Last call for the Binpress programming contest

The Binpress programming contest is entering the last stretch - 10 days left until the end. Over $40,000 in prize value is still up for grabs - request an invitation and get your submission entered.

A short recap - my startup, Binpress - a marketplace for source-code, is running a programming contest for best submission of a source-code package in one of the 6 top web languages - PHP, Python, Ruby, Java, ASP.NET (C#, VB.NET) and Javascript. One grand winner and two runner ups will be chosen, as well as the top pick for each language. We have over $40,000 value in cash and prizes that is sponsored by companies such as Google, Amazon, PayPal and Zend.

So far we've had over 70 submissions in the various languages. Some of the submissions are really top notch and there's no clear winner right now. Submissions will start go out to our judges next week for review and the judging will take up to two weeks after the deadline for the contest.

Hope to see what you have to offer there!

Creating embedabble widgets

Distribution of embeddable widgets is a common feature in many web services today. The most well known example is probably google's adsense that allows site owners to add google ads to their sites. Embeddable widgets allow a subset of functionality to be used on third-party sites, greatly increasing possible market reach for a web service / application.
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Making web-pages go faster using PHP

UI responsiveness is one of the basics of a good user experience. In the web environment, this often translates to the loading time of pages.

As it might be expected, there are several techniques to optimize the delivery of web pages. The Exceptional Performance guide by Yahoo is a great resource for a multitude of optimizations practices, including specifically two techniques which I will address in this article - script minifcation and concatenation.
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Common misconceptions in web application development

Over the time I have developed for the web, I have read and heard many assumptions about development practices and technologies. This is my list of common misconceptions in (web) development:

1. OO code is less performant than procedural code

The number one argument against OO application design from procedural advocates. This argument is based more on intuition than fact. The usual examples pit short procedural code against equivalent OO code in which procedural code comes out triumphant as more terse and performant.
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Comet is coming

In a recent article in which I wrote about the HTML 5 draft, I mentioned a server notifications API and hinted that it will standardize a technique known as Comet. So what is Comet anyway?

Comet is an event driven communication scheme with between a web-browser and a web-server. In the normal flow of an http request, a web server can not initiate communications with the client (the web browser) - it can only respond to requests. Comet declares a reversal of roles, in which the server can notify the client whenever new data is available. This technique is very useful in a constantly changing environment such as stock prices or online messaging (chat).
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