The World Wide Web Turns 20 Years Old

It was August 6, 1991, at a CERN facility in the Swiss Alps, when 36-year-old physicist Tim Berners-Lee published the first-ever website. It was, not surprisingly, a pretty basic one… Source: 20 Years Ago Today: The First Website Is Published – Wired.com.

Wow, 20 years of the WorldWideWeb (W3)!

First Web page circa 1992

Back in 1989, Tim Berners-Lee along with Robert Cailliau and some folks at CERN invented the World Wide Web. By 1991 they were sharing hypertext documents. By 1992 Stanford had a “web server.” In 1993 NCSA released Mosaic, a basic, but more sophisticated, browser for personal computers.

The original page changed often with updates of the project and eventually it was removed, but a copy of it was saved to the W3C website – http://www.w3.org/History/19921103-hypertext/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html circa 1992 version – as a historical document.

The first web page address was http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html, which centred on information regarding the WWW project. Source: Welcome to info.cern.ch.

I’ve spent almost 15 years looking at WWW and HTML. By 1995 it was easy for anyone to download web server software and have it running a website. I would say things were a lot simpler back then, but in fact “times” are the same. Times and hypertext documents were much less sophisticated back in 1995. The technology grew to match the demand.

Even today I think it’s important to recognize the difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web. The Web is just one services using the Internet to transmit data. The Internet was around well before the Web.

The Web is not identical to the Internet; it is only one of the many Internet-based communication services. The relation between them may be understood by using the analogy with the global road system. On the Internet, as in the road system, three elements are essential: the physical connections (roads and cables), the common behaviour (circulation rules and Internet protocol) and the services (mail delivery and the WWW). Source: CERN – How the web works.

The Internet was “invented” or started in 1958 with the ARPA project. In 1983, it went global with the TCP/IP standard.

Un-Minimizing Attributes Written With PHP In TinyMCE

I think this is a “feature” of HH implementation of TinyMCE, but I noticed that the editor would “correct” my attributes when I wrote them properly in an PHP echo statement.

echo "<option value=\"$abc\" selected=\"selected\">$abc</option>\n";

would save as

echo "<option value=\"$abc\" selected="selected">$abc</option>\n";

which of course breaks PHP. No matter how I tried to trick it into using escaped quotes it always changed back to unescaped.

My solution was to use single quotes and concatenate the variables into the string:

echo '<option value="'.$abc.'" selected="selected">'.$abc.'</option>'."\n";

For your reference, here are the minimized attributes that will need this treatment:

HTML XHTML
compact compact=”compact”
checked checked=”checked”
declare declare=”declare”
readonly readonly=”readonly”
disabled disabled=”disabled”
selected selected=”selected”
defer defer=”defer”
ismap ismap=”ismap”
nohref nohref=”nohref”
noshade noshade=”noshade”
nowrap nowrap=”nowrap”
multiple multiple=”multiple”
noresize noresize=”noresize”

There should be a better way to do this. A lot of code is written the proper way in PHP and switching it is untenable.

End of Space Shuttle Program

STS-135 Last Shuttle Launch via Robert Scoble

Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour were their names and together they flew 135 missions, took 335 people into low earth orbit, flew 537,114,016 miles in orbit, launched and fixed Hubble Space Telescope, and helped construct the International Space Station. Fourteen people have died riding in shuttles.

Atlantis touched down just before 6 a.m. EDT on July 21, 2011, signaling the end of the space shuttle era, a program with 135 launches over 30 years and conceptual roots dating back to the Nixon administration. via NASA – Goddard Watches Atlantis’s Return.

I remember watching Columbia’s maiden voyage on live television in my 3rd grade classroom on April 12, 1981. I think President Reagan said a few words before hand to christen Columbia and the shuttle program.

There were two tragic accidents in the program’s 30 year history. Challenger exploded 73 seconds after takeoff on January 28, 1986. Columbia broke up over Texas and Louisiana during re-entry on February 1, 2003.

President Reagan changed his State of the Union speech on January 28, 1986, and remarked, “We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ to ‘touch the face of God.'” via NASA – President Reagan’s remarks following the loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger and her crew..

After Columbia’s accident, President Bush remarked, “This day has brought terrible news and great sadness to our country… The Columbia is lost; there are no survivors.”

#Happy4thofJuly and the Hacking of Fox News Twitter

Happy July 4th. I woke up and checked Twitter and what’s the first thing I see? A tweet from someone I trust:

I think FOX News and/or Twitter might want to clean this up a bit. http://bit.ly/msyMFL

The link points to the FOX News Twitter feed that shows the half-dozen or so tweets saying that President Obama had been killed.

Now, what do I do with sensational tweets? Verify! I checked Google News and found this – The Associated Press: Hacking on Fox News Twitter reports Obamas death. Tada! Mystery solved. Sensational tweets placed in the Recycle Bin.

So the lesson here kids: verify trending tweets that seem incredible – chances are they are uncredible. Oh, and, fireworks should only be played with by sober adults. #HappyJuly4th #Happy4thofJuly

Twitter helps airline passengers

Airlines are quickly learning that social media tools, particularly Twitter, can act as an excellent customer service channel. Source: Twitter is handy tool for airline passengers – CNN.com.

Here is a list of major passenger airline Twitter names:

Alaska Airlines: @AlaskaAir
American Airlines: @AmericanAir
Continental: @Continental
Delta: @DeltaAssist
Frontier: @flyfrontier
JetBlue: @JetBlue
Southwest: @SouthwestAir
United: @United
US Airways: @USAirways
Virgin America: @VirginAmerica

World IPv6 Day

June 8, 2011, is World IPv6 Day (source: Nerdiest Holiday Ever: World IPv6 Day). It might be frivolous to celebrate now, but wait a couple years (or months) and see what happens to IPv4. Here’s a clue, we’ve run out of IPv4 addresses – they’re all taken/owned by companies.

You can think of IPv6 in a couple ways. It’s like making the other 8 planets (yes I maintain Pluto is a planet) inhabitable when Earth runs out of livable space.

With IPv6 every IPv4 address could have it’s own IPv4 address.

While IPv4 allows 32 bits for an Internet Protocol address, and can therefore support 232 (4,294,967,296) addresses, IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses, so the new address space supports 2128 (approximately 340 undecillion or 3.4×1038
) addresses. Source: wikipedia | IPv6

Naked CSS Day 2011 [UPDATED]

Show off your <body> on April 9, 2011. This year they’re calling it Naked CSS Day and there’s more plugins, tools, and code than ever before to help web designers strip their sites of CSS – down to bare HTML.

This is not an April Fools joke. It’s real. Web geeks have been doing this since 2006. Look for the hashtag #cssnakedday on Twitter and make plans to go CSS-Naked on April 9.

Here’s the text from the Naked CSS Day website:

Where did the design go

The website you just came from is not broken, the owner of it has decided to participate in Naked CSS Day 2011! Naked CSS Day is a event that is held once per year to celebrate good & well planned design. The website you arrived from will be back to its normal styled state tomorrow. Keep calm and carry on.

What does that mean

The idea behind this event is to promote Web Standards. Plain and simple. This includes proper use of html, semantic markup, a good hierarchy structure, and of course, a good ‘ol play on words. It’s time to show off your <body> for what it really is.

How to Participate

Enter your email address to be alerted before April 9th of Naked CSS Day, this will give you time to get your name in our official list of participants.

Then on April 9th, simply remove all CSS from your website, stripping it entirely of its design.
Also, Developers, Some have suggested codes & scripts have been put together into a nice list.

Famous Words

“This is a fun idea, fully in line with the reasons for creating CSS in the first place.
While most designers are attracted by the extra presentational capabilities, saving HTML from becoming a presentational language
was probably a more important motivation for most people who participated in the beginning.” – Håkon Wium Lie

UPDATE:
It seems the site where I got the content for Naked CSS Day 2011 isn’t participating – ironic I know. But, there are a few around the world Tweeting about Naked CSS day.

 

How To Quickly Clean Up Your WordPress Database

I’m putting this post on my site because I’m tired of searching for the commands.

There are plugins that will clean up your WordPress wp_posts table, but if you have access to the database you can do this yourself.

Backup the Database

You should always make a backup copy of your database just in case something goes wrong. This is a “duh” – but it happens – and things can go wrong. You’ll be deleting records from a table so before you do, make a backup.

Run the DELETE Query

Run the following command on your database. If you have a shared host with a cPanel you probably have phpmyadmin which is your user interface to your MySQL database. WordPress usually installs in MySQL as wrdp. You want click on the right database for your WordPress install. Once you are in the right database you can run this query:

DELETE FROM wp_posts WHERE post_type = "revision";

This will delete all the revisions from WordPress. Just out of curiousity you might take a note of how much space the wp_posts table was taking up before and after running this query. That will tell you how much room you recovered.

Optionally, You Can OPTIMIZE

This step is optional. If you are sweating bullets right now after deleting 20,000 revision posts, you can skip this step.

Optimization “releases” the data you deleted from memory thus freeing memory. Its like delete puts data in the trashcan and optimize empties the trash. To optimize the wp_posts table run the following query:

OPTIMIZE TABLE wp_posts;

Check to see the size of this table. In the YIW database, the “wp_posts” is only 3,4 Mb in size, as you can see in the photo below. It’s a lot of space saved, don’t you think?

My Numbers

I’ve run this query several times over the years. It’s like cleaning up your computer’s hard drive – the more you use it the more you should clean it up. There were my numbers.

Start 407 rows | 792.1 KB

Deleted 61 rows | 96.1 KB

Finish 346 rows | 695.4 KB

Hope this works for you. I know it works for me and I use it about once a year or so.

OpenDNS Denies Gravatars, WordPress Blogs Full of Broken Images [UPDATED]

(This incident occurred on March 3, 2011. OpenDNS released its block of Gravatar within a week.)

This is huge: OpenDNS is denying access to gravatar.com. When I saw that avatars on my blog were broken I tried to look at the image on gravatar.com and got the following message page:

This site was blocked by OpenDNS in response to either the Conficker virus, the Microsoft IE zero-day vulnerability, or some equally serious vulnerability.

If you think this shouldn’t be blocked, please email us at contact@opendns.com.

This is huge because WordPress has avatars built in to the code. They link to images from gravatar.com. So every blog that uses avatar just got a lot of broken images. According to WordPress they have encouraged the use of Gravatars since WordPress 2.5:

WordPress 2.5 marries theme authors and casual WordPress users together with support for Gravatars in the WordPress Administration Panels. Theme authors have an option to include Gravatars in their designs, and are recommended to do so. WordPress users can easily control their Gravatar usage in the Settings > Discussion Administration Panel. via Using Gravatars « WordPress Codex.

My personal experience with OpenDNS is not a good one. They’ve basically hijacked my “broken” Google search results at home. Let me explain. I have suddenlink internet service (no trolls please). I used to have Google as my default search-in-the-url-box search engine. Back then – about three years ago – if I typed in a URL that didn’t exist, Google would return search results for what I typed. NOW, OpenDNS takes over the search from Google and displays their results which are not the same as Google. It’s basically hijacking and extortion. OpenDNS is paid or sells links to paying customers to display their results were Google gets paid to display a few results at the top but everything else (free) is displayed below.

I did a check of forums, and OpenDNS doesn’t have a clear cut or openly viewable documentation on it’s practices. It appears as though they deny domains at random on a daily basis. In that way – read the above message – it appears they are extorting domain owners to contact them (and possibly pay) to get removed from their blacklist. If that’s the case, that’s bad. How could one company hold that much control of the Internet?

UPDATE:

OpenDNS Twitter reply

After I wrote this and posted a couple tweets I guess I got noticed. I got a comment on this blog and OpenDNS responded with a tweet.

Thanks. I guess all of us can turn on avatars in WordPress again.