PHP and MySQL

What is PHP ?

PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML.”

This one of the definition You can find on the web about what is PHP. This definition is from http://php.net/. So what are the features of PHP then? To understand that I have to outline that PHP is different from static html. This is because HTML run from your computer and PHP doesn’t get executed on your computer, but on the computer you requested the page from. Instead of writing a lot of commands using HTML , PHP allows you to embedded code which does “something”. The PHP code is read from top to bottom until the end of the process. If a user views the page source of a website that contains PHP he only sees the answers that PHP executes. This is enclosed in special start and processing instructions (<?php and ?>) which allows to jump in and out from PHP mode.

PHP Features 

  • Does not execute on your computer
  • It allows to enhance the HTML code
  • PHP is server side scripting
  • Allows you to create website application with registrations, log in pages, content upload ect.
  • PHP is free
  • PHP can be run on any operating system

These are one of the many features of PHP. For our website application we had to use PHP as well as it contains content upload, registration and log in. I will go into more details of PHP used in our website application in another blog post.

What is MySQL

“MySQL is a freely available open source Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) that uses Structured Query Language (SQL).”

MySQL is the most popular open source database management system. MySQL has been developed, distributed and supported by Oracle Corporation. Is use GNU (General Public Licence) which means that everyone can look at the MySQL script and update it to suit their needs. MySQL database is a rational database. This means that instead of storing a lot of data in one place the date is split in separate tables. in MySQL databases you can set up relationships between different data. The database is able to recognize the relationships so that you don’t have duplicate data, out of date data or missing data. The SQL which stand for Structured Query Language is used to follow the rule between the relationships. Therefore SQL is used to communicate with the database.

MySQL Features: 

  • Open source (general public can edit the script to suit their needs)
  • Free to use
  • Uses rational database management system
  • Allows to set rules and parameters for data
  • Make relationship between different data
  • Information is stored in different tables rather than in once place

References: 

http://www.homeandlearn.co.uk/php/php1p1.html

https://www.siteground.com/tutorials/php-mysql/mysql.htm

https://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/4.1/en/what-is-mysql.html

http://www.sqlcourse.com/intro.html

http://php.net/manual/en/intro-whatis.php

Entity Relationship Model

Also known as ER modelling. “The entity-relationship model (or ER model) is a way of graphically representing the logical relationships of entities (or objects) in order to create a database.”

ER model is used by designers and software engineers to create a visual representation of how the architecture of the website or application will work in a database. Designers and software engineers create a Entity relationship diagram in order to create a visual representation. Entities are rendered into points, ovals, circles and polygons. Relationship between the entities is portrayed in lines connecting the points between ovals, circles and polygons. ER diagram are used for design optimization and debugging of the database programs. 

For our homework we had to create a ER model and a ER diagram for our website application. I have also created a physical database design using dummy data to test it.

rsz_edr

This physical database design allows me to test how the database will work. In order for a user to submit a day out he will have to register. We request username, password and email in order for the user to register. The Next step the user has to do is to log_in there is no need to create another table for logging in but I did as it is easier for me to visualize how it works. To log in the user has to insert his user name and password the information is checked by the user_id. If there is a user_id which such data in the database the user will be able to log in if not a message of “Please Register”  will pop up.

When the user is logged in he will be able to submit a day out. He will have to input the name, description, location and the rating of the day out.

I have also created a ER diagram. Which visualize how the database works:

rsz_edr_-_new_page

Looking at this diagram (reading it from left to right to bottom) we can see that each User can have one or more day out’s submitted and that each day out submitted must be owned by one and only one user. To Read my ERD I have used “Richard Barker’s Case*Method: Entity Relationship Modelling.” To create a ER Diagram I have used an online tool -https://www.lucidchart.com

References: 

http://folksonomy.co/?permalink=1454

http://searchsqlserver.techtarget.com/definition/entity-relationship-model

 

DME Without Net Neutrality

DME (Digital Media Enviroment ) Without Net Neutrality 

We have discussed previously what Net Neutrality means and how ISP providers can and have took the advantage of the Net Neutrality regulation lack.

How Would Digital Media Environment look like without Net Neutrality? This posted here show how the Internet is Today and how ISP would like the internet to be:

rsz_net-neutrality-what-you-need-know-now-infographic

From the poster we can see that the ISP providers would like to block certain content and charger extra to use a certain services. That would me the internet very close as the consumers would not be able to access certain content without paying an extra charge. The charge could acquire to both the end consumer and the provider of the service. Let’s say that in order to use Facebook the ISP ask the subscriber to pay extra otherwise the website will run very slow and the user would not be able to use. Facebook as the service provider that store a lot data on ISP servers would need to pay extra so that they increase the speed of consumers accessing Facebook. As the internet is open these days all of us have the freedom to access all digital content at the same level. Without Net Neutrality there would be lot of control and limited space for innovations as the ISP companies would control what content users can see. Which means that new innovative star ups would have less opportunities.

One of the largest telecommunication regulator in the UK Ofcom decided in 2013 that : “Treating all packets of internet traffic as equals without discriminating against particular protocols and services – trendily known as net neutrality – is a non-issue in the UK.”
This statement means that in the UK Net Neutrality is not an issue therefore the ISP providers should not charge any extra to access certain content or give faster bandwidth speed for certain service or streaming providers. Many of the ISP companies would like that net neutrality did not exist as they would have an opportunity to make more money. However they forget the fact that people enjoy the internet the way it is – free and open. Government and consumers are highly for the net neutrality. If Net neutrality did not exists ISP companies would build monopolies and consumers would in a lot control of what content they can view the would also be an affect on innovation as mentioned earlier.


How Would Net Neutrality affect our Web Application? 

As mentioned in previous blog post our website idea helps users to find a day out in Bournemouth as well as registered users would be able to add their own day out. Since our website application is quite small and based only in Bournemouth Net Neutrality does not have a great affect on it. However if we decide to expand to other cities and towns we would produce more traffic to the ISP servers which means that if Net Neutrality did no exist ISP could charges us and users of using the website. If the website application start to compete with website like TripAdvisor ISP could choose to provide more speed and less traffic jam in their server for them if they pay more money.

References:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04/02/ofcom_annual_plan/

Net Neutrality

Wha is Net Neutrality? 

“Net neautrality is this: If I pay to connect to the Net with a certain quality of service, and you pay to connect with that or greater quality of service, then we can communicate” (Net Neutrality: Towards a Co-Regulatory Solution by Christopher T. Marsden)

So what does this mean? Well in simple words Net Neutrality allows users of the internet to receive all services,data, websites ect. at the same level. Without the Net Neutrality there would be no one stopping ISP (Internet Service Providers ) at slowing down specific websites and streaming. Net Neutrality allows the internet to be free of discrimination against specific website and streaming. Net Neutrality states that all content of the internet should be treated equally.

Importance of Net Neutrality

We can ask a question about Net Neutrality weather it is a good or a bad thing. We can look at internet as an utility for people such as electricity. Electricity is equal for everyone. Utility Companies don’t charge extra money for using different types of devices or receiving different amount of electricity it is the same for everyone. Let’s say that charging a phone will be cheaper than charging a laptop and so on. Utility companies would make far more money and at the end the consumer will receive the biggest impact of this. Because electricity is the same for everyone it is neutral. Net Neutrality works almost same way. Everything in the internet is open. The users don’t need to pay extra money for ISP companies in order to access specific website or streaming. However user do pay for different bandwidth speeds but that does not relate which content the user will be able to access and not. For example if the ISP companies decide that they will slow down the speed of you favorite website and increase the speed of their favorite one that Would be a discrimination against You. The website that speed were slow down would have to pay the money to The ISP provider in order to increase the speeds of it. And again at the very end it is the consumer that faces the most impact of this situation.

An example about Net Neutrality could be how Netflix came to pay Comcast for internet traffic.

In 2013 and ISP called Comcast slowed down the bandwidth speed Netflix receives. Comcast subscribers started to feel the affect as the streaming was not as fast and video quality not as good. Comcast suggested Netflix to move to another service provider or pay extra for  for direct access to improve speed as they store allot of data in their servers. Netflix had no choice but to pay Comcast so that subscribers could receive normal service. Netflix is now paying between $25 to $50 million dollars a year to Comcast in order to maintain good service and ensure there is no internet traffic jam while using their service. This diagram will explain it visually what happened between Netflix and Comcast:

rsz_what-happened-when-netflix-paid-for-direct-access-to-comcast

 

And this poster explain how Internet Service providers wan the Internet to be and how the internet is today:

rsz_net-neutrality-what-you-need-know-now-infographic

References: 

http://qz.com/256586/the-inside-story-of-how-netflix-came-to-pay-comcast-for-internet-traffic/

http://www.dogonews.com/2015/2/12/the-debate-about-network-neutrality-and-why-you-should-care

http://www.theverge.com/2014/3/24/5541916/netflix-deal-with-the-devil-why-reed-hastings-violated-his-principles

Net Neutrality: Towards a Co-Regulatory Solution by Christopher T. Marsden
E-book link: 

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=L82vAwAAQBAJ&dq=net+neutrality&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Videos Watched: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2psly3euy78

Participatory Culture – Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons is a media file repository in a public domain which consists of freely licensed educational materials such as images, sounds, video ectIt is accessible to everyone and even better it can be accessed in everyone language as well. User and/or consumers can submit their own files and licence them with CC (Creative Commons). Wikimedia Commons is used as a repository for various Wikipedia Foundation projects but there is no need to belong to these projects to use the files hosted in Wikimedia Commons. Repository is created an maintained by volunteers and it uses the same wiki-technology as Wikipedia so that users can edit it.

For my home work I was set a task to participate in UGC (User Generated Content). I have choose Wikimedia Commons to do this and Uploaded a a picture to the Image repository. In order to upload an image I had to create an account which was quite easy to do.

This is the image I have uploaded to Wikimedia Commons on how it looks like in the repository:

rsz_1capture

 

As You can see other user have an option to download the image, use the image on the web, use the image in Wikipedia Article and Email it. However I have put  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Users that use my image are:

Free to

  • to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work
  • to remix – to adapt the work

Under the following conditions:

  • attribution – You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).
  • share alike – If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.

rsz_capture_2

This type of Creative Common licence gives me some of the control of the image that I uploaded to the repository. Since it is an image I thought it would be good to receive attribution for it. And under attribution condition users can share and remix my work.

In my opinion using UCG (User Generated Content) is a great way to collaborative and build fantastic thing with little capital required. The web have more that an billion users which means that collaboration can happen because of the invention of WEB 2.0 and UCG.

 

 

Website Idea

During the meetings that I had with my team we have decided on our website idea and functionality of it.

Our initial idea was to create a website for tourist that visit Bournemouth and give them suggestion of activities that they can do in Bournemouth. Following the brief we have understood that Tourists will not be a specific group of people that we can target. Following this we have change the idea slightly and decided to target Families with Young Children. We have also came up with the name for our website which is ‘Bored at Bournemouth’  

The idea that we have for the website will consist of the following features and functions:

  • The user will be able to choose what type of day he wants to have (e.g. Active, Social, Cultural, Shopping)
  • The Day Out’s suggested by administrators will be stored in Day Out Page
  • The user will be able to see  the activities, description of it, the opening times, location and website.
  • Users will have an option to register to the website to submit his own day out by providing the name of the activity, description, location and rating.

I have performed some individual research to find websites with similar functionality and features. One of the most popular website that exists with very similar features is Trip Advisor

As a user on TripAdvisor you can:

  • Search for hotels, restaurants, flights, holiday ideas, cruises ect.
  • User can see reviews and ratings of other people that have been to the hotel, restaurant ect.
  • Register users can rate and review the place they have been to
  • Business owner can add they hotels and restaurants to TripAdvisor
  • User can complete bookings through TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor has a lot to offer for the user in terms of the huge amount of information it consists of. In terms of the functionality of the website there is similar features that our website will have but rather than focusing on a large scale we focus locally which will work as an individual website for Bournemouth Town so the user will know that all the information in there is for Bournemouth region only.

References

TripAdvisor – http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/

Blogging System

In this blog post I will explain what Blogging system I will use of the Development for Digital Media Environments Unit.

To begin with I have change my blog theme to a new one which has a more simplistic look and is easier to read and follow. I have done this because the previous theme I had installed used a grid of pictures to access different post that I have made. The new theme allow me to have a consistent ‘scroll down’ flow mo my weblog.

To explain my new weblog system I will break it down to bullet points and explain how I will use text, images, categories and tags.

Text 

  • Post aligned in the middle of the weblog
  • Text aligned to the left
  • Calibri (Body) shrift with font Size 11
  • Citations and/or reference in Italic
  • Any abbreviations will be a explained in the KEY at the end of the post

Images 

  • Images size 800×600
  • Template to scale the image
  • Smaller images with background filling to will the row and/or the column of the page
  • Click through option for larger resolution images
  • Reference for the image below it in Italic font and underline text

Categories

  • One category for all the post in regard of the Unit (e.g Design for Digital Media Environment unit posts will be under D4DME category)
  • Any other post and self projects will be listed i Inspiration category

Tags

  • Each post will contain at least one Tag to link post that are similar or had influence on each other
  • Any self made projects will have tags to the post that I have learned from

Meet The Team Page

Meet The Team 

For our project we had to create a Meet the team page. In order to do so our team used the knowledge and some of the code used in the previous project that we used to work in in workshops. Our meet the team page consists of:

  • Meet The Team Page (In this page we all added a picture of ourselves and a small paragraph about who we are)

rsz_team

  •  About Page (This consists of information about who we are and what is the project. Also links to our personal blogs and our wiki page)

rsz_about

 

  • Contact Page where the user can fill in the detail required and send us a message (although it only submits to the phpMyAdmin database )

rsz_contact

Over time this page is likely to change and look different as it was created as the first thing for our website application. The information will stay the same as it is about ourselves.

Participatory Culture

“Participatory Culture is term referring to consumers of media products that do not only act as the consumers of Digital Media but also involves into the process of creating and making the Digital Media products better. ”

Our first lecture in Design for Digital Media Environments unit consisted of series of information about Participatory Design the relation to WEB 2.0 and different ways of how the general public can involve in Participatory Design .

Web 2.0 and Participatory Design

The definition we were given in lecture:

“Web 2.0 is the network as platform, spanning all connected devices; Web 2.0 applications are those that make the most of the intrinsic advantages of that platform: delivering software as a continually-updated service that gets better the more people use it, consuming and remixing data from multiple sources, including individual users, while providing their own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others, creating network effects through an architecture of participation, and going beyond the page metaphor of Web 1.0 to deliver rich user experiences.”

Reference: “O’reilly, T. (2007). What is Web 2.0: Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. Communications and Strategies, 65(1), 17-37.”

Web 2.0 is basically a second version of WEB. Web 2.0 changes the concept of static websites to dynamic or user generated content. This allows the social media to grow and create better user experience. WEB 2.0 has a lot in relation to Participatory Design. As mentioned in the begging Participatory design is about general public participating in Digital Media content creation and amendment so they are not just consumers. A good example of Participatory Design and WEB 2.0  could be WIKIS.

WIKIS

Wiki is a application (or a web application) that allows users to add, delete, amend  the content or the structure. Wikis are written in simplified mark up language (also know as “wiki markup”) or a rich text editor. Some people might see Wikis as a blog type website but unlike blog’s Wiki differs from them by not having a defined owner or leader which is one of the things that makes it possible for others user to delete, add or amend the content. There are different types of Wikis that exists one of the most popular one is Wikipedia which is an online Encyclopedia. People in Wikipedia write articles that relate to Historical Events, Famous people ect. Consumers of the Wikipedia can suggest and edit if the spot a mistake in a Wikipedia article. Also Wikipedia articles consists of different resources and references in order to write the article.

GNU/Linux

Another example of participatory culture. GNU/Linux is a completly free operating system made bu users for users. It comparison to Windows or Apple OS Linux is a free alternative. There are many different remixed distribution of Linux made  in order to adapt to different community needs.

CC – Creative Commons

Some of the work in the Participatory Culture and WEB 2.0 needs to have some right reserved. Creative Commons is a free non-profit organisation that provide free an easy to use copyright licences to give public the premision to share, use and modify your work. There are 6 diffrent licences of CC that users can chose from.

  1. Attribution – This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation
  2. Attribution-ShareAlike – This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms
  3. Attribution-NoDerivs – This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.
  4. Attribution-NonCommercial – This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.
  5. Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike – This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.
  6. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs –  Only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.