Demystifying JavaScript with Todd Motto

Todd Motto is helping to demystify some of the misconceptions about how difficult JavaScript really is. Craig spoke to him about his talk coming soon at Future of Web Design.

SITEPOINT (Craig Buckler): Hey Todd. Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

TODD: Hey! I’m Todd, I’m 23, and a JavaScript and HTML5 developer. By day I’m lead front-end engineer at Appsbroker – we’re a Google Enterprise company that specializes in Cloud Platform technology solutions, which means we develop lots of fantastic software. By night, I’m an open source evangelist where I write scripts, utilities, plug-ins, frameworks and boilerplates. I’ve worked for Intel and Rolling Stone magazine during the past year and love teaching others about web and software development.

SITEPOINT: How did you get into conference talking?

TODD: I started doing a few smaller presentations — nothing bigger than a roomful of people — until last year when I flew out to San Francisco for HTML5 Dev Conf. While I was there, I visited a friend at Google who invited me to teach a workshop. I absolutely loved it! I wanted to do more sharing knowledge and teaching when I was contacted by Future Insights to speak at FOWD. I’ve spoken at a few meet-ups and events since last year to a variety of audiences.

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Abstract File Systems with Flysystem

Reading and writing files is an integral aspect of any programming language, but the underlying implementation can vary enormously. For example, the finer details of writing data to the local filesystem compared to uploading over FTP is very different – yet conceptually, it’s very similar.

In addition to old warhorses like FTP, online storage is increasingly ubiquitous and inexpensive – with scores of services available such as Dropbox, Amazon’s S3 and Rackspace’s Cloud Files – but these all use subtly different methods for reading and writing.

That’s where flysystem comes in. It provides a layer of abstraction over multiple file systems, which means you don’t need to worry where the files are, how they’re stored, or need be concerned with low-level I/O operations. All you need to worry about are the high-level operations such as reading, writing and organizing into directories.

Such abstraction also makes it simpler to switch from one system to another without having to rewrite vast swathes of application code. It also provides a logical approach to moving or copying data from one storage system to another, without worrying about the underlying implementation.

You can use Dropbox, S3, Cloud Files, FTP or SFTP as if they were local; saving a file becomes the same process whether it’s being saved locally or transferred over the network. You can treat zip archives as if they were a bunch of folders, without worrying about the nitty gritty of creating and compressing the archives themselves.

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PHP Extension Development with PHP-CPP: Object Oriented Code

PHP-CPP Part 2: The OO side

In my Part 1 on building a PHP extension with PHP-CPP, we have seen some basics in using PHP-CPP to create our first skeleton PHP extension and covered some important terminologies.

In this part, we further elaborate its OO features. We will mimic a complex number (in the form of 3+4i) class to demonstrate some more useful and powerful sides of the PHP-CPP library.

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Untying Digital Adaptation with Paul Boag

Paul Boag is everywhere. I recently spoke to him about his new book “Digital Adaptation” and his related talk at Future of Web Design in London during early April.

SITEPOINT (Craig Buckler): Hey Paul. There are few people yet to encounter you on the web, but tell us a little about yourself and what you do?

PAUL: That question should be easy to answer but, over the years, I’ve started to find it much more difficult. It used to be simple — I was a web designer. However, it’s a long time since I have coded anything other than my own website. I keep my hand in but would be embarrassed to call myself a web designer these days.

I guess I am a business adviser or digital strategist. I help organizations do two things; adapt to the changes that digital have brought to the world and demonstrate how to use new tools to their full potential.

I achieve this either through working directly with organizations via my digital agency Headscape and by speaking and writing about the topic.

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Optimizing MySQL Bottlenecks

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Optimizing MySQL Introduction MySQL is one of the most used databases in conjunction with PHP. Making sure that your MySQL databases are running at their best is one of the most important aspects you have to consider whenever your web application grows. In this series […]

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6 Super-Useful Chrome Extensions for Designers

If you are a Chrome user, you probably love it for it’s speed and simplicity. However, no matter how much you like simplicity, sooner or later you’ll need will add some extra functionality you desperately need.

In such cases, it’s extensions to the rescue.

If you were a Firefox user before you switched to Chrome (or perhaps you time-share between browsers), you probably already know that most of the Firefox add-ons you love are available for Chrome as well.

Today we’re going to look at some of the most useful Chrome extensions for designers. I am not writing about the Web Developer and Firebug add-ons that are emblematic for Firefox as they’ve been well covered elsewhere.

also going to avoid the add-ons I reviewed in the 6 Great Firefox Extensions for Designers article, too. Not all of them are available for Chrome, but the ones that do include are: ColorZilla, YSlow, Open With (only Firefox and no Mac OS version).

You might want to try them as well.

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Simple Bubble Charts Using D3.js

At my workplace, I was assigned the task to visualize some data. That was when I bumped into D3.js, a JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on data in an interactive way. It makes use of HTML5, JavaScript, SVG and CSS3. In this tutorial, we’ll use D3 to visualize our data in the form of abubble chart.

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Optimizing MySQL Configuration

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Optimizing MySQL Introduction MySQL is one of the most used databases in conjunction with PHP. Making sure that your MySQL databases are running at their best is one of the most important aspects you have to consider whenever your web application grows. In this series […]

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CSS Framework Fortunes and Failures with Harry Roberts

Harry Roberts helps teams all over the world to build better front ends. Craig spoke to him about his talk at Future of Web Design.

SITEPOINT (Craig Buckler): Hey Harry. Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

HARRY: Hi there! I’’m a consultant front-end architect from the UK. My work includes visiting companies of all sizes (from the likes of the BBC and the NHS right down to individuals) in all types of places (from sunny California to snowy Frankfurt) and helping them get a handle on their CSS. I do a lot of consultancy and workshops, solving company scalability woes and teaching developers how to build bigger, more performant UIs. I get to travel, meet interesting and passionate individuals, work with great companies and get paid along the way. I can’t believe my luck!

Before that, I was a Senior Developer at BSkyB for almost three years. Before that I worked at a series of digital agencies of varying sizes.

SITEPOINT: How did you get into conference talking?

HARRY: I’d been blogging and tweeting for some time when Front-Trends approached me in late 2011 and asked if I’d like to speak at their conference in Warsaw (2012). I’d never spoken anywhere before so it was a huge gamble for them but I nervously accepted. It’s carried on from there.

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