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Web Publishing Software Update

If you are going to develop / maintain your own website, we will come to a decision of which software to use. In that past, we normally need to consider 2 options – Adobe Dreamweaver or Microsoft Frontpage. But Microsoft has announced that it will discontinue Frontpage. Instead, they come up with 2 new software releases - Office SharePoint Designer 2007 for the enterprise information workers and Expression Web for the professional Web designer.

Adobe Dreamweaver
Dreamweaver 8 was the industry leading web development tool, a preferred choice for professional web designers and developers. But for novice, it may be too feature rich and complex. The latest version is Dreamweaver CS3. The price for a new purchase will be USD399 and USD199 for upgrades from previous versions. The new release includes CSS tools, Ajax components for building dynamic user interfaces, and intelligent integration with other Adobe software.

Microsoft Expression Web
This new software was introduced by Microsoft as a replacement of its formal Ms Frontpage. There is a 60 days free trial and new purchase will cost USD299. Existing Frontpage user may upgrade to Expression with USD99.

CoffeeCup HTML Editor 2007
More suitable for novice web designers and amateurs, this software offers powerful functionality and a straightforward and compact interface, with a generous 30-day trial. Retail price is USD49, much lower cost than Dreamweaver.


Enable register_globals using .htaccess

By default, our server has register_globals set to 0. This is for security reason.

You can modify the setting by adding the line to the htaccess file:

1) Log in to cpanel >> file manager >> /www/
2) Click on .htaccess
3) Click on Edit File on the top right
4) Add the line: php_value register_globals 1

However, you should understand the implications of the modification to certain extent.

Below is an example of application with security loophole that is prone to attack by hackers.

if (isset($submit)) {
$logged_in = yes;
Application runs…

Instead of using $submit, you should use $_POST[’submit’] if the variable is posted from a form. This specifies exactly where the variable comes from.


MySql tops in database comparison

For web applications, we use MySql for database development. It is an open source software, and is free for download. There are reasons why we choose MySql. Of course, an obvious reason is that the software is free.

Recent testing also indicates that MySql beats other commercial databases in a lab test.

If your company site is hosted on a Windows Server, we will have to switch to using Ms Access, which our software engineers are familiar too.