Chief Technology Officer & Photographer | Irvine, CA

PHPFog – Cloud Hosting for PHP

I discovered this little gem yesterday in an email from Kenny. Looks like this is a “heroku” for PHP – I wonder if they’ll offer a “free” account like Heroku does on sign up?

Basically, I haven’t quite gotten in to it just yet. We just got our account setup for GetSparks.org, so it looks like we’ll be testing it over the next few days, but so far, it looks pretty slick!

Sign up for the beta today and see what it’s all about! When you get your invite, let me know what you think about it.

Legacy > Money

As a developer, I lose motivation on projects from time to time – and I think that’s the norm for a lot of web developers – you just get burnt out. You’d think that the high hourly wage would be a great motivator, but honestly, to me, it’s not – I want to work on cool stuff…something fun…something exciting.

For whatever reason, and without any monetary compensation, I dove in to GetSparks.org…because it is fun, it’s exciting, and I’m being helpful to fellow developers across the world. I’m not making any money on it, and honestly, I don’t care. I’m developing something that will eventually help thousands of developers out there, that use the Codeigniter MVC framework, to easily install & update the libraries they build their sites with. It will help them put together a site faster then before – and they will look like rockstars because of it!

I can make money other ways, but there aren’t too many opportunities to be a part of something that big – something that has taken off (in day 3 now) as GetSparks.org has already.

Fucking amazing – loving it right now.

Sparks Package Management

So, many of you that read this blog (that are in the software dev industry) might have heard about PEAR packages or RubyGems once or twice. I think we can do better then that.

PEAR is a centralized package management system for PHP that has thousands of libraries built by developers all over the world. They have these nifty little commands you can run to install packages to your system, and with some configuration, your PHP project can then use these packages at will…although, I can’t tell you the last time I used PEAR, because it’s rather archaic in my opinion, and the times that I have had to use it, it was quite difficult to get it to “work the right way”.

Now – RubyGems are fantastic! RubyGems.org is a centralized package management system for the Ruby language. I’ve used this many times, and I love it. It’ll handle dependencies and install everything you need to your system, so all you have to do is call it up in your Ruby project, and you can use it. Hmm…like!

Finding Codeigniter libraries is kind of difficult. There are tons of fantastic libraries built for CodeIgniter out on the net, but it’s sometimes hard to find them, and it’s even hard to know if they suck or not without popping them in to your code and giving them a try.

Setting up ANOTHER system every time I move code is a pain in the ass. I’ve done it several times – when working in a new environment, you have to install all these libraries to your system, waste more time getting setup to go, and get all invasive with yet another environment. That sucks.

Cue in Sparks – the Package Management System for Codeigniter. First off, it solves 2 things right off the bat – it’s easy to find new packages (we’re finishing up the search in the alpha phase), and everything is attached to your project – not your system.

Sweet…a portable Codeigniter project with libraries that can be added/updated from a central repository in 1 command?!?!?!

A group of 4 of us came up with this idea, and put it together in a matter of a few weeks. It’s in ALPHA release right now, so we’re still finding/squashing bugs & adding new features. I would write more and more about how Sparks works in detail, but I’ll go ahead and let the site do the talking and let you experience it for yourself. Feel free to give us some feedback!

This is gonna change everything with Codeigniter!

Codeigniter 2, Capistrano, & Phake

Well – it was time for me to finally make a contribution to the PHP community – so here it is – my extended version of Codeigniter 2 – a little “rails-ified”.

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Remove index.php from Codeigniter URL’s

I’m sure this already exists out on the net, but I found a little gem today. ¬†When you are working with Codeigniter, you can remove the index.php from your URL’s by creating an .htaccess file with the following information:

RewriteCond $1 !^(index\.php|sitemap\.xml|robots\.txt|user_guide|blog|public|favicon\.ico|LiveSearchSiteAuth\.xml)
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /index.php/$1 [L]

If you notice, I have some other stuff in there to not exclude from passing to index.php like a sitemap.xml, the user_guide directory, the blog directory, a “public” directory (that I use for css/images/js), etc.

You set that in your .htaccess file first, then go into your config.php file and set this:

$config['index_page'] = "";

Basically, what that does, is that removes the whole site from processing through index.php in the URL bar (it still goes through there as far as I know, but doesn’t show it), specifically when using Codeigniter built-in functions like redirect().

Figured I’d share that little nugget of knowledge…happy coding!