Catching up on two weeks of web news (October 6-19 2008):
- The next version of Windows will be called simply Windows 7, Microsoft's Mike Nash explains how they came up with that particular number. Interestingly, Windows XP isn't counted as a major release, just a 5.1 release, with Windows 2000 being 5.0. Windows Vista is 6.0, and Windows 7 is actually version 6.1!
- Kongregate, the online Flash games site, where the boys are, according to Rafe Needleman, has put up a tutorial series aimed at beginning Flash game developers. The tutorials show how to build a basic space shooting game using Adobe Flash CS3 and ActionScript 2.0, and there is an accompanying developer competition.
- Experienced, but mainstream, Yahoo users don't get OpenID, shows a usability study released by Yahoo Developer Network. If you own a domain you can run your own OpenId server using phpMyID, as I do on the emented.com domain.
- If you want to use IIS on a Windows server, instead of Apache, to run popular open source PHP applications like Drupal, phpBB, and WordPress, you're in luck, as Microsoft just has released a Web Platform Installer tool, which simplifies the deployment process to almost a click of a button.
- Opera released some Web statistics obtained by their "Metadata Analysis and Mining Application", MAMA:
MAMA is a structural Web-page search engine—it trawls Web pages and returns results detailing page structures, including what HTML, CSS, and script is used on it, as well as whether the HTML validates.
It's a vast resource for Web nerds, with results ranging from the least and most popular HTML elements to Flash and AJAX usage per country. Some key findings: Apache is used by 68% of web servers, IIS by 26%. The ratio of HTML to XHTML usage is about 2 to 1. The "table" element is more popular than "div", 8th vs. 14th place, respectively. 33% of web pages use Flash. Only 4% of URLs pass the W3C markup validation test. When testing my site, 38 errors were reported, so nobody is perfect. I guess WordPress is to blame for a lot of those errors.
- Yahoo continues the roll-out of their Open Strategy, dubbed Y!OS. The latest release is a new universal profile page.
- Ars reports on benchmarking results for the new Flash 10 player compared to Flash 9. On Mac and Linux platforms there are substantial performance improvements up to a factor of 4. The Flash performance on those platforms are still far behind the performance on Windows though. Sporting the same hardware, Flash 10 on Vista outperformed Flash on Mac by a factor of nearly two.
- Nonconformist blogger Ted Dziuba has relaunched his rebellious Web 2.0 blog Uncov, after recently leaving his startup Pressflip. It's mostly fun reading, as he tries to be a thorn in the side of the Web 2.0 aristocracy. Additionally, the accompanying pics of Fail and other misfortunes makes it a worthwhile read. On a somewhat related note, Christopher Beam writes here about the popularity of the word Fail.