THE BLOG

31
Jan

Chaining with MooTools 1.2 – Tutorial

This guide will show how powerful the MooTools Chain class is. In MooTools chaining facilitates the execution of a stack of functions sequentially and is extremely powerful. I have only tested this in MooTools v1.2 beta 2.

I will be posting more of these short guides on using MooTools in the upcoming weeks. Each will focus on a small problem and solve it with MooTools with the aim of being a useful way to learn the framework.

Continue Reading..

31
Jan

Zend Certified Engineer!

I finally got round to booking the Zend PHP 5 Exam and successfully passed earlier this week!

I didn’t think that the exam was particularly hard but whilst revising I did learn about a few interesting features of the language.

I would recommend becoming a Zend Engineer to anyone who is serious about PHP software development. If anyone is interested I have a few online practice exams going spare.

For more information on Zend certification, see this article

Zend Certified Engineer

15
Jan

Nofollow on WordPress Comments Still?

I have only just noticed that comments on this WordPress blog have rel=”nofollow” set as default. I believe that if someone is willing to contribute to a blog by commenting then the least they deserve is an inlink to their site.

A quick search shows that this is the default for all WordPress installations. The main reason seems to be to dissuade spamming. However, with the new Akismet anti-spam plugin I have never seen one spam comment get through the net. Is it time for WordPress to change the default setting and give commenters at least a bit of recognition?

Nofollow Free

I don’t see the reason for nofollow and I am more than willing to give people some recognition for commenting on my blog. Bloggers should encourage quality comments as much as possible. For this reason I have installed the Nofollow Case by Case plugin to remove nofollow from links by default and this blog is now nofollow free.

Is there a reason?

Have I missed the real reason for nofollow on comments? Is it time for WordPress to change the default setting? Are commenters more inclined to comment on a blog that doesn’t use nofollow?

Feel free to give your opinions and correct me if I am wrong, there is a little bit on link juice in it for you! 🙂

12
Jan

Lightview by Nick Stakenburg

Nick has just released Lightview (another neat project) to the public. Lightview allows you to augment your images. It provides an excellent way of creating a slideshow or simply showing a large version of a thumbnail without resorting to popups. Effects are used to create very appealing slideshows and image galleries.

From the Lightview project site:

  • Clean: Designed to compliment your images.
  • Fast: Images and their neighbours are preloaded.
  • Easy to customize: You don’t even have to know CSS.
  • Rounded: Adjustable rounded corners, without PNGs.
  • Smart resizing: Images will always fit on your screen.
  • Slideshow: One button slideshow.
  • Effects: Using Scriptaculous.
  • Works on all modern browsers

Lightview is similar to Lightbox 2 and both are built with Prototype and Scriptaculous. However, there are a few differences I noticed:

  • The morphing effect that Lightview uses is a refreshing change (probably because I have seen the Lightbox effects too many times!).
  • Lightview allows you to customise many of the visual aspects of the viewer programatically. For example, the background colour and corner radius.
  • Lightview supports a customisable slideshow option which Lightbox lacks.
  • Lightview uses the caption attribute of the <a> tag to give images a caption. This attribute is not valid XHTML and thus its usage will produce invalid markup. I would suggest using a convention similar to that used by MooTools Tips: title="image title :: caption"
  • Lightbox has been around for a while and is well tested and proven.

Personally I like the look of Lightview but I wouldn’t use it because I don’t like invalid markup!

If you are interested in something similar for the MooTools framework, try Slimbox.

06
Jan

Setup Subversion and Trac on CentOS 5

Recently I set up a virtual server to use as a development machine. It runs on CentOS 5 and hosts several Subversion repositories with associated Trac projects.

There are many guides and plenty of help on the net to help you setup such a system. However, when I tried to do it I came across a few problems and I hope this post may help at least a few people trying to do the same as me. I am not going to rewrite the great tutorials out there, I will just point you to them and note what things I did differently.

This ‘guide’ should get you from a fresh install of CentOS 5 linux to one or more working Subversion (SVN) repositories and associated Trac wiki’s. Apache/WebDAV is used as the network layer. I have only tested this on a fresh install of CentOS 5.

Continue Reading..