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Disqus: How-To notify your authors of new comments

The commenting platform Disqus is really easy to get up and running and a great addtion to your blog.  However, there was one feature I needed for Inside the Agency that didn't appear to be as simple as it sounded.

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An implied feature of any collaborative site (including Inside the Agency) is that each author who contributes to the site is notified of any new comments that were posted on their articles, but this is not a feature that Disqus handles directly.  Disqus can send notifications to each Disqus moderator when a new comment is posted but often the author is not a Disqus moderator so sending author notifications has to be handled outside of Disqus.

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Gulp for Designers - Getting started with Gulp.js

If, like me, you shy away from writing commands in Terminal and Javascript can often leave you scratching your head more times than you’ll care to admit, then it’s very likely you’ve not had the guts to tackle 'Gulp.js' yet? Well it’s time to pluck up the courage.

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This article has purposefully been written to take the fearful designer through the basics needed to get started with ’Gulp.js’ and hopefully leave them feeling more confident with using terminal based tools. Specifically, we’ll look at how to install Gulp on your machine, how to install Gulp plugins, run tasks and how to pipe multiple tasks together to help speed up your front end development workflow.

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Content distribution channels and the fear of monetisation.

With the emergence of new networks/apps, many online publishers face the same issue. How do we use these to our advantage?

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For many years we’ve witnessed the exact same formula, create content on your website then just post a link to your Facebook and Twitter account. You’ve got lots of followers so they should start clicking the links right? So why are the conversion rates still so low. It’s not that we should look to just improve the conversion, we need to change the way we think about the network in question.

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How-To: Tail Apache logs to Ubuntu Notifications

Like many other developers I aspire to write clean, efficient code and while I don't always achieve that goal I am always on the lookout for ways to help me in that pursuit.

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It always makes me a little sad when I look at an error log file to try and diagnose a problem only to find it bloated with deprecation and notice warnings which are easily preventable with a little care and attention. I know you can turn off logging for these types of errors but I feel it is better to fix these issues rather than ignore them.

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My Top 10 Linux Commands

Over the last couple of years my role has expanded significantly and I have really had to pick up some good tips and tricks to try and make me as efficient as possible.  One area that has had to grow has been my familiarity with linux, terminal and my comfort with the command line and so I thought I would share my top 10 linux commands which I use on a regular basis. 

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Composer & Git Branch Names - A Doh! Moment

It was one of those moments of clarity followed quickly by a doh! from everyone.

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We were trying to include a branch of one of our Symfony bundles in our project using composer but composer refused to see the branch.  We checked the repository and the branch was definitely there so we could not understand why composer was not able to check out the branch.

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Sencha Touch for the PHP Developer

The beginning of the year saw me working on the latest version of the Herald Scotland app (both android and iOS versions were released at the beginning of May) using Sencha Touch and PhoneGap. App development is not one of my primary skills and the learning curve from my comfort zone of PHP to Sencha Touch has been a steep one and one which I'm still far from conquering, however I thought it might be useful to share some of what i have learned and hopefully steers others away from some of the issues I encountered.

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If you only take away one thing from this article then it should be to forget everything you know about web development and start again... Sencha Touch is an entirely different beast to what you are used to.

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Using setSharedMaxAge() with HttpCache in Symfony2 always returns s-maxage=0

When implementing HttpCache within one of our Symfony2 projects I came across a curious problem in that regardless what I set the shared max age to it would always show as s-maxage=0 in the network inspector and the cache result was always a miss.  This puzzled me and so to try and isolate the issue I broke it down to the most basic example I could, but even then I still experienced the same s-maxage=0 problem.

My simple example was

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"-":4: bad minute when installing crontab from a file

I recently had to migrate a rather messy crontab from one server to another and to try and simplify things I wanted to split the crontab into managable chunks.  

Unfortunately the crontab does not have any import / include functionality and I didn't want to use different user accounts to have different crontabs (this would likely cause permission issues, a management headache, and I would be replacing one messy solution with another) so after a quick Google I found that the solution was to create the separate files and concatentate them into the crontab. i.e.

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Installing and configuring Symfony2

Getting a Symfony2 project up and running is fairly easy but I did come across a few bumps in the road when I first attempted it so I am hoping to smooth those bumps out a bit for some of you first timers.  The basic process is:-

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Make a folder on your web server for your Symfony2 project.  I will assume we are using /home/chrisshennan/public_html/symfony2.chris.home.internal/ as our root directory for this tutorial.

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Digital Ocean

Reading List

John Doherty

Does A Startup Really Need The .Com Of Their Brand Name?

Recently Paul Graham, a VC and entrepreneur whom I very much respect, wrote a post called Change Your Name in which he argued that a startup should seriously think about changing their name if they are not able to get the “.com” … Read more

SitePoint

SitePoint

Look, Ma! No NodeJS! - a PHP front end setup without Node

Bruno Skvorc combines BowerPHP, Mini-Asset and Robo.li into a PHP front end asset building pipeline that aims to completely avoid having to deal with NodeJS Read more

Moz

Moz

Why No One Pays Attention to Your Marketing - Whiteboard Friday

Brand fatigue is a real threat to your marketing strategy. In today's Whiteboard Friday, Rand highlights some common causes of brand fatigue and how to combat it. Read more

Medium

Medium

To Sketch, or not to Sketch? And€” Exploring Material Design.

And other essential questions about (Material) Design. Read more

UserTesting Blog

3 Most Common Mistakes Marketers Make When Running User Tests

As marketers, we rely on data to guide our decisions. We run A/B tests. We use robust analytics tools. We find out where customers are converting, and where they’re not. We know exactly what our customers are doing. Read more

TechCrunch

TechCrunch

DigitalOcean Teams Up With Bitnami, Now Lets You Install Over 100 Web Apps With A Few Clicks

DigitalOcean has made a name for itself as a hosting service that focuses on simplicity. Now, the company is making it easier to install complex applications.. Read more