HipChat releases the new web interface to the world

HipChat – the greatest team communication tool since IRC – released its updated web interface to the world.

hipchat

 

I’ve seen it before, as I opted into the beta testing, and I’m glad they’ve finally pushed it out to all users.  It’s awesome, slick, and completely out of the way.

And if you haven’t tried HipChat for your team yet, I urge you to do so.  Here are some of the awesome things about it:

  • Unlimited rooms.  You can have rooms by subject, by project, by group, and so on.
  • Direct messaging.  You can do groups on one-on-ones.
  • Integrations!  This is one of the major reasons to use it.  We have it integration with GitHub and Nagios currently.  And a gadzillion of other services are available in just a few clicks.  Super awesome!
  • History.  HipChat preserves history of conversations, so introducing new members into a team is so much easier – they can read, scroll through, or search the previous room messages.
  • Clients for any operating system, including Linux, smartphones, and just web.
  • Flexible notifications.  You can configure when, if at all, you want to be notified of the new messages.  You even have an option to alert you with SMS, if you are offline.  Which is especially handy if you are using Nagios integration or similar.
  • Files, links, previews, emoticons, and a tonne of other goodies.
  • Free!  Yes, that’s right.  HipChat is free.  You only pay for premium features, which include video chat and screen sharing.  And even then it’s only $2 per user per month, which still qualifies as free.

This tool is truly indispensable!

Microsoft doubles MSIE web pain with Spartan

The Verge reports that Microsoft is killing its Internet Explorer brand.  Don’t confuse it with the browser though.

Internet Explorer will still exist in some versions of Windows 10 mainly for enterprise compatibility, but the new Project Spartan will be named separately and will be the primary way for Windows 10 users to access the web.

There is no realistic way for Microsoft to kill the MSIE browser.  Even if they will completely remove it from all the new installations, there is still a gadzillion computers with it already installed.   It doesn’t matter if they “end of life” it or even actively push people to upgrade.  It’ll just be dragged around for a few more years.

MSIE

And what does Microsoft do to help?  They introduce yet another browser – Spartan – into the mix.  Like we don’t have enough good browsers already.  So now web developers will be suffering the pain of not one, but two Microsoft web browsers.  And the fun part will be supporting all the old ones, and figuring out all the quirks of the new one.

Thank you very much, dear Microsoft.  You’re fun as always.

P.S.: A better solution would be of course to drop their own web browser completely and use one of the existing applications – Firefox, Chromium, Google Chrome, Opera, or anything else.  All these options are free, well tested, solid, fast, and secure.   Most even have huge communities with extension developers, theme designers, and support forums.

 

Google is shutting down Google Code

Google is “Bidding farewell to Google Code“:

When we started the Google Code project hosting service in 2006, the world of project hosting was limited. We were worried about reliability and stagnation, so we took action by giving the open source community another option to choose from. Since then, we’ve seen a wide variety of better project hosting services such as GitHub and Bitbucket bloom. Many projects moved away from Google Code to those other systems. To meet developers where they are, we ourselves migrated nearly a thousand of our own open source projects from Google Code to GitHub.

Personally, I never particularly liked Google Code, but it was nice to see an option being there.  I have, however, been a user of some other Google services that were shut down (still crying at nights for the Google Reader), so I know the feeling.  Hopefully, with enough support, all projects will move over to better alternatives, like GitHub and BitBucket, where the contributions will rise and communities grow.

PHP tags – once and for all. Yet again.

For those of us who have been using PHP since the early version 3 days and such, here is a modern day refresher for PHP tags:

If a file is pure PHP code, it is preferable to omit the PHP closing tag at the end of the file. This prevents accidental whitespace or new lines being added after the PHP closing tag, which may cause unwanted effects because PHP will start output buffering when there is no intention from the programmer to send any output at that point in the script.

And from the comment on the same page:

Since PHP 5.4 the inline echo <?= ?> short tags are always enabled regardless of the short_open_tag (php.ini) setting.

For me personally, closing PHP tags are a part of muscle memory.  I’ll have to unlearn that, I guess.  And in regards to the inline echo tags, I was under the impression that they are being phased out together with the other short tags (<? … ?>).  Apparently, I was wrong.  They are here to stay.  Which explains why there are in PSR-1, PSR-2, and in CakePHP 3 (which requires PHP 5.4.16 and fully adopts PSR-2) in particular.

1,000 Chrome Experiments

Chrome Experiments is a collection of projects that push the limits of the Google Chrome browser.  They’ve recently reached a 1,000 contributions.  Some look simplistic, some are stunning.  Some are just little toys, yet others have practical application.  Definitely deserves a minute of your time.  Which will probably eat a half an hour before you’ll notice.

Chrome Experiments

For me, the 1,000 is a cool looking thingy, with useful feature of browsing through random projects.  The most interesting is the ISS Photo Viewer.