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Find closest mashup plugin with Ruby on Rails

by Chang Sau Sheong | January 2009 | Open Source

In this article by Chang Sau Sheong we will explore the 'Find closest' mashup plugin and map a fleet of kiosks in an online map. This mashup plugin allows your Rails website or application to have an additional feature that allows your users to find the location of the closest facility from a particular geographic location based on a specified search radius. This mashup plugin integrates with your existing website that has a database of locations of the facilities.

Read Find closest mashup plugin with Ruby on Rails in full

Textures in Blender

by Allan Brito | January 2009 | Open Source Web Graphics & Video

In this article by Allan Brito, we will learn how to use textures to give our materials more realism. The biggest problem of working with textures is actually finding or creating a good texture. That's why, its highly recommended that you start as soon as possible to create your own texture library. Textures are mostly image files, which represent certain kinds of surfaces such as wood or stone. They work like wallpaper, which we can place on a surface or object. For instance, if we place an image of wood on a plane, it will give the impression that the plane is made of wood. That's the main principle of using textures. We will make an object look like something in the real world using a texture. For some projects, we may need a special kind of texture, which won't be found in a common library. So we will have to take a picture ourselves, or buy an image from someone. But don't worry, because often we deal with common surfaces that have common textures too.

Read Textures in Blender in full

Extending OpenCms: Developing a Custom Widget

by Dan Liliedahl | January 2009 | Content Management Java Open Source

There are a variety of user interface widgets available in OpenCms. The default widgets cover most user interface needs. But sometimes, a data field may need to be populated in some other way. OpenCms allows for custom widgets to be created and plugged into its architecture. In this article by Dan Liliedahl, we will design and create our own widget to illustrate this.

Read Extending OpenCms: Developing a Custom Widget in full

User Input Validation in Tapestry 5

by Alexander Kolesnikov | January 2009 | Content Management Java Open Source

One of the benefits of having a web application is that it can be very easily accessed by everyone around the world. One of the downsides of this is that when so many people use your application, they are going to have errors in their input. Some people are not attentive, others are tired and, finally, everyone in this world has his or her individual style of thinking, so something that seems obvious to the developers of the application might puzzle someone else.

A well-designed web application should immediately be able to define that the input is wrong and stop—otherwise all kinds of errors can happen inside of the application. If this application is user-friendly, it should:

  • Clearly and unambiguously inform the user that some part of the input is erroneous, and should be corrected.
  • Identify the field that is erroneous and mark it in some way.
  • If possible, display the erroneous value, and maybe even explain why exactly it is wrong.

In this article by Alexander Kolesnikov, we will see how Tapestry 5, being a highly efficient and user-friendly framework, handles these issues. For the purpose of this article we will use a Tapestry web application named Celebrity Collector.

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Network Configuration—IPv6 with FreeBSD

by Babak Farrokhi | January 2009 | Open Source

Today, everyone knows that the internet is running out of IP addresses. In fact, the current infrastructure of the internet is running over legacy IP (aka IPv4) protocol that was not designed for such wide-spread and complicated use (for example, IPv4 was not designed to run in a refrigerator).

The original design of Internet Protocol (IPv4) is not efficient for today's networks. And even worse, we are running out of IPv4 addresses in a few years!

FreeBSD uses the IPv6 code from the KAME project. The KAME project (see has been inactive since 2005, and FreeBSD developers have eversince maintained the IPv6 protocol stack.

In this article by Babak Farrokhi, we will look into the following:

  • IPv6 facts
  • Using IPv6
  • Routing IPv6
  • RIP6
  • Multicast routing
  • Tunnelling
Read Network Configuration—IPv6 with FreeBSD in full
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