The Apache Software Foundation has announced that this is the final release of the 1.3 branch and only critical security fixes will be available from now on.
Apache 1.3 was first released in June 1998 back before Microsoft Windows 98 came out. The Apache 2 branch has now been out for 10 years and had many benefits over 1.3 on release.
Even with the benefits and stability offered by the Apache 2 branch, 1.3 has still been heavily used over the past 10 years despite the case for preferring it to version 2 getting progressively weaker. With this announcement we may see more people finally take the step of transferring to the Apache 2 branch, a change that is normally pain free and see some volunteer time freed up from supporting and maintaining what had essentially become a legacy version of the web server, giving them more time to spend on newer and more interesting stuff.
WordPress is great, but I am sure most people would agree that it can be a bit sluggish at showing pages. There is a lot going on behind the scenes to generate all your dynamic blog goodness, however most of it does not need to happen for every single visit to your site.
There are lots of ways to speed up performance of websites, especially dynamically generated ones. One good one for most occasions is to use caching to save on the time required to create pages dynamically. Whilst revisiting an old post on a friends blog earlier, I saw him mention the wp-super-cache plugin. I have had a look at it and have to admit to becoming an overnight fan.
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February 5th 2010 Applications
Are we doing enough to help IE6 die?
As a long time developer of Internet servers, services and sites, I have spent a lot of time over the years fiddling with code to make things work on IE which worked lovely in other browsers without any modifications.
I think every developer has probably seen this graphic or one similar at some time or another.
The sad fact is that it is not getting any easier to create the high performance web 2.0 applications so they work in a web 0.5 browser.
Whilst some people have started petitions to get the government to move on from IE6 and other people are spending time and effort educating people they know who still use it, perhaps we can do more.
I have just implemented the Shockingly Big IE6 Warning plugin on my blogs. It is nothing new and has been around for some time now, however it is my little bit towards helping the world get over IE6. What are you doing for your bit?
February 3rd 2010 Applications
The old dinosaur of IE6 has taken another step closer to its final demise
On Friday Google announced that from 1st of March 2010 it will no longer support IE6 and from that date, users of older browsers (IE6 included) may find that key functionality in Google Docs and Google Sites will no longer work properly. Other parts of Google will also stop working as changes are made without the excessive amount of effort required to make web2.0 sites work in a web 0.5 browser.
Google go on to recommend upgrading to one of the following:-
I would go further and recommend that you install the most current version of your chosen browser as IE 7 is already outdated with IE 8 being the current version of Internet explorer.
With Google now running as much as 13% of all active internet sites either directly or on behalf of one of the various services Google provides, this is going to make it very difficult for people to put off upgrading for much longer.
February 2nd 2010 Applications
We have been reminded again of the importance of developing according to web standards rather than to support a single specific web browser.
There have been reports emerging over the past week that a major security breach at Google leaked a lot of private data to Chinese hackers. The hackers were able to exploit security vulnerabilities in the 10 year old browser and operating combination of IE6 on Windows XP.
This was a 0-day exploit, which means it was a new found vulnerability that the vendor (in this case Microsoft) and antivirus / security companies were unaware of. Meaning there was no security fix for this issue.
The main reason many companies including high street names and government organisations are still using this browser is because of applications that were not written to be standards compliant and instead were specifically written to work in IE6. This means that despite the fact we have already gone through IE7 and now onto IE8, the old dinosaur of IE6 will not die.
Make sure you future proof your applications and investment by ensuring you are compliant with the most current standards rather than tying yourself to a single browser or vendors’ technology as that will always end up holding you back in the future.
January 25th 2010 Applications