August 2006


My initial thought was: Already? We haven’t even finished the year yet, but The Times apparently don’t think that anything new will happen during the last 5 months of 2006, so here’s a list of the best 50 web sites 2006.

Many of them are web 2.0 sites, and we can discuss anytime what web 2.0 actually is or isn’t of if the term makes sense at all, but to me, it’s a list of websites for use and inspiration. Web 2.0 companies do tend to be progressive, willing to think new ideas and use new technology or technology in new ways. I think the actual definition of the term is not as interesting as all those companies doing new stuff, new ways.

Of course, it would have been great if my site, Quomon, had been in that list, but it’s still very new for that. But next year… :)

Things are going steady forward with Quomon. It’s great to see people are using it more and more, we’re indexed VERY well in google and get high percentage of traffic there and we keep tweaking the site to make it better.

A new version was uploaded this weekend and I want to comment on a few of the changes.

- The RSS feeds have been tweaked a little. First of all they weren’t parsed as they should, so linebreaks were missing and links as well. But we also adapted the feed so that RSS Bandit reads the link as it should. This is actually not our fault, but for some reason RSS Bandit interprets the GUID of the RSS feed to be the url instead of the LINK. This is wrong according to the RSS 2.0 standard, but I’d rather have my users read the link well, than wait until RSS Bandit gets updated.

- Another change is that now the similar questions showing up if you ask a new question (using AJAX) take spelling mistakes into account. For this we’re using the dotlucene.net framework, which indexes and searches text extremely fast and has a huge variety of ways to search. It uses fuzzy logic, i.e. the Levenstein distance to match similar words.

- We also implemented links as hyperlinks in the text via the [url] [/url] that is also used in phpBB forums. This was interesting since I had to figure out the Regular Expression to parse the link which meant using Regex.Replace with groups in the regular expression and a MatchEvaluator delegate to handle the replacement.

That were the major changes, I’d better continue work on the rest of our todo-list.

I found a reference on Slashdot to this article going through a real xss attack on informit.com, showing how easy it is and the vulnerabilities that we as developers need to protect against.

It’s an interesting read, very easy to follow and pretty dangerous if not protected against.

I found a reference to Acunetix web vulnerability scanner, that supposedly tests a website automatically against this. But the pricing is pretty high and I’d rather want a good rules of thumbs list for developers.

Finally a month ago we got version 1.0 of quomon.com public! I’ve been busy travelling and didn’t get to post about it before now.

The website is a web 2.0 inspired forum for IT professionals to get problems solved and for IT experts to gain prestige. It uses a point system that motivates quick answers and makes it easy to recognize experts in their fields of expertice. It implements tagging and uses AJAX to enhance the usability and serves all information as RSS feeds as well. Quomon.com is developed in asp.net and uses open source frameworks like NHibernate, dotlucene.net, anthem.net to enhance it’s functionality.

I had the original idea a couple of years ago, but needed people to help me develop it, and finally I managed to establish a good development team that made the site even better than I could have thought. I can’t disguise it, I’m pretty proud. Having said that, we have a looooong todo list and we will probably get more now that people will be begin to use the site.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this develops over the next couple of months. We have high expectations and the feedback we are receiving is very positive.