For each scripting language, there are various image manipulation libraries for actions like cropping, resizing or optimizing each item.
The problem is that some libraries are lacking some features, they may not be available on "that" hosting account, etc. and you may be in need of a better solution.
Cloudinary is a web service for processing and manipulating images in the cloud with the requests we can send using the HTTP and URL based APIs provided.
The Giveaway: Cloudinary is giving away 3 x 3 months Basic accounts (worth$120/account) to WRD readers and details of "how to joining it" can be found at the bottom of this post.
It starts with handling the uploads (including multiple files at once) and accomplishes standard jobs like cropping, resizing, optimizing or converting them so easily.
Let's say you have uploaded an image named "
product.jpg" and sized 600*400px using the API. You want to display a small thumbnail in the product listing page:
a little bigger one in the product detail page:
and the original one in a lightbox
Amazing right? They are all created on-demand, cached for future use and served from Amazon CDN for faster delivery.
But, Cloudinary offers more and smarter methods for today's web which will impress you like automatically fetching user photos from social networks.
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Opa is a web development platform that is mostly focused on scalability, easy deployment to the cloud, security and a faster coding process to create apps.
It consists of the following which are tightly integrated into each other:
- a new programming language
- a new web server
- a new database
- a new distributed execution engine
Out of the box, the platform has everything for scaling of storage, transactions and how they are served. It handles them automatically by using minimum resources.
Opa is currently available for Mac OS X and Linux, however, Windows support is under development. It is also very well-documented.
P.S. Although a new language usually looks hard (or unnecessary) for any developer, Opa is definitely worth checking out.
Compatibility: Mac OSX and Linux
As the number of cloud storage services increases & projects may require using multiple services at the same time, it becomes complicated for a developer to learn the details of each provider.
Simple Cloud API is an open source project that aims to create a common PHP interface for using cloud services.
It currently supports the storage API for:
- Amazon S3
- Windows Azure Blob Storage
and, in the near future, aims to support Rackspace Cloud Files, GoGrid Cloud Storage besides the queue & document APIs of all services.
The project is backed by Zend & supported by IBM, Microsoft, Rackspace, Nirvanix, and GoGrid.
Also, moving to the cloud is no more a fantasy, it is the "current & future trend" considering the popularity of applications like Google Docs, Adobe Acrobat Online or web-based OSs.
As a web designer/developer, it is possible not to use any desktop softwares & work 100% web-based.
There are several tools that we use daily & has vital importance:
- IDE (code editor)
- Image editor
- Database manager
- FTP application
Although desktop environment, clearly, has many advantages over web, web has an important one like working from any computer (even it is a weak one) & staying synchronized.
Here are free web applications that you can use to create your own web-based design/development environment:
This web application offers a desktop-like coding environment with features like:
- multiple projects
- built-in FTP explorer
- syntax highlighting
- undo-redo support
- & more.
There are also features like tabs, find-replace or auto-completion that we could expect from a desktop IDE.
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