Review: WeBuilder 2014 in retrospect

A while back I made a post about the PasteLock service I’ve developed and published. It took me quite a while to develop the service, mainly due to the fact that I am not a webdesigner, I’m a webdeveloper. As such, I usually open up Adobe Dreamweaver to develop anything that requires HTML and CSS work. Why Dreamwaver? You must be cringing if you think I need a WYSIWYG editor to create a website. This is not the case, but I like to see what I develop when I develop it.

Unlike before I decided not to go with Dreamweaver for once and try something new. I came across a web development suite that seemed to meet all of my requirements. WeBuilder 2014, still in beta at the time, had all of the tools I needed, like syntax highlighting, extensive code completion, a live browser preview and even support for PHP debugging. As I was immediately won over by the extensive feature list, I decided to give it a try.

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Installing Imagemagick or GD (Ubuntu 12.04)

If you’re working with PHP software, you’ll often need image processing software to support complex processing of images in PHP. Most commonly, you will be using the GD or Imagemagick libraries.

To install Imagemagick on Ubuntu for PHP:

To install GD on Ubuntu for PHP:

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Installing “pecl intl” (Ubuntu 12.04)

Some PHP software, such as MediaWiki, prefer for servers to have the “intl” PECL package to be installed. On Ubuntu you can insall it as a precompiled package from the official repositories:

If you start from a clean Ubuntu install and you want to build the package yourself, you might not have all of the dependencies installed. Run this command to make sure you have all of the prerequisites installed:

To build the package itself:

You might also have to restart your webserver if you manually build the package. For Apache, run:

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PasteLock: Secure your data online.

For a while now I’ve been playing around with a couple of ideas for new projects in my head. I finally decided to go through with turning one of these ideas into reality. The result is PasteLock.

PasteLock is a pastebin style site where you can host pieces of text or code, so you can easily distribute it to your friend and colleagues. There are already many pastebin services out there, but I wanted to set out to create something special. This pastebin offers something different than most other pastebins, as it offers security.

When you create a paste, the title and paste content is encrypted in the database with a randomized encryption key which is never stored on the server. The encryption is powered by the AES-256 encryption algorithm. On top of the server-side encryption of the data, PasteLock also actively enforces a verified SSL connection to ensure that your connection to the site is secure and can’t be intercepted. In the event that the site were to switch to a stronger encryption algorithm, the data will also be automatically re-encrypted with the stronger algorithm when it is being accessed.

Syntax highlighting is of course available for about every programming language out there. The pastes that have been posted can easily be printed or downloaded from the site with the click of a button. For printing, the site provides a clean print-friendly format.

So go check it out at

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Tablets everywhere!!

As of late, there’s been an undeniable increase in the use of tablet PCs. I’ve heard people say that tablets will be the end of the desktop PC, they will take over the entire market and everything else will slowly fade away into history. Laptops were going to do the same thing a few years ago, but I’m typing this article on my desktop PC.

If you’d ask me to define today’s average tablet PC, I would respond with:

Tablets are bulky smartphones with large screens to play low-end games on.

This may be a slight exaggeration, but in a way it’s hard to deny.

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Delphi: Convert set of Char to string WITH ranges

In an application I’m working on, I need to convert a set of characters to a string, but I want it to be short, so I want to keep the ranges intact. Now, there may be a better way of doing this, but I had little luck finding a solution online, so I wrote this piece of code:

If you input [‘a’..’z’, ‘A’..’Z’, ‘0’..’9′, ‘_’, ‘ ‘, ‘.’], it will print out the string: [‘ ‘, ‘.’, ‘0’..’9′, ‘A’..’Z’, ‘_’, ‘a’..’z’]

In case anyone knows a better way of doing this, let me know in the comments.

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InstallMonetizer: Money from installs

So if you’re anything like me, you love developing freeware software. But in that case you also know it’s not a cheap way to pass your time. If you want to develop software legitimately, you’ll often need to purchase development tools, your hardware needs to be up-to-date and you need a way to distribute it, like a good server for webhosting. Unfortunately these things do not come cheap and you’ll often make “big” losses, at least for a while if you’re going into freeware development.

I’ve been developing freeware for 8 years now and during that time I’ve managed to build up a self-sustaining development environment. I’m not going to get rich any day soon, but I’m now spending less than I get in return. A first step for most people who host a website is to add ads to the site, for example: Google Adsense. Unfortunately you need a really large userbase which not only visits your site, but also stays there for a while and returns afterwards for this to actually be profitable. It is also tricky to work out an optimal placement pattern for these ads to generate as much revenue as possible. Regardless, this could compensate you for your hosting costs in the beginning when you don’t have that much traffic and needs on your server.

After a few years I noticed that my server and development costs kept rising while my ads revenue did not quite follow the same pattern. So I set out to find a way to make enough from development to support it. When you’re installing free software you’ll often find that it asks you to install some additional software, like a toolbar, a browser or any other range of things. This I thought could offer a solution to my problem. It did however prove to be very difficult to find a PPI (Pay Per Install) project that did not distribute any malware or require you to sign any sketchy contracts. Then about a year ago I came across InstallMonetizer. At the time the company wasn’t older than a year, but I signed up regardless.

I’ve now learned that InstallMonetizer is a great way to earn a revenue off of your freeware software, sufficient to pay for (most) of your development and hosting costs! The company works with a great variety of advertisers and pays revenues of up to $1/install. I choose to stay with this company because not only do they generate a decent revenue, they also work with advertisers that provide legitimate malware-free software, including things such as the Bing toolbar. This was the most important factor for me as I certainly did not want to bring my users in contact with any malware infested software. Payouts are done on a monthly basis and I can guarantee that they do actually pay out, as there are many other sites like this out there which are just scamming people out of their revenue. On top of these things they also offer easy to understand video tutorials on how to integrate their software into most popular installers.

So if you want to earn an extra buck from your freeware software and you’re not sure where to start, sign up for an account at InstallMonetizer.

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