Thursday Thirteen #12

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

13 Things Mark Caldwell uses to make the web work that don’t cost money
Scarily I’ve now been building web sites for a living for ten years. I get asked by friends who need or want a web site to help them. Here are a few of the free things you can use or may be using already without realising it.

  1. Linux and Apache. A web site needs a web server running on an operating system and this pairing has become very popular.
  2. HTML and CSS. Where would the web be without these two easy to learn mark up languages? Gopher? Gopher Holes?
  3. JPEG, GIF and PNG. One of the things that helped HTML win over the alternatives: it allowed pictures to be easily included.
  4. Perl and PHP. In the early days it was Perl was the gaffer tape that held the web together. I used to write a lot of Perl. PHP took over as it was better suited to the job. I’d now say PHP’s Smarty templating engine as one of the technologies that will keep the web moving. I just wish it had appeared earlier. My life would have been a lot easier.
  5. MySQL. This has become the ubiquitous database for web work. I spend most of my time working on Oracle Databases. I know that makes me odd.
  6. RSS and Atom. Want to syndicate your content? These two have become the syndicators equivalent of HTML. Now with Yahoo pipes and Widgetbox these are getting even more useful than just subscribing a feed reader.
  7. Google Analytics and Analogue. Analogue has been around for a long time. If you’ve done log file analysis it’s not a bad tool. Google Analytics works by visitor tracking. Web sites used to pay thousands of pounds a year for this. So Google gave it us free. Thank you Google.
  8. phpBB. Need a web forum? phpBB has become the forum and it’s pretty easy to set up.
  9. Drupal, Mambo, Joomla, WordPress etc. There are lots of free (often PHP and MySQL based) content management systems out there that are getting easier to set up and easier to use. With these the web will be a place anyone can create a web site without too much difficulty.
  10. Web Chat. There are several web based chat rooms packages you can set up for yourself. I use phpFreeChat. Just the one I happen to like.
  11. Yahoo, Alta Vista and Google. Search engines let us find stuff. If they didn’t the web would have collapsed in on itself a long time ago. There was a time before Google. Shocking I know. A time when we turned to Alta Vista to organise the web or before that to Yahoo directory.
  12. Web Services. Be it Web 2.0 social networking – MySpace, Facebook, Blogger and all the others. Free web e-mail Hotmail, Gmail and Merseymail. Free web hosting (well they’ve come and gone and now a new wave of them seems to be appearing). Information sites like Wikipedia and Squidoo. Forums like Renderosity and Cornucopia 3D. The list goes on and on. Some succeed others fail.
  13. W3C. Where would we be without the World Wide Web Consortium gently steering the ship in the right direction? They don’t just tell us how HTML shoud work they give us handy tools including the validators and tools to help us make sure it all works.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. dew
2. Jerry
3. Friday’s Child
4. PJ
5. Gabriella Hewitt
6. Thomma Lyn
7. Wylie Kinson
8. Susan Helene Gottfried
9. Margie
10. JHS
11. Starrlight
12. Di
13. DK Raymer
14. sasha
15. pussreboots
16. Raggedy
17. Tilly Greene
18. Fence
19. Karina
20. YellowRose
21. Lesley Speller
22. Mymsie
23. Christine d’Abo
24. MamaLee
25. Janet
26. Tink
27. Kristi

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Leave a Comment

26 Responses to Thursday Thirteen #12

Mark Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

Dear Anonymous would you say I have more or less credibility than someone who leaves an unsubstantiated comment without their own name on a blog and who didn't actually both to read my post? I wasn't recomending hotmail I was suggesting that free web apps (which hotmail is) can be useful tools. Personally I prefer Gmail but Hotmail is still pretty much the biggest free online e-mail service.

Again does that make me or you less credible I wonder?

Anonymous Monday, June 4th, 2007

You lose all credibility for listing Hotmail as a reasonable email provider. You should know better.

Sophisticated Writer Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

I have so much yet to learn, Mark. Still, I'm sure I've used many of those :)

Kristi Friday, June 1st, 2007

Great tips!

Happy TT. :)

Tink Friday, June 1st, 2007

Interesting stuff, I didn't know them all. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for visiting my blue moon TT.

Janet Friday, June 1st, 2007

I know a bit of HTML, I know what jpeg, gif and png is, I use RSS feeds, and I've heard of Linux, Apache, CSS and wordpress. The rest? Foreign language ;-)

Christine Thursday, May 31st, 2007

I know what most of these things are. I also know I'm not qualified to create anything worth wile with them LOL! That's why I have smart friends. :)

Lesley Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Oh how I love google! Let me count the ways!!! Google is my hero! Especially google analytics! I check it all the time! Yes, I know I have a sickness... *goes to hide in her geekgirl corner*

YellowRose Thursday, May 31st, 2007

I found this TT quite interesting! I have taught myself alot of what I know about programing, etc, so I am always looking for new info! I'm still a novice in my opinion, but that's ok, learning is fun!!! ;)

Thanks!! Happy TT!

Karina Thursday, May 31st, 2007

I'll probably be printing this list out and saving it for later use...I consider myself pretty computer literate, but the programming stuff still gets me all confused!!!

Fence Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Read through your list nodding. Yup, use it, use it, and use it. Okay, so don't use them all, but nearly ;)

Happy T13

Tilly Greene Thursday, May 31st, 2007

I do a few of those and they aren't too difficult, although I'm sure I'm not getting everything out of them I would if a professional was involved. Outside of work, I am addicted to RSS - bloglines - what would I do without it to feed my need for immediate and easy to find silly bits of news!

Raggedy Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Great tips. Thank you for sharing them with us.
Terrific Thursday Thirteen!
My TT is posted.
Have a wonderful day!
Happy TT'ing!
(")_ (")Å 

pussreboots Thursday, May 31st, 2007

August 2 will mark my 10th anniversary in the biz too. Great list. Happy TT.

DK Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Great list; thanks for the terrific info! Also wanted to let you know I loved your bird list so much last week, I did one of my own this week. See what you started.:)
Have a Happy Thursday!

Di Thursday, May 31st, 2007

You lost me in the first few...and I am considered somewhat of a computer geek amongst my soccer mom friends!

Starrlight Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Geek Ole!

Dunno, it just came out :P

Margaret Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Ahhh, building websites. Sometimes you'll find yourself typing code and working with CSS in your sleep if your not careful. Great info.

Susan Helene Gottfried Thursday, May 31st, 2007

PERL was the gaffer's tape!!! I'm HOWLING at that!!!!

Maybe you know why Google Analytics only picks up a THIRD of what Statcounter does??? Maybe?

Happy TT!

Wylie Kinson Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Your posts are always completely out of my intellectual realm (d'oh!) but I enjoy them anyway :)

Thomma Lyn Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Wow, great list of tools -- so informative and handy for our Web endeavors! I've used quite a few of those tools, but I still have a lot to learn.

Happy TT!

gabriella hewitt Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

You sound like your speaking a foreign language. Seriously, are there any books out there that explain a lot of this stuff to beginners? I feel so left behind and often am afraid of doing anything for fear of screwing up my website. So many people seem to "know" about this stuff and I wonder how I can join the club. *grin*

Happy TT.

PJ Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

I've used a lot of those tools in my time, and they're all so useful. It's amazing how many free resources are online. Happy TT.

FRIDAY'S CHILD Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Great tips. Thanks for sharing it.
My T13 is up too.

Jerry Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

I started in asp, moved to PHP, still wish MySQL would mature just a bit more.

HTML and CSS, I used to write them both in Notepad, but then I started doing this in '96.

You missed out if you never played with hardcore C based .cgi :D

Dewey Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

I bet we all use at least half of those! Hard to blog without them, huh? Sometimes when I stop and think how different my daily life is with the internet from how it used to be before, it's just surreal.

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