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Ibrahim Diallo

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2013

December

Language is culture not just syntax

Language is culture not just syntax

I am lucky to have been exposed to many languages as a child. I lived in a city where almost everybody was from a different country. On the average day I would hear at least 4 languages being spoken. French and Fulani at home, English on TV, Arabic on the street and various other languages ranging from Bengali to Swahili from my peers. If you are at least bi-lingual then you know how jokes lose all their substance when translated. A language is more than just being grammatically correct. Words that make up a language not only come with connotation but there is a culture associated with it. With all the baggage it carries, the language makes you think in a certain way. Programming languages do not escape this rule. Each programming lingo comes with it's own set of rules, syntax, and culture.

It takes guts to be the first follower

It takes guts to be the first follower

A leader is the nut that starts a radical movement and won't shut up about it. He is ridiculed but it takes a lot more to stop him. Since ideas are cheap, if he finds no support, he will simply come up with another one. When everyone says you are a fool, true or not, you are a fool. All it takes is one person to join you in your craziness and the world will reconsider.

SQL injection and how to protect your website

SQL injection and how to protect your website

Experienced developers are expensive. In a world where cutting cost seems like the best option, companies try to maximize their profit by spending less and less on good talent. It is much cheaper to hire someone who just learned php a few weeks ago then a seasoned developer. But it becomes a very bad investment when the newbie introduces insecure code. The problem is, a lot of things learned from those LAMP CRUD application tutorial do not focus much on security. When this code is introduced to a commercial application, the damage can be very expensive. I like how stackoverflow users are fighting very hard to eradicate SQL injection, I am doing my part too but it seems like it is much easier to find insecure code on-line. That said, I will attempt to scare you off your feet so you know better what is the cost of SQL injection.

Detecting Internet Explorer version with JavaScript

Detecting Internet Explorer version with JavaScript

Parsing the browser User Agent is very unreliable. Not only users can easily manipulate it but the string can be very inconsistent. There were times where I needed to write specific code for Internet Explorer but I don't like writing in line JavaScript or loading a separate script just for that. I wish browser makers could agree on making unique GUID that can easily be looked up on a table to determine the browser. So Instead, I make use of IE conditional comments to set values that will only be present in Internet Explorer.

Jquery does that in one line

Jquery does that in one line

jQuery is the holy grail for JavaScript developers. It made everything so much easier. You never have to worry about browser quirks when writing your application. Before, you would have to write few hundreds of lines of code to do a very simple task; but with jQuery a single line of code can end all your nightmares. Still, I had a very hard time adopting (accepting) jQuery. Not because I thought it was bad, but because I believed I could do it myself.

November

Poor man's way of handling 1.3 million web request

Poor man's way of handling 1.3 million web request

I write on this blog mostly to share what I learn in my career and also to improve my writing. I had very low expectation when I posted a link to a recent article I wrote on reddit. I never expected to shoot to number one in a matter of minutes in the technology subreddit. Looking at my Google analytic dashboard , The maximum I attained was over 1700 people at a time reading my blog and that was plenty to overwhelm my server.

Getting started with your first website: Part 2 - WordPress

Getting started with your first website: Part 2 - WordPress

This tutorial is a follow up the previous post Getting started with your first website. On the previous tutorial we have selected a hosting company and a operating system to run our server. We used Apache as a web server, MySQL as a database, and PHP as a programing language. The next step will be to setup an application that make use of all these technologies and create something useful. Our application will be a WordPress Blog.

List of laptops that support Ubuntu

List of laptops that support Ubuntu

Ubuntu is one of my favorite OS. It is very user friendly, perfect for surfing the web, for music, for movies and even gaming. At the same time you have all the power of Linux behind it so I can use it for working on my projects. Recently, I bought a new laptop and unfortunately I found myself returning it because it was a just a giant hardware dongle.

Fixing a 3 year old hack

Fixing a 3 year old hack

One of the sites I worked on was regularly getting hacked. The attacker did not leave much traces and eventually we learned how to deal with the symptoms of the attack rather than fix it. The common agreement was that maybe he was exploiting a bug in the framework. Recently, I did a deployment and didn't follow the exact procedures and we got hacked again. I got mad for getting blamed for it and decided it was time take a deeper look into the problem.

I have no idea what I am doing

I have no idea what I am doing

I am a web developer by trade and I program as a hobby. I love the idea that people who choose this career path are considered smart. Some of my non-tech savvy friends ask me questions like how Facebook works and they are awed when I answer: Facebook uses a giant database. In front of them I feel like a winner. The go to guy when we are talking about anything technical. But then I go back home. I open my local repository and look at my past, present, and future projects. Then I think to myself: I have absolutely no idea what I am doing.

JS Tip of the day

Loading jQuery asynchronously

The recommended way to load jQuery is with a script tag. You place it on the bottom of your page and make sure every script that depends on it are loaded after.…

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