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.
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.
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.
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.
A colleague of mine pointed me in the direction of a humorous twitter hashtag of the IT variety which, with being a web developer I found quite amusing, especially on a friday afternoon. The hashtag was for #htmlmovies.
If you've not already guessed, the basic idea is to convey a film is a clever way using html tags such as
I have recently taken on a new web project which is to move an e-commerce website from a custom 3rd party solution over to Magento and before I even got started I hit a road block (you have got to love Magento for that!). I found that I had to import around 200 product attributes (colours, sizes, etc) from the old online shop to the magento installation and obviously I did not want to enter all these by hand, but where to begin?!
Luckily I came across a post on the Magento forums which details a method for bulk importing product attributes into Magento and although it did not allow me to automate the whole process, it was sufficient for my purposes.
I wrote an article in April 2010 about VPN Issues with O2 Wireless Box II and it has come to my attention that O2 are now putting firmware version 184.108.40.206 on their routers which is supposed to resolve these VPN issues. Apparently this is not always the case and O2 are no longer downgrading the firmware because it is "fixed" in the 220.127.116.11 version. Some people are finding it difficult to get any support, and the O2 CD which you can download no longer has the older 18.104.22.168 firmware.
Fear not though... I did a little digging around and managed to located the 22.214.171.124 firmware (RT-585v7_74K4EJ.exe) and I have upload it for you.
Over the few weeks I have taken to reading (yes, honestly I have, and it appears there is a decent amount of worthwhile reading material out there on the web) a few blog entries from SEOmoz, partly because I started to follow SEOmoz on twitter and have been enticed by twitter teasers.
One of the points of thought on a recent blog entry about the unexpected effects of a tweet on search engine rankings suggested that auto-tweeting using tools like auto-tweet plugins for Wordpress or online services such as Twitterfeed were not as effective as promoting the content.
Over the last month or so I have been busy migrating my sites from my old shared hosting to a new server in the Rackspace Cloud and it has not been without it troubles. The first site I transferred was my Wordpress blog and after following various resources on setting up Nginx and spawning PHP FastCGI processes I managed to get everything up and running happily... or so I thought.
As it turns out I had followed the guide for spawing PHP FastCGI processes to the letter, and that is where the problem lay. After a few weeks Wordpress reported there were various plugins that needed upgrading but I could not do the automatic upgrade and I had trouble uploading new files due to the wrong permission being applied. After some investigation this lead me to realise that I needed to spawn my PHP FastCGI processes as the unprivileged user the files belonged to, and not nginx as in the original documentation.
I am one of those people who, despite knowing the risks, fail to make appropriate backups of my work and important data and rely on hope that nothing will go wrong. Unfortunately I have been caught out on a couple of occasions and I have been after a nice way to backup my data (documents, websites under development, family photos etc) from my home Fedora Core server without me having to really do anything.
I have seen several online backup software solutions, however most have to be configured and managed via GUI applications installed on your computer however as I have been wanting to back up a Fedora Core server which is command line only, this options was not available to me. A few people suggested Dropbox to me for sharing files between home and work computers and when looking into Dropbox I found that it can also be set up with a service on my Fedora Core server and configured to backup the data on my server.
The landscape of search engine optimization has changed drastically in the last 3-4 years. Even as it changes, a lot stays the same. It has been very challenging to see a multitude of friends and colleagues approach me with problems that often seem beyond repair with clients that they have worked with for years.