All posts by ricardo

New content on DevOps and System Administration

By | News, Publishing | No Comments

One of the areas that college courses often don’t get into is the practical system administration side of web development where you actually purchase and use real domains in real hosting environments. We’ve heard feedback from many professors that while they can’t actually teach some of the ideas in later Chapters they do assign them to students, and suggest they use the chapters as reference.

With that in mind, we’ve been busy refocusing some of the coverage on system administration to make it more practical using ideas and technologies form the DevOps world. We’ve also included some more guidance on analyzing and improving your website, which we’re actually in the process of doing to the site as I write this! (hope you only notice it getting faster and better).

Early November database error

By | News, Web News | No Comments

As wonderful as WordPress is, it’s nice to be reminded that it requires some attention.

Just today I came to the site, hoping to post a quick entry about our textbook adoptions thus far. Instead our lovely website was replaced with the horrible “error establishing a database connection” error.

Were we hacked? Did my co-author install a plugin and go for a bike ride? No. of course not. We had table corruption – the wp_options table to be precise. The fix was as simple as a phpMyAdmin call to Repair the wp_options table.

A few minutes later, I’ve installed the latest updates, turned off those darn comments (we had over 6000) and now back to grading those assignments.


Fall 2014 – Web Development Textbook Available

By | News, Teaching | No Comments

Well the 2014 Fall semester is nearly upon us and we are tidying up all materials for the book and our web development courses here at Mount Royal University.

This will be the first time where students actually have access to all these materials through the textbook and we’re pumped about the prospects.

To anyone out there using this book this semester, we hope you get as much out of the book as we put in!

One more lab to go

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We’ve been working pretty hard on the labs to get them ready so that professors considering textbooks for the Fall 2014 semester in web development have time to consider our text and all it’s supplemental materials.

Today I finished my penultimate chapter, which leaves just the social networking chapter labs! We have a few details left to complete, but all 21 labs with solutions for instructors are almost ready…



The web turns 25 years old

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The web was introduced 25 years ago today,.

Just think, before the web there was no online shopping, banking,  search engines,  social networking, web campaigns or online maps. In a short 25 years there have been countless iterations of protocols, browsers, web-servers, frameworks and database systems to enhance Tim Bernard-Lee’s original vision. Despite that evolution we are still making use of those original, fundamental elements:web protocols, browsers, web servers, and HTML.

While our book talks about the technical tools and techniques you need to be a great web developer, the web itself has exceeded the sum of it’s technical parts. The web has changed the very way in which many humans communicate on a daily basis, and has become a powerful tool for both good and evil (like all powerful tools).

Happy Birthday WWW. Here’s to the next 25 years!


Powerpoint Materials Completed

By | Lab, Presentations, Publishing, Teaching, Web News | No Comments

It was really fun to build the 21 Powerpoint presentations based on the Chapters from the book.


I hope these resources help professors build lectures and lesson plans using the Fundamentals of Web Development.

As with any learning resource, there are a number of ways to use it. Whether it be displaying the slides on the overhead,  using them as a set of notes to work through on the blackboard or reviewing assigned readings by students.

I’m getting excited. The physical books should be finished any day/week now…

Next, the labs and solution manual!




Facebook Integrated

By | Web News | No Comments

So Facebook was a little easier to integrate than Twitter because they didn’t need my mobile phone number. Wait a minute, they got that a long time ago….

So now each post, page and update will not only be tweeted, but also be posted to our Facebook Page.

I suspect we will come back and adjust settings to better reflect a reasonable rate of posts, but for now we will decide on a per post basis.

OAuth with Twitter

By | Web News | No Comments

Interesting anecdote to relay as I integrate Twitter with WordPress.

Not only did I have to register my mobile phone # to allow posts to go straight to twitter, but I also had to ensure that the server for has the same time as Twitter’s servers (within some margin for error), otherwise OAuth does not work.

Anyhow the net result to  is that we will be auto-tweeting every-time we update the site.  Ha! I just saw a tweet from Randy working on the site.

This means a new page or post will also create a tweet (and next a Facebook post) to integrate with our social network accounts.

While we may post manually in those Social Networks as well, it’s nice to be able to integrate some automatic tweets in to our workflow.

Happy Auto Tweeting WordPress!

Manuscript done

By | Publishing, Web News | No Comments

Very exciting news today that our final manuscript has been sent off to the printers.

Nothing left to do but wait… Actually we still are working on the PowerPoint and lab exercises. We are polishing off the working versions into final versions for distribution with the book, but really compared to the last year and a half we’re done!

It’s pretty exciting to see this all coming together. They’ve also updated the link at Amazon to reflect the cover art and title. You can pre-order Fundamentals of Web Development there now!



Security and CMS ready

By | Chapter, News | No Comments

Draft chapters of the Security and Content Management Systems are finally done.

Security was an especially interesting one to research and write, although I suspect I’ve landed myself on some NSA watch lists, given the terms I had to search for over the last few weeks.

It’s a fairly comprehensive look at matters related to web development security including an overview of how to protect against the most common attacks including SQL injection, Cross Site Scripting and more!

On to the hosting and administration chapter. (The end is in sight).



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