Monthly Archives: August 2006

A Chat with Rob Mowery

Robert MoweryRob Mowery has been an active user, developer and advocate for Ning going back almost all the way to our launch late last year. Not only has he created a whole load of Apps, but he regularly sends us great tips about the new technologies we should be investigating. I spoke to him about his many and varied apps, music-teaching software and what he’d like to see Ning do next.

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Welcome Aboard, PHP Community!

PHP Community banner

PHP Community is the new home for a friendly and varied bunch of PHP coders who’ve been floating around together on the net for a while. In the past they’ve written their own magazine and hosted blogs; now they’re checking out Ning and our Group App as a replacement for their old site. So far, they seem pretty happy with it! The community is open, so feel free to go join it. You can also chat with them on their IRC channel, #phpc on Freenode.

The app was created by experienced PHP programmer and writer Ben Ramsey. He’s also created another Ning App for PHP hackers eager to play with the forthcoming Zend Framework. We at Ning think this is fantastic – not only are we big fans of Zend’s work, but we contributed a chunk of code as well.
We’ll be integrating the framework with the Ning Playground soon after the final version is released. In the meantime, you can clone Ben’s app ZendFW and start exploring in advance.

Update: The Zend Devzone‘s Cal Evans has posted a short chat with Ben Ramsey about his Ning experiments.

A Chat with Ivan Bueno, Creator of Girl On Girl

Ivan Bueno

Shortly after Ning debuted in October, one user-created app rapidly established itself as the most popular on the system. That it took several months to unseat it was not a major surprise. Girl On Girl mixes the addictive simplicity of This Or That with several hundred female celebrities, but it doesn’t end there. As well as being Ning’s first big user-created hit, it was also the first Ning App to be heavily customized by its owner.

Ivan Bueno didn’t just add content; he rewrote the detail page code to automatically pull information from Wikipedia, Flickr and Amazon. That’s why it’s spawned over 150 new apps, including Player On Player for soccer fans, the remarkably-popular Citroen Battle and the inevitable Sexiest Man.

Ten months after it first appeared, Girl On Girl still sits comfortably amongst our most popular Apps. Now seems as good at time as any to see how things are going on the inside…

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What does “100% Programmable” mean?

As we’ve taken you through Ning’s latest features, we’ve repeatedly said that your Ning App is 100% programmable. What we mean is that if you want control, you’ve got it. The Apps we’ve created are varied and full-featured enough that most people clone, customize and use them happily without ever needing to dive into code. The difference between us and other web app services is that we give you the tools to do as much tweaking and building as you want. If there’s any feature in your App that you don’t like, you can change or get rid of it. If there’s something you want to enhance or add, you can do that too.

The new Ningbar with its customizability is just one feature in your App to control. Our URL rewriting tools and domain mapping premium feature give you total mastery over your App’s URLs. Our super-powerful open API gives you complete read-write access to content, user profiles and metadata across the whole of Ning. And with the full capabilities of PHP and Javascript at your disposal, with our own extra tools and built-in features on top, you’re limited only by your imagination.

You can find all the information you need in our Developer Documentation – have a wander through the tabs at the top of the page and you’ll see that it’s jam-packed with tips, examples and reference information. We also regularly give out useful nuggets in our Tech Blog. If you’ve got a question or have a great tip to share, join the growing community at our Developer Discussion Board. If you need an answer fast, jump onto the IRC channel.

I’ll say it again: you don’t have to write a line of code to create and run cool Apps on Ning. But 100% programmability means that we open up amazing possibilities for innovation and diversity, for a million ideas that we haven’t thought of. It means that we won’t stop you taking your Apps in whichever directions you want them to grow.

A Chat with Stephen Paul Weber

Barely a week goes by without Stephen Paul Weber (username singpolyma) popping up on our radar screens with yet another cool tool he’s hacked together using Ning, Javascript, XML, RSS, duct tape and string. Tools for bloggers? Folksonomy explorers? Javascript code stores?

Not only has he built it all, he’s usually done his coding over a low-bandwidth line from Africa. Stephen’s work demonstrates that Ning’s not just useful for cloning existing apps – it’s great for getting your own code projects up and running fast. He recently showed off his nifty feed-parsing library in a guest post on our Tech Blog – now it’s time to meet the man behind the code.

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