x

Contact Us

Feel free to drop us a line at [email protected].

Blog

Javascript Pagination with Mootools

Ok, ok, Javascript pagination sucks, we all know it does - there’s little point in loading a whole heap of data that is then split down into chunks; your best bet is to do the job properly and use some server slide pagination script.

But like us, if you ever do come across the need to use some quick pagination, this MooTools class will do the trick for you. 

Demo: www.needathinkle.com/paginator

Viewing full referral information in Google Analytics

Google Analytics does a nice job in referrals but the default report only shows the domain that the referral came from. 

To get the full referral with domain and full URL path, just set up a simple custom report:

Responsive designs with CSS3 media queries

Separate mobile versions of websites are great - imagine going to Google on your mobile and being shown the standard view? The search box would be lost amongst the vast white space that would be your mobile screen; however, luckily for our zooming fingers, they display a specially formatted version for your browser. It’s perfect, everything within touching distance.

Now, go to your website. How’s that text coming out? I’m guessing not good if you’re reading this far on. Now, you could create a separate mobile domain for your website (like the previous example of Google does) and use one of the many mobile frameworks to achieve a pretty standard, well formatted but basic website. Of course, you could spend a while reformatting the framework but why not save yourself some time..?

Enter “Responsive Designs”, or the ability to respond the environment that the website is being shown in. It’s a simple concept of retrieving the browser properties and processing some CSS depending on the selection made, or none at all if the no match is found.

Pretty scrolling content areas with Mootools

In order to keep the layout pretty, a recent site of ours needed to have scrolling content areas. Normal scroll bars are pretty ugly, so an overflow:auto wasn’t going to cut it.

With Chrome, styling the scrollbars is pretty easy (see all their new design updates for examples), but with all other browsers it’s either difficult or impossible (good you might say, changing a users interface to how you think it should be? Not always favourable). However, Facebook like content scrolling areas are ok in my book, so I set about finding a good plugin for MooTools. I found several, but none worked 100% correctly either jumping too much, needing too much custom markup, or were just simply overcomplicated.

So I set about creating my own one and after a short time, I came up with this. It works fully in IE8+, Chrome, FireFox 3+ and Safari 5+. Simply call the class with the below and the rest is done automatically.

See the demo: www.needathinkle.com/slider

Update: v2:

I just added scroll wheel support which registers on the parent to enable quick easy scrolling.

Cascading module controllers in Zend Framework.

Kohana has a great cascading file system which allows you to have a code base for all sites you have, and then extend these for specific site customisation. In Zend Framework, while you can cascade through view paths, unfortunately this is all you can do - controllers, forms, models etc. are all fixed in their location.

This is usually fine, but when I absolutely had to extend a class for a specific client need, I needed to extend on my base controllers. This was, as it turned out, a lot more confusing but essentially quite simple.

My method, which is mainly based around the dispatcher, essentially allows you to specify a several possibly module locations, and when needed, it will iterate through them until the desired controller is found.

Post output processing with Zend Framework

Many of our websites use external API’s and services to fetch data, examples include Google Docs, SongKick, SoundCloud, Picasa, Twitter, Tumblr and several more. Fetching data from these API’s is often pretty quick (unless it’s Tumblr) and we implement caching on all the calls which expires after a few hours so grabbing the data on fly is often no problem.

However, as Tumblr started to fall over last week, the noticeable speed difference on the Tumblr API was huge, and Google Analytics started to show page speeds of > 10 seconds (which during the Tumblr outage, failed anyway) so I thought it was about time I did something with the service calls.

Installing 123-Reg SSL certificate with WHM (not how 123-Reg tells you how to, this way works)

The 123-Reg SSL is really cheap and does the job for small sites perfectly, but their email giving instructions on how to install it is no where near quite as adequate. 

Firstly, the several spelling mistakes, poor sentence structure, and grammar gives me the impression the email was written 5 years ago for another system and then re-hashed for 123-Reg, and along the way they forgot to re-read and check it properly. Secondly, the reference to FireFox 2, which is now 4 major versions out of date, and was released in 2006 affirms my previous thought that it probably was written 5 years ago.