www.devX.com And www.EchoEcho.com

By Prakash Ballakoor Published Date
01 - Jan - 2007
| Last Updated
01 - Jan - 2007
www.devX.com And www.EchoEcho.com
This Web site is heaven for professional programmers and development teams. It's bound to go over the heads of beginners, though-and that's a word of warning! The site deals for the most part with application development-programming languages such as .NET, Java, and C , as well as domains such as Web development, architecture, databases, security, and many more are discussed and dissected.

The site provides "just in time" e-learning to help development teams move ahead with project bottlenecks. The site aims to broaden the knowledge and hone the skills of developers through Webcasts, tutorials, and tools under partnership with IBM, Microsoft, and more. The Webcasts are dedicated to streaming online IT education and business events, though the content sites might need free or paid registration.

Sub-sections under "Zones" are based on language and domain, and the topics covered in these sections are based on real-world experiences. for example, if you're a team leader and need to choose an AJAX library type-server-based or pure JavaScript-you'll find something at this site to help you out.

The home page features general programming articles as well as some on implementations of new technologies. Programming and enterprise trends are also talked about in these articles. Then there's the incredibly useful "Tip Bank," which contains more than 10,000 tips: workarounds and pieces of code that are oh-so-just-what-you-were-looking-for. For example, how do you create a favicon? How do you call a Java method from XQuery or animate form icons? Then, "Sourcebank" gives links to source code and scripts posted from around the world.

The DevX main page

"10-Minute solutions" is a library of questions and answers and how-to articles that can be accomplished under 10 minutes: how do you  encrypt sensitive configuration data with Java? How do you programmatically apply XSLT in a dynamic Java application? (See-we told you the site isn't for beginners.)

The 10-Minute solutions section gets you your answer's in, well, 10 minutes!

"APIFinder" redirects you to a sister site. Here, again, are articles, news, and so on, and most importantly, "the majority of APIs (here) are Web Services-a.k.a. Web 2.0-APIs, but the site is designed to include APIs of absolutely any type."

We suppose you've gotten the idea by now. Newbies, stay out; intermediates and experts, explore, contribute, learn, use, code!

If you're a beginner to intermediate-level Web programmer, you'll probably find EchoEcho.com indispensable. The site is categorised into eight broad categories.

At the first category, User Forums, you'll find opinions about various Web sites and how they could have been done better. A forum on Page Development has discussions on scripting languages and Web site user interfaces; discussions on server-side coding and operating systems can also be found here.

D-Zine, another category, talks about design aspects beyond HTML and JavaScript. You'll see important topics like site colours, graphic standards, and design perception that determines the pulling power of a Web site. Search engine types as well as off-beat ways of pushing your page up the search rankings are also explained. Then there are the techniques for fast loading of pages using CCS and JavaScript. Tables and XHTML are explained in detail.

The Tutorials section is sub-divided into Page Building, Component Building, and Server Programming. Though only HTML, JavaScript, Flash and Java applets are explained in detail, there are links to various external sites.

"Online tools" has some cool pre-coding to enhance Web site presentation. One just needs to enter the type of look and the links required, and the online tools return code that can be pasted to your site!

In the Free Resources section, you can find links to host your site for free, and also graphics like backgrounds, buttons, and bullets. Programs such as image editors, GIF animators, and HTML editors can be downloaded from here-as well as applets like a weather updater, fading text, image peeling, and pop-up menus.

There's one anomaly, though: we're wondering why EchoEcho hasn't implemented some of the "best practices" it preaches!

Prakash BallakoorPrakash Ballakoor