If you've used a web ontology before, or any other large-scale data repository, you're likely familiar with one of the chief concerns facing anyone in such a position: how do you get your data into the system? Moreover, how do you get large amounts of data into the system with (relative) ease? And if you've used a content management system before, you've likely faced a similar, albeit inverted problem: how do you get your data out?
If you can accomplish these preliminary items without a good deal of effort, you're finally left with the task of transforming the data from one, and allowing it to be recognizable by the other.
If, instead, you haven't used either of these, you're likely wondering why on Earth you would want to.
If you learned how to make decisions before the fall of the Berlin Wall, you might get overwhelmed by decision making today. We used to live in a fairly black-and-white world -- East versus West, Pepsi or Coke, Miller or Bud, Democrat or Republican, ABC, NBC, or CBS.
How do you decide? If you're like a great many people in my generation, one tactic might be to create a list of pros and cons for each of the alternatives, and then compare these lists side-by-side. Ok, great! Let's use that to select a content management system. Let's see, what are our alternatives?
At Freelock we're in the midst of building dashboards for ourselves and for customers, to really dial in our process and let us know where to focus our improvements. Nothing beats having a visual representation of the data you're trying to analyze, and being able to change the parameters, update date ranges, drill down into details, and more.
A couple weeks ago NPR's Planet Money and This American Life had some really great episodes about the broken patent system. These are great stories for people who don't understand why patents are a problem, but they overlooked a couple of crucial points.
Before doing any changes to your web site, the first thing to figure out are your goals. As a web development shop, we focus on building web sites that create measurable value for our customers, aligned with their goals.
Some common goals:
- Help me close more sales from people who I send to my web site (brochure/information)
- Bring me new customers (online marketing, SEO)
- Help me manage sales leads (CRM)
- Increase sales (e-commerce)
How you should revamp your site completely depends upon which of those goals (or whatever other goals you may have) are most important for your business at the current time.
Yesterday Drupal.org got hacked, and potentially all the password hashes on the site fell into malicious hands. According to the security team's announcement, the attack was not a result of a Drupal vulnerability, but of other, as yet undisclosed, software on the server.
Drupal has long had one of the best security track records among open source CMSs. The security team does a great job of tracking down even the smallest exploits, often removing modules that maintainers choose not to fix. The vast majority of fixes and security updates we see are protecting against "privilege escalation" -- vulnerabilities that can only be exploited by users who already have some level of administrative access.
For example, there was a webform update yesterday to close a hole that allowed somebody who already had permission to create or edit a webform, to gain full administrative access. We use webforms on a huge number of sites, but we have never set up a configuration where we give an untrusted user the power to create or edit webforms. And yet on a large, community driven site, you might want to give some people the ability to create a survey without further access. This kind of strict, detailed review leads to a project that has a high level of security baked in. It's very rare that we see the more dangerous kinds of exploits -- SQL Injection, Cross-site scripting (XSS), or Remote Code Execution.
This incident highlights that there is more to security than just the software. In this case, something else in the hosting environment provided a weakness that allowed an attacker to break in. What was it? They haven't said, so far, but we can speculate on some possibilities:
Hey, that's not what I was thinking!
That's a very common complaint customers have with developers, when they receive the result of weeks or months of hard work. And it indicates a failure of planning.
We've found nothing that works better to avoid this result than to write up and discuss user stories in detail.
What's a user story? It's a description of the process a person goes through to get a specific result, and what happens along the way.
Apparently Elon Musk ( @elonmusk ), the founder of Tesla Motors, wants to bypass auto dealerships, and has gone to the Texas legislature for special exemptions to allow him to sell his cars directly to consumers. The story is covered here: http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2013/04/10/tesla-ceo-texas-elect...
I was talking with a new client the other day who spends a lot of money on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) to try to get people to visit his online store. And yet his blog -- what search engines value most -- was on wordpress.com.
We have several other clients who have WordPress blogs separate from their main site. If this is you... * Cough Cough *
Again, good job on the site. Unfortunately, most people won't be able to tell just how cool it really is. There is definitely a better look and feel on the outside, but where it really shines is under the hood. In today's world of crappy software vendors who provide crappy products and next to zero service at premium prices, it's refreshing to work with someone who is honest, thorough, reasonable and willing to do what it takes to meet the customer's needs.Outdoor Research