A Week with Laravel 5: What’s New

With a PHP project we have just started, we decided to begin development with the Laravel 5 framework – even before it’s been released. The framework is due to be released this month (Jan 2015) and instead of starting with Laravel 4 and attempting to migrate upwards, it seems natural to begin with the newest version even though it’s features might change slightly pre-release. Being comfortable developing with both PHP and Laravel 4, some of the changes with version 5 … Continued


How to: Enable Web Components in Firefox (Shadow DOM)

Web components, sometimes mixed up with the Shadow DOM, are now available in Firefox v29+ under this flag – but they won’t be available to the average end-user. How to Enable: In your address bar, go to: about:config Search for the property: dom.webcomponents.enabled and mark it as true. If your already on a development page, remember to reload it. Further Reading http://css-tricks.com/modular-future-web-components/ http://oliversmith.io/technology/2012/05/19/inspecting-the-shadow-dom-in-google-chrome-inspector/ http://soledadpenades.com/2014/01/02/shadow-dom-in-firefox/


How to: Asynchronous PHP

Over the Christmas period I had a play around with getting PHP to run code asynchronously (not as easy as it sounds). When you have code, like API calls, which take anywhere near to a second to complete it drastically adds to the loading times of your pages. One easy solution for web apps is to only call the back-end PHP using AJAX. This means the page doesn’t hang and reload, things can happen concurrently and quickly. This solution isn’t … Continued



Load HTML once with AJAX

While working on a project recently, a dynamically loaded section was needed. It was used in a transition between step one and two in the user’s journey, after an API call had been made. The user was allowed to go back to step one at any time, resulting in a new API call – which was to be expected – but the call to get the HTML for step two was also made again. The same HTML which had just … Continued


Create your own PHP Autoloader

If you’ve worked with any large file in PHP you will probably have come across a large block of include statements at the top of it. Includes allow one file to include many other files and are used a lot in OOP. A large amount of includes at the top your code poses two major annoyances: firstly they’re taking up valuable space which could otherwise be used for more important things; secondly because of their explicit nature, they get left … Continued


How to: Create Panels with matching Heights

Flexbox & History One of the best ways to achieve a row of boxes which match in their heights is with an up-and-coming feature called flexbox. This is particularly important when presenting dynamic content, if you’re using pre-selected, static content then often the best approach to take is just to add a min-height within the CSS for the columns. As soon as the content extends a min-height however they will escape and have differing heights.



Getting Started with Laravel: Part 2 – The Setup

In our first part to our Getting Started with Laravel series we looked at how to install Laravel using Composer and Git and then used the php artisan serve command to host a web server locally. In this part we’ll be moving on to look at getting Laravel setup with a database back end and creating our first query. This part might be quite a short one as there isn’t much setup needed with Laravel before diving straight into coding … Continued


Getting Started with Laravel: Part 1 – The Install

This is the first article in a section of posts outlining how to get started using the PHP framework, Laravel. Why? There are many different PHP frameworks out there, some popular names include CodeIgniter and CakePHP, all having their merits. One of the most important aspects of choosing a framework comes down to how you feel when using it – does it make sense and feel good to use. Personally, Laravel fits in well with the way I work and … Continued


10 Cringeworthy Things Developers Hear

1. I think I’ve changed my mind about… An idea is accepted, it’s spec-ed up, sent to the developers to work on and once the work is done and the final piece is shown — then someone adds ‘can you just change that bit?’ or ‘I’m not so sure anymore about this bit’. This is a prime reason why agile methodologies are in such common use today, conversations like these get caught as early as possible, but they’re still painful … Continued