First Post

Hah, a Slashdot meme I’ve never actually used, mainly because in a comments section it is annoying.  As my about page indicates, I’m going to be writing about the tools and techniques I’ve found for doing web pages, web page design, web application implementation, and so on.  My current interest is in Google Maps, something I’ve been researching using a few books but primarily web pages.  Other than the excellent Google Maps API site, resources are few and far between.  I have been using information in the books from Packt such as Beginning Google Maps Applications with PHP and Ajax: From Novice to Professional and Beginning Google Maps Mashups with Mapplets, KML, and GeoRSS: From Novice to Professional (Beginning from Novice to Professional). Also extraordinarily useful is jQuery, about which there is amazing amounts of information.  I’ll be posting about my experiences with some Google Maps APIs and techniques later.

The other topic that’s of interest to me is web based survey systems.  I have written two of my own from scratch, one extremely rudimentary in Perl using XML for configuration and flat text files for responses.  The other has an web admin interface, is written in PHP, and has a true database (MySQL) back end.  I’m not happy with the workflows involved in creating surveys, questions, and answers.  I’ve been searching for sources of inspiration, and I probably would never have written the second one if I had known about LimeSurvey before I began.  Besides the very popular Survey Monkey, I recently looked over Wufoo, yet another free-intro paid-extras survey system. They have a really slick AJAX interface I might use as inspiration for rewrites of my code.