What is Site Patches and User-agent Masking in Opera Mini

If you have read my post on Opera Mini Tricks, then you know what I mean by the heading. But if you haven’t done it yet, just open your favourite Opera Mini browser and type in address bar opera:config (or just config: ). You will see the Power-User settings menu where you can change the values of few of your browser’s default settings. Every option in the menu is self-explanatory except the option of site patches and user-agent masking. It will look something like the below image.

site patches user-agent masking
Site Patches User-agent Masking in Opera Mini

What is Site Patching and User-agent Masking

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So what exactly is site patching and user-agent masking? Though I am speaking of only opera mini, but this option also applies to all other mobile and desktop browsers. This option may not be present directly in the menu items of the browsers but if you dig deeper you will finally find one. These two options are very helpful and also mostly required from user perspective but may even be a killer for the developers or webmasters. Let’s have a close look at these two options.

What is Site Patching

No website is ever perfect. They are made by humans and as you all know that humans make mistakes. Many websites on the World Wide Web actually have errors in their codes. These errors may be in the HTML, the CSS or the scripting languages used at the server side.

When you request for a site content through your browser, what the browser gets in return is the HTML code (along with many other codes) of your requested website. It runs this code and renders you the website in a graphical way containing easy to read text and images. Now what happens if the code the browser got from the website’s server contains errors? Here’s where the site patching comes into play.

Browsers instead of telling the users that the requested website page contains errors in the code, they actually try to rectify it. They correct the wrongly coded things and even add their own code if required. After this correction only, you are able to see that website though it has some coding errors. This action on part of browsers is referred as Site Patching. It is done for better user experience, otherwise you know how it would feel if you opened 10 sites and 8 of them didn’t show up anything.

site patches user-agent masking

What is User-agent Masking

User-agent is a string your browser sends to a website’s server which contains information about your operating system, browser name and version, language and other details. This user-agent helps the server identify your operating system, browser so that it sends the response code accordingly. Now user-agent masking is nothing but hiding this user-agent from the server.

User Agent Example
Example of User-agent

Browsers use this technique to solve the compatibility issues across different browsers. For example, Opera desktop browser is often overlooked while the developers design their websites. So it is highly probable that a website may not render properly in Opera but works fine with Firefox or Chrome. Now what Opera browser does is that it sends the user-agent of Firefox or Chrome to the server. This way it hides or masks its own user-agent and the server thinks it to be Firefox or Chrome and sends the requested info accordingly. Opera gets that code and renders it to the user.

One thing to note here is that when the website cannot be rendered properly to Opera users, opera can apply site patching and change the code as required so that it works well with it. But if the problem can be solved by simple user-agent masking then it does not go for the time consuming site patching.

Final Words

So coming back to opera mini, the option Site Patches and User-agent Masking is enabled by default. Keeping it enabled is good from user perspective as you may have known by now. Still have any doubts? Waiting for your comments.

Best Sites to Learn C Programming Online

Beginners in any programming language need support to understand the basics. Apart from the tutor who teaches you programming, getting support from online often helps a lot. If you learn C, then you can easily learn any other programming language as C is the basic of other programming languages. So here I show you few websites where you can learn C programming online. Below sites are not arranged in any order of priority. Everyone has their own tastes. Pick up the one which seems perfect to you.

Learn C Online

1. CProgramming.com

Here Newbie programmers have all the stuff they need to learn C. This site has all the resources for a quick jump into the C Programming world. Here you will find all the tips regarding C. There are plenty of questions for you to practise. Also there is a list of good reference books you can follow to learn C language. In addition to this, this site also helps you to learn CPP programming language. Have your hands on this site.

2. The GNU C
Programming Tutorial

The GNU C
Programming Tutorial also has an ordered material to learn C language. It starts from basics and heads forward to place you in right path in understanding C. Good to start with this site if you are new to programming language.

Must Read

3. MyCPlus.com

The website name suggests that it makes you learn C++ language. But not worry, as it also has many C programming language tutorials. All the tutorials are organised in an orderly manner. There are also tutorials on Java and C#.

4. CProgrammingExpert.com

Want to have a quick glance over all the important concepts of C language? If yes then this site should help. Here there is a simple index that you can go through if you want to revise all important topics related to C.

5. C Language Tutorial

Here everything is on one page. The single page mentions all basic concepts of C language. This quick guide will make you readily start understanding and thinking in C. It provides a mental picture of C.

6. C Programming – University of Strathclyde

This site has more stuff than all the other sites I mentioned here. In this site, you will find all concepts big and small on C language. A NetGuide Gold
Award fetched course of 1990s.

7. StackOverFlow

Thus site doesn’t have any guide to make you learn C language. It is actually a forum where you can spend time asking your doubts and clearing others’ doubts related to any programming language. You can browse this forum to find many interesting programming questions along with their answers. You will find few topics here which are rare to be found on the internet.

Above I have mentioned only those sites which are simple and mobile friendly. Flashy and video websites have not been mentioned and so I may have missed many sites which provide free courses or tutorials on C.

Which site do you use to learn C Programming online? Share it in the comments, someone may be looking for such sites. Do you want to add few more sites in the list? Just shout out the site name 😀

Run C C++ Java Programs Without Computer

Not only these but you can also run Ruby, Pascal, PHP, Perl and many more. Wondering how is it possible? If you do not own a computer and you want to have a hand on these computer languages then surely you can’t hold your excitement to know how it can be done. Executing these programs is possible through online compilers. Yes, there are few websites which can compile and run your programming source code and display the output.

Learn C, C++, Java photo- techmilkyway.com

Best Online Compilers for Mobile Phones

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There are many online compilers- compilr.com, compileonline.com, onlinecompiler.net to name a few. To know all of them you can make a google search as ‘list of best online compilers’. You will get quite a good list of them. But for mobile users, I have found two of them as the best ones. These two online compilers work in nearly any mobile phone with an internet connection. Thanks to these two online compilers that I have learned 50% of C programming! I too didn’t have a computer then, and I know how it feels to learn a programming language without even having a computer! Here are those two online compilers for the programming geeks.

Codepad.org

This website, acting as an online compiler, is well known for its easy to use and understandable interface. Codepad is an online compiler/interpreter where you can run your code anytime within your mobile. Codepad supports C, C++, D, Ruby, Python, Perl, PHP etc. You just need to write your code in the editor and click the submit button.

Codepad.org sample photo

You can also use this website to store plain texts and codes. Similar to an online notepad. Create an account by simple registration and then you can manage all your codes and plain texts. You are also given ease to share your codes with your friends or other programmers using simple links. You can also get suggestions on errors on your source code directly through the site as there is a comment box always below your code where any other codepad user can comment. (Sorry to say that in India codepad has been blocked. Still you can use it using proxies but it may not work on low end phones.)

Ideone.com

This online compiler is slightly advanced than codepad. It supports more languages and also you can give inputs during runtime using stdin option. It supports languages like C, C++, Java, Ruby, Python, VB.NET, SQL, COBOL, Perl and many more.

One thing mobile users should note. If you are unable to run your source code using the editor, make sure that the ‘syntax highlight‘ option is unchecked. If you are unable to find syntax highlight option then click on more options and it will be there right under editor. Also if you find any problem running your code in mobile version, you can always switch to desktop version.

Snapshot of ideone.com

Like codepad you can manage all your codes by registering an account. Apart from using email address you can also connect your facebook account to ideone.

Now it’s your turn. If you know any other online compiler which works well in mobile then you can always let me know using the comment box below. If you find it useful, utilize the social sharing buttons below to share it with your friends. And don’t forget to subscribe to my email newsletters and stay up-to-date.

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