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What Are the Advantages of Drupal 8’s Accessibility Feature
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Github for Unity: Is That Good News?
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Will Unity Give a Push to VR and Better 3D Graphics With Its Game Engine?
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7 Important Tips for Leading a Remote Team
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How Drupal 8 Can Boost Your Business?
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7 Common Ways That Small Businesses Waste Money Marketing
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WordPress Vs. Drupal: Which Content Management System Is Right For You?
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Unity 5.6 Beta Is Now Available, Brings Vulkan Support And 60% Boost In Performance Out Of The Box
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How to Choose Between Symfony, Laravel or Yii?
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ad:tech Australia: Ad-ding more tech to our advertisements

What Are the Advantages of Drupal 8’s Accessibility Feature

Drupal is a Content Management System. This web-based SaaS allows multiple users with various levels of access to manage all types of content. If you are a user, you will be able to create, edit, publish and archive web pages, articles, press releases and blogs. You can also add and edit events in an event calendar, as well as add or edit  inventory. The purpose of a content management system is to provide the ability to systematically organise and manage a company’s web content in one place. Drupal is one such system which is large and open-sourced. One of its most important features is that it is highly accessible to users. The latest version i.e., Drupal 8, has been rendered even more accessible and user friendly than the last version.

Drupal 8 has been in the works for a while, and it’s coming has long been anticipated. This version has many awesome features such as being responsive to mobile devices, built into its core themes. Configuration management, edit-in-place functions, Views and WYSIWYG interfaces have been directly integrated into the core drupal module.

Accessibility, more importantly, “web accessibility,” is defined as the removal of barriers that have been preventing interaction with or access to websites for some of the population – such as people with disabilities. A well designed, edited and developed website provides equal access to all users. An average individual may not immediately realize how important the accessibility feature of a website is, but there are literally millions of potential users out there who have to use assistive technology to gain access when surfing the internet. Being inclusive is a lofty aspiration on the part of the Drupal community. The enhancement in Drupal’s latest version to support these assistive technologies is a giant leap forward in the path to a healthy and progressive inclusivity.

Here are the advantages of Drupal 8’s accessibility features.

  • Increased Semantic Elements

They have provided more HTML5 semantic elements in this version. Together with other complementary tools, like WAI-ARIA, they have greatly enhanced the system’s web accessibility. This is a remarkable sign that Drupal has truly evolved.

  • Upgrade in Accessibility

While accessibility was definitely an issue that was addressed in the previous version i.e., in Drupal 7, some of the necessary technology for this end were not quite ready until Drupal 8 came into being. Much more of the core HTML has now had HTML5 and WAI-ARIA features incorporated.

  • Alt Text Images

Images with the “alt” attribute are often used for search engine optimization, but they can and should be used to enhance accessibility features. A visually impaired user, for example, will be able to know what an image is all about with the help of alt text. The advent of Drupal 8 will ensure that websites upload text descriptions for uploaded images.

  • Underlined Hyperlinks

Links will be underlined by default with Bartik, and not just indicated by a color change. This may seem like a minor change that does not disturb basic HTML design or functionality but is significant and considerate to those who are visually challenged.

  • Use of Buttons

Where there are ‘calls to action’ by websites, you will find that very often, these are in the form of anchor texts rather than buttons. Introducing the use of buttons over links is a logical step, even from a semantic standpoint. Drupal 8 has called for this measure. While WAI-ARIA can be useful in identifying the purpose of some elements, this new standard can make do with HTML without becoming heavily dependent on WAI-ARIA.

  • Errors in Inline Forms

Errors made while filling up forms will now become easier to identify the user. This is done using the additional feature as an experimental module of the optional core.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of the advantages of Drupal’s accessibility features in Drupal 8. It does, however, cover the bases with regards to how much more accessible, user-friendly and inclusive in outreach that Drupal has achieved, in its most recent version. Drupal 8 is now much closer to the ideal, which is to render the web accessible to all.

Github for Unity: Is That Good News?

Github with Unity is something many game developers and their teams will welcome. Github is the perfect haven for the world’s largest community of game developers and the product of their imaginations. Github is a cooperative tool where people come together and produce works of art by solving problems or experimenting together if they choose.  What could be better than collaboration when it comes to coding? Github allows developers to collaborate. Now, this feature will help you while you develop your game on Unity with the Github for Unity extension.

Unity 5.5 always finds room to become better with each new version, and they persistently work to bring out its best features. In version 5.5, a new set of features, like Unity Collaborate will prove helpful for developers. The support for file locking and Git LFS has been provided under Github for Unity, will help to bring workflow and other advantages of Github to Unity.  

Version Control Repository and Developers

Git is a SaaS based system for software coding files version or source control, which helps in tracking the change in code files. It also helps to coordinate the work of multiple people on these code files. Git is very helpful for development as it helps to keep track of all the changes made to a given file. Developers can keep track of any change that is made to a file. The focus is aimed at attaining the integrity of data and speed along with supporting nonlinear and distributed workflows. Thus, Git is important to game developers in many ways.

Github is a web-based source control (Git) repository. It also offers internet hosting services. Github is important to developers because it provides all the source code management (SCM) and distributed version control functionality of a version control (Git), along with some additional features. A wide range of collaboration and access control features which includes issue tracking, task management, feature request and bug tracking, are all available for every project. Github is basically used for code. Although Github focuses on problem-solving and work improvement it provides functions that are similar to a social networking site. These features include followers, feeds, etc. The social network graph displays developers’ work and an intuitive way of working in their file versions. Users first create an account, if they wish to contribute something. In a case of public repositories, an account is not necessary. It can be downloaded and browsed by anybody, but there are advantages of becoming a registered user.  This gives you access to discussions, creation, and management of repositories, reviewing changes in the code and most importantly the ability to contribute to different projects.

What Github for Unity Means?

Millions of developers around the world are able to write code and collaborate with other developers in code. While many might feel it’s not a good choice for the development team members processes to involve games, it is not so. It is the Git integration process that discourages game developers due to the fact that many get stuck on the steep learning curve.

Github for Unity extension provides a platform to game engineers, both the programmers and the digital artists. It allows unity developers to integrate Gits in a better way. The workflow will improve with Github, even in situations where large binary assets versioning is being done. With Github for Unity extension, Gits and Github can be directly integrated into Unity Editor directly. This extension will also include Git LFS version 2.0 which supports storage of large binary assets and locking of the file. This is very helpful when you want to communicate with your team in case of difficult file merging tasks.  The file locking feature of Git LFS 2.0.0 will allow the developer to lock the currently active tasks. This helps you to prevent others from gaining access to your files unless you unlock them. Therefore, the merge conflicts can be avoided. The work is not lost on the files that are hard to merge at the file system level. Although it might contradict the distributive and parallel nature of version controls, this is very beneficial for larger teams.

When the world’s ultimate game development platform comes together with a vibrant and unique community for developers like Github, one can expect things to get better. This is the first step of the Unity and Github unification which can be explored more in the future. It will be very beneficial for Unity developers as things are looking brighter.

Will Unity Give a Push to VR and Better 3D Graphics With Its Game Engine?

For several years,  game developing companies have been using game engines to bring their games to life,  implementing their ideas into the game. Unity is not an exception. Team unity is always active and uses different types of high-end graphics to develop the latest game engines. According to Clive Downie, the chief marketing officer of Unity, if you are among those who earn less than 100,000 dollars revenue on their unity projects, you are offered unity game engines for free. As the revenue, and therefore needs, of a company increase, the company offers Unity Pro on a fee basis.

The year 2017 is highly important for Virtual Reality. VR game development has become a hot topic, but choosing a VR game development is a difficult task since there are multiple game engines available in the market. Among them, the Unity and the Unreal engine are the two most popular platforms. The question that arises is which one of them is the best for you? Describing the answer in one word is not possible, but it is clear that the votes for the Unity Engine are a little more than the votes for the Unreal Engine. Unity is transforming VR and developing better 3D graphics with its game engine.

Before going on to the advantages of Unity game engines, let’s  find out more about the Unity Engines:

  • In terms of game development tools, Unity can be considered one of the most popular ones. It was introduced to the market in the year 2005, and since then it has been holding its good reputation for creating 2D as well as 3D games. It is quite an unusual fact that a game engine is developing both 2D and 3D games.
  • Boo, UnityScript and C# are the three development languages that are supported by this platform.
  • Unity basically has two versions – one is free and the other is the pro. All the versions of Unity offer a support desk, the web, mobile and console platform. Whereas the free versions of Unity support Android, Windows, iOS, Mac OS X and various other mobile versions, the pro version offers support for Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and PlayStation.
  • The Unity engines are cost effective and they have a wide range of developers. One of the most important features of this platform is that it offers the best value for the latest and highly advanced game development engine. The editing tools that are used in this platform are easily extended through plug-ins. Not only that, the Unity platform supports a wide range of asset formats.
  • The Unity engine has the longest track record with mobile games in comparison to all gaming platforms. The free version is enough for beginners as they would have very little to almost no use of the pro version features. Even though the pro version is fee-based, the cost is highly reasonable. The results that are received from Unity are unbelievably impressive.

Advantages of the Unity engine:

  • Supports a wide range of platforms:

The Unity engine offers a great deal of support to almost every platform, and approximately 95% of the work is shared between iOS, PC, mobile and web platforms.

  • Outstanding graphics:

The Unity Engine is famous for its incredible graphics feature. With its great material, it supports the latest audio-visual effects. The graphics are highly accessible and the visual can be scaled down easily while maintaining the quality, even on low-level access, and can be optimized with pixel shaders.

  • Easy deployment:

Unity is so accessible that any game can be deployed on this engine.

  • Stable code:

In comparison with the languages of other engines, Unity’s code is very stable and it consists of a good architecture for minimized errors and good performance.  

  • IDE:

Unity includes IDE, which is considered as the most powerful tool with extraordinary game development features and a user-friendly environment.

Without a shadow of a doubt, Unity is an outstanding platform for game development. If you are a game developer and you want to develop a creative two-dimensional or three-dimensional game, then Unity is highly recommended for you. To help you get started you can find a number of tutorial videos, which can help you get familiar with the process of game development on Unity.

7 Important Tips for Leading a Remote Team

Employees are the most crucial part of any business or enterprise. If you have a team with good employees, you will have an edge over your competitors due to increased productivity. Leading your employees through the daily business operations requires you to put in the extra effort. Leading a team of remote employees can have its own set of challenges.

The work environment today grants employees the freedom to work from anywhere in the world due to the presence of the internet and computers. They don’t have to be present at a physical location to work.  There are many benefits to having a virtual team of employees working remotely.

The most crucial advantage is that you can hire talented candidates from across the globe, which contributes to taking productivity to the next level for you. You can bring in innovative ideas by hiring virtual employees and save the cost of maintaining an expensive infrastructure. Although there are many benefits of hiring virtual employees, there is one area that can cause concern – leading a virtual team can be tough. This problem is not insurmountable and can be solved if you follow certain tips. Here are seven tips that will help you to manage and lead a virtual team of employees like a pro.

Hire with Care

When you hire a virtual employee, you have to make sure that you hire the right candidate for the job. You must remember that not everyone can tackle the task of working alone. Although you and other virtual employees may be in contact, there are certain times when individual decision-making might be required. There are people who tend to be inclined to seek help from coworkers or seniors when put in that position. Remote workplaces are generally less social than physical ones and it is difficult to be available to the employee all the time. That is why it is important that you choose candidates who fit all the criteria of the job.  

Set Expectations

When your employee is working via a remote location, it is difficult to keep track of who is doing what amount of work. There is always a fear that keeps you wondering whether your employees are working well or abusing the privilege of work from a remote location. Productivity is the most important factor to consider when hiring regular or virtual employees. To maintain the right levels of productivity you must set expectations that are clearly communicated in a remote workplace model.

You can draw the daily output requirements, the time within which the employee should be available to you and other employees and team goals. This will act as a guideline for employees and will also keep a check on their output. If you have hired the right set of people, setting expectations will give you a thriving team that enjoys the privilege of working from home, but does not misuse it.

Use Technology

Communication and connection are the key to maintaining a successful virtual team. There are many technological tools that help you to connect and communicate with your employees and allow the employees to be in touch with each other.  There are tools that allow you to manage tasks and projects.  You can use tools like calendar, time manager, time zone scheduler, file storage, human resource management, etc to increase productivity.  It’s important to take the initiative to encourage your employees to use these tools as well.

Promote Voice Calling

While text messages and emails are formal and good ways of communication, they are often not easily understood and lack tone. By using voice calling on a regular basis, it will be easier to ensure that the entire team is on the same platform.

Video Meetings

Video meetings will help the entire team to connect with each other. You should encourage video meetings not only with yourself but also among other employees in your absence. As everyone is in remote locations, video calling is a better way to promote a sense of togetherness.

Deeper Bonds

Virtual employees want the privilege of working from remote locations and they often want more warm and friendly bonding than the regular working setup. You must catch up on what is happening in the employee’s life. Try to keep a more relaxed relationship with your employees. This develops a deeper sense of job satisfaction. Virtual employees enjoy a good balance between work and life. You can help them achieve that by adopting policies that encourage work-life balance rather than focusing only on your own profit.

Respect and Flexibility

Your employees might belong to different countries, cultures, and mindsets. Make sure you respect them and have a flexible attitude towards them.

These are some of the tips that will help you lead a team of virtual employees and may even help resolve conflicts or problems before they even arise.

How Drupal 8 Can Boost Your Business?

Drupal is an open-source software used for the purpose of creating and managing content across a variety of websites. It is used for the creation of forums and message boards, blogs, administrative panels, government information portals, etc. As far as Drupal development companies go, Drupal’s features can all be estimated. One of the greatest advantages of Drupal is that it can update itself with time and make itself suitable for the present day and period. Two years back the most recent version of Drupal, Drupal 8.0, was released. This update has ushered in a sea of new improvements as far as content management is concerned. These are:

  • What-you-see-is-what-you-get type of editing and previews.
  • Modeling content in a comprehensive fashion by making use of fields, views and entities.
  • Content page customization, form customization and customization of most administrative pages by making use of the interface.
  • Translatability and localization in a complete out-of-the-box manner.

Those are just the tip of the iceberg.

Another question is: What are the advantages of building a site by employing the service of Drupal?

  1. The first answer is that you would be able to acquire huge mobile responsibility by it. The themes of Drupal are responsive by default; therefore it doesn’t matter whether the sites are being viewed by means of a PC, tablet or Smartphone. Thus, for any website that is thinking of launching mobile versions of their websites, Drupal 8 is a must-have.
  2. Secondly, you get to speed up. Using Drupal would give you good page load speed which would assist you in improving the rankings of the website in Google SERP.  Once the page has been viewed by the users, there is no need for the pages to be reloaded again and again. Because the system of caching is completely automatic, all the content that you view would be automatically shifted away from the cache and the load would decrease to a great extent.
  3. You also garner more security by becoming more hack-proof. The 8th version of Drupal includes the Twig template engine and the Symfony PHP, which can serve to eliminate any code that might be phishing for your password or may be serving to disfigure/disrupt the site. By using Drupal, hackers would be prevented from intruding into the layer of the theme and encroaching into the database of the company. Since Drupal is an open-source platform, it can detect and remove threats much faster in comparison to paid platforms.
  4. With greater complexity and interactivity, Drupal 8 is far more customizable in comparison to other open-source software. But since the eighth version of Drupal is equipped with good caching, which enables it to run on hardware specifications of lower caliber. Because of this, it is able to handle tremendous amounts of traffic, even when it comes to micro-sites. And this is a huge advantage that it can claim over other systems. The eighth version has the greatest ever automated testing system. It has tests pertaining to PHP units and integration, which are useful for solving the bugs that Drupal previously harbored. Once you run the automated test, these fixes are implemented.
  5. You can forever stay integrated with the help of Drupal 8. Where content management and digital management are concerned, Drupal 8 is right at the top. You can choose and implement whichever technology you desire; it is that flexible. It is also great as far as customer relationship management (CRM) is concerned.
  6. With Drupal, you have built-in user interfaces which could be read and used in any language you program the site to recognize. This is especially beneficial for those businesses that need to have a localized website and the pages need to be translated into numerous languages in accordance with the geographical region in which the business is being advertised.

In conclusion, using Drupal 8 would definitely make you stand out from among your competitors and provide you with plug-ins, additional features and tools. The cutting edge design of Drupal-powered websites is truly what sets it apart from its competitors, as well as the numerous other things mentioned here.

7 Common Ways That Small Businesses Waste Money Marketing

Growing a small business is not that easy. We start a business because we may be a good accountant, lawyer, website designer, business consultant, lawyer or other professional service providers, but that does not mean that we are experts at growing and marketing our own small business. As we are not business marketing experts, we tend to follow what others do. And most of the time, it does not work at all. Here are the most common mistakes that small business owners make when it comes to spending money and how they can turn those losses into gains.

Building a social media following

It may sound good, but building a following on sites such as Facebook can actually cause more harm than good for your small business, in that it can be a waste of time and therefore money. As the algorithm of Facebook is always changing, it has made it harder for marketers to reach their clients organically. Based on 500,000 likes per year, only around 2% of your followers actually, see your posts. The good news is that now you can buy Facebook ads so that you can boost the number of users who see your posts.

Solution: Try to get your client’s email addresses and send them weekly newsletters with updates about your services. Also, you can offer incentives to those who recommend your products or services to their friends or family.

Not Understanding What Your Customers Want

Marketing is all about knowing the needs and wants of your audience, but small businesses tend to lack this information. You will be wasting your time as well as money if you do not understand the demographics of your target market.  

Solution: The first thing that you need to do is to identify who your customer is and determine what their needs are, where they reside and what they can afford to purchase. In defining who your primary customer is, you learn how to meet their needs and have a happy clientele.

Being Impatient and Giving up Too Soon

Marketing needs a lot of time as well as effort when growing a business. If you expect to get hundreds and thousands of followers in just one week, then this will seriously upset you. And as a result, small businesses give up, in spite of starting strong.

Solution: The solution to this is quite simple. First of all, do not raise your expectations too high. Give your small business a year or two to ramp up. Once you start getting followers, you can engage them with as much interesting content as possible.

Trying to do Too Much

Creating an account on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and a lot of other social networking sites is highly ineffective for a small business. As a small business owner, you have fewer employees. So don’t try to be online everywhere at the same time, all at once.

Solution: You can’t do it all – accept it. Choose one or two social media sites that your customers use the most and devote a few hours per week in promoting your products and services.

You Are Not Tracking Your Marketing Results

You may have Google Analytics set up, but do you really use it at all?  Many small businesses aren’t aware how this tool works. They have a lot of questions and confusion regarding Google’s PPC and AdWords. As it is an effective marketing tool, business owners simply buy ad space without fully understanding how those ads work. This is one way that you could unwittingly be wasting a lot of money.

Solution: You can set up conversion tracking for your ad campaigns. This way you will get to know how effective your ads are at attracting your customers.

You Have Not Changed Your Marketing Strategy in Years

Times change, and so should your marketing strategy. If you have a marketing strategy that you have not changed in years and are still investing in it, this is simply a phenomenal waste of money.

Solution: It is suggested that you try new things every year. As marketing is always evolving, you need to evolve too.

Huge One-Time Ad Campaign

There are a number of cool marketing tactics that you can try. While some of them work great, others do not. This is especially true if you only have one shot to make them work. Diving into marketing campaigns that require a lot of money is a waste of money for small businesses.

Solution: You need to first test the ad campaign with a modest budget. If you see that this new tactic is not working even with a smaller budget, it is likely that it will not work with a large budget.

Are these the areas in which your business is wasting money? If so, then it’s time that you make some changes in your marketing plan and grow your business.

WordPress Vs. Drupal: Which Content Management System Is Right For You?

If you are building a website or a blog, the most crucial decision that you make is choosing a content management system. As we know, content is king in the digital world. Thus, content creation and modification are prime factors in making your website or blog a success. A content management system offers many advantages like control over content publishing, visibility and supporting multiple users. Content management systems, or CMS, are extremely beneficial,  especially because they need very little to no prior experience in programming. Consequently, performing administrative tasks is made easier.

Out of all the CMS platforms offering a wide array of features, WordPress and Drupal are powerful platforms. The ease with which they provide their users with customization and content updating processes makes both WordPress and Drupal popular and widely used platforms. If you are out there searching for the right CMS platform for yourself and are confused about which one of the top two you should choose, then keep reading!

WordPress

Although it started as a blogging platform, WordPress has come a long way and become a full-blown site framework.  It is powered by AJAX, PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript and plenty of plugins, widgets, and themes. You have access to help from skilled developers in WordPress for theme customization, complex builds and setups and installation. The developers will ensure that your site is always installed with the latest updates. There are many advanced custom plug-ins available if you choose WordPress. Walt Disney Co., the LinkedIn blog, TechCrunch and BBC America are some of the popular sites that are powered by WordPress.

Drupal

Drupal refers to itself as a “content management framework” and is a very powerful CMS platform. It allows the user to launch, scale and manage websites and applications.  Drupal is the perfect fit for ambitious and larger projects. Powered by PHP, it requires no programming experience to set-up functionalities at lower levels. There are some extended features that include blogging, contact forums, forums and other types of community-style features. These features are an elaboration of Drupal’s core package but need the assistance of Drupal developers.  The Economist, Weather.com, some of the US government’s websites and NFL team’s websites are some sites that are powered by Drupal.

WordPress Vs. Drupal

Although there are many similarities between WordPress and Drupal in terms of features, responsiveness, SEO, and APIs, they do have certain differences which you need to consider.

Complex build

WordPress is easier to learn and use, while Drupal, on the other hand, is complex and might take longer to get used to. This complex build of Drupal makes it perfect for larger level projects.

Updates

WordPress updates are released every few months and the code is easily upgradable. The upgrade takes place in the background and that can be a useful feature if you are not a developer. WordPress plugins do not need frequent updates.

Drupal makes comprehensive updates and might be labor intensive as they are not code based. You will have to redesign your website for a particular update. This can be difficult if you are not a developer.

Security of plugins

Drupal is famous for its security which can be a valuable feature for enterprises or government sites. On the other hand, security is offered by a third party in WordPress, and your site is vulnerable to hacking attacks if you do not update regularly.

Make a List and Ask Some Questions

Before you finalize a platform, you need to make a list of your needs. If you are clear about what you want, making a decision will be easier.  Ask yourself the following questions:

What Kind of Website or Application are You Building?

Think how you want your site to perform. Is your site going to be a complex site with many pages and will it be getting a high volume of traffic? This will help you to decide which one of the two websites will suit your needs.

Budget

This is one of the crucial factors as well. The budget may vary, and the development of the site on Drupal can be more expensive than with WordPress.

Users, Templates, and Security

You must think how many users will access the site. Users need user permission and WordPress allows adding users with standard roles and permissions. When you are choosing a CMS you must ask yourself how many different templates you might need to match the different types of content you might have on your site. If your site is more complex and you need different templates, Drupal’s robust features might be suitable for you. Security is an important aspect that you will have to consider, especially, if your website is an enterprise level website.

In conclusion, WordPress is technically easier and Drupal, though more complex, offers amazing features. You can choose which CMS platform to use based on the needs of your project.

Unity 5.6 Beta Is Now Available, Brings Vulkan Support And 60% Boost In Performance Out Of The Box

Unity Technologies announced the official launch of Unity 5.6 beta recently. It will be available for all users including the users of the personal edition. Unity 5.6 beta consists of many new features and improvements that have been made to benefit the users and their projects. This beta release includes a refined editor and 2D features, a new video player, and better graphics performance. Unity 5.6 beta will also support Facebook Gameroom and Google DayDream. If you have not signed up for the Beta Program, you can do so by visiting the beta testing section on Unity3d.com. From there you can check the guide and download the installer. Let’s look into what 5.6 beta offers.

Graphical Improvements

The overall graphics has been greatly improved,  including the Particle System and GPU Instancing. The new drawing function allows you to draw many instances of the same mesh using an instanced shader with arguments that are supplied from a ComputeBuffer. This new way will have no CPU overhead at all.

The company has extended the system of attaching custom data to the particles in 5.6 beta which was introduced in Unity 5.5. Metal compute support is added for iOS and MacOS. The animation system will also support tracking the view position and will keep it in place when you are navigating between the State Machine of an AnimatorController. This will avoid unnecessary scrolling. EncodeToEXR is added to Texture2D which allows the user to save the content of any HDR texture to an EXR file.

New Video Player with 4k Playback

A new Video Player is included in the 5.6 beta. The video player has been built from scratch and bears hardware accelerated performance in mind. High-resolution 4k playback is now possible on even modest handheld hardware along with videos supporting alpha channel.  The user can use the video hardware capabilities of both the editor and target platforms.  The company will add supports for codecs in the future.

Support for Facebook Gameroom

Facebook Gameroom is an easy way for developers to bring games to the PC. This allows them to take full advantage of the CPU and GPU.  With Unity 5.6 beta you can install your projects to either the new Facebook Gameroom desktop app for Windows as a native window player or to Facebook.com using Unity WebGL support.

Support for Vulkan

Vulkan is a new generation graphics and computes API. It offers high-efficiency and cross-platform access to modern GPUs on both mobile platforms and desktop. The design of Vulkan allows it to run multiple threads in parallel by taking advantage of multiple CPU cores.  This feature of Vulkan is beneficial in reducing the workload on your CPU and leaving free space to do an additional computation. Vulkan support will improve the performance out-of-the-box up to 60%, in other words, the improvement is achieved without using any specifics of Vulkan API. If users make use of clever tweaks, they can actually improve the performance even more.  Use of Vulkan will take graphic performance to the next level in the Unity 5.6 beta. The company has announced that the final release will run on Android, Tizen, Windows, and Linux.

The Unity 5.6 beta also supports Google Daydream and has features that will improve the 2D game development workflow. There are a wide array of elements that are beneficial for the user and that improve the performance of Unity 5.6 beta.

How to Choose Between Symfony, Laravel or Yii?

PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose server-side scripting language that is especially suited for web development. With the latest introduction of PHP7, a revolution has been created in the way we deliver applications that power everything from websites and mobile to enterprises and the cloud. PHP7 has brought explosive performance improvements, drastically reduced memory consumption, and a host of brand-new language features to make your apps soar. 82% of the websites are developed using PHP and few of the most popular websites are Facebook, Wikipedia, Yahoo, Flickr, Tumblr, and WordPress. It is with this, that we come straight to the point. Programming is an art and using a framework streamlines application development by automating many of the patterns employed for a given purpose, adds structure to the code, prompting the developer to write better, more readable / maintainable code and ultimately makes programming easier since it packages complex operations into simple statements. The top 3 best PHP frameworks are Laravel, Symfony, and Yii Framework. Our task is to make an educated comparison between the three and decide on the best choice out of these.

How Should We Compare?

Before we get down to actual comparison, we need to look at the criteria, based on which, we need to weigh the platforms:

  1. Which framework would offer me the greatest functionality in the context of my work?
  2. Is the framework scalable at all? If so, to what degree?
  3. How long does it normally take to get comfortable with each of the three frameworks?
  4. Of the three, which framework provides LTS or Long Term Support?
  5. Does the framework have strong community support?

So, let’s begin the comparison:

As far as Web 2.0 applications are concerned, all three frameworks are equally efficient. Templating engines are chiefly used to make the job of coding easier (especially those ends, which are front-end in nature). These engines provide the feature of automated HTML muting and filtering, which is yet another reason for an average programmer to desire a PHP framework, with the best templating functions.

  • Symfony: Symfony uses Twig which is a flexible, fast and secure template engine  for PHP. This template engine compiles templates down to plain optimized PHP code, so the overhead compared to regular PHP code is reduced to the very minimum. Twig has a sandbox mode to evaluate untrusted template code. This allows Twig to be used as a template language for applications where users may modify the template design. Twig is powered by a flexible lexer and parser. This allows the developer to define its own custom tags and filters, and create its own DSL.
  • Laravel: Laravel uses Blade which is simple, yet powerful templating engine. Unlike other popular PHP templating engines, Blade does not restrict you from using plain PHP code in your views and driven by template inheritance and sections. In fact, all Blade views are compiled into plain PHP code and cached until they are modified, meaning Blade adds essentially zero overhead to your application. Blade view files use the .blade.php file extension and are typically stored in the resources/views directory.
  • Yii Framework: Yii doesn’t utilize any third-party templating system by default, which means that the choice of template is flexible and changeable to a great extent, depending on the convenience of the development team. Generally, users are offered a choice between Twig and Smarty, both of which are fairly popular.

Main Differences Between the Frameworks:

The chief differences which exist between these three frameworks (other than the ones described above) lie in the strength and resilience of each framework.

  • Symfony: Symfony framework is built on top of the Symfony components. These components are a set of decoupled and reusable components on which the best PHP applications like Drupal, phpBB, eZ Publish, Joomla and Magento are built. Even Laravel Framework uses few of these components. There are about thirty-four such components in Symfony. Also, recently Symfony achieved 100% PHP7 compatibility.
  • Laravel: Laravel is a full-stack framework because it handles everything from web serving to database management right down to HTML generation. It comes with an excellent command-line tool named Artisan that can be used to generate skeleton code and database schema stubs. Artisan handles everything from database schema migration to asset and configuration management. Laravel differs from other vertically integrated environments in its strong preference for convention over configuration. Whereas some Java, Python or PHP frameworks often require lots of XML configuration, Laravel requires almost none (or perhaps only a few lines of PHP) to get started. This aversion to configuration files makes for a very distinctive and recognizable code structure that is the same across all Laravel apps.
  • Yii Framework: Yii is a pure OOP framework, and takes advantage of some of PHP’s more advanced features, including late static binding, SPL classes and interfaces, and anonymous functions. Virtually almost every component of this framework is highly extensible. It has one of the most powerful tools called ‘Gii’ which is a web-based and highly configurable code scaffolding tool which allows to quickly create code templates for models, controllers, forms, modules, extensions, CRUD controller actions, and views. It is also tightly integrated with Codeception that helps simplify the process of creating unit, functional and acceptance tests for your application.

Now, we come to the installation part. A huge advantage here is that all three frameworks can be installed via the use of Composer, and hence, is all hassle-free to install. Still, let the differences be underlined:

  • Symfony: It uses the Composer PHP dependency manager which plays a pivotal role in correctly installing and managing the components of the Symfony framework. Symfony version 2 assists the users with a demo app for proper and immaculate guidance.
  • Laravel: Beside Composer, this framework can also be installed via the Laravel Installer.
  • Yii Framework: This provides the user with a template to follow and a web application after you install it; thus, making your work a smooth-sailing one, if you choose to work with Yii. In this way, Yii is an improvement on Symfony.

As far as performance, development, learning curve and database/community support is concerned, we have to look at the following:

  • Symfony: Symfony framework supports all PDO-supported databases including NoSQL and Graph databases.
  • Laravel: This one is simply outstanding as far as the ‘learning curve speed’ goes. Coming complete with installation guidelines and user manuals, it is the greatest when it comes to providing users with a clean and complete view of how to use it. And hence, the learning curve is the least when it comes to Laravel. Its performance, however, is a low point. It provides the slowest speed, where real-time data collection and response communication is concerned. It also supports fewer databases compared to Symfony.
  • Yii Framework: This one is the most high-performance framework of the lot, and hence, ideal for designing mobile apps and social networking sites. It supports six databases, the same as Laravel.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we can only say that all three frameworks have uses and applications of their own, which no other framework can possibly match up to. Symfony offers LTS release, is the most stable out of the three, is component-based and has great learning resource. Yii has Ajax support, is great for developing real-time applications, and is the best when it comes to creating Restful Web Services. Finally coming to Laravel, it is currently the most popular (’15-’16), offers the best support to Composer for package management, has the best packages and deals for framework functionality extension, and is great for unit testing. So, study all the merits of each one carefully, and take your pick.

ad:tech Australia: Ad-ding more tech to our advertisements

Capital Number_AdtechAUS

We came across this a while back on the ad:tech Australia website

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You hardly can ignore such persuasive points, though there was this one lingering question on our mind; how many ad:tech (s) should we attend in a year? It’s pointless thinking about it though, because the answer is and will always be as many as possible. Why? Because you can never know enough, that’s why.

The digital marketing paradigm is taking new leaps every second, and though it seems impossible but the wisest thing to do is to keep up and if possible be a step ahead. Platforms like ad:tech provide you with the opportunity to do that. The exposure to diverse minds from all over the world and enhanced knowledge of global practices always hone your perception to broader prospects.

CNites at the ready

The ad:tech Australia was held at the Hilton Sydney on 15th and 16th of March. This was the 10th year and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have our representatives Neil McNulty, Country Head, Australia and Account Manager Shovan Moullick present at the event.

They entertained a good mix of responses from visitors who were quite intrigued by the variety of services we offer.

Conversations between the soul and the self

Events like these start speaking to you. The moment you set your foot in, you get the drift, now it’s one own choice of whether to anchor or flow along. We generally like to have the best of both worlds and thus engaged in a mixture of both. It was astonishing how some of our perceptions about known methods changed considerably after listening to the best in the field talk about them.

We even had lengthy chats with some about how our services can be better aligned with their organizational goals. Here’s what some people had to say

“Our current employment model needs to change and outsourcing solutions are going to be a big part of it”

“We have a skill shortage right now in the Mobile App space. Capital Numbers offering may be exactly what we need”

Never enough

The list of 10 reasons that the organizers enticed us with to join the event actually get lost in thousand others that we discovered while we attended the conference.

One of the significant features of it was that it was so meticulously designed for the digital marketing mind. Each session we were a part of had ready takeaways that we could start implementing in our next ventures. We are not kidding you when we say that it can easily pass of as the coolest crash course that we have even been a part of.

Two days in Sydney passed away in a blur. So many revisits, myriads of new ideas and such brilliant brains, we realize that not even the year would have been enough. But then again, what really is?

We at Capital Numbers believe in providing you tailor made solutions for your marketing goals, and for that we need to keep ourselves abreast with the best that there is. To know more about what we learnt at ad:tech Australia that could potentially help your business, talk to us at http://www.capitalnumbers.com/

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