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Archive for June, 2017

What is JSON-LD

Sunday, June 25th, 2017 by Servage
json-ldYou don’t have to be a JavaScript developer to know JSON. It has become the standard for transferring data over the Internet, for example from back-end APIs to front-end applications. However, JSON-LD is a totally different story. It’s a relatively new and unpopular standard among developers, at least compared to JSON. JSON for Linked Data JSON-LD stands for JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data. As the name suggests, it is used to represent linked data using JSON. It is meant to be as simple as possible for developers to convert their existing JSON to JSON-LD. Linked Data Explained So, what is this linked data? In order to understand linked data, one should have a basic ...

Free icons for web developers

Monday, June 19th, 2017 by Servage
iconsA website with no images would look quite dull, and making graphics from scratch can be a difficult task. Since not all developers are graphic designers, many free and paid icon sets and libraries have become popular among front-end developers. They allow you to easily place a large variety of icons on a website. Here is a collection of such icon libraries that are popular among developers in 2017. Glyphicons Glyphicons is an icon library that become popular with Bootstrap since it is built into the framework. Glyphicons has a special license that allows developers to use the Halflings icon set for free in their Bootstrap-powered websites. The Halflings set comes with over ...

What is new in PHP 7.1?

Monday, June 12th, 2017 by Servage
php-7-1PHP 7.1 was released at the end of 2016 and web servers are being upgraded to support the latest additions to the language. This is a good moment for developers to see what new features have been added to PHP in the newest version. Void Return Type Let’s start with something small and simple. PHP already has support for function return types, excluding the void data type. A void return type means that no value is returned from a function. In version 7.1, you can indicate this in the function signature by using the typical colon syntax that already works with other return types: protected function foo(string $value): void {}. Nullable Types PHP also already ...

How distributed high-availability databases work

Saturday, June 10th, 2017 by Servage
databaseSometimes a website becomes so popular it outgrows the single database model and the workload must be distributed across multiple database instances. Or perhaps the website is so critical it cannot tolerate database failures even for short periods of time. There issues can be overcome by setting up a high-availability database infrastructure with multiple servers. Master-Slave Architecture The master-slave architecture is a common way to distribute load between multiple databases. In this model, one server is chosen as a master server, which can be used to execute read and write actions. The master server’s database is then replicated in real-time to one or multiple slave servers. This works by creating a database user ...

Algolia – Powerful hosted search engine

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017 by Servage
algoliaHave you ever searched for something on a website without being able to find what you are looking for? Very likely. Implementing a powerful search engine for a website can be both difficult to make and resource intensive to use. A hosted search engine called Algolia aims to make this easier by moving the whole search process to their cloud-based search engine. What is Algolia? Algolia is a hosted text-based search engine for a predefined dataset. This means you as a developer send some data, for example a collection of books, to Algolia for indexing. You can index those books by their title, author, description and many more fields. When a user searches ...

Load-balancing web applications

Thursday, June 1st, 2017 by Servage
network-serverLoad balancing works by distributing the traffic of a single website across multiple web servers. This is important for large websites that receive so much traffic that a single web server is no longer enough to serve all visitors. It also adds a layer of reliability because if one of the web servers goes down, the others can continue to serve visitors with little to no impact to the website. Let’s explore a couple of strategies for load balancing web applications. DNS Load Balancing This is probably the cheapest and simplest way to load balance web traffic. The Domain Name System (DNS) is not specifically built with load balancing in mind but system ...