Despite Low/No Budget for ICT, Impress Your Boss

first_imgThe goal of today’s article is to introduce a FREE and OPEN SOURCE Web development platform that can be used to build a dynamic and robust Web presence, for government, businesses, schools, organizations, etc. In today’s IT environment, if an unemployed student or IT professional wanted to learn Web development using a proprietary platform like Microsoft.Net, he/she would have to spend hundreds of US dollars; an expense that an unemployed Liberian, or should I say most Liberians cannot afford. In this article, I will discuss LAMP (acronym explained in 2nd paragraph), a free and open source Web development platform. Additionally, I will focus on the programming/scripting language PHP, because it is my preference of language within the LAMP stack. My apologies to all Perl and Python enthusiasts.The open source community, since its advent, has developed and made accessible thousands of software that have changed and significantly impacted the computing industry and the world as a whole. From software that run SCADA systems (industrial control systems), embedded systems (in cars, air traffic systems, etc), cell phones, to medical equipment, the open source community has done it all. However, one area in which open source software has had a significant impact is in the area of Web development. In previous years, when one engaged a discourse regarding open source’s impact on the World Wide Web, it typically gravitated toward the Apache Web server and/or other Web-related protocols. Today, open source Web development discourses are focused on a combination of free and open source software (FOSS) that now constitutes one of the best and most robust Web development platforms know as LAMP.No, LAMP does not stand for Liberian Association of Married People! LAMP, in fact, is the acronym for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Perl/Python, with PHP being the most widely used programming language in the combination. Each component of the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl/Python) is open source and available for free. The clause “open source and available for free”, means that anyone can use and modify each of the components in the stack as long as open source standards and principles are followed. It is important to note that not all open source software is free and not all free software is open source!! The acronym LAMP was coined by Michael Kunze in a German magazine in 1998 when he tried to show that a bundle of free software could provide a viable alternative to commercial packages.In the LAMP stack, Linux is the operating system and it was developed by Linus Torvolds while he was a student at the University of Helsinki. The most popular proprietary alternatives to Linux are Windows or Macintosh. Apache, developed by the Apache Foundation, is arguably the most commonly-used Web server. Its most popular proprietary competitor is Internet Information Server or IIS from Microsoft. MySQL is a relational database management system (RDBMS) with add-on tools for Web-based administration. It was developed originally by Michael Widener and named after his daughter, My. MySQL’s most popular proprietary competitors are Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, Informix, etc. PHP is a popular object-oriented scripting language. Programmers like it because of its ability to manipulate text streams with ease and efficiency, even when they originate from disparate (different) sources. It is not a difficult programming language to learn as is C/C++ or Python or other programming languages. PHP is a very forgiving, flexible and easy to learn language.There are also other Web development stacks such as Apple Computer’s WebObjects, Microsoft’s .NET and Java/Java EE architecture. Yet, these are all proprietary Web development platforms that may not be affordable to an individual or small business that needs a dynamic Web presence.LAMP provides a lot of benefits including: flexibility, ease of development, customization, ease of deployment, security, and an enthusiastic community of supporters (CoS). Be that as it may, LAMP has not gained the market strength to dominate Microsoft .NET or Java platforms. Despite this, it is, and will continue to be deployed along with proprietary software to build dynamic and interactive Web sites. Currently several combinations of proprietary and open source Web development tools are being used in the enterprise. Linux, Apache and MySQL are combined with Java to form a LAMJ platform. Windows on the other hand, combined with Apache, MySQL and PHP/Perl/Python to create the WAMP platform. What this essentially implies is that for now, we will not see any single Web platform dominate the market as we have seen with Microsoft’s Windows operating systems. J2EE, LAMP, .NET, and others will be around and used based on the requirements of end-users. But whatever the operating system used, a combination of a Web server (Apache), dynamic components (using Perl, Python or PHP), and a database (MySQL), can allow a developer to create a truly database-driven and dynamic Web site that is easy to update and provides rich functionality to support users.Personally, I use LAMP to run three applications: Moodle (Course Management System), Oscommerce (E-commerce) and Drupal (Content Management System). My experience building Linux servers that run these platforms forces me to boldly inform my reader that while LAMP is not actually difficult to learn, install, configure and administer, it does require a lot of work, time, and focus. Basically, if you are a “point and click” person who hates command line interfaces (CLI), coding or scripting, you may want to consider an alternative and more user-friendly platform.Another thing worth mentioning is since there are over 300 distributions of Linux (Ubuntu, SuSe, CentOS, Fedora, Debain, Redhat, etc), installation can be challenging. Carrying out some operations running different Linux versions may require the execution of different actions. This is because different Linux distributions store files in different locations, use different commands to complete one and the same task, and so on. For example Ubuntu may have its “www” sub-folder in the “VAR” directory, while other distributions might store the “www” folder in another directory. And then there are several different types of downloads and installation methods; some involve the use of APT (UBUNTU) others aim for RPM (Redhat), Deb (Debian), YUM (Fedora), TAR, and so on. Initially, this makes it difficult for the novice IT professional. The bottom line is when doing a LAMP installation, you must pay close attention! But overall, LAMP provides a better alternative for people in developing nations like Liberia who are struggling to gain a place in the digital community.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Watford reportedly make £10m offer for Southampton midfielder

first_img ‘perfect fit” IN DEMAND Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father Carroll explains why he wanted to fail Liverpool medical before £35m move Arsenal ace heading for January exit as German club ready bid for midfielder Ward-Prowse has created 19 goals in 167 Premier League games for Southampton heading off GOSSIP Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade on his way Watford have made a £10million offer for James Ward-Prowse.Manager Javi Gracia has made a late move to add depth to his Hornets squad ahead of transfer deadline day by targeting the Southampton midfielder just days before the new Premier League season begins. fear 1 three-way race Chelsea confident of beating Man United and Liverpool to Sancho signing RANKED Real Madrid ‘offer’ Isco to Chelsea in bid to ‘make room’ for Tottenham star LIVING THE DREAM Signing imminent? Man United target ‘on flight’ to England for talks with club REAL DEAL Watford are at home to Brighton on Saturday and Gracia will now wait to see if Mark Hughes, his opposite number, is willing to do business for the 23-year-old who has spent his whole career at St Mary’s.Ward-Prowse started more than half of Saints’ games in the Premier League last season but, according to SunSport, the manager will decide whether he is needed for the new season.Competing with the academy graduate in Southampton’s midfield are Mario Lemina and Oriol Romeu, although the ex-England Under-21 captain can also play on the right flank. Man United ‘miss out’ on Minamino, West Ham scout Flamengo strikers, Auba wants out TRANSFER LATEST Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland Euro expert explains why Liverpool should be so excited about Minaminolast_img read more