Common Reasons Errors and Problems Occur on Websites and Web Applications.

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So many times people ask me why something breaks on a website. They immediately want to attack the programming / programmer and sometimes forget that it takes a small village to run a website. There are also external factors such as external services, buggy client software, non-updated browsers, viruses and malware, etc. that can cause issues with websites.

The most interesting thing this chart points out is that while there is only once clear channel to move through for a success, there are several points of failure that can cause users to experience problems. One of the most common of those, which is never thought of, is that users sometimes don’t understand the scope of the task they are trying to accomplish. This causes one of two things to happen:

1) A user asks for a feature that isn’t needed.
2) A user believes a problem occurs when it doesn’t.
3) A user causes a problem because of something not being right with settings or something on the device.

With the above chart this could simplify explaining this to a customer, a boss, or anyone else that asks the questions such as “Why do things break when nothing has been changed?”.

Roundcube for your Debian Squeeze Mail Server

I am a big fan of the workaround.org “ISPmail tutorial” for setting up mail servers. It works pretty good and is usually pretty detailed and to be honest, I’ve been using it for years to configure my mail servers under Debian Linux. After migrating to squeeze the first time, I just used the tutorials “Migrating from the Lenny” section to update my server.

I’ve always loved roundcube as well and even in the early days found myself stopping the tutorial and configuring my own copy of roundcube. The new tutorial actually makes mention of roundcube so I was excited when I got the opportunity to configure a new mail server. The only disheartening thing was that the mail server tutorial for squeeze isn’t finished to the point where it talks about roundcube configuration. I’ve set it up many times so I thought I’d try to use the generic debian apt packages and go ahead and document my steps along the way. Here we go…
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Aggregating RSS Feeds

Pull from several RSS feeds on a high traffic site for too long and you’ll wonder if there is a better way. Fortunately for you there is. Aggregating your RSS feeds solves several problems for both you and the source of the RSS. First it reduces the bandwidth required from both the source site and your site. Imagine a site that gets several requests per hour. Now imagine this site pulling from another site via RSS every time that a client loads the page. The result is the same data getting pulled over and over again. There is a better way!
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A beginners guide to programming

I read a lot of tutorials on the Internet. One thing that always fascinates me is the large amounts of tutorials for programmers in the intermediate and advanced stages. Some are on the border of bad programming and I believe this has to do with the poor programming methods learned in the beginning. Simple things like code structure, even though it doesn’t seem like it at first, can drastically improve programming skills.
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Calendar Math

Calendars are sometimes the most difficult thing to design. I think the main reason is the complex set of variables that are needed to be handled. With each month comes a different number of days, a different starting day is always an obstacle too. Another difficult situation to some is the previous days in the first week (prior month) and then the days that are in the remaining days in the last week (next month’s days). Sometimes we tend to over think certain programming tasks. We think about how difficult it will be to figure all of these things out at once to make the perfect calendar. This leads me to the creation of this article, a simple way to use math to develop a calendar.
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