E_NOTICE is your friend

Errors and error reporting an important part of the development and debugging cycle. In interpreted languages, there are a number of runtime errors that can really help you debug your code. Some languages like python don’t give you a way to make the errors go away, but for better or worse PHP does.

The value of a simple release process

I’ve been doing many of the CakePHP releases, since “the great framework apocalypse of imminent doom”. Between then and now, CakePHP has had quite a few releases. During these past few months, I’ve really begun to understand the value of a simple release process. When I initially started doing releases for CakePHP, our release process involved many steps and I was doing them all manually.

Cleaning house and sprucing up the place

Its been a few weeks of working in the evenings but its pretty much done. I’ve been wanting to do this redesign for a while now. 2 years ago when I built the version of this domain you’ve all come to know, I attempted to create a design that was different from other programming blogs, and fused my interests in both design and programming. I feel it turned out well.

Using custom Route classes in CakePHP

New for CakePHP 1.3 is the ability to create and use custom route classes for your application’s routing. In the past the router did double duty, managing route collections and routes were just arrays. In 1.3 Router underwent some surgery and CakeRoute was extracted as an object to represent a single route. While Router was left as a manager of routes.

hashgrid for Mootools

You may have seen the Analog.coop site recently and found some of the easter eggs, like the grid hot keys. I loved the concept, and made a mental note to spend some time reverse engineering/rebuilding it for my own uses. Well it just so happens that the guys at Analog have released the #grid on Github, which is great because it made it easier for me to adapt the code and do some small improvements.

Updating to Cake 1.3

Last night I updated this site to run on the latest 1.3 build. While I know I should have done it earlier, I simply haven’t had the time. And since I went through it, I figured I could document it and share what the upgrade process is like for a small site, that doesn’t see a ton of maintenance action like this one.

Creating Simple Ajax Pagination with CakePHP 1.3 and Mootools

Creating ajax pagination has gotten more simple and flexible for 1.3. In 1.2 you could only use the built in Ajax pagination if you were using Prototype as your javascript library. With the addition of the JsHelper you can use any Javascript library that an engine has been implemented. My example today will be using mootools. I’ll be basing this, off of a freshly baked index view using the default core templates.

Unit Testing CakePHP Shells

Shells are one of the more difficult objects to properly unit test. Since they normally run in a CLI context instead of a web context they provide some interesting challenges. The biggest hurdles are separating the Shell from the CLI environment, and simulating the correct arguments and parameters.