus, we invite you to join us this week as we explore the future of PEAR and Pyrus. We’ll be discussing issues such as where PEAR/Pyrus will be going in the next few years, what obstacles may be on the horizon, and how they’re going to get where they’re going.”

One of the panelists is Till Klamp├Ąckel who many of you know as one of the people who worked with HTMLCenter for many years. Till also just published a book (in German) about the database service CouchDB which you can purchase on Amazon.de.

The panel is free, will be streamed live and the panel will take questions via Twitter. If you are interested, you can register for the event here.

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HP Says TouchPads are Gone

Earlier this evening, HP sent out an email message saying that they are finally officially out of TouchPads. I didn’t even realize they had gotten the final batch in stock; but, apparently they did, and those are now gone. Following is the text of the email they sent:

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Viddler Waves Good-Bye to Personal Accounts

Viddler, a service that aspired to be a stand-out competitor to other video hosting services like YouTube and Vimeo, announced yesterday that, effective immediately, they are going to stop allowing users to sign up for their free personal accounts. All existing personal users of Viddler will be able to maintain their accounts (for the time being, at least), but all future registrations will have to be premium accounts. Following is the announcement that was sent out to existing personal account holders:

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Adjusting Cross-Domain Analytics Data

Anyone that’s used Google Analytics to track cross-domain requests has probably run up against the fact that Analytics adds some really ugly GET variables to the end of your URLs when you click on links. Not only are they ugly, but they also can stop things like WP Super Cache from caching your pages. We also found that the query string appended by Google Analytics was causing server errors when appended to the URLs of some of our hosted apps.

There is a little-publicized feature in Analytics, though, that lets you change the query string into a hash string. Therefore, instead of having some long, ugly string that can mess things up (and, to be honest, long, confusing query strings can sometimes scare users); you get a long, ugly hash appended to the URL, instead (which has no effect on the way the page is rendered, and, therefore, doesn’t mess up nearly as many things).

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WordPress: A Tip About WP Super Cache

First of all, let me apologize for having been so absent over the last few weeks. As you may or may not have heard already, we just launched the new website at University of Mary Washington, and things have been hectic trying to put the final pieces into place.

One of those final pieces was to get WP Super Cache up and running on the site, in order to keep our server from overloading. When we first launched, I didn’t realize that we didn’t have the plugin configured properly, and our various plugins and theme functions really started to drag things to a crawl.

After doing a lot of digging and debugging, I found that WP Super Cache was ignoring cached files throughout our server because they all included GET variables.

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Handling One Radio Button With JavaScript

Today, I discovered an issue that I have probably encountered in the past; but it’s been so long I forgot about it. I had some JavaScript set up to select a radio button based on text input, and then update the text based on the selected radio button (it’s a TinyMCE plugin that inserts a shortcode into the WordPress visual editor). Throughout all of the testing I performed, everything worked just fine. Today, though, someone else was testing the interface and could not get the text or the radio button to update properly.

After a bit of testing and messing around with the interface, I finally discovered that my JavaScript wasn’t recognizing the existence of the radio button on the form. After a bit more testing, I realized that’s because only one radio button existed; and JavaScript doesn’t treat radio buttons as arrays when there’s only one instance. When I had been testing before, I had multiple radio buttons, so everything worked; but now there was only one button, so it fell over.

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Setting up WordPress MU Domain Mapping on GoDaddy

I recently worked with a client to help move a GoDaddy “WebsiteTonight” website into WordPress. In the process, I recommended that she turn her existing WordPress website into a multisite installation, set up her second site as another site in that install, and then set up domain mapping to give each of the websites a separate domain name.

This setup allows her to login a single time, and be able to switch back and forth between the sites to perform edits. It also makes it simpler to manage plugins, update WordPress and keep the theme consistent between the two sites.

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Some WordPress Gallery Features You Might Not Know About

The other day, I was playing around with the WordPress [

] shortcode, and came across the need to exclude an image that was attached to the page. The image I needed to exclude was kind of like a featured image, and I didn’t want it to appear again in the gallery itself. So, I searched for information about excluding images from the WordPress [

] shortcode, and came across the related WordPress Codex article.

While reading that article, I noticed a handful of features I’d never known about in that particular shortcode. After all, I always basically assumed that the options WordPress gives you when inserting a gallery were probably the only options that were available.

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Google Launches Initial Google+ API

googleGoogle’s latest attempt at social networking, Google+, now has a new first-cut at a developer API. The Google+ Platform blog has info on the release of the new API.

Startup blogger Robert Scoble put together a list of some of the feedback on the new API – it seems the reaction is mixed. RSS creator Dave Winer says Google “doesn’t get it”. Why am I surprised that a company who has a VP, Bradley Horowitz, post on Twitter that he only cares about Twitter users with over 100,000 followers might not fully understand how to promote a new API to developers?

The Google Plus team notes that they are using the follow existing standards and best practices where they can:

  • Our API methods are RESTful HTTP requests which return JSON responses.
  • Our payload formats use standard syntax (e.g. PoCo for people info, ActivityStrea.ms for activities).
  • We use OAuth 2 for secure trusted access to user data.

The Google Plus API is located here if you want to start to play with it.

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