Tagged with Web Development

Web development related topics

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.

The argument for flag arguments

I recently read “Clean Code” by Robert Martin an excellent book on writing clear, easy to maintain and well factored code. In it Robert Martin raises the point that methods should do what their names say, shouldn’t have ‘flag arguments’, and should do only one thing. This implies that overloaded methods are out.

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.

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.