XtGem Blog

MyWibes, Containers and more!


A number of weeks ago MyWibes users were informed that the service was shutting down. In light of those news, we have gotten in touch with their staff and offered to continue hosting MyWibes accounts on our servers and integrate them into our building tool, to ensure that the sites remain available in the future and users can continue to maintain them. We have completed the move and MyWibes users will be glad to know that they can now login into their sites via http://xtgem.com/mywibes

In other news, we have a meaty update for XtGem planned within the next few weeks. Namely: Updated site templating, container support and a completely rewritten markup parser.

Color preset preview

Markup parser is the core technology of XtGem, providing the link between the building tool and text editor. Current parser, while does it's job, has not aged well - it has been in use since the very first day of XtGem. More advanced XtGem users are well aware of it's negative nuances - having to use the text editor exclusively to ensure that the building tool does not mess up their markup. Those same users will be very happy to hear that, after a lot of careful planning, we have rewritten it from scratch. Once it is deployed into production, building tool and text editor will work in harmony and you will not have to worry about losing code indentation, whitespace or, in extreme cases, code.
Since this is an update to a very critical part of XtGem, we will be running a beta test to make sure that it works as expected and we have the opportunity to squash the remaining bugs. Keep an eye out on XtBoard for more information once it becomes available!

This updated parser has allowed us to expand the functionality of the building tool as well - and the very first thing that we focused on is container support. Containers are basically separate builder blocks that can contain blocks within themselves. They allow for a better separation of page sections - for example you might want to have a container for header elements, another one for navigation items and the third one for page content. You will be able to collapse them and have complex content hierarchies, which will speed up content maintenance by a lot.
But we did not stop there! XtGem will be able to recognize block context from the parent container and support blocks that are specific to it. You will, for example, be able to create a navigation container and add navigation items to it, or set up a gallery container and add images to it using a dedicated UI.

Containers

Given the support for more markup structures and blocks, we have spent the past couple of months working on another huge feature - updated site templates.
Currently site templates simply apply a basic CSS file to the whole site - which works fine, but leaves something to be desired. Updated site templates will be a lot more sophisticated, providing professional-quality look, vast configuration options and device-specific functionality. You will be able to tweak template look on the fly (or choose from a bunch of predefined presets) and XtGem will generate cross-device-compatible markup and CSS - including appropriate containers, stylesheets and code that will make your site work on a variety of devices, from feature phones to smartphones to desktop browsers. Site templates and containers will launch shortly after the updated parser hits production.

Color preset editing

We are very fortunate to get as much feedback and suggestions as we do. Since adding support for PHP, some of the most-requested features were FTP and MySQL support. I won't disclose the specifics yet, but assure you that we are currently testing various ways to implement these two technologies into XtGem. Stay tuned! ;)

-605 comments Post comment Version for printing
6Osbl5LGjq @ 13 08 31 - 11:19:18
'use a queue'. You'd think the fact they can treat it as JMS and not have to deal with JDBC at all would be a plus point.2nd best : Querying a large data set into objects and then looping over the set to filter them into a second set because you don't know how to do it in SQL.3rd best : 'Databases are slow' or something to that effect. A myth that presumably comes out of 'making a call to the database is slow'.4. 'Feature X doesn't work'. In 1997. So we will never ever use it.5. Let's store this bit of data in an XML file 'to save going to the database'. Then let's decide to query a value from hundreds of these XML files. Why is the program going slow? Why is it taking time to access even one file - hmm, because you've got tens of thousands of files in one directory and your file system isn't indexed so you're getting an n/2 search (probably worse if the bias is to recent files)? But we all know that storing data in flat files is faster than a database!And yes, I've seen the manual locking thing too (which came out of the era when we had some hot OO designers who were very insistent that a database is basically a clever file storage aka object persistence mechanism. You definitely don't want to use anything like integrity constraints. What you want to do is write an integrity suite to check the data integrity as a batch job).Oh, and I can't forget the fact that J2EE developers went with JDBC rather than a SQL-J style syntax (I can understand the reasons - i.e. portability - but the end result is code is still non-portable, the issues are just hidden in text strings. I'm sure the other approach could have been explored - i.e. standardising a spec for an interface the Java compiler could use to validate SQL).Yes, let's make a huge deal out of the type safety of our language, then make sure that large sections of our apps are uncompilable (JDBC, JSP pages, the masses of XML config files used - because you wouldn't want to store config on a database). (I had the 'bind variable' discussion a couple of months back too, which our Java friend tried to tell me sounded like a bug in Oracle . . .).And you know what, it's still way less safe or productive a language than ADA - let alone PL/SQL's anchored type declaration. (The fact that Java developers are excited about Hibernate says it all).But that's another rant - the one about how low-level languages 'win', because they get the ideological backing that higher level - aka business level - languages don't. Even when 95% of the time you're shuffling records around, not doing socket based comms. Also Java had the support of C++ developers while C++ had the support of C developers in the way that Smalltalk never did. home insurance quotes life insurance quotes
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YdFviY6UO @ 13 09 01 - 19:42:22
anything in defense. Upfront, I would like to say that I am a contractor and I bill hourly. For the last 5 out of 7 years, I worked as a contractor for one of the top software development consultancy firms in US. They would hire JAVA/VB/ASP developers and then expect them to write top quality SQL, PL/SQL code. The contractors were given n hours to write a stored procedure and in those n hours, the business requirements changed more than once. Most of the times, the business requirement changes were conveyed to the contractors after the code was finalized and then they were under the gun to get the code changed and tested quickly. The contractors worked 12-14 hours days+weekends without getting paid for it. There was no code review policy either by peers or by anyone. If the code returns the desired results, just send it into production. Tuning can be done later. This was all the attitude of project management staff who were employees of that company and got paid big money. If a contractor did not comply, he/she was fired promptly. As a result, the code was functional but could not be called quality code. If I post code snippets, everyone will beat their heads against the wall. I do not blame any contractor for writing such poor code. They did not have the skills to do it in the first place; they did whatever best was possible in the time frame allocated to them by the project management. They were not given any time for tuning the code no code review policy was in place.Before blaming bad code on contractors, ask the following questions:a) Who hired the contractors? Did he make sure that the contractors have the right skill sets? Is the project manager expecting application design from a contractor hired as a coder?b) Did anyone do a code review? What are the organization's coding/code review standards? Is there any time allocated for performance tuning in the project plans?For the last one year+, I am working as a contractor in a place where, if the contractors were to leave, the entire operation would come to a standstill within a week. Just remember, contractors always work for someone else and are governed by how that organization works. Most times, they bring more to the table than the regular employees since a contractor has his professional reputation at stake. An employee performing badly will have a poor review. He may not get a raise. A contractor will not get the next project if he gets a bad reference from his project managers. auto insurance quotes best life insurance comparison
woYWDh9j @ 13 09 02 - 14:08:52
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BZEBt0kCWBmF @ 13 09 21 - 21:18:18
To Anon, above me. The main difference in borrowing a book from a friend or library and downloading an illegal file is that you can't attach the borrowed book to an email and send it out to everyone you know. Even moderate spread of a work would directly damage sales for the author. Viral spread could be devastating. Unlike a library book, everyone who downloads the file now „owns“ it. The number one reason people buy books they've already read is the need to own the material and continue to collect the author. As the illegal file does not erase after a set time or have to be returned it has the „owner“ factor built in and hurts author revenue.I'm not saying that some who download the file won't in fact later buy the book. I'm saying the majority won't and the result would keep new authors and mid-listers from rising in sales, and make top sellers more reluctant to share their work in new forms. car insurance free quotes
Andreawan @ 13 09 22 - 17:15:19
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