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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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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Clearing the floats, overflowing the layout

Float is an often misunderstood CSS property, however when used properly it can be a very useful technique for implementing CSS layouts.

Quoting the CSS standards guide at the w3c website:

A float is a box that is shifted to the left or right on the current line.

This property specifies whether a box should float to the left, right, or not at all.

The float property pulls an element out of the normal flow and places it in either the left or right ends of the current line inside its containing block element. Other elements will then wrap around the floated element, providing they have enough space to do so (if the cumulative width of the elements is too wide, they will slide to the next line).

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Standards Compliant RTE

WYMEditor - Standards compliant WYSIWYGProviding an RTE (Rich Text Editor or WYSIWYG editor) in CMS applications is considered standard nowadays. It allows non-technical content editors to format content and add media without having to learn HTML/CSS or specific CMS markups (such as BBcode or wiki markup).

There are several problems with most RTE packages that somewhat limit their effectiveness – They produce non-standards compliant HTML markup (using FONT tags and Tables heavily), and they are usually a relatively heavy download (~150kb packed). For a site weighing at around 50kb-60kb integrating a 150kb RTE is a painful decision.

WYMEditor attempts to provide a standards-compliant light-weight alternative, that also shows you the type of markup that is being edited (such as Header, Paragraph etc.). It removes the ability to hand select styles such as colors and borders, instead forcing the editor to use style sheets to separate markup from styling. It’s an interesting approach and one that I hope will catch on.

For some more in depth comparison of RTE’s read this overview from Standards Schmandards.