Things tagged with Web Development

Web development related topics

Making elements drag resizable with Javascript

Drag resizing is a great interface interaction for web apps using panes, or window regions. Most Javascript libraries have convenient and simple methods to make drag-resizing a snap. However, what if you didn’t have a library at your disposal or were just interested in how to implement this interaction, just for the sake of knowing? Well I did just that when I implemented drag resizable panels for DebugKit 1.

How using requestAction increased performance on my site

So originally when I built this site, I was in the “requestAction is bad” camp. So much so that I created a convoluted Component to assist in the creation of the sideboxes featured on this site. A sample of that code is as follows:

Show Plain Text
  1. //Recent Posts
  2. $options = array(
  3.     'position' => 5,
  4.     'type' => 'list',
  5.     'format' => array(
  6.         'title' => '{n}.Node.

How I debug PHP errors and issues

I spend a lot of time in various IRC channels answering questions and helping out, and one recurring theme that pops up again and again is people not knowing what to do when things go wrong. Whether it be a simple error or a logical mixup, people often lack the tools or processes to figure things out. So I thought I would share how I approach errors and problems.

Simplifying Controller logic with Exceptions

In the ongoing struggle against code bloat and creative ways to do things, I’ve been playing with throwing exceptions from model methods. While not earth shattering stuff, I’ve found it to have a few advantages over returning false. First, you can end up with less if and else statements.

5 signals that can indicate its time to re-factor

Re-factoring code is a part of any programmers life or should be. Very few people write beautifully clean and well factored code from the start, and I am certainly not one of them. Most times my code starts out a sprawling tangle that takes an additional pass or two to look like something I would consider clean. I find that when programming and designing I start with a rough idea or sketch of what I want to accomplish.

Using the PHP Reflection API for fun and profit

When PHP got a real object oriented system in 5.0, it also got a neat feature taken from Java land. Reflection allows you to introspect & reverse engineer functions, classes, and extensions. In addition you can use reflection to extraction of documentation from classes and functions. In PHP Reflection is done using a number of Reflection classes.

Calculating Documentation Coverage with ApiGenerator

Generating code coverage for test cases is a handy feature, it gives you a quick and easy way to determine how much of your code is running during your tests. It doesn’t ensure that the tests are good or that you have enough assertions, but code that doesn’t run definitely has not been tested. Before code coverage was created it was very difficult to determine how much code was being run.

Creating Deployment ready Javascript with Sprockets

If you’ve ever worked on a medium to large Ajax application, you know the headaches that Javascript can give you. On one hand you want to serve as few as possible Javascript files to users, but on the other you want to keep your sanity and work with lots of smaller files. This is where a build process comes in. It allows you to transform lots of files into one big file! You can even minify the big file for additional savings.

New features brewing for DebugKit 1.1

So I’ve been working away on DebugKit the last few weeks. And I think its at a level where I can suggest other people give it a whirl. Its not at a stable release point. But if you are feeling adventurous and don’t mind using beta code give it a try. There are a few notable features have been added, so in no particular order here they are.

Generating vCards with CakePHP using extensions

vCards are a nice added touch for an application that acts as a Address book, or contact management. vCards are easily used by most mail clients, and are a plain text standard making them nice and easy to implement. While hCard and other microformats are gaining popularity, the widespread support still doesn’t exist. Leaving vCard as the primary format to transfer contact information out of a web application