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Issue 085 - Dec 9, 2008



1. CMS Builder 1.23 Released - Now With Improved Navigation
CMS Builder 1.23 Released - Now With Improved Navigation

We've just released CMS Builder 1.23 with some new features and many improvements and bug fixes. One of the main changes you'll notice is an improved navigation menu in the admin area where we've moved it to the left side. You can see a screenshot of this here.

Some of the new features include:

  • Admin Design: Changed admin menu design to have left navigation menu
  • CSS Stylesheet: Made huge improvements to program CSS stylesheet making it easier to re-style and change colors
  • Languages: Added Portuguese translations (thanks to jamtc in the forums)
  • WYSIWYG: Upgraded tinyMCE to version 3.2.0.2 (2008-10-02)
  • Program Urls: Help Url and Website Url can now contain PHP code (to specify values on per user basis, for example)
  • Usability: If a user is one allowed to edit one record in a section they are redirected straight to edit page (instead of list page).

For a full list of changes, visit the CMS Builder changelog.

You can also upgrade to the latest CMS Builder by donation.

Keep your feature requests and bug reports coming in! Every single release is packed full of user requested changes. Post to the forum or send an email to our senior developer, Dave Edis, at dave@interactivetools.com.

2. Consulting: Get Started Before the Rush Begins
Consulting: Get Started Before the Rush Begins

A lot of people have been enjoying the holiday season, especially with Thanksgiving Day just passing and Christmas time upon us. As is normal for this time of year, this gives our consulting team a bit of a lull before it starts to pick up again to hit full-speed in January. This means it's the perfect time to get started on your project. The sooner you let us know you have a project, the sooner we can get you in before the January rush begins.

Consulting is perfect if you're in a rush, need that expert assistance, or would rather have us take care of your current project for you. Whether you want Realty Manager or Article Manager running a new design, want to set up your entire site to use CMS Builder, or just need a few tweaks to get things *just right*, we can help. No project is too small.

Please feel free to read more about Consulting and see other featured clients who have made use of this service in the past. When you're ready to get started, let us know what you need for your next project (toll free: 1-800-752-0455) and we'll take care of the rest! :)

3. How to Set Up Your Own Local Development Server
How to Set Up Your Own Local Development Server

Setting up your own local development server has never been easier. By just running through a quick installation, you can have WAMPServer set up in minutes. WAMPServer is a Windows web development environment that allows you to create web applications with Apache, PHP and MySQL. In fact, we use this exact same server to develop our applications locally.

To get started just download WAMPServer.

Once WAMPServer is installed just type in http://localhost/ to access your local web server and add files to C:\WAMP\www\

Having your own server gives you a "test server" to experiment on and saves you the time of having to upload after every change. You'd be amazed how much of a speed difference this makes.

Give it a try (especially CMS Builder users) and post any questions in the CMS Builder forum and we'll try and help you out.

4. Google Chrome Browser - Latest (secret) version has all the fixes you need
Google Chrome Browser - Latest (secret) version has all the fixes you need

For the last little while we had been using Google's new Chrome browser but decided to switch back to Firefox because Chrome was slow on flash files. If you've decided to stick with Chrome, I've found this utility to switch to the "Developer" channel and get all the fixes right away before everyone else. You can find the Chrome development channel here.

You can read all about the latest fixes and improvements here and if like me, your browser was stuck on "checking for updates" forever, read this page on how to fix that.

5. Stay ahead of the flu with Google Flu Trends
Stay ahead of the flu with Google Flu Trends

We've had a rough last few weeks here at interactivetools. Every single one of us has missed time due to the cold or flu and there have been days where we've felt less productive than usual.

You can better prepare for flu season (or at least see it coming!) with a new tool from Google that provides up-to-date estimates of flu activity. "Google Flu Trends" uses aggregated Google search data to track flu activity up to two weeks faster than the CDC and transitional systems.

The site also includes flu news articles, a flu shot locator, and lots of information about how they calculate the estimates from aggregated search queries, just visit Google Flu Trends and click on your state.

6. Developer Resources
Developer Resources

Here are a couple of useful resources for web developers and designers. Email me YOUR favourite resource and I might feature it in a future newsletter.

This time I've decided to provide a list of free hosted applications that can be used to quickly add functionality to your site.

DISQUS
DISQUS is a comment system that you can easily add to your website. With support for comments, threaded replies, ratings, video comments, and more, DISQUS has gained a following from more than 45,000 sites.

JS Kit
Easily add ratings, reviews, comments, and polls to your news/blog entries or your product listings. By just pasting a small snippet of HTML and JavaScript into your web page, you'll have a new interactive feature added to your site.

Add This
Add This makes it easy for your site visitors to share your content with others. By just adding a small snippet of code to your page you can add a bookmark utility that allows site visitors to share your content through email, blogs, and other popular sites.


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