Chief Technology Officer & Photographer | Irvine, CA

Behind the Scenes – Fba v2.0

Everyone should know by now – I launched a new service called FantasyBaseballAlerts.com over Memorial Day weekend. The service itself seems as simple as it can get – track a player, get different alerts about them based on different criteria.

Well…the one thing that’s kept me highly motivated on the project for the past few weeks is all the cool shit that goes on behind the scenes. We’re preparing for version 2.0 to launch on Monday (June 10, 2012), and I wanted to give everyone a sneak peak in to the components that are behind FantasyBaseballAlerts.com:

Codeigniter (http://www.codeigniter.com):
The whole site, front & back end are built on the Codeigniter platform (yes, even our cron jobs!). We’ve been using it for about 4 years now, and we think it’s the bees knees. Seriously…look in to it…you can literally build an app overnight with it – it’s very easy to pick up & use!

But wait, there’s more! Read the rest…

Codeigniter & PHP ActiveRecord

I recently started using PHP ActiveRecord with a CodeIgniter project at work, and I’m absolutely in love with it, especially since it now makes CodeIgniter work just like Ruby on Rails when dealing with models.

I had previously started writing my own ORM style model that plugged in to CodeIgniter, but after finding PHP ActiveRecord and then finding a Spark wrapper for PHP ActiveRecord to integrate in to CodeIgniter, I have since abandoned the “base_model” project, and I’ll show you how to integrate these 2 in this post.

[Read more…]

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!